CALIFORNIA BURN INJURY ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (800) 978-0754
Burns are among the most painful injuries that the human body can endure. Fortunately, California has some of the nation's most advanced burn centers — units in a hospital that are devoted to the treatment of severe burn injuries. Advances in medical care have made it possible for almost 97% of burn injury victims to survive. Unfortunately, survival comes at a cost of intense pain, an ongoing risk of serious infection, and permanent scarring.
Burns are often caused by the negligence of another person. Burn accident victims have the right to seek compensation from the person or business whose negligence caused their burn injuries.
California Burn Injuries Caused by Fires
Fires cause 46% of accidental burn injuries. In some cases, the fire might occur in the victim's own home. In others, a fire might start in a hotel or business that the victim is visiting. Some fires start outside and spread to buildings or to areas (such as campgrounds) where victims are burned. Gas explosions that cause fires can be traced to negligent digging and construction near gas lines.
Liability for burns sustained in a fire depends upon whether someone other than the burn victim can be identified as the cause of the fire. For example, an electrician might be responsible for a fire that can be traced to faulty electrical work. A gas explosion that followed the negligent installation of a furnace or appliance might be the responsibility of the negligent installer.
When home fires are the homeowner's fault, injured guests or visitors will be able to make a claim against the negligent homeowner. The homeowner may also have a claim against installers or sellers of smoke alarms if the units failed to operate.
Hotels and other businesses have an obligation to protect their guests and patrons. A hotel will almost always be liable for injuries caused by a fire that wasn't started by the burn victim.
California has seen an increasing number of wildfires. Some are caused by lightning strikes but others are caused by humans. Identifying the person responsible for a particular fire can be difficult. In some cases, however, fires have been traced to railroads that failed to clear brush surrounding the tracks, making it possible for sparks to start a fire. In those cases, railroads have been held liable for injuries caused by the fire.
California Burn Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nearly 10% of deaths attributable to burns are caused by car crashes. Ruptured gas tanks cause explosions or spread flames after collisions. Survivors often suffer from extensive burn injuries.
Motorcycle accidents cause burn injuries when a motorcycle comes to rest on top of the rider. Hot mufflers and engines cause painful burns as they rest against the rider's flesh.
California Burn Injuries Caused by Scalding Water
Water heaters should be set below 120°F to avoid burns. Unfortunately, some apartment building and hotel owners set their water heaters to a higher temperature so that hot water does not become cold water as it travels to higher floors.
Unsuspecting guests on lower floors can suffer serious burns when they step into a bath or shower with 150°F water. Property owners can be held liable for negligence when they set water temperatures too high, particularly when guests are not warned of the need to monitor the water temperature carefully.
Children and older people are particularly susceptible to burns caused by scalding water. A spry adult might be able to leave the shower or bath in time to avoid a serious burn, although it only takes two seconds to sustain a third-degree burn in 150°F water, children and the elderly have more difficulty avoiding injury.
California Electrical Burn Injuries
Electrical burns represent 4% of all California burn injuries. They can be caused by exposed wires or defective power cords. Electrical shocks can affect the body's internal organs in addition to causing serious burn damage to skin.
California Chemical Burn Injuries
Caustic chemicals, including bleach, ammonia, and drain cleaners, can be found in almost every home. Other dangerous chemicals are found at worksites. Negligent handling of chemicals can cause bystanders to suffer skin burns or to inhale fumes that burn tissues inside the body.
California Burn Injury Attorney
While work-related accidents are covered by workers' compensation, burns that result from negligent acts outside the workplace may entitle the injury victim to personal injury compensation. Burn injury victims must often live with a lifetime of scarring and disfigurement in addition to disabling health conditions and ongoing suffering. California Burn Injury Lawyer Michael Rehm can evaluate burn injury claims and help victims protect their right to compensation. For more information, and for a free consultation, call Attorney Michael Rehm at (800) 978-0754.