Experienced Chicago Burn Injury Lawyer Serving Clients Throughout Cook County
Every year, Americans suffer from 2 million burn injuries. The treatment for such severe injuries is painful and laborious, and it is common for victims end up with terribly disfiguring scars on their skin. When these injuries were caused by the recklessness or negligence of another person, it is critical he or she be held responsible for the suffering caused. If you or a loved one has suffered from serious burn injuries, please contact skilled Chicago burn injury lawyer, Joseph M. Dooley.
Handling All Burn Injury Claims Involving Fire, Smoke and Chemicals
Burn injuries are not always related to contact with fire. Smoke inhalation can cause serious burn injuries to the lungs. Chemical burns can be caused by all types of chemical reactions. Each type of burn injury requires a distinct treatment method. The medical expenses related to the treatment of these injuries can quickly become insurmountable. Fortunately, a Chicago burn injury lawyer can help you claim the compensation you deserve to pay off these hefty expenses.
Who Is Liable?
Burn injuries can happen to anyone in any setting, without warning, but burn injuries most frequently are caused by motor vehicle collisions and explosions after car accidents, electrical mishaps in an industrial setting, hot liquids, kitchen fires, and fires in public venues such as restaurants and hotels. To win a burn injury lawsuit, a plaintiff has to prove that the other party was negligent: that is, plaintiffs must demonstrate that the other party breached a duty; that the beach of duty was the direct or proximate cause of the burn injury; and that a burn injury or injuries were in fact the result of that negligence. If a burn injury causes death, the lawsuit then becomes a wrongful death case.
Product manufacturers and distributors, including retailers, are legally responsible for making certain that their products, when used as intended, do not cause burn injuries. Landlords and other building owners have a legal duty to maintain the general safety of their properties under the premises liability law; that duty may include installation and maintenance of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, and it may also include a requirement to post escape plans and instructions in plain view. A number of states also require that upholstered furniture on a commercial property must be flame resistant.
Burn injuries often occur as a result of construction accidents or other workplace-related incidents. When an employee suffers a burn injury at work, he or she will typically be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim after the accident. Workers’ compensation in Illinois provides wage compensation and medical care reimbursement to those injured while working, and employees in turn waive their right to sue employers. Worker’s compensation, however, provides no reimbursement for pain, suffering, or disfigurement – and all three are often involved in serious burn injury cases. A good personal injury lawyer can help you determine if a third-party claim (against a third party such as a subcontractor or an equipment manufacturer) is a possible option if your burn injury happened at work.
If you or anyone in your family is a victim of burn injury due to another party’s negligence, you should seek out an experienced burn injury attorney as quickly as possible. Don’t settle for compensation that won’t cover your medical expenses and pain and suffering. Injury attorneys with experience representing burn injury victims can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Fire Safety Tips
The National Fire Protection Association reports that more than half of burn injuries result from negligence and could have been prevented. Yet, according to FEMA, most Americans don’t know how to operate a fire extinguisher, even if they own one. Fire extinguishers are produced in several types, each to fight a different sort of fire. This system has been developed to help users know what sort of extinguisher they’re working with:
- Class A – Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth, and paper products
- Class B – Flammable liquids and gases
- Class C – Electrical fires
- Class D – Flammable metals
- Class K – Oils and grease fires
Most extinguishers for homes and public places are ABC extinguishers for putting out wood and paper fires, flammable liquids, and electrical fires. You can buy an ABC extinguisher at any hardware store. Buy the largest one you are at ease with for each level of your home. Keep one near the rooms where fire is most likely: the garage and the kitchen. Don’t place extinguishers near stoves, heaters, curtains, or drapes; if you can’t get to a fire extinguisher, it’s useless. The best spot is near a door. Check the extinguisher regularly; make sure its pressure is in the green zone, the seals aren’t broken, hoses aren’t cracked, and it hasn’t suffered damage from dents, leaks, or rust.
Don’t try to fight a fire that’s taller than you are. Extinguishers are designed for fires that are just starting. If it’s already over your head, run. Do you have the right kind of extinguisher? Is it pressurized? Check the gauge to see if it’s fully charged and pressurized. If the needle is in the green, you’re ready to fight fire. If not, get out and call 911. If possible, position yourself with your back to an exit so that you can get out quickly. You want to be out of danger, but close enough to be effective: from 6 to 20 feet.
Remember the word PASS! Pull (the pin), Aim (the nozzle), Squeeze (the trigger), and Sweep (from one side to another). Hitting the top of the flames won’t help; you have to smother a fire at its base. Most extinguishers give you 10-20 seconds of discharge time. Back away slowly and don’t turn from the fire until you’re certain it’s extinguished. After using an extinguisher, have it recharged as soon as possible, or toss it and replace it if it’s a disposable extinguisher.
If you are injured in a fire due to another person’s neglect, you may be able to collect damages including your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly even punitive damages. If you or anyone in your family is a victim of burn injury due to another party’s negligence, speak to an experienced burn injury attorney as quickly as possible. A burn injury lawyer will assess your case, outline your alternatives, and advocate for your rights and your rightful compensation.
Secure Compensation With the Help of a Chicago Burn Injury Lawyer
Many burn injuries are the result of negligence or recklessness on the part of another person. When this occurs, this person should be held responsible for his or her actions. Your Chicago personal injury attorney can help you claim compensation for your lost wages, lost quality of life, medical expenses, pain, emotional suffering, disfigurement and more.
As one of the top injury lawyers in Chicago, I have worked on a wide variety of cases over the years, including those involving motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, brain, birth, or spinal cord injuries, slip and fall incidents, and defective product liability issues. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule your free initial consultation, please call me today at 312-236-7282 or contact my Chicago law firm by filling out the online form on this website.