It is difficult to predict how fire and burn cases will be handled by a court of law. Because these accidents can occur anywhere and can be due to a variety of mishaps, there is no one common thread between these incidents. However, these claims usually involve higher settlement amounts because of the great pain and long-term suffering they can cause. In some instances, an injury may be bad enough to result in chronic pain and an inability to work or remain active.
WHAT FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED DURING FIRE AND BURN CASES?
The extent of the victim’s injuries will be considered, as well as the defendant’s liability. For example, if a worker is injured after a stray electrical discharge ignites a cloud of flammable gas, and this is later shown to be due to poor facility maintenance, the victim may be in line for a large settlement. If, however, the worker was injured because they struck a match in an area clearly marked off with caution signage, they will have a harder time recouping damages.
These claims are managed according to what causes the injury and what duty of care the defendant had toward the injured party. If a worker is hurt, the employer is responsible for providing worker’s compensation (if they have not opted out of the insurance) to cover medical expenses, long-term disability and any missed time from work. If, however, the employer’s gross negligence was a contributing factor to the injury, the victim may be able to attain additional compensation. If other parties share responsibility for the accident, like a driver backs up into a barrel of flammable chemicals that hurt the worker, then those other parties will likely be held responsible for additional settlements. Third parties that are involved in workplace claims are not protected by the reduced liability stipulations that follow worker’s compensation claims.
When a defective product is involved in fire and burn cases, the nature of the claim changes dramatically. Manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products are safe when used properly. When this duty is violated, it may mean serious burn injuries, especially when defective vehicles or kitchen appliances are involved. The victim may have a legitimate defective product claim if they can demonstrate four things to the court. They must show that they were injured, that the product in question was defective, that the defect caused the injury and that the victim was using the product as intended at the time. Product liability cases can involve multimillion-dollar settlements. For example, a woman who recently suffered second and third degree fire injuries due to a flammable skirt received $4 million for her pain and suffering. Whatever caused the fire and subsequent burn injury, cases like this are complicated and should only be handled by an experienced attorney.