Fires can be devastating. According to the American Burn Association, one civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 35 minutes. There are even more burn related injuries. Sadly, children and the disabled are especially vulnerable to burn injuries. This is because it is difficult for these folks to exit their homes in case of a fire. At our firm, we handle cases resulting from fires, both for folks injured in fires as well as companies accused of negligently causing the fire.
What are the Different Types of Burn Injuries?
Burns are commonly described as first, second, third, and fourth degree.
First degree burns are the least severe, fourth-degree are the most severe. The type of treatment that a person receives will depend on the degree of burn.
First Degree Burns (Superficial Burns)
These burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. The burned area is often red, painful, and dry. There are no blisters. A sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn
Second Degree Burns (Partial Thickness Burns)
These burns affect the outer layer of the skin and the lower layer of skin. With these burns, blisters may appear. There will usually be redness, pain, and swelling as well. This type of burn generally requires a doctor’s care to manage.
Third Degree Burns (Full Thickness Burns)
These are devastating injuries, in which the entire skin, including the innermost layer, is destroyed. The burn site may look white or blackened. It may appear charred. There also may be numbness in the area, as there may be nerve damage.
Fourth Degree Burns
These types of burns involve all layers of skin, possibly even muscle, and bone. With fourth-degree burns, there is no feeling the area as the nerve endings are destroyed. These are severe and devastating injuries.
In addition to burn injuries, there also can be inhalation injuries. This includes smoke inhalation, inhalation of toxins burning, and heat inhalations. Between 60% and 80% of fire deaths are due to smoke inhalation.
Common Occurrences That Lead to Burn Injuries in Atlanta
Fires can occur in a number of areas that people frequent. This includes the following:
- Apartment Fires. Between 2010 and 2014, there were over 100,000 apartment fires. This resulted in 410 deaths and 4,280 injuries. The owner of the apartment complex, also known as the landlord, is required to follow the law to protect their residents from apartment fires where possible. In the event that the apartment fire was due to negligence or failure to follow the law by a commercial property owner, such as faulty electric wiring, improperly installed smoke detectors, lack of fire extinguishers, poor/dysfunctional equipment, the apartment complex may be liable for the burn injury.
- Commercial Property Fires (Hotels, Restaurants, Nightclubs etc.). Similar to the owner of an apartment complex, the owner of a business like a hotel or restaurant is required to follow certain rules to protect customers from preventable fires. Sometimes after a fire, it can be determined that the burn injury would not have occurred but for the commercial property owner’s failure to follow the law. In those events, the burn injury victim may recover.
- Truck Accidents/Car Accidents. Approximately 10% of burn deaths result from a motor vehicle fire. Whether or not a person can recover for a burn injury in a tractor trailer or automobile accident will depend on whether or not the other driver was liable (that is, negligently caused) the accident. In addition to the other driver, the burn victim may also be able to recover from the manufacturer of the vehicle for improper manufacture of the vehicle. For example, in the event that the manufacturer improperly designed the vehicle to expose the gas tank, the manufacturer may be liable in tort for the burn injury or death.
- Chemical Burns. When certain chemical compounds come into contact with the skin or with one another, a burn or even an explosion can occur. In recent memory, in Savannah, there was a massive explosion as a result of sugar dust. In the event that a workplace or manufacturing plant does not follow the proper guidelines, the company or employer may be liable for the burn injury.
- Electrical Fires. One of the most common causes of fires is electrical issues. A PowerPoint may be overloaded or the equipment itself may cause a fire. In the event that the manufacturer of the product or the owner of the real property was negligent in the maintenance or design, the manufacturer or the property owner may be responsible for the fire and the resulting burn injuries.
- Scalding Water/Pipes. A scalding injury is the result of hot liquid coming into contact with the skin. Over 400,000 scalding injuries requiring emergency room visits occur each year. These burn injuries may be the result of dangerously high water temperatures in an apartment complex, served at a restaurant, or in another commercial setting. In such an event, the burn injury victim may be able to recover for the burns.
How Do We Handle Fire Accident Cases?
Fire cases almost always require fire investigators.
At our firm, we know fire experts that can get to the bottom of why a fire happened and whether it could have been prevented. When we receive a fire case, we jump on it at the earliest opportunity, traveling to the scene, investigating the equipment, and ensuring that all relevant evidence is preserved. In the event of a fire, we are burn injury lawyers that can get the job done for you.
Areas Served and How to Contact Us
We practice throughout Georgia. Our experienced burn injury lawyers have worked on fire and burn injury cases in many locations throughout our state. Our office is located in Atlanta. Please don’t hesitate to reach us at (404) 793-0026 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.
Here are some example case results:
- For defense cases, we have never had a case resolve for higher than our valuation.
- For plaintiff cases, we have recovered millions of dollars in just the last few years. This includes a verdict in excess of $27 million and multiple multi-million dollar recoveries in recent years. Read our case results here.
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