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Your Legal Rights If You Are Burned at Work

doctor wrapping burn injury

Burn injuries can happen anytime, including when you are on the job. If you are wondering what your legal rights are after a burn injury at work, the answer is a bit complicated, which is why we created this blog.

If you are injured at work, including due to a workplace burn, you should immediately contact a workers’ compensation attorney to assist you in understanding your rights. If your workplace burn was caused by a third party – someone other than your employer – then you may be able to file a suit and seek damages for their misconduct.

Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions people ask our attorneys when they are burned at work, including:

What Should I Do After a Workplace Burn Injury?

If you've suffered a burn injury at work, taking immediate and appropriate steps to ensure your health and protect your legal rights is crucial. First, seek medical attention to assess and treat your injury properly as soon as possible.

Reporting the incident to your employer is also essential; do this in writing and keep a copy for your records. This initiates the worker’s compensation process and documents the event in case a personal injury claim is needed to obtain full and fair compensation.

Additionally, we recommend gathering evidence related to your injury. Take photos of your injuries and the location of the incident. Collect contact information from witnesses to the incident. Lastly, talk to a burn injury lawyer who has experience handling workplace injuries claims to better understand your legal options for compensation beyond workers' compensation.

Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is critical. While Wisner Baum does not practice workers’ compensation law, we have seen numerous instances where a worker’s comp claim for a burn injury failed to compensate the victim fairly. If you are concerned this may happen to you, call an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assess your claim. Remember, injury attorneys litigate cases on a contingency fee basis, which means it costs you nothing upfront to retain an attorney.

Get a free case evaluation today from the burn injury lawyers at Wisner Baum

What Jobs Are Most at Risk for Burn Injuries?

Certain jobs are likelier to experience burn injuries because of the specific tasks and environments involved. Here’s a look at some of the occupations where workers might be at a higher risk

  • Food Service Workers: This includes cooks, chefs, and kitchen staff who work with hot appliances, boiling liquids, and open flames.
  • Construction Workers: Individuals in this field often deal with hot machinery, welding tools, and materials that can lead to serious burns.
  • Manufacturing Workers: People who work in manufacturing may need to handle flammable materials and operate heavy machinery, increasing their potential exposure to thermal, electrical, and chemical burns.
  • Electricians: Working with electrical systems poses a risk for electrical burns, which can occur from direct contact with live wires or electrical sparks.

What Causes Workplace Burn Injuries?

Workplace burn injuries can occur in a variety of settings and are caused by several different hazards present across numerous occupations. Industrial and manufacturing workplaces, for example, are common locations for such injuries due to the use of high-temperature machines, chemicals, and hazardous materials that can easily lead to burns.

Restaurants and commercial kitchens also pose significant risks with their reliance on hot oil, boiling water, and high-temperature ovens, which can cause severe burns if employees are not equipped with proper protective gear or trained in safe work practices.

Construction sites present another danger zone, where workers are exposed to electrical wiring, flammable substances, and hot machinery. Additionally, laboratories carry the risk of chemical burns from handling dangerous substances without adequate safety measures. Understanding these causes is crucial for implementing preventive strategies and ensuring workplace safety.

What Are the Most Common Types of Workplace Burn Injuries?

While workplace burn injuries can vary, some of the most common we get calls about include:

Thermal Burns: When a worker comes in contact with hot surfaces, liquids, steam, or an open flame. These are especially common among those working in the food service, manufacturing, and construction industries.

Chemical Burns: When skin or eyes come into contact with strong acids, alkalis, or other corrosive substances. These often happen in laboratories and chemical manufacturing plants.

Electrical Burns: When electrical currents pass through the body, causing external and/or internal injuries. Electricians, utility workers, and construction workers are at higher risk for electrical burns.

Radiation Burns: Caused by exposure to radiation, such as ultraviolet rays or other forms of radiation.These occasionally happen in healthcare, research laboratories, and industries involving welding or other high-intensity light sources.

Friction Burns: Occur when skin is rubbed against a hard surface, generating enough heat to cause a burn. These burns are common in machinery jobs, such as manufacturing or warehousing. While they may not seem as serious as the burns above, friction burns can cause significant harm.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a workplace burn injury, it's crucial to understand your rights and the potential for compensation. Don't hesitate to contact a knowledgeable attorney that has proven results handling workplace injury claims. Taking this step can be pivotal in your recovery process and in securing your financial future after such a traumatic event.

Can I Sue if I am Burned at Work?

If you are burned at work, understanding your legal options, including the difference between filing for workers' compensation and pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, is crucial. Generally speaking, workers' compensation benefits are your exclusive remedy for work related injuries. Workers’ Compensation is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries, offering coverage for medical expenses and lost wages without the need to prove fault. However, if a third party's negligence contributed to the burn injury—such as a vendor or manufacturer of faulty equipment—you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Personal injury claims require proving that the third party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and directly caused or contributed to your injury.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Workplace Burn Injuries?

In cases where workers' compensation covers your needs, you should consult with a lawyer specializing in workers’ compensation law. But when facing complex situations involving third-party negligence or if you encounter challenges with your workers' compensation claim, consulting with an experienced burn injury lawyer can be invaluable.

Remember, most burn injury law firms offer free case evaluations, so you risk nothing by consulting with an attorney. If they feel like you may have a case, it may be possible to recover significant compensation to help pay for the damages you sustained as a result of your burn injuries.

Who is Liable for a Workplace Burn Injury?

Assuming there is a third party potentially at fault, determining liability in the event of a workplace burn injury involves understanding the intricate laws governing personal injury. In California, a fault state with comparative liability rules, several parties may potentially be held responsible for a burn injury. These include product manufacturers if the injury was caused by defective or dangerous equipment; property owners, who have a duty to maintain safe environments for anyone who comes onto the property.

Identifying the liable party requires a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, including whether any negligence contributed to the injury. Victims of workplace burn injuries may be entitled to compensation for their losses, including medical expenses and pain and suffering, making it crucial to understand who bears responsibility for the accident.

Wisner Baum – California Burn Injury Lawyers

If you've suffered a burn injury at work caused by the negligence of a third party, you don't have to navigate this challenging time alone. At Wisner Baum, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these injuries can take on you and your family. With our comprehensive understanding of the law on third party workplace injuries and a track record of success, we are here to guide you every step of the way. Contact Wisner Baum today for a free consultation. Let us help you start the process toward recovery and restitution.

To speak with a Los Angeles injury attorney about your case, contact us today or call 855-948-5098. We offer free and confidential case evaluations.



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