Hundreds of people die due to fires each year in the U.S., and many more suffer burns from a wide range of sources. In many cases burns and other fire-related injuries are due to the negligence of others.
The first step in a burn case is to identify the cause of the burn. In many cases this is a fire, and determining what started the fire is essential. Frequently defective products – for example, electric tea kettles, power extension cords, or Christmas tree lights – can cause a house or apartment fire. In these cases, the victims of the fire may make a claim against the maker of the defective product.
Other burns do not involve fire at all. Chemical burns and electrical burns are unfortunately common. The effects of these burns can be even more severe than burns from fire. Serious electrical burns travel through the body, having entry and exit points, and can damage tissue, bones, and organs that were not directly exposed to the source of the electricity. Chemical burns can occur with home cleaning products, or in industrial settings, eating at the skin until the chemical is washed clean.
Burns have immediate pain and injury, but can also have after-effects. Infection of burn injuries is a major complication. Inhalation injuries can often accompany burns, sometimes have effects more serious than the burns themselves. Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, can also lead to brain damage.
Sometimes a burn case does not depend on what actually caused the fire, but depends on other fire injury prevention devices. Building codes and other local regulations require smoke detectors, and in other cases require fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and walls and doors designed to withstand a certain amount of fire. Regulations also can require regular inspections and maintenance of fire prevention devices. When smoke detectors and alarms do not work, burn injuries often are a foreseeable result, even leading to fatalities when victims are trapped or are sleeping when the fire starts. In these cases, the landlord or property owner may be liable for injuries that resulted from the failure to follow all applicable regulations.
If you have suffered serious burn injuries, you should contact an experienced Alabama burn injury attorney. Burn injuries often involve complex causes of injury, and can involve complicated medical issues. Because burn injuries often cause severe, traumatic injuries, recoveries can be large, requiring the attention of an experienced lawyer with substantial resources to see the case through. At Cross & Smith, we have successfully handled burn cases throughout Alabama, and understand how to portray your severe injuries to an Alabama jury. Call us at (877) 791-0618 for a free confidential consultation.