- July 2, 2022
- Attorney David Mann
- Workplace Accidents
If you or someone in your family is burned in an accident at work, you have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation or negligence claim. The damages you receive for your injury will depend on the circumstances of your accident and how severe the burns were.
The skin is the largest and most important organ in your body. If you experience a serious burn, it can completely change your life or be fatal. Serious burns may also leave you in terrible pain, cause scarring and disfigurement, and leave behind emotional trauma that you have to deal with for the rest of your life.
If you or someone in your family is dealing with a burn injury, you may wonder what options you have. The best way to know your options is by getting in touch with our burn injury lawyers.
Showing Negligence in Burn Injury Cases
If you are dealing with a burn injury, you likely have questions. One of the most common that we hear is “Can you sue if you get burned at work?”
In burn cases (and all personal injury cases), it’s the plaintiff that has the “burden of proof.” What this means is that it is you (with the help of your attorney) who must gather and show evidence that the defendant was the cause of your burn injuries.
If the burn occurs by accident, it’s possible to pursue a negligence claim. According to Georgia law, it’s necessary to prove the following elements for your burn injury lawsuit to be successful:
- You were owed a duty of care by the defendant.
- The duty of care was breached because your safety was not protected.
- If the breach had not occurred, then the accident probably wouldn’t have happened.
- Your injuries were caused by the breach.
This same criteria applies to a workers’ compensation claim. If your burn injury occurred during the course of your employment, then the duty of care your employer had to you will be considered. In some cases, the burn injury claims you file could be significant, especially in situations where your employer did not follow the regulations set by OSHA, and this is what caused the accident.
According to information from the American Burn Association, around eight percent of all burn injuries occur while someone is on the job.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Can you claim for a burn at work? There are certain factors that must be considered. One of the most important is where and how the injury occurred. In fact, these circumstances are going to determine liability and how much compensation you may be able to receive.
Some of the common causes of work-related burn injuries include:
A thermal burn occurs if you are exposed to something hot, like a burning liquid or an open flame. Mild thermal burns can be treated with basic first aid, while more severe ones should be treated by medical professionals.
This type of burn occurs if you come in contact with an acidic or toxic chemical irritant. The burns can be caused by all types of dangerous substances, such as chlorine, battery acid, ammonia, and bleach.
If you come in contact with an electrical current and the jolt enters your body, it can cause an electrical burn. Sometimes this type of burn can impact your muscles and internal organs.
If your skin is repeatedly rubbed against an abrasive surface, then a friction burn may occur. Usually, these are mild, but they can be more severe.
This is a common type of burn and occurs when hot steam or liquid come in contact with your skin.
If you work with hazardous materials, you may be exposed to radiation and suffer a radiation burn.
The severity of the burn will also determine the compensation you receive. There are three basic classifications for burn injuries. These include:
- First-degree burns: This is the mildest type of burn and will usually only impact the outermost layer of your skin. It can cause some pain, reddening, swelling, and tenderness.
- Second-degree burns: With this burn, you will experience moderate injuries that can damage both the epidermis and dermis (which is the lower layer of skin). Usually, these types of burns will cause some pain, blistering, swelling, and reddening.
- Third-degree burns: A third-degree burn is the most serious type you can experience. These can damage your epidermis, dermis, and the tissue underneath. The injuries are usually painful and can cause charring, scarring, and blistering.
Are You Legally Allowed to Sue for a Work-Related Burn Injury?
If you recover workers’ compensation benefits for your work-related burn injury, then it will likely mean that you can’t sue your employer. This is because it is an “exclusive remedy.” However, there are some situations when you could have the option to file a third-party lawsuit, which will allow you to recover damages that are not covered by the workers’ compensation benefits, like pain and suffering.
The situations that will allow you to do this include:
- Another driver caused the injury during a vehicle accident.
- Someone other than your employer, like a subcontractor or vendor, is responsible for the injury.
- Defective equipment or machinery is responsible for your injury (in which case, you can sue the equipment manufacturer).
If you are wondering “Can you sue a restaurant for a burn?” the answer is it depends. You should talk to a burn injury attorney to find out more about your rights in this situation.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Burn Injury Case
If you have experienced a burn injury at work, you may wonder what rights you have. Our legal team is ready to help you better understand your options and how to recover compensation for the injuries and losses you sustained. The best way to get started is by getting in touch with our law offices by calling (478) 742-3381. We can review your case and help determine what options you have.