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Hot Liquids, Severe Burns: Your Rights in Scald Injury Cases

doctor bandages a burned wrist

When we think of burn injuries, images of flames and fire typically come to mind. However, there’s a less obvious but equally harmful type: scalding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scalds – burns from hot liquids or steam – make up 33% of all burn injuries. These injuries can be rapid and severe; for instance, an adult can suffer third-degree burns in just two seconds from exposure to 150-degree water.

If you have suffered a scalding injury due to another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. A Miami personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and pursue the damages you deserve. 

Why Burn Injury Claims Stand Apart?

Burn injuries are distinct from other personal injury claims due to several factors. First, burns often cause permanent disfigurement and scarring, leading to emotional distress. The scars can be a constant reminder of the accident, causing victims to feel embarrassed and avoid public appearances. Additionally, burn injuries can result in long-term or permanent disabilities, especially if they affect muscles, joints, or tendons. This physical limitation can prevent victims from returning to their previous work or pursuing the same career, resulting in not only a financial loss but also a loss of purpose and identity.

Due to these unique and severe consequences of burn injuries, victims often recover more compensation compared to other types of injuries. The tangible and visible nature of burn injuries helps juries understand the extent of the victim’s physical pain and suffering, often resulting in higher damages awarded. 

Identifying Negligence in Common Scalding Injuries

Scald injuries can occur in various settings, each with its unique risks and challenges. These incidents often result from negligence, leading to serious injuries that could have been prevented with proper care and safety measures.

  • Childcare Facilities: In these environments, children are at risk of scalding from hot liquids or surfaces due to inadequate supervision. These incidents can occur when caregivers fail to monitor children’s access to potentially dangerous areas.
  • Hospitals and Nursing Homes: Patients and residents may suffer scalds due to caregiver negligence, such as setting bath water temperatures too high or mishandling hot compresses, often resulting from inadequate training or oversight.
  • Restaurants and Coffee Shops: Hot beverages like coffee, served at high temperatures, can cause scalds if not handled correctly. Negligence may occur from actions like overfilling cups, improperly secured lids, or careless handling, leading to potential injury to customers.
  • Defective Products: Household items like kettles or heaters can cause scald injuries if they are poorly designed or malfunction. These cases often involve product liability where manufacturers are held responsible for unsafe products.
  • Schools and Educational Institutions: Students can be exposed to scald risks in labs or cafeterias if safety measures are not enforced, typically due to a lack of proper supervision or safety equipment.
  • Workplaces (Especially Industrial Settings): Workers can suffer scalds from steam, hot machinery, or chemicals, often a result of inadequate safety protocols or failure to provide appropriate protective gear.

Claiming Compensation for Scald and Burn Injuries

In Florida, victims of scalding injuries due to negligence have the right to seek monetary damages. The legal process involves demonstrating the responsible party’s failure to meet their duty of care. Experienced personal injury attorneys will prove negligence by collecting incident reports, medical records, and expert testimonies. 

Victims can ask for compensation for various losses including medical expenses, which can be substantial for treating second and third-degree burns, often reaching tens of thousands of dollars. In addition to healthcare costs, victims can claim lost wages for time spent away from work during recovery. Furthermore, if the scalding injury is so severe that it impedes the individual’s ability to return to their previous job, compensation for lost earning capacity can be pursued. Claims can also include compensation for pain and suffering. Prompt action is important in these scenarios, as Florida’s legal system has specific time limits for filing personal injury claims.

Get Expert Help for Your Scald Injury Claim

Scald injuries are among the most agonizing consequences of an accident. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami personal injury lawyers know this and we have seen the devastation these injuries can cause. We also know how to hold liable parties accountable for paying the full damages you are entitled to. Don’t bear the burden alone. Contact us at 305-371-2692, or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with a skilled personal injury attorney who can guide you through your legal options.