Miami Burn Injury Lawyer | Miami Burn Injury Attorney
Burns can cause severe injuries with significant symptoms that in some cases are life-threatening. We have represented clients in the past that have suffered from burn injuries caused by liquid, chemicals, electricity, fire, and other sources. The worst cases result in limb amputation or wrongful death.
At its essence, a burn injury results when tissue is destroyed due to an energy transfer. For example, an electrical burn occurs when electrical energy is transferred into a person’s body, the electrical energy is converted to heat, and the heat destroys tissue on the person’s body. That particular type of burn is referred to as a thermal burn.
If you have been injured as a result of a burn, it is imperative that you immediately seek prompt medical treatment. If you believe the burn was caused by the negligence of another individual or company, you should also seek representation from a Miami burn injury lawyer immediately so you can begin preserving crucial evidence that will assist in your case.
Contact us at (305) 638-4143 or complete our online form for a free consultation in English or Spanish.
Table of Contents
- Burn Injury Cases We Have Handled
- Burns Caused by Defective Products
- Severity of Burns
- What is the Value of a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
- Who is Responsible for Your Burn Injury?
- Free Consultation With a Miami Burn Injury Attorney
Types of Burns
Burn injuries can vary significantly in their severity, causes, and long-term implications. From thermal burns resulting from workplace accidents to chemical burns caused by exposure to hazardous substances, each type of burn injury presents unique challenges for both victims and their attorneys. These are the most common types of burns seen in personal injury cases:
- Thermal Burns:
- Caused by contact with hot objects, liquids, steam, or flames
- Commonly occur in accidents involving fires, explosions, or hot surfaces
- Chemical Burns:
- Result from contact with corrosive substances such as acids, alkalis, or strong cleaning agents
- Can cause damage to the skin and underlying tissues
- Electrical Burns:
- Occur when the body comes into contact with an electric current
- Can cause deep tissue damage and internal injuries, even if the skin surface appears unaffected
- Radiation Burns:
- Caused by exposure to ultraviolet light (sunburn), X-rays, or radiation therapy
- Severity depends on the duration and intensity of exposure
- Friction Burns:
- Result from friction between the skin and a surface, such as road rash from motorcycle accidents or rug burns from falls
- Inhalation Burns:
- Inhalation of hot gases, smoke, or chemicals can cause burns to the airways and lungs
- Often associated with fires and explosions in enclosed spaces
- Cold Burns (Frostbite):
- Caused by exposure to extreme cold temperatures, leading to tissue damage and freezing of the skin and underlying tissues
Severity of Burn
Apart from the source of a burn, burns are normally classified by the severity of the burn. The severity of a burn is generally determined by the depth and size. There are four categories when discussing severity of burns: (1) First-degree, (2) second-degree, (3) third-degree, and (4) fourth-degree.
- First-Degree Burn: A first-degree burn is commonly referred to as a superficial burn. First-degree burns only affect the top layer of the skin, and the symptoms are typically mild and last for only a short period of time. However, that does not mean that first-degree burns should not be taken seriously. If the burn does not heal or the pain caused by the burn persists, a person should seek medical treatment immediately.
- Second-Degree Burn: A second-degree burn is a partial-thickness burn. This means the burn affects both the first and second layer of skin. Depending on the severity of the burn, a second-degree burn could require surgery and may result in significant scarring.
- Third-Degree Burn: A third-degree burn is a burn that extends through the layer of skin known as the “dermis.” The dermis is the layer of skin that contains blood vessels, nerve endings, and connective tissue. Because these burns extend through the dermis and often damage the nerve endings, these types of burns may not be extremely painful, although they are extremely serious. Third-degree burns will normally require surgical intervention.
- Fourth-Degree Burn: Finally, a fourth-degree burn is a burn that injures deep tissues within the body such as muscle and bone. These types of burns are the most serious and can result in amputation of the affected body part.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Florida
- Workplace Accidents:
- Exposure to hot surfaces or equipment
- Chemical spills or explosions
- Electrical malfunctions or accidents
- Motor Vehicle Collisions:
- Fires or explosions resulting from car accidents
- Contact with hot engine components or fluids
- Electrical hazards from damaged wiring
- Residential Fires:
- Cooking-related accidents, such as grease fires or oven mishaps
- Electrical fires caused by faulty wiring or overloaded circuits
- Smoking-related incidents, such as dropped cigarettes or unattended candles
- Product Defects:
- Malfunctioning electrical appliances or devices
- Flammable materials in clothing or furniture
- Defective batteries or electronic devices prone to overheating
- Construction Site Incidents:
- Fires or explosions from welding or cutting activities
- Contact with hot surfaces or materials
- Chemical exposure from hazardous substances used on-site
- Recreational Activities:
- Campfire accidents, including burns from flames or hot coals
- Fireworks mishaps leading to burns or explosions
- Scalding injuries from hot water in pools or spas
- Medical Negligence:
- Burns resulting from surgical errors or improper use of medical equipment
- Failure to monitor temperature settings during procedures
- Inadequate post-operative care leading to burn complications
- Premises Liability:
- Scalding injuries from hot water in showers or baths
- Slip and fall accidents resulting in contact with hot surfaces or liquids
- Negligent maintenance of premises leading to fire hazards or electrical issues
The Long-Term Challenges of Burn Injury Recovery
While burn injuries are often associated with immediate pain and trauma, their long-term consequences can profoundly impact the lives of survivors. From physical disabilities to scars, the aftermath of a burn injury can extend far beyond the initial incident. These are some of the long-term consequences of burn injuries:
Physical Scarring and Disfigurement
One of the most visible and enduring consequences of burn injuries is physical scarring and disfigurement. Severe burns can leave survivors with permanent scars that not only affect their appearance but also impact their self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, scarring can lead to functional impairments, such as limited mobility or joint contractures, which may require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Chronic Pain and Sensory Changes
Burn injuries can result in chronic pain and sensory changes that persist long after the initial injury has healed. Nerve damage caused by burns can lead to neuropathic pain, characterized by shooting or burning sensations, numbness, and tingling. Furthermore, survivors may experience alterations in sensation, such as heightened sensitivity to touch or temperature changes, which can significantly impact their quality of life and daily activities.
Psychological Trauma and Emotional Distress
Beyond the physical toll, burn injuries often trigger profound psychological trauma and emotional distress. Survivors may struggle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance, stemming from the traumatic nature of the injury and its aftermath. Additionally, feelings of anxiety, depression, and social isolation are common among burn injury survivors, who may grapple with the psychological impact of their altered appearance and perceived stigma.
Functional Limitations and Disability
Depending on the severity and location of the burn injury, survivors may experience significant functional limitations and disability. Burn scars and tissue contractures can restrict range of motion and impair dexterity, making everyday tasks challenging or impossible to perform independently. Burn injuries affecting critical areas such as the hands, face, or joints can have profound implications for survivors’ ability to work, engage in recreational activities, and maintain social relationships.
Long-Term Medical Complications
In addition to immediate medical concerns, burn injury survivors may face long-term medical complications that require ongoing monitoring and treatment. These complications may include recurrent infections, delayed wound healing, chronic inflammation, and increased risk of skin cancer. Survivors may require multiple surgeries over their lifetime to address scar management, functional restoration, and cosmetic reconstruction.
Burn Injury Cases Our Law Firm Has Handled
Our Florida burn injury lawyers have handled numerous cases involving burns caused by various sources. Some of the burn cases we have handled include:
- Electrical burn from contact with power line
- Burn caused by hot liquid
- Chemical burn from defective product
- Electrical burn due to premises owner negligence and failing to shut off power
- Thermal burn due to defective product exploding
- Thermal burn due to defective packaging
- Burns due to fireworks
Burns Caused by Defective Products
Sometimes a burn is caused by a defective product. In that case, to recover you will have to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributer, or seller of the product. It is especially important in these types of cases to contact an attorney immediately so the lawyer can preserve the product and any other evidence that will be necessary to prove your case. Without preserving the product, these cases are difficult if not impossible to prove.
There are currently many pending lawsuits against the manufacturers of defective products due to burns caused by the products. For example, there have been multiple lawsuits against Peloton over injuries caused by its treadmill product. In one case, a young child was alleged to have been caught underneath the treadmill while the belt continued to run causing severe third-degree burns to the child. Peloton has since issued a recall for a particular model of the treadmill after receiving “reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.”
In November 2020, the Crock-Pot pressure cooker was recalled because it would pressurize when the lid was not locked which ultimately would lead to an explosion causing burns from hot foods and liquid ejected from the cooker. The recall was initiated after Sunbeam Products received reports of over 100 lid detachments resulting in burn injuries ranging “from first-degree to third-degree burns.”
By September of 2021, the sale of nearly a million flavored e-cigarette products had been blocked by the FDA, although there are still many similarly harmful products on the market. Hot vapor can burn and scar lung tissue. E-cigarettes can also cause a condition called “popcorn lung”, which is a devastating, irreversible lung condition affecting the smallest areas of the airways. It is usually fatal. E-cigarette companies that remain on the market, such as Juul, continue to go through litigation due to these types of injuries.
MixBin Electronics LLC also recalled its liquid glitter iphone cases after numerous reports of leaks causing chemical burns. In that recall, at least one consumer reported permanent scarring as a result of a chemical burn.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Value of a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
When determining the value of your burn injury case, you must assess the liability and the damages. There are some situations where liability is shared between the injured plaintiff and the victim. That was the case in one of the most famous and publicized burn injury lawsuits, the McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit. In that case, Stella Liebeck was burned when hot coffee spilled into her lap. Her attorneys presented evidence that McDonalds held its coffee at substantially higher temperatures than many other restaurants despite McDonalds receiving numerous other reports of burns. In that case the jury assessed 20% responsibility against Liebeck.
If you are partially responsible for your injuries, the total amount of damages in your case will be reduced by the percent of responsibility that you have. If you have no shared responsibility, then you will be entitled to the full amount of your damages.
Your damages are assessed by looking at the injury and how it has affected you. There are two types of damages you can recover in Florida, economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include out of pocket expenses such as medical care and lost wages. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, disability, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of the capacity to enjoy life.
If the burn results in a death, your attorney will have to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In a case resulting in death, you and your burn injury attorney will have to decide whether to elect survival damages or to proceed with a wrongful death case. That analysis will require an experienced attorney capable of handling a wrongful death case. Our law firm focuses exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.
Who Is Responsible for Your Burn Injury?
The circumstances of your particular case and the cause of the burn will determine who is responsible for your burn injury. In some cases, this may not be easily identifiable in the beginning of the case. For instance, with a defective product, you will want to look at all individuals in the chain of distribution. Or you may want to look at manufacturers of particular parts of the product that failed.
Some parties that may be held liable for a burn injury include:
- Property Owners: failure to maintain safe premises, lack of proper safety measures such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors
- Employers: unsafe working conditions, failure to provide adequate safety training, negligence in enforcing safety protocols
- Product Manufacturers: defective products causing burns such as faulty electrical appliances or flammable materials
- Contractors or Subcontractors: negligence in construction or maintenance leading to fires or explosions
- Individuals: reckless or intentional acts causing burns including arson and assault
- Municipalities or Government Entities: negligence in maintaining public spaces (e.g., parks, streets) leading to burn hazards
- Healthcare Providers: medical malpractice resulting in burns during treatment or surgery
- Insurance Companies: denial or delay of rightful compensation for burn injuries
It is important that you contact an attorney that can help you identify the proper individuals or entities that are responsible so you can file your case against those individuals or entities within the applicable statute of limitations.
How A Miami Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Hiring with an experienced personal injury lawyer will significantly enhance your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your burn injury case and securing the justice and compensation you deserve. Entrust Flanagan & Bodenheimer with your burn injury case, and our attorneys will:
- Provide expert guidance on your rights and legal options concerning your burn injury case
- Offer a comprehensive understanding of burn injury laws and regulations, particularly in Florida
- Conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your burn injury to determine liability and negligence
- Gather evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and accident reports, to build a strong case on your behalf
- Negotiate with insurance companies and liable parties to pursue fair compensation for your burn injuries
- Handle all communication and negotiations on your behalf to ensure your best interests are represented
- Prepare and file legal documents, including lawsuits if necessary, to initiate legal proceedings against the responsible parties
- Represent you in court proceedings, presenting evidence and arguments to advocate for your rights and seek maximum compensation
- Work with medical professionals to assess the extent of your injuries and future medical needs, including surgeries, therapies, and long-term care
Free Consultation With a Miami Burn Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has been harmed as a result of a burn injury, give us a call at Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm. We offer free, no-strings-attached consultations where we take the time to talk with you and analyze your case. If we feel like we can help you, we can send our representation documents to you immediately so that we can begin working on your case. It’s our mission to help burn injury survivors and other injury plaintiffs in Miami obtain justice and financial recovery.
We offer our legal services to clients throughout all of South Florida including Miami, Coral Gables, Kendall, Brickell, Hialeah, Aventura, Homestead, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and other areas. We handle a wide range of personal injury cases in Miami-Dade County including medical malpractice, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, and more. Our firm also handles personal injury cases in Broward County including car accidents, trucking accidents, wrongful death, and other incidents that lead to serious injuries.
While our main offices are located in Hollywood, FL and Miami, FL, we serve clients throughout all of South Florida. Contact us today at 305-638-4143 or complete our online form for a free consultation.