The majority of people assume that burn injuries only affect firefighters, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dangerous heat and chemical exposure to the skin can be caused by a number of different incidents and safety hazards, making burns common occupational injuries in a variety of professions.
The attorneys at the Buzbee Law Firm can attest to the widespread prevalence of burn injuries, as we’ve helped industrial plant employees, oil field and refinery workers, and longshoremen recuperate from burns sustained in workplace accidents.
Occupations Where Burn Injuries Are Commonplace
According to a study on workplace injuries, burns account for 42% of all work-related injuries. This statistic might seem high at first, but it starts to make more sense once you consider all the occupations where burn injuries are commonplace. For example, burns are often reported in the following professions:
- Industrial plant labor
- Offshore drilling
- Oil refinement
- Auto repair
- Electrical work
- Maritime and longshore work
Educating yourself on the prevalence of burn injuries in your profession can help you stay safe on the job. That being said, you can only do so much to prevent workplace accidents. If you’ve sustained a burn injury at work, hiring a workplace injury attorney is the easiest way to get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
For a free legal consultation, call 844-349-9196
Common Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be classified by degree and type. Degree refers to how many layers of skin a burn has damaged as well as its overall severity. First and second-degree burns cause damage to the first and second layers of skin and don’t usually require extensive medical care.
Third-degree burns affect every layer of skin, including the tissue underneath it. Fourth-degree burns are even worse, as they can impact muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. You’ll need medical attention to recover if you’ve sustained a third or fourth-degree burn. You’ll also need a skilled attorney to help you obtain compensation for your pain and injury-related expenses.
You can suffer burns of varying degrees from many different hazards and exposures. The most common types of occupational burns include:
- Steam and hot liquids
- UV and X-ray radiation exposure
What to Do if You’ve Suffered an Occupational Burn Injury
If you’ve sustained serious burns in a workplace accident, your priority should be to seek medical attention. Double-check that the care provider you see is approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Most insurers will refuse to pay out medical benefits to workers who receive care from unapproved doctors.
Once you’ve been treated for your burn, you can focus on your workers’ compensation claim. However, you won’t want to pursue a claim on your own. If you don’t have a legal background, you’re liable to make a mistake that results in your claim getting denied. To ensure that your workers’ comp claim is filed correctly the first time, hire an experienced attorney.
An attorney can help you file a claim for any of the common types of occupational burn injuries. A lawyer will also be familiar with the regulations and deadlines that apply to your case. They’ll use their legal knowledge to make your claim as fruitful as possible.
Deadlines That May Apply to Your Workplace Burn Injury Case
According to Texas workers’ compensation laws, injured workers must file an accident report with their employer no later than 30 days after the date of their incident. Failure to file a report on time could prevent you from receiving the benefits you need to replenish your losses. Once you’ve reported the accident to your employer, you’ll want to contact an attorney ASAP.
Your workers’ comp claim must be filed within one year of your injury date, so you won’t want to delay hiring a lawyer. Once you’ve retained legal counsel, it’s important to talk to co-workers who were present during the accident you were injured in. Your attorney may be able to use their testimony to strengthen your claim.
If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance or if their insurer denies your claim, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer or a third party. According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 16.003, such a lawsuit must be filed no later than two years after the accident date. A lawyer can work quickly to get your suit filed on time.
Suing a Third Party for an Occupational Burn Injury
Some workplace burn injuries aren’t a result of employer negligence. In fact, there are a number of other parties that may be held liable for your injury. For instance, if one of your co-workers made a mistake that led to a chemical spill or workplace fire, you may hold them responsible for the medical expenses and other losses you’ve incurred.
Burns can also result from defective products and tools that lack appropriate safety mechanisms. If a dangerous or poorly manufactured product caused your occupational burn injury, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the defect.
To pursue legal action against a product design or manufacturing company, you’ll want to file a product liability lawsuit. If the same product injured other workers, an attorney might choose to add your claim to an existing class-action suit.
Our Firm Can Help You Recover From a Workplace Burn Injury
The team at the Buzbee Law Firm understands that burn injuries are common in many different occupations. That’s why we specialize in helping workplace burn injury victims get the resources and compensation they need to recover from a serious burn.
Contact our firm today if you’ve been injured in a fire, chemical exposure, or radiation incident at work. If we decide to take on your case, our attorneys will work hard to get you the insurance settlement or jury award you’re owed.