When to File a Lawsuit for a Chemical Burn

Chemical burns can cause traumatic and painful injuries. Whether you suffered burns from products, on premises other than your own home, or at work, you may be able to recoup the damages you suffered from the subsequent injuries you endured.

Read on and learn about when to file a lawsuit for a chemical burn in Birmingham.

What Is a Chemical Burn?

A chemical burn is human tissue irritation or destruction caused by exposure to a chemical, usually from direct contact with a chemical or its fumes.

The occupational fields in which chemical burns most often occur include chemical fabrication, mining, and medicine.

Examples of chemicals that can cause chemical burns include hydrofluoric acid, chromic acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, phenol (carbolic acid), and cement (calcium oxide).

Here is a list of seven everyday household products that can cause chemical burns:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Mold and mildew cleaners
  • Draino and other drain cleaners
  • Furniture polish
  • Laundry detergents
  • Toilet cleaners

Product Liability

A manufacturer or seller is liable if their product causes chemical burn injuries and, therefore, may face product liability claims

Generally speaking, there are three types of product liability claims, depending on the malfunction causing injuries.

  • Design Defects: A product design defect that poses an unreasonable risk to consumers, even if manufactured and used as intended.
  • Manufacturing Defects: A well-designed production mistake that introduces a new danger to consumers.
  • Defects in Warnings: A company’s failure to adequately warn consumers of the product usage’s known risks, inadequate warnings, inaccurate warnings, or lack of warnings entirely.

Premises Liability

Suppose you suffered a burn on someone else’s property, at a restaurant, or a cash wash that uses cleaning chemicals. In that case, you may be able to hold the property owner responsible under premises liability. The responsibility level will depend on your relationship with the property owner.

Property owners own invitees or those who receive invitations onto the property of another (e.g., like customers in a store), and licensees, or those who are guests or present at the consent of the owner, a reasonable duty of care, meaning they must take responsible steps to assure the safety of the premises. If property owners do not do this, you may have a premises liability claim.

Worker’s Compensation

Working on the job can pose a safety risk, depending on the type of work you do. So, if you suffer injuries while on the job, you will most likely have to file a workers’ compensation claim before filing a lawsuit. As soon as you can, seek and receive any necessary or required medical treatment, and report the incident to your employer.

Suppose your insurance company denies your workman’s compensation claim or the worker’s comp benefits fail to fully cover your medical expenses, lost income, or other costs. In that case, you may have additional legal options.

How to Prevent Chemical Burns

The more contact you have with a chemical, the higher the chances you may suffer a burn.

Responsibility is the most important precaution that you can take whenever managing chemicals as accidents and carelessness are the highest cause for chemical burn injuries.

Regardless, you can take the following steps to ensure that you and others stay as protected as possible from potential chemical burn injuries:

  • Safely and correctly store the chemicals in a place out of the reach of children.
  • Store the chemicals in their original protective containers.
  • Ensure you receive proper and correct training for handling the chemicals.
  • Whether at home or work, use the proper safety equipment and workwear while managing chemicals that could cause chemical burn injuries.

How to Treat Chemical Burns

After coming into a chemical that causes burn injuries, rinse the skin area under cool water for up to 20 minutes and take off any clothing or jewelry contaminated by the chemical.

Next, wrap the injury in a sterile dressing (such as a bandage).

If the chemical burn injury is not too severe, you may be able to take a simple painkiller for the pain. However, if the chemical burn is more serious, seek medical attention by calling an ambulance or going to your nearest emergency room. Remember to always go to the hospital if the burn is on your face, eyes, hands, groin, or a joint (e.g., knee or elbow).

Contact Our Birmingham Burn Injury Lawyers

Whether you think you have a product liability, premises liability, or a worker’s compensation claim, you will need a Birmingham injury lawyer. For over 130 years, Hare, Wynn, Newell, and Newton have served Alabama residents with personal injury claims. Contact us today for your free case evaluation!

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