Monday, 22 March 2010

Burn Injuries

Unless you've actually suffered serious burns, it's hard to understand the suffering these victims go through. Burn injuries easily fall into the category of catastrophic injuries. These are also some of the most debilitating injuries with victims often being left with a lifetime of scarring and disfigurement. Burn injury claims therefore often qualify for pain and suffering damages, as well as damages for disfigurement and scarring

Burn injuries can occur in auto accidents, refinery explosions, from toxic chemical exposure and other causes. Burn injuries in an auto accident often result from gas tank explosions post-impact. In cases like this your California burn injury lawyer will name the motorist involved in the accident, as well as the automaker in a claim. Burn injuries arising from auto accidents were especially common in the 70’s when Ford Pinto cars were found to be especially susceptible to gas tank explosions in rear-end collisions.

Electrical workers, workers in oil and gas refineries, and chemical plants may be at high risk for burn injuries.

The most famous burn injury lawsuit of all times is likely the one involving McDonald's and a customer who was burned from scalding coffee that was spilt on her thighs. That lawsuit has been used by the tort reform lobby to argue about so-called "runaway frivolous lawsuits." Not many people however know that the coffee that injured Stella Liebeck was not just hot, but scalding, and capable of causing instantaneous burns.

During the trial, it emerged that McDonald's had been aware of several such incidents involving 700 people, who suffered similar burn injuries from scalding coffee. McDonald’s also had a policy in place that required keeping coffee at temperatures between 180° and 190°. This was in spite of the fact that a burn injury was a very real hazard whenever a person handled foods or beverages above 140°.

There's also very little attention paid to the fact that Liebeck suffered extensive third-degree burns to her groin and genital area, which required skin grafts and an extended hospital stay. She was a 79-year-old woman, and subjected to extreme pain and suffering because of her burns.

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