Columbus Burn Injuries Lawyer
Burn injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, and many are devastating. The American Burn Association reported an estimated 486,000 burn injuries in 2016, all which required some level of medical care. 40,000 required an extended hospital stay, while 30,000 were admitted to burn centers across America. With a mortality rate of 3.2% from 2005-2014, burns that start out as injuries could lead to death.
If you or someone you love suffered burn injuries due to another person or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The Rinehardt Law Firm, having achieved the highest jury verdict in Franklin County and fifth nationwide in 2017, can provide exceptional representation for your burn injuries. Don’t let reckless parties get away with this horrifying injury; call a skilled Columbus burn injuries lawyer immediately at (419) 529-2020.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
According to the ABA, the most reported causes of burn injuries as of 2015 are:
- 43% Fire/Flame
- 34% Scalding
- 4% Electrical
- 3% Chemical
Fire/flame: As the leading cause of burn injuries, fire and flame injuries may happen when a building explosion, premises fire, or workplace accident occurs because of another party. Once an individual is engulfed in flames, first-degree burns are almost guaranteed, with many enduring third-degree burns or death due to fully involved fires.
Scalding: Scalding accidents are common at work and on others’ properties. While boiling hot water can cause many injuries, chemicals can also scald your skin and leave severe red marks.
Electrical: Unlike other surface burns, being electrocuted or exposed to high-voltage wires can cause subdermal (under the skin) burns which are just as painful, if not more so. Electrocution can happen while at work if maintenance didn’t properly lock-out machines down for maintenance, or when wiring is exposed to water in swimming pools or similar publicly accessible places.
Chemical: Most commonly related to industrial accidents, chemical burns can happen when bottles aren’t properly marked as “corrosive” or with labeling that clearly shows the hazards of handling the chemical. These burns may happen if there’s a chemical spill on the highway, in a production plant, or even somewhere like a hotel.
At Rinehardt Law Firm, we can handle cases related to all of these accidents.
What You Need to Know about Burn Injuries in Columbus
From the above, burns are generally placed into four categories:
- Radiation burns – One of the more deadly burn types, radiation from nuclear waste or direct contact with components of nuclear rods could cause burns or death.
- Light burns – These are generally caused by heavy concentrations of UV light, sunlight, and other radiant light sources.
- Chemical burns – Chemical explosions, acid, alkali, cold burns and similar all fall into this category.
- Thermal burns – Any source of fire, electricity, hot water, and similar burns where the top layer and subdermal are injured would fall into this category.
Note that some injuries will disfigure or cause permanent scarring, which in some cases could damage your ability to earn a living.
Why Do I Need an Attorney for Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries usually fall under premises liability laws, unless there was an accident where a vehicle was hit by a commercial truck carrying toxic chemicals which spilled out.
Because Ohio bases many decisions off common law rather than statute, how premises liability claims are handled will vary based on:
- Entrant status. Different types of visitors are afforded different duties of care, with invitees receiving the highest level and trespassers the least;
- Theory of attractive nuisance. While trespassers are generally given no legal protection, attractive nuisance would apply specifically to younger children who may trespass on property and not understand the dangers associated with certain features, such as swimming pools. In these cases, property owners have a duty to keep these attractive nuisances safe for even trespassing children.
- Open and obvious dangers. Landowners are not responsible for dangers which an ordinary person would identify and avoid. For example, jumping into a cage with vicious animals when clearly the sign said “Caution – Dangerous Animals” will not qualify for compensation.
- Duty. Unlike personal injury claims, the courts will want to know how the individual came to know the negligent party, how they arrived on their property, and what purpose their existence served.
Due to these complexities, many burn injury victims seek out legal assistance to help navigate the civil court system.
Why You Should Hire Rinehardt Law Firm?
If you’re unsure if our legal services are sufficient for your burn injury litigation needs, consider these three main reasons why others in your position have hired us:
- Communication. In the face of uncertainty, loss, and despair, the last thing we want our clients to feel is neglected. We’ll always keep an open line of communication with you as your case progresses.
- Experience. Our roots are planted in central and north central Ohio, having represented good folks like you for decades. We know you deserve compensation, and we will apply an exceptional amount of trial experience to each case we litigate.
- Compassion. We’re in this for the long haul, although many burn injury claims are settled out of court. Whether we’re attending meetings, directing you to medical care facilities, or presenting your case in front of jurors, we are attentive to each person’s needs.
If you have any doubts about hiring us, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, and we can answer any questions you may have.
Compensation for Your Burn Injuries
It’s difficult to place a monetary value on an injury when so many factors could increase or decrease the value of your accident. Therefore, Ohio has implemented steps to determine how much compensation an injured person is entitled to:
- Amount of medical bills an individual accrued;
- Time away from work which led to loss of wages;
- A person’s expected time away from work beyond the claim’s conclusion;
- Pain and suffering endured;
- Personal property damaged during the course of another’s negligent actions; and
- Any contributory fault (capped at 50%; if victims are 51% or more at fault in Ohio, their suit would be dismissed).
Once lawyers have calculated the above expenses and subtracted any agreed upon liability on their client’s behalf, the final number would be an excellent starting point for negotiations. All compensation claims must be filed in Franklin County or your home county within two (2) years of the underlying burn injury.
FAQs about Burn Injuries in Columbus
Victims of burn accidents may have questions about their injuries. We’ve done our best to address many of them here; these answers do not imply an attorney-client relationship.
If I’m scalded or burned in a supermarket parking lot, can I file a claim against the store?
Claims where an individual was set afire or scalded on supermarket property could get tricky for numerous reasons. For one, crime data for that neighborhood could prove the threat was there, and a store had reasonable knowledge of this. However, if the burn injury happened after hours, the business’ duty of care no longer exists, so claims would be dismissed. (See Bennett v. Kroger Co.)
Is being burned inside an elevator included in a landlord’s duty to care for tenants?
An elevator is considered a shared area under the landlord’s control, according to Ohio common law. Therefore, you would have a right to seek compensation if you were burned in an elevator.
How does Rinehardt Law Firm handle burn injury claims?
As with all injury cases, our primary concern is your well-being. Once you’ve scheduled your free consultation with an attorney, they’ll want to hear what caused your burn injury. They may ask questions which may force you to relive the accident; it’s done so we’re able to better assist you. Once we’ve collected information, including any evidence you may have, you’ll sign a simple retainer agreement, and your case will begin. Our firm dedicates time, resources, and money to fight your burn injury, and won’t collect one penny until we’ve won or settled your case. In the unlikely event that we are unable to win any compensation for you, you will not owe us any attorney fees.
Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Attorney
Rinehardt Law Firm goes above and beyond to make sure injured clients are treated with dignity and respect. Not only will our superior representation become the driving force that helps your case have a fighting chance to settle successfully, we will also help connect injured persons to medical care. Can’t afford medical care? No problem. You can receive burn injury treatment without upfront costs; a medical lien will be placed on your settlement proceeds, so you will pay them when your claim settles.
From pre-litigation settlement to jury trial and beyond, Rinehardt Law Firm is trusted by thousands in Franklin County and surrounding areas. If you’ve been injured by fire, chemical burns, scalding, electrocution, or were burned by any other means, call us immediately at (419) 529-2020 or fill out an online contact form.
Rinehardt Law Firm is the answer to your personal injury. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Columbus and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if they were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in their best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.