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Burn Injury Claim? What You Need to Know

One of the most famous burn injury claims is the McDonald’s hot coffee case, where a 79-year-old woman spilled hot coffee and received $3 million in punitive damages. What many people don’t know is that the woman suffered third-degree burns that required skin grafts and hospitalization. At the time, McDonald’s served its coffee at the scalding temperature of 180 degrees. It turns out the coffee was too hot. Burns can cause serious and painful injuries that can lead to permanent disfigurement. When you receive a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence or lack of care, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses. Learn more about burn injuries below. 

Common Causes of Burn Injuries 

Burns from fires, hot stovetops, and hot liquids only account for a small fraction of burn injuries. Other causes of burn injuries include: 

  • Chemical burns 
  • Acid burns 
  • Electrical burns
  • Injuries to children due to negligence supervision 
  • Heater or furnace-related burns
  • Car accidents  
  • Construction site injuries 
  • Faulty equipment, appliances, or children’s toys 

Types of Burn Injuries 

There are three primary types of burn injuries: 


Thermal burns are caused when skin is exposed to hot surfaces, such as flames, steam, sparks, liquid, or flammable materials. 


Chemical burns are caused by harmful solutions. Chemical burns are one type of burn that could commonly occur in a workplace. It’s essential to receive proper training when using harmful substances and wear the appropriate protective equipment when handling chemicals at work. If your employer didn’t provide enough training or doesn’t have the right protective gear, they could be liable for any chemical burns you receive. 


Another common burn injury is electrical burns. These happen when sparks occur when working on electrical equipment and wires. It’s important to know where live wires are at all times and turn off the electrical power source before doing work. 

Burn Degree Classification

Burn injuries fall into one of four categories. The more severe the injury, the more probability you’ll be able to seek compensation for damages when filing a personal injury claim.  

  •   First-degree burns are superficial and the least severe classification. They affect the outer part of the skin, causing it to become red, sore, and painful. A sunburn is a type of a first-degree burn. 
  • Second-degree burns injure the first and inner layer of skin. These burns can blister, become swollen, and are more painful than first-degree burns. 
  • Third-degree burns. This type of burn damages the innermost layer of skin, called subcutaneous tissue. These types of burns can appear white or look charred. Skin grafts may be needed to rectify this injury. 
  • Fourth-degree burns are the most serious type of burn. These rare burns can affect the underlying tissue beneath the skin, including muscle or bone. Nerve endings are destroyed, leaving the area numb. 

When Can You File a Claim for a Burn Injury?

To file a claim for your burn injury, you’ll need to prove that another party’s negligence was the direct cause of your injury. To do this, you’ll need to show that the negligent party had a duty to care for you while you were at the location and that they breached this duty. You must also show that your injury caused significant and permanent harm. 

 Preventing Burn Injuries at Businesses 

Safety is crucial in preventing burn injuries at commercial properties. Business owners and managers are legally obligated to take the utmost care of their customers and are responsible if their failure to maintain their property causes injuries. To hold the business owner liable, you’ll need to prove that they were aware of the hazard, could have foreseen the potential for harm, and failed to address it promptly.

Preventing Burn Injuries at Home 

Homeowners should proactively communicate any possible hazards that a reasonable visitor couldn’t deduce. However, homeowners have less responsibility for your safety when you’re visiting their home than a business owner would. 

What to Do After Suffering a Burn Injury 

If you suffer a burn injury that is substantial and was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s essential to seek medical attention right away. Take pictures of where the accident occurred. Keep copies of all reports, diagnoses, prognoses, and interactions with the negligent party. After seeking medical attention, notify an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover the costs of medical expenses, lost wages, and more. 

King Law Firm: Fighting for Compensation for Your Injuries 

Whether you live in Marion County, Lake County, Ocala, The Villages or elsewhere in Central Florida, the King Law Firm can guide you through your personal injury claim to ensure you’re compensated fairly. Call our office at 352-269-1814 for a free consultation to discuss your case. 

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