According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries in the U.S. result in over 40,000 hospitalizations every year. Many of these injuries occur in the workplace. If you or a loved one was burned on the job, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation. At Smith & Baltaxe, LLP, in San Francisco, CA, we help workers receive the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. Our burn injury attorneys, Bernhard Baltaxe and Byron Smith, are prepared to protect your best interests every step of the way. Contact our office online or call (415) 292-7800 to schedule a free initial case evaluation and find out what our team can do to help.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Although you may feel that the circumstances of your on-the-job burn injury clearly entitle you to maximum compensation, the truth is that victims without legal representation can be easily shortchanged or have a claim denied altogether. You need an attorney who can demonstrate the true extent of your losses. In addition to helping you file your claim and representing you in court, we can place you in contact with a trusted doctor who can determine any ongoing care you will require and effects on your ability to earn an income.
Victims without legal representation can be easily shortchanged or have a claim denied altogether.
Meanwhile, if a party such as an equipment manufacturer is to blame for your injury, you may have grounds for a third-party injury lawsuit in addition to a workers' comp claim, making an attorney's help absolutely necessary.
The Danger of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are categorized based on their depth and the size of the area they cover. Types of burns include:
- First-degree: When a burn only affects the outer layer of skin (the epidermis), it is considered a first-degree burn. Typically, this type of burn heals on its own within a week.
- Second-degree: This type of burn affects the layer beneath the epidermis, called the dermis. In many cases, second-degree burns require a skin graft and leave a scar.
- Third-degree: A third-degree burn damages or completely destroys both the epidermis and dermis, as well a the hair follicles, sweat glands, and underlying tissue. This type of burn always requires a skin graft.
Some burns have even worse ramifications. Deep burns can extend into the fat, muscle, or even the bone. Skin grafts cannot treat extremely deep burns. In some cases, serious burns that affect a limb can require amputation.
Causes of Workplace Burns
In the workplace, many employees are exposed to dangerous conditions that can result in serious or fatal burns. Thermal, chemical, and electrical burns are all very real dangers that can have lasting consequences. Some common causes of work-related burns include:
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Fires in the workplace
- Contact with scalding water
- Chemical accidents
- Gas explosions
- Exposure to steam
Under California law, workers’ compensation cases require no proof of fault on the part of your employer. Even if you are partially responsible for your injury, you may still be eligible to collect compensation.
What to Do after a Burn Injury
If you have suffered a burn injury at work, you should first seek necessary medical treatment. As soon as you or a loved one is able, you should reach out to an attorney. Filing for workers’ compensation is incredibly time-consuming and difficult in the wake of a serious injury. Our firm has spent over 10 years assisting victims with their claims. We can handle every aspect of your case to ensure you receive what you deserve.
Begin Building Your Case
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe burn, the team at Smith & Baltaxe can help you focus on healing during this difficult time. Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys online or call (415) 292-7800 to schedule a case evaluation. Our team works on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect unless you do.