5 Things to Do When You Get A Burn Injury At Work

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Sometimes, such as in construction, mechanics, and food service, getting burn injuries at work is unavoidable. A burn injury at work can be a tragic and life-changing experience. Whether caused by a workplace accident, hazardous conditions, or negligence, such injuries can cause physical pain, mental distress, and financial burdens.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to secure your safety and solve the financial burden of the burn accident. In this article, we will discuss the steps to take when seeking compensation and justice for your burn injuries.

What To Do After Getting Burn At Work

Several occupations pose burn-related injuries. While companies are expected to follow safety protocols and guidelines to avoid accidents, 31 fatal injuries involved fire and burns at work in 2021. 

The good news is that you can claim compensation for the burn injury at work when you are involved in a burn accident. This can help reduce the stress and financial burden associated with your injuries. However, you must follow specific steps to protect your right to compensation. 

Follow the steps below to ensure your safety and receive your burn injury settlement. 

Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Care

In every accident, your health matters the most. Seek medical attention immediately after obtaining a burn at work. While waiting for the medical emergency personnel to respond, you must do the following to relieve your burn injury:

Severe Burn Injuries

  • Step away from the location of the burn source: Make sure to vacate the area where you obtained the burn injury. If you are getting help from someone, ensure they are not in contact with the burn source. Refrain from removing any clothing stuck in the burn.
  • Remove any items near the burned area and the neck if you can: Burned areas swell quickly, so the burn injury might worsen when in contact with other items. You must also be breathing correctly, so eliminate materials within your neck. 
  • Cover the burn: Cover the area with gauze or a clean cloth.
  • Raise the burned area to avoid contact with other items: Place the burn wound above heart level if possible.

Minor Burn Injuries

  • Cool the burn: Place your wound in cool, running water for 10 minutes. Apply a cool, wet cloth if the injury is on the face. Add ice to the mouth for a few minutes if the burn is within the mouth area. 
  • Remove any tight items from the burned area: Do this before the area swells and worsens. 
  • Don't remove blisters: The blisters on the burn will help protect against infection. Clean the blister with water and add an antibiotic ointment if it doesn't break.
  • Apply lotion: Apply a cream like aloe vera or cocoa butter to prevent the burn injury from drying.
  • Cover the burn: Place a clean bandage on the burn. 
  • Take a nonprescription pain reliever if necessary: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help you numb the pain from the burn.

These steps will help you remedy your burn injury while waiting for the medical practitioners to arrive. You must also ask your doctor about the proper medications for your burn injury. 

Remember that, aside from ensuring your safety, seeking medical help can also strengthen your case. The health documents, such as your medical bills, diagnosis, and prescriptions, can prove the cause and severity of your injuries. 

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Gather evidence after being in a burn accident. This will help you build your case if you choose to pursue one. Note that your injury lawyer will likely need these pieces of evidence to know what caused the burn and the severity of your injury. 

Here are the following pieces of evidence you need to support your claim:

  • photos of the burn injury and the source of the wound;
  • personal information and statements of witnesses, and
  • your medical records and bills.

Step 3: Determine Who is Liable For the Burn Injury At Work

Identifying who is liable for your burn injury at work is essential. This will determine if you have a case to begin with. 

For instance, if the burn results from a work hazard that your employer failed to address, they can be liable for the damage expenses of the incident. On the other hand, if you didn't follow the safety protocols and incurred a burn injury, you should cover the costs related to your injury. 

In most cases, burns at work are due to the following:

Your Employer

Your employer can be held liable for your burn accident if they fail to:

  • Provide proper training and hazard guidelines to avoid accidents.
  • Maintain a safe work environment conducive to work.

However, employees can be responsible if they fail to follow the precautions to prevent burns.

A Third-Party Company

If your employer hired a third party to maintain the property or perform other work-related tasks that may have caused your injury, you might pursue a claim against them. Ensure you have information about the third company, such as their contact details.

Product Manufacturers

When a defective product causes a burn injury at work, you may file a claim against the manufacturer. However, you will need evidence to support your case, such as:

  • the product's information, such as its serial number,
  • photos of the defective equipment and
  • witness testimony, if there are any.

This type of case heavily relies on the at-fault party in the burn accident. Your injury lawyer will determine the nature of the incident and offer legal options based on the facts of the case. 

Step 4: Inform Your Employer

You must inform your employer about your burn injury at work as soon as possible. This is because your employer will likely determine if your burn injury results from a work hazard before acknowledging liability. If your wound is proven to be due to the company's fault, you may be entitled to a worker's compensation claim. 

Workers' compensation is a worker's benefit if an injury or illness is due to their work. Companies are often required to have worker's compensation when employing individuals. Usually, this type of compensation covers health treatments, medical prescriptions, and other bills related to their burn injury.

Moreover, when your existing medical condition (which may or may not be due to your occupation) worsens because of the burn injury, you may file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. 

A DI claim is applicable in cases such as when:

  • Your employer's worker's compensation insurance provider denies or delays their assistance. 
  • Your worker's compensation weekly benefit value is less than your DI weekly amount, then you are entitled to recover the difference. 

However, it is crucial to note that you can't receive both workers' compensation and DI benefits simultaneously. In most cases, an injury lawyer will determine which type of benefit is relevant to your case.

Step 5: Reach Out To A Legal Expert

Claiming for your burn injury settlements can be challenging. You must prove that the burn injury at work was due to your employer's wrongdoing. This will be challenging, especially if you are still recovering from the injury. 

For example, you sustained a burn injury at work in Los Angeles due to defective equipment. Your employer was aware of the issue but did not act accordingly. Even if they could be liable for the accident, they argued that you got the injury at home since you weren't able to gather evidence at the site and you reported the incident days later. How, then, will you defend your case?

In such a case, with the help of a work injury lawyer in Los Angeles, you will have more time to focus on your recovery and health while they prove and defend your claim.

A skilled legal expert can assist you in various ways if you've sustained injuries due to someone else's negligence. They can gather evidence to strengthen your claim and identify the party responsible for your injuries. Throughout this process, they will steadfastly defend your rights, advocating on your behalf to ensure that justice is served.

Understanding Your Rights After an Accident at Work

After a workplace accident, it is critical to understand your rights to receive the required help and compensation. Remember that you have the right to seek medical care for any injuries experienced during the incident. It is critical to disclose the injury to your employer as quickly as possible, as they must give you workers' compensation benefits. 

You can also contact a qualified injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process, ensuring that your rights are respected and that you obtain reasonable compensation for your injuries. Understanding and expressing your rights allows you to take the essential actions to recover from the accident and move forward confidently.

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