Charlotte Burn Injury Lawyers Handling Workplace Explosions Claims
Fighting for injured workers throughout North Carolina since 1992
Many burn injuries happen at work in places such as factories and construction sites. Sadly, many fires and explosions are completely preventable because they result from carelessness and recklessness. The American Burn Association estimates that 486,000 people suffered burn injuries which required medical treatment in 2016. These injuries can be among the most terrifying and life-threatening injuries that people suffer. Simply put, they can change lives.
With close to six decades of combined wisdom and legal experience, the attorneys of Warren & Kallianos, PLLC, fight to protect the rights of those who have suffered burns at work and/or due to the negligent conduct of others. If you have suffered a burn injury at work, we want to help.
Why Do Fires and Explosions Happen?
Fires and explosions often go together. Fires can ignite highly explosive chemicals, leading to an explosion. The opposite can also occur. Extreme heat or other conditions can create an explosion that turns into a raging fire. Either way, victims can suffer catastrophic injuries.
Causes of Fires. Many fires are residential house fires caused by cigarettes, candles left unattended, and other individual mistakes. Some other examples are:
- A neighbor burns leaves in the open, and the embers catch a home on fire.
- A landlord fails to use a licensed electrician, creating faulty wiring and a deadly apartment fire.
- A factory fails to provide adequate ventilation and emergency escapes for workers.
- A construction site owner creates a fire hazard by failing to remove hazardous chemicals from the site.
Causes of Explosions. Explosions can occur when flammable chemicals ignite under pressure. These incidents can happen where there are:
- Improperly stored hazardous chemicals in the workplace
- Boilers or other equipment that become overheated
- High current electrical faults
- Flammables gases exposed to flame (fuel tank explosions)
Causes of both. Serious burn injuries often happen because employers, property owners, site managers, and other responsible parties fail to maintain safe environments for workers. For instance, they may fail to:
- Inspect and maintain smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers
- Provide an adequate fire escape or fire route
- Establish a plan for workers to escape fires or explosions.
The lawyers of Warren & Kallianos thoroughly investigate burn and explosion injury cases and consult with experts. We know how to tackle even the most complex investigations and to get to the truth for our clients.
Industries Prone to Explosion-Related Accidents
Although just about anyone could become the unfortunate victim of these types of injuries, workers are the most commonly impacted. Here are a few fields that seem to see the most burns and fire-related injuries in Charlotte and other areas of North Carolina:
Any time a fire is involved in an incident, victims face the risk of serious, life-threatening burns, including second-degree (partial-thickness) burns that cause redness, swelling, and blistering and may result in scarring and other long-term damage, and third-degree (full-thickness) burns that can impact lower layers of skin, typically result in some form of permanent scarring and disfigurement and frequently lead to infections and other complications.
Common burn-related complications are lost blood volume, hypothermia, respiratory problems, permanent neuropathy (lost sensation and nerve damage) and bone or joint problems. Other complications include:
- Lung damage – Many people are injured from ingesting chemical or smoke byproducts or superheated gases during a fire or explosion.
- Amputations – Whether from direct exposure to an explosion or a later amputation from severe burns or resulting infections, people can lose limbs due to fire-related injuries.
- Emotional distress – Surviving a fire or explosion can be one of the most horrifying and traumatic events a person experiences. It’s not uncommon for people to suffer emotional distress or develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after surviving such an incident.
How Can a Lawyer Help If You Were Injured in an Explosion?
Our law firm’s personal injury lawyers have reached more than 75 major verdicts and settlements in excess of six and seven figures. We know how to fight for our clients’ rights. We will get to work right away at exploring all possible options for compensation for you. Our goal will be to maximize your compensation from all available sources.
For instance, if you suffered burn injuries at work, we can help you pursue workers’ compensation benefits to get you and your family on the road to recovery. These benefits can cover all your necessary and related medical treatment and replace a portion of the wages you lose due to your burn injury.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, you must meet certain basic requirements. Those requirements include:
- Your injury occurred by accident.
- Your injury arose out of and in the course and scope of your employment.
- You gave timely notice to employer.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be eligible to bring a third-party claim against a non-employer who was responsible for your injuries. A third-party claim can provide compensation that goes beyond what workers’ compensation covers. For instance, you could be eligible to recover all – not a portion – of your lost wages as well as pain and suffering damages.
The experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys at Warren & Kallianos work hard to investigate the circumstances behind a fire or explosion. Our goal is to determine why it occurred and who should be held responsible for it.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Workplace Injury Outside of Workers’ Compensation
Not every worker is eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury, however, that is not your only avenue to recover damages. A third-party personal injury lawsuit may be an option if the injury was caused by defective equipment, or if it was a premises liability case where you were injured while doing work on someone else’s property, or if someone other than your employer’s negligence caused your injury. Even a person who qualifies for workers’ compensation may be able to also file a personal injury lawsuit depending on the facts of his or her case.
One of the chief benefits of a third-party personal injury lawsuit is that you can recover compensation for all your wage losses rather than just a portion of them as with workers’ compensation. Also, with a third-party lawsuit, you would be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering, which is not available from workers’ compensation. At Warren & Kallianos, we investigate every aspect of your case and we make sure that you recover all the compensation available to you.
If I File a Lawsuit or Seek Workers’ Compensation, Will I Have to Go to Court?
Although every lawsuit includes the possibility of going to court, in fact, most accident cases and workers’ compensation claims are settled without the parties ever having to go to trial or a hearing. During settlement negotiations, the construction company’s insurer (or their workers’ compensation insurer, if you are an employee) may offer an amount that is intended to compensate you for at least some of your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses following an accident. If your attorney believes that the amount offered fairly covers your current and future needs, and if you agree to accept that amount, the case “settles” and does not go to court. If a settlement cannot be reached, however, a trial or hearing is an option.
When speaking to insurance representatives after a construction accident, remember that even though they may appear friendly and caring, their job is to represent the best interests of the insurance company – not your best interests. Your Charlotte burn injury lawyer will ensure that your best interests are protected in negotiations and will be prepared to fight for you in court if necessary.
Our Charlotte Burn and Explosion Attorneys Are Here for You
If you were seriously hurt due to burns or an explosion in the workplace or anywhere else, or if you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you can trust Warren & Kallianos to handle your case with the skill and compassion that you need during this difficult time. You are welcome to call 704-377-7777 or contact us today and allow us to review your case in a free consultation.