Burns can prevent workers from doing their job. Some burns heal quickly. Some burns require long-term care. Sadly, there are workers who do die due to severe burn injuries.
Burns are usually categorized by their severity. First-degree burns are fairly mild, and don’t penetrate the skin too deeply. Second-degree burns damage the external skin and the layer under the skin. Third-degree burns damage and may permanently destroy the deepest skin layer and underlying tissue. Fourth-degree burns are usually fatal.
Common causes of burn injuries
Most burns occur at home, but on-the-job burns are fairly common, especially in industrial work like manufacturing and construction. Workers can suffer burn injuries due to radiation, excessive cold and sunlight, but the majority are:
- Thermal. Thermal burns are caused by excessive heat. Fire, hot steam and liquids (called scalds), and heated objects can all lead to thermal burns.
- Electrical. Faulting wiring or defective products can cause electrical burns. Electrical accidents may be fatal. Survivors who have electrical burns often require immediate medical help and have permanent damage. Electrical burns can cause cardiac difficulties, seizures, and neurological damage.
- Chemical. Employees who work with toxic or hazardous chemicals in any form (usually liquid or gas) can suffer chemical burns if the dangerous chemicals get onto their skin and internal burns if they breathe the chemicals.
Why burn injuries in the workplace accident
Burn injuries can happen for many reasons. Some of the reasons are common across industries and jobs types. Anyone can get burned by spilled hot coffee, for example. Other burns are unique to certain types of professions depending on what equipment and tools are used. Firefighters, for example, are the profession most likely to suffer thermal burns from intense fires.
Some of the various causes of burns in the workplace include:
- Car accidents
- Defective machinery
- Cleaning products
Some cosmetics may be a danger to worker who work in the beauty industry.
Compensation for burn injuries in the workplace
When workers are burned, they often need emergency medical care. Some workers require skin grafts and plastic surgeries. Most workers need to take time off from work until the pain subsides and they can get the medical treatment they need. Workers may also need to take time off to treat with psychologists and others who can help with the emotional damage scarring and disfigurement can do.
Claiming workers’ compensation benefits for a burn injury
Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Tennessee help workers get their medical bills paid and wage loss benefits for the time they can’t work. Wage loss pay is usually 2/3 of the workers’ average weekly pay up to preset maximum. Workers whose ability to work is permanently impaired are also entitled to wage loss benefits up to the maximum or for life depending on the severity of the burns. The families of workers killed by burns are entitled to damages as well – usually a percentage of what the worker would have been paid had he/she survived.
If a third-party such as an architect who designed a building with faulty wiring caused the burns, the worker can file a personal injury claim. If defective products caused the burns, workers can file product liability claims against the makers and sellers of those products.
At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, we fight for all injured workers and the families of workers who die due to their job. We demand full compensation for past and future medical bills. We fight to get workers the wage loss benefits Tennessee law allows. When insurance companies try to force workers back to work before they’re ready, we work with your doctors to verify you still need time to heal. When doctors have done all they can, we work to obtain lump-sum settlements. To learn your work injury rights and get the funds you need to heal and survive, please call us at 423-799-3532 or fill out our contact form. Employees can meet with us in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and in North Georgia.