If you suffer a burn injury at work, it's important to know your legal options.
Burns are common at work. They are often caused by heat (thermal burns), chemical contact, overexposure to the sun or other radiation, friction, scalding, or electrocution, among other things.
Workers with burn injuries deserve workers' compensation benefits that will pay for medical treatment as well as the time off from work that is necessary for them to rest and fully recover. In Ohio, workers' compensation pays for work-injury and burn-related medical expenses in addition to cash benefits.
Filing a workers' compensation claim should be easy and straightforward, but it isn't. Employers frequently reject workers' comp claims. Their insurance providers, the ones liable to pay workers' comp benefits, often diminish the severity of burn injuries and refuse to cover some recommended procedures and therapies. They're hoping that injured employees are in too much pain and under too much stress to fight back.
At Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A., we believe it is important for workers suffering from burn injuries to get the benefits they deserve. For more than 50 years, our law firm has fought to protect the rights of injured workers. If you were injured at work in Ohio, contact us for a free case consultation. We can explain the process, identify liable parties, and answer your questions.
High-risk workplaces for burns
Burns can happen in any workplace, but some industries have a higher rate of burn injuries than others. Some workplaces with high risk for worker burns include:
- Automotive servicing shops.
- Industrial plants.
- Construction sites.
- Electric company facilities and stores.
- Restaurants, fast food eateries, and pizzerias.
- Manufacturing plants.
- Paper mills.
When to see a doctor for a burn injury
Burns are categorized based on the magnitude and depth of the damage. Different skin layers are harmed by first- and second-degree burns, commonly known as partial-thickness burns. Full-thickness burns, commonly known as third-degree burns, penetrate all layers of the skin entirely. Additionally, fourth-degree burns can harm the skin and underlying bodily tissues.
Signs and symptoms of a burn injury may be immediate or take days to develop. That's why you should always see a doctor after a work accident with an injury. Even if it has been a few days since the accident, it is still worthwhile for employees with burn injuries to see a doctor. Signs that a workplace burn injury requires urgent or immediate medical attention include:
- Fatigue and confusion.
- Fluid loss.
- Low body temperature.
- Difficulty breathing (possibly due to fume or smoke inhalation).
- Difficulty moving the affected area.
- Severe pain.
It's rare, but burns can be fatal, too. At-work burns can become infected, and some types, like sunburns, significantly raise the risk of developing skin cancer.
Why do burns happen at work?
Work-related burn injuries are typically caused by an accident or due to negligence. Chemical burns and scalds are the most common workplace burn injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, according to a study. Common causes and factors in workplace burn accidents include:
- Absent or poorly maintained Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Failure to enforce safety standards and laws.
- Poor training of employees handling hazardous materials.
- Human error.
- Defective equipment.
Employees with serious workplace burn injuries can file for workers' comp in Ohio.
The purpose of the workers' compensation system is to assist injured employees by paying for the medical costs associated with their work injury and offering them a portion of their salary to help them get by during a trying time.
If a negligent third party, such as a product manufacturer or subcontractor, caused or contributed to your burn injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim in addition to collecting workers' compensation benefits.
If you were burned during an accident at work, don't wait. Act now. Find out more about the benefits and compensation you deserve during a free consultation with Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A.
Our Ohio workers' compensation attorneys have track records of successful claims negotiation and litigation. A member of our team is available to hear from you anytime, day or night. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.