- March 17, 2021
- Work Injury
“Can you sue if you get burned at work?” is a common question when it comes to employee injury claims. A large number of people are injured each year as the result of burns in the workplace. While every employer is legally required to maintain a safe workplace environment, accidents like this can and do happen frequently.
Knowing what you can and can’t do following a burn injury is essential to obtaining the medical help and compensation you deserve. Filing for workers’ compensation is the required first step. When it comes to filing your lawsuit, however, much will depend on the cause of the burn and whether a third party contributed to the injury in any way.
Workplace Burn Injuries
Burn injuries aren’t just visible wounds. Both physical and emotional scarring occurs and can stay with you for a lifetime.
Various levels or degrees of burns may occur, from mild to the extremely severe.
- First degree: mild burns with minor damage to the skin’s top layer
- Second degree: slight damages sinking deeper into the skin, usually resulting in a painful blister
- Third degree: layers of the skin are destroyed, and injury may extend down into other tissues and also damage the nerves
- Fourth degree: extremely severe and often fatal burns damaging muscles, tendons, nerves, and, potentially, bones.
Burns suffered in the workplace can be caused by any of the following:
- electricity, from contact with electrical current in various ways
- chemicals, such as acids, alkaloids, and others
- direct contact with hot surfaces, objects, or liquids (thermal burns).
Following any burn at work, always seek medical attention right away to ensure that you receive the necessary treatment for the degree of burn suffered. Burns are painful and can be debilitating in both the short term and the long term.
Can You Make a Claim for a Burn at Work?
The answer to the question, “can you claim for a burn at work?” is almost always yes. But it does depend on the circumstances surrounding your injury. In fact, New York workers’ compensation allows the filing of claims when the burn occurs at the workplace or elsewhere if working as an employee of your company.
File your claim immediately following your injury and take all required steps to make sure you are fully covered as you recover. Attend all doctors’ appointments and follow their full recommendations. Keep in contact with your employer throughout your recovery, and be sure to provide documentation whenever needed.
Your employer’s insurance company will look for ways to avoid paying on your claim, protecting both themselves and your employer. Do all you can, and don’t give them any reason to deny or lessen your claim.
When Can You Sue if You Get Burned at Work?
Workers’ compensation laws prevent you from filing a lawsuit against your employer for damages resulting from a burn while at work. While this may seem unfair and unjust, under certain circumstances, you can sue others for your burn injury if you can prove negligence.
Essentially, in the event that your burn resulted from the negligence of a third party, filing a lawsuit against that third party is another way to recoup expenses and gain rightful compensation for your injury. You can sue this third party if their negligence partially or fully contributed to your injury.
Examples of third-party negligence include situations such as malfunctioning machinery or other equipment which led to your burns. In this instance, you can sue the manufacturer of the machinery or equipment.
To win a third-party negligence lawsuit for your burn requires proving the following:
- the third party owed you a legal duty to take measures to prevent burns from occurring;
- that third party failed to meet that legal duty;
- such failure led to your burn injury; and
- as a result, you suffered harm or damages.
Many other factors may be involved, such as proving product liability. You’ll need to remain diligent in your pursuit of all the compensation you deserve.
As you can see, filing a lawsuit for a burn at work is complicated and requires extensive legal knowledge to determine and prove negligence on the part of a third party. Consulting with experienced burn injury lawyers will ensure a successful outcome for the highest amount of compensation available.
Can You Sue a Restaurant for a Burn?
Both customers and employees ask the question “can you sue a restaurant for a burn injury?” While customers will need to prove negligence on the part of the restaurant to win a lawsuit, employees must file for workers’ compensation when injuries occur.
The same situation applies to restaurants as to other employers when it comes to potential burn lawsuits. If you were burned while on the job, you can file a lawsuit against a third party if their actions or inactions led directly or indirectly to your burn injury.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversees the establishing and enforcing of federal laws geared at workplace safety and health, and restaurants must comply with these specific requirements. If your employer is found negligent in fully complying with OSHA, it’s essential for you to contact an attorney to learn more about your rights if injured while on the job.
What Compensation is Available in a Burn Injury Claim or Lawsuit?
Compensation in a burn injury claim or lawsuit may include the following:
- related medical expenses, both past and future
- reconstructive or plastic surgery expenses
- medication and necessary medical devices
- physical and occupational therapy
- psychological counseling and therapy
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- lost wages
- loss of future earnings.
Now that you know the answer to “can you sue if you get burned at work,” the next actions you take are crucial to your financial well-being. To obtain the most compensation available, work with an experienced attorney to file your workers’ compensation claim and determine whether you have a lawsuit against a third party.
Consult with an Experienced New York Burn Injury Lawyer Today
Answering the question of “can you sue if burned at work” can be complicated and why you need the assistance of experienced burn injury lawyers. The confident legal team at Kaplan Lawyers in New York stands ready to fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Call our office today at (516) 399-2364 and schedule a free consultation.