Indianapolis Attorneys for Burn Injuries from Cooking Accidents
Anyone who has spent time in the kitchen has likely experienced a burn or two over the years. Burn injuries themselves are very common, and the American Burn Association states that an estimated 486,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries each year. While many burn injuries are minor, some cause serious and even fatal injuries to the victims. Moreover, burn injuries can result from things other than open flames. In fact, the kitchen, the grill area, the barbeque pit, and other food preparation locations that use heat for cooking hold the potential for causing burn injuries in a variety of ways.
Cooking accidents can include boiling water splashing or spilling onto you or a scorching casserole falling onto your leg as you take it out of the oven. You are obviously using hot surfaces for cooking, such as stove eyes, grills, and ovens, and touching one of those can cause serious burn injuries as well.
But you are always careful when cooking. You follow safety protocols and respect the potential danger you face when working around hot surfaces and liquids. Whether you’re cooking at home, working as a cook in a restaurant, cooking with a friend at their place, or doing volunteer cooking at a charitable facility with their equipment, you could still be at risk from a burn injury.
If you suffered a serious burn injury, you could be dealing with pain along with the expense of treatment. If that injury you suffered occurred because of someone else’s behavior, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries and losses.
To find out more, you can contact the experienced Indianapolis burn injury attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider to discuss your issue. You can reach us by phone at (317) 634-8565 or through our contact page.
Types of Burn Injuries
The Cleveland Clinic defines burns as “tissue damage brought on by heat, chemicals, electricity, radiation or the sun.” Burns also range in severity, and their classifications are as follows:
- First-degree burns – These are relatively mild burns that affect only the top layer of skin. A sunburn is a common first-degree burn. The skin typically turns red and hurts, but it does not usually form a blister.
- Second-degree burns – A little more serious, these burns affect the top and lower layers of your skin and can cause blistering and swelling as well as intense pain.
- Third-degree burns – The most serious of burn injuries, these burns affect all layers of the skin, as well as the glands and follicles within the skin. They also usually destroy the nerve endings, and a victim may feel no pain at the actual injury site but will feel intense pain in the areas surrounding the injury.
When diagnosing a burn injury, a physician will look at the damage the burn caused to the skin as well as how much of an area was affected. First- and second-degree burns that cover ten percent or less of a victim’s body are considered minor and moderate, whereas a third-degree burn that covers one percent or more of the skin is considered severe.
Treatment for burn injuries depends on the severity of the burn. Most first-degree burns can be treated at home with an over-the-counter salve or medication, along with cold water and ice packs. With second-degree burns, a victim may be prescribed antibiotics and stronger skin creams designed to reduce pain and swelling. They may also have to wear a gauze cast over the injury until it heals. Third-degree burns, however, are usually very serious, even life-threatening, and they usually require extensive medical treatment that can include skin graft surgery and intensive care.
Burn Injuries Caused by Cooking Accidents
Three of the most common causes for all types of burns are heat, chemicals, and electricity. Home and industrial kitchens, barbeque pits and grills, and other food cooking areas usually have a combination of all three of those possible causes, with heat, of course, being the most prevalent. Nonetheless, people can still come in contact with caustic chemicals, particularly those used for cleaning the food preparation areas, and many kitchen gadgets run on electricity.
Consequently, the potential for suffering a burn injury while cooking is high. The University of Utah lists the following types of burn injuries someone can suffer in a cooking accident:
- Hot liquids and steam – Water boils at 212° Fahrenheit. However, water that is only 140° F can cause a serious burn to the skin in a manner of seconds. Even hot water from the tap is typically around 120° F, and it can cause a serious burn injury in around 10 minutes or so.
- Hot surfaces – Cooking, of course, involves heating food in some way. Stove eyes, cooking sheets, and bowls and plates can become extremely hot during the process, as can utensils. Containers placed in microwaves typically get really hot during the heating process too, and the contents of the container can produce a lot of scorching steam.
- Uncovered items and cooking vessels – During boiling or frying, water and oil from pots and pans, deep oil fryers, and other cooking vessels can spew out or boil over. Not only can these events create burn injuries to the skin, but they can also cause fires in the kitchen or food prep area.
Seeking Compensation for Your Burn Injury
Some cooking accidents are caused by faulty equipment or other factors the victim cannot control or even foresee as a potential problem. Furthermore, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) states that more than 11 million people in the U.S. are employed in some type of industry responsible for cooking or producing food. Of those 11 million, many will suffer burn injuries in cooking accidents that may be the fault of their employer or the cooking equipment.
If you, your child, or another family member suffered a serious burn injury in the home, and you believe the cause of the accident was defective equipment or some other reason that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Likewise, if you are a chef, line cook, or an employee of a restaurant of some other food service company, and you suffered a burn injury on the job, you should contact us to discuss your situation and explore your options for obtaining compensation.
Hankey Marks & Crider has served burn injury victims and their families throughout Indiana since 1975. We offer experienced, compassionate, and aggressive representation to help you get the justice you deserve, and we have recovered millions of dollars in total rewards for our clients who were injured through no fault of their own.
To speak with us about your burn injury, you can contact us at (317) 634-8565 or through our law firm’s contact page.