Fire and Burn Injury Lawyers in Washington
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Washington Fire and Burn Injury Lawyers
The harm that comes to fire and burn injury victims is often life-altering. The effects can significantly affect a victim's physical and emotional well-being for years to come. Financial losses can spiral into the millions as treatments for severe injuries are highly specialized and take place in designated facilities capable of caring for these types of catastrophic injuries. Whether the burns are isolated to a small part of the body or impact larger areas, an individual can experience extreme pain and suffering, along with mental anguish and permanent scarring.
While fire and burn injuries have a tremendously negative effect on the victims, matters are made even worse if someone else's negligence causes the accident. If that’s the case, you should know that you have the right to seek compensation, and our fire and burn injury lawyers in Washington are ready to help.
It doesn't matter whether you're injured in an apartment fire, hotel, or nightclub, at a venue, or even at a backyard party. If someone failed in their duty to keep a building up to code or follow fire safety rules and that led to your injuries, they might be liable for any expenses plus more for emotional damage. Morgan and Morgan Law Firm is ready to represent you in a civil insurance claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.
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What Kind of Fire and Burn Injury Lawsuits Do Morgan and Morgan Lawyers Handle?
After suffering from a traumatic injury caused by fire, you may have trouble getting the compensation you're owed if someone else was negligent. While responsible individuals may show concern for your welfare at first, when the sordid topic of money comes up, that's when you might experience pushback. Then, all of a sudden, nobody has compassion anymore. Instead, they try to minimize your injuries to lessen their accountability and your compensation along with it. This doesn't have to be the case for you.
Our experienced burn and injury lawyers in Washington can offer you the dedication and drive it takes to make sure you get the maximum compensation possible. We understand that it's not all about the money. Sometimes, you have to send a strong message to wrongdoers when their poor choices and actions are the cause of another's needless suffering. With a successful lawsuit, you also get a measure of justice. At Morgan and Morgan, we handle the following types of fire and burn injury lawsuits:
- Fires on private property
- Apartment building fires
- Locked fire exits
- Motor vehicle accidents and explosions
- Fires at hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and other businesses
- Electrical accidents
- Scalding water, steam, or pipe injuries
- Defective products
- Industrial fires caused by defective equipment
- Concerts, sports games, rallies, shows, and other indoor and outdoor events
This is not an exhaustive list of the types of claims we take on. No matter where or under what circumstances you were injured, contact Morgan and Morgan to review your case for free.
What Are the Responsibilities of Apartment Building Owners Regarding Fire Safety?
Owners and managers of multi-residential buildings in Washington are required to keep their property up to code. For example, Fire Emergency Guides should be given to each tenant and copies publicly posted on each floor with information such as:
- Location of manual pull fire alarms
- Location or portable fire extinguishers
- Location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Exit routes for stair evacuation
- Designated outside meeting area for residents
- Escape instructions for persons living with mobility issues
Windows and doors with security bars should be quick-releasing so they can be easily opened during an emergency. Serious injuries and death have occurred because tenants couldn't escape fixed security bar exits or didn't understand how to operate quick-release devices.
Each floor, the basement, and parking garages should have 2A annually inspected and serviced fire extinguishers and be accessible within 75 feet from any location on the floor. Some buildings require tenant fire hoses which should be accessible. Required fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and standpipes should be tested regularly by a certified fire department official. Exit signs need to be clearly visible and working, and exit pathways, stairways, and stairwells free from any blockage that might hinder quick escape or accelerate a fire. Finally, fire doors must never be left open and must close easily and completely when let go.
Even if a building fire starts inside a tenant's apartment, the building owner could still be held responsible if the fire resulted from electrical problems or if any other fire code violations are found. This is also true if a tenant is in private rental housing. It's ultimately up to the landlord to ensure fire safety on their property, and they might be accountable for any injuries that occur due to negligence.
Defective Products and Burn Injuries
Negligent manufacturers could be held liable if you were injured due to some faulty component or if not adequately warned of the dangers of using the product. This includes fire-safety products that fail or defective equipment at work. When we pay good money for and use a product, the last thing we expect is for it to lead to an injury. If there are risks to using it, such as a blow dryer, the warnings should be clearly marked with instructions on how to prevent injury.
When a product causes injury to a consumer, it may be a flaw in the way it was designed, manufactured, or marketed. Fortunately, product liability laws protect consumers and give them a pathway to seek compensation from negligent manufacturers. Some kinds of products are more likely to cause a burn injury, such as:
- Batteries and battery-powered devices
- Kitchen appliances
- Electric blankets
- Flammable products
- Cleaning chemicals
- Vaping devices and e-cigarettes
When pursuing a product liability claim for burn injuries, one or multiple parties may be at fault. Morgan and Morgan fire and burn injury lawyers in Washington may investigate:
- The product manufacturer
- The manufacturer of component parts
- The party that assembled the product
- The wholesaler
- The retail store that sells to customers
In product liability claims, the burden proof is largely on the defendant. Instead of you having to prove their product hurt you, they have to prove there was no negligence on their behalf. Product manufacturers are duty-bound to ensure their product won't hurt consumers if they use the product as intended and warn of any possible dangers. That's why all electrical appliances have warnings such as "risk of electric shock, don't use near water," or "don't leave plugged in while unattended." Suppose an appliance or device caused burn injuries and didn't include adequate warnings. In that case, they may be liable for injuries that occur.
Likewise, if a battery has a design or manufacturing flaw which causes corrosive battery acid to leak out and cause a chemical burn, they may be responsible for your medical bills and more.
Workplace Burn Injuries
In Washington, like all states in the U.S., workplace injuries are usually covered by workers' compensation insurance which is carried by your employer. Workers' compensation pays for medical bills, disability, and partial wages while you're unable to work. It does not compensate for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. However, should a faulty machine or other defective device be responsible for your injury, you may be able to seek additional compensation from the product manufacturer.
Defective machinery can cause catastrophic explosions in industrial settings. Companies that improperly install or maintain industrial machinery could be held liable for any injuries to workers in addition to workers' compensation benefits. Workplace burn injuries are most often suffered by men because of occupational settings. However, anyone can be harmed by work-related burns, including:
Thermal burns - Caused by heat from liquids, open flames, hot surfaces, or explosions
Chemical burns - The result of skin coming into contact with acids or caustic and corrosive chemicals
Electrical burns - Electrical currents can cause injury when traveling through the body and intersecting with tissue
Fire and Burn Injuries in Business or Commercial Settings
Customers and guests who visit establishments expect that they will be safe while they do business. This holds true whether the place of business is a restaurant, hotel, spa, beauty salon, or any other public or private venue. Businesses owe the public a duty of care. When that care is breached, they might be liable for any damages to their patrons.
For example, a restaurant serving piping hot beverages to-go must warn customers that the contents could cause a burn injury if spilled. In perhaps one of the most famous events, a customer was seriously burned when their McDonald's coffee spilled.
Another example to consider is a customer who enters what is supposed to be a relaxing soak in a thermal spa and gets scalded because the maintenance inspector turned the temperature up too high. Likewise, someone seeking beauty treatment may receive chemical burns from the wrong or improperly applied hair product. Or, a customer looking to have a hair wax service receives burns because the wax is too hot. In all of these examples, the business' employees should have been adequately trained to ensure customers were not harmed.
Likewise, when we attend a concert or show, we expect that any fireworks or pyrotechnic displays will be managed by professionals who will take into account how far back crowds need to be and manage their equipment with expertise to ensure everyone's safety. Those parties may be held responsible when precautions and professional standards aren't met.
Washington State Comparative Negligence and Fault Laws
Liability is one of the critical components of any personal injury claim. Without establishing liability, a claim will fail. For the purposes of a burn injury resulting from a motor vehicle collision, Washington is an "at-fault" insurance state, meaning whoever was responsible for the accident should pay for the damages. However, if you were partially responsible, any compensation you're awarded will be subtracted from the percentage of fault you're assigned. For example, say you were in an accident that was judged to be 30% your fault. You would receive 70% of the award or settlement in that case.
Here is another way to look at comparative negligence. Suppose you were at a hotel with open firepits on the patio. In the hotel room, you had a few too many drinks and went to meet your friend on the patio but tripped and were burned in the open fire pit. It may be that a jury decides you were partially to blame for the accident because you were intoxicated. Still, the hotel should have had wire mesh covers over the fire pits to ensure guests couldn't fall in.
Working With Morgan and Morgan
Our fire and burn injury lawyers in Washington have many years of combined experience to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. We will work to investigate your case and assign liability to go after the responsible parties for your injuries. We understand how expensive and painful burn injuries can be, so you need high-dollar results. You will receive compassionate and individual attention as we work to negotiate compensation on your behalf. With our resources and expertise, we are confident in our ability to represent your interests and protect your rights.
In the unlikely event that we should fail to secure a successful win, you don't pay for anything. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.