Every year in the United States, firefighters respond to about 9,000 incidents of gas grill fires, and about 16,000 people visit emergency rooms for gas grill-related injuries. Cookouts are a favorite American pastime, but it’s essential to understand proper safety around gas grills. The gas grill attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. want Phoenix residents to know we’re available to help when gas grills cause severe burns. There may be several possible avenues for legal action after such an event, and we can help you determine your options.
The Degree Scale for Burns
Burn treatment specialists categorize burn injuries using a degree scale, which includes:
- First-degree burns, which only affect the outermost layer of skin. These don’t require medical treatment unless they cover a sensitive area like the genitals or face or more than 10% of the surface area of the skin. You can treat a small first-degree burn with over-the-counter burn ointment.
- Second-degree burns, which are more painful, penetrate more deeply through the skin. These wounds require medical attention.
- Third-degree burns, which completely destroy the skin. The affected area may appear waxy, charred, or blackened. Third-degree burns are medical emergencies.
- Fourth-degree burns. Any burn that exposes tissue or bone under the skin is a fourth-degree burn. This is a medical emergency and an open wound that leaves the victim susceptible to infection.
Even first-degree burns inflict intense pain and can persist for several days, and more severe burns may entail extensive recovery procedures like skin grafting surgeries and long-term physical therapy. Burns that scar can cause problems with mobility. Scar tissue is tougher and less flexible than healthy skin, so a person who suffers a burn on an arm or leg may have difficulty moving that limb or flexing the joints affected by the burn. When toughened, burned skin pulls on the surrounding healthy skin, the tugging sensation can be uncomfortable, itchy, and painful.
When a Gas Grill Burn Injury Warrants a Lawsuit
After suffering a gas grill-related burn injury, you may wonder whether or not you have grounds to file a lawsuit for compensation. It’s essential to understand that some products, like gas grills, are inherently dangerous in normal use and users assume a certain level of risk by using these products. If you were not using the gas grill as intended, did not situate it safely, or were reckless or careless while using the grill, these are not grounds for legal action. If another person or party acted negligently and caused your gas grill injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Additionally, if a gas grill fails to meet required safety standards or the grill malfunctioned in some way, you may able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products meet applicable safety standards, perform as advertised, and pose no unnecessary risks to users with normal use. When a company releases a dangerously defective product, the company may bear liability for any resulting consumer injuries and will likely issue a recall for affected units.
Handling Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims are relatively straightforward, but it’s essential to find a product liability attorney who is willing to bring a claim against a potentially large manufacturer with a robust in-house legal team. In a product liability claim, the plaintiff’s attorney does not necessarily need to prove the manufacturer was negligent. Success depends on the plaintiff’s ability to prove that the product in question was indeed defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Some people who suffer gas grill burn injuries may have grounds for both personal injury claims and product liability claims, and a burn injury attorney is an even more important asset in such circumstances. At Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. we handle all types of civil cases for clients in the Phoenix area and can put our skills to work in your case. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Phoenix personal injury attorneys. We’ll review your gas grill injury and let you know your options for legal recourse.