Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?

June 15, 2021

If you are the victim of another’s negligent actions, you may wonder, can you sue for chemical burns? If you have experienced a chemical burn, you know that they are unbelievably painful. They can cause serious injury and result in lasting medical issues. Additionally, the experiences associated with chemical burns may affect your emotional well-being.

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your burn, you may be entitled to compensation.

If there is appropriate evidence that an individual, organization, or corporation is responsible for your injuries, you can file suit for a chemical burn. To find out if you have a case, speak with a burn injury lawyer for advice and counsel regarding your situation.

Understanding Chemical Burns

What Are Chemical Burns?

Chemical burns, which may be severe, can be caused by a broad range of substances found in your home and your place of business. If you come in contact with one of them, you must neutralize the resulting burn as quickly as possible to minimize the damage.

The substances to which you are exposed and the nature of your accident determine the extent of your injuries. Chemical burns can affect your skin, your scalp, your eyes and even your lungs.

Why You Should Seek Medical Treatment for Chemical Burns and Keep Records

Immediate treatment of chemical burns is critical. Because chemicals can continue to burn your body for as long as they are in contact with it, if you sustain a burn you should immediately “flush” the area with water. Keep in mind that flushing is not a simple rinse, and certain chemicals require flushing for significant periods of time. That said, this initial step, which can occur onsite, at work, or at home, must be done immediately and should continue until help arrives. After initial treatment of the burn, you should seek medical care. If later you decide to sue for your chemical burn, you’ll need documentation of your injuries. Retain all medical records associated with your burn treatment.

Who Is Affected by Chemical Burns?

Because the causes of chemical burns are numerous, a broad range of people suffer from them. For example, those who work in industries that use chemicals in their operations are certainly at risk. However, most individuals are exposed to chemicals that can be dangerous in their homes as well. Cleaning solutions (including bleach and ammonia) are hazardous, as are supplies for swimming pools and lawn care. Children can be harmed by chemical burns if products are not kept locked or out of reach. And you may be in danger as you embark on everyday activities, like having your hair cut and colored. Unfortunately, the question “can you sue a salon for chemical burns” is asked quite often.

Chemical Burn Injuries

Chemical burn injuries are varied and can be quite serious. Immediate medical attention is critical, and longer-term care may be necessary. You may be temporarily or permanently disabled or disfigured. Additionally, the pain associated with chemical burns and the resulting injuries, both physical and emotional, can be considerable. As such, you may be entitled to compensation for both your expenses and your pain and suffering.

Chemical Burns and Legal Issues

Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?

The answer to this frequently asked question is yes. Under certain circumstances you can file suit for a chemical burn and will be entitled to compensation. That said, not every situation is the same. For example, if you did not use the chemical properly, as detailed in the instructions, you may not have a case. However, if the court determines that the warnings and instructions were unclear, or that a product was exceedingly dangerous, you may be able to sue for damages.

Who Can You Sue?

Identifying the right person or organization to sue for personal injury for your chemical burns can be complicated. You must determine who the negligent party is. Where you were injured (at work or at home) will play a role in this decision.

One more important thing to keep in mind is timing. As with most cases, personal injury lawsuits, under which chemical burns fall, have a statute of limitations of two years in Pennsylvania.

The statute of limitations means that you must file within two years of your injury to be eligible for a chemical burn lawsuit settlement.

Your burn injury attorney can provide additional information regarding this, as well as ensure that you abide by the legal timelines.

Understanding the Types of Lawsuits

Determining the type of lawsuit to file is important. You want to embark upon the correct legal path to obtain the settlement you deserve. Consider the options:

Product Liability Claims
Should your injury be the result of a product, you may be able to recover damages from a variety of sources, including the manufacturers and retailers of the item. Product liability lawsuits focus on one of three areas:

  • Design Defects: where you must prove negligence by the manufacturer during the design process, showing that the product produced was not safe.
  • Manufacturing Defects: This is the route you would take if the product itself was designed appropriately but the manufacture of it was defective.
  • Warning/Warranty Defects: If the product which caused your chemical burns was not labeled with an appropriate warning or no warnings were provided, you can sue for negligence. Additionally, if you used the product as intended, but it did not perform as it should have and a burn resulted, you may also have a claim.

Premises Liability Claims
In this case, you would sue the owner of the property. To prove this type of case, the following must be true:

  • You must have been on the property legally.
  • The property owner must have been negligent in protecting you (perhaps by not attending to a dangerous situation that resulted in a chemical burn)
  • The owner’s negligence must have contributed to your chemical burn and the resulting injuries. In other words, he or she had a “duty of care” to provide a safe environment.

Workers’ Compensation
A common cause of chemical burns is workplace injury. Many industries utilize chemicals in their operations, and when accidents occur there are unintended consequences. You can receive compensation for a chemical burn at work.

If your injuries occurred while you were working, your best course of action may be to file a workers’ compensation claim before pursuing other lawsuits (like personal injury). As always, it is important to keep track of everything, including the date and time of the injury, the circumstances surrounding it, and all medical attention. Keep a file/notebook of all important information. Writing down everything can help ensure that you do not forget the details.

Filing a claim under workers’ compensation does not prevent you from simultaneously filing a personal injury lawsuit. You can collect your workers’ comp benefits while filing suit against other responsible parties (including product manufacturers). Be aware that the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in the state of Pennsylvania is three years from the date of injury. Your attorney will help you manage this deadline in conjunction with your personal injury claims.

Experienced Burn Injury Attorneys Can Help You

What We Do for You

Because of the range of complexities associated with chemical burn cases and personal injury, engaging a well-regarded firm with a proven history of success is an important step in obtaining the compensation you rightly deserve.

The chemical burn attorneys at Wapner Newman are ready to get work on your behalf. They appreciate the ordeal you have experienced and understand that you may still be suffering from your injuries.

When you work with us, you can rest assured that we will handle every detail, from investigations to negotiations to litigation, if necessary. We will keep you informed of the status of your case and will always be available to answer your questions. We work for you. Because we assume full responsibility for managing the process, you can focus all your attention on your recovery.

Contact Wapner Newman Today

If you or someone you love has suffered from chemical burns as the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or organization, contact our injury lawyers today at (215) 569-0900. We will take the time necessary to understand your experience and share what we believe to be your best plan moving forward.

We believe that both individuals and organizations whose negligence and recklessness cause injuries like chemical burns should be held responsible for their actions, and their victims should be appropriately compensated for both their expenses and their pain and suffering.