Fireplaces can be a beautiful focal point for any room, but the reality is they can also be dangerous. The unfortunate reality is that severe fireplace burns cause serious pain to a number of people each year. If you or your child has been burned in a fireplace accident, you may be able to file a claim and seek compensation for your injuries.
Most homes nowadays have fireplaces with glass fronts. These glass fronts can be extremely hot. In fact, temperatures can reach between 446°F and 1,328°F within industry standards, depending on the type of glass that is used. These glass doors can remain hot for hours after the fireplace has been switched off. Touching the glass can cause serious burns, such as third-degree burns, even if contact with the glass only lasted a second or two. Children, who are curious by nature, are often the most susceptible to burns.
Legal liability for fireplace burn injuries may be rooted in one of two legal theories: product liability or negligence.
Product liability is an area of law that allows injured individuals to sue manufacturers if their injuries were caused by a faulty or defective product. A defect in the manufacture or design of a fireplace shield, for example, could have been the cause of your flame-burn injury. This could occur if the glass shield overheated beyond regulations or beyond the advertised amount. In such a scenario, the manufacturer or retailer could be liable for any resulting injuries.
Negligence occurs when a person fails to use reasonable care, causing injuries or death to another person. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent or sensible person would act under the same or similar circumstances. If an adult has taken responsibility for babysitting a child, and the child ends up burning him or herself on the fireplace glass, that adult would likely be considered negligent and on the hook for the resulting harm. This is because a prudent adult would understand the risks associated with a child being near a gas fireplace that is switched on, and they would keep an eye on the child accordingly. In order to establish negligence, the victim must show that he or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant, the duty of care was breached by the defendant, and they suffered actual harm as a direct result of the defendant’s breach.
Treatment for burns can be ongoing and expensive. This is why Florida law allows injured parties to recover both economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, disability, and more.
If you have been hurt due to a fireplace accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami product liability attorneys can examine the facts of your case and determine the viability of your claim. We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible for diligent representation in your case. We proudly represent clients throughout South Florida. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.
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