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Date Modified: March 22, 2023


What to Do with Your Severe Burn Injuries

Ultimate Guide to Compensation for Hot Surface and Liquid Burns. Are you searching for a Los Angeles burn injury attorney after suffering severe hot surface or liquid burns?

>Did you or a loved one spend time in a specialized burn unit after getting scalded by a hot plate or splashed with other harmful substances? Accidents can happen when you least expect them. You can even suffer physical injuries, including severe burns, when getting your morning coffee at your favorite coffee shop. The same goes for employees; workplace burn injuries are far more common than you might think.

Scalding liquids and hot surfaces can cause terrible, catastrophic injuries and are often overlooked, which makes people not understand the entirety of the risk they represent to others. That’s why businesses must implement strong safety measures that prevent their customers from developing severe burn injuries due to their products.

Still, these accidents are highly prevalent in Los Angeles, as at least half a million Americans get burn injuries due to hot surfaces and scalds every year.

In most cases, these damages are minor burns, but the victims will need emergency care and even skin grafts in others. Therefore, victims will need to invest a considerable amount of money in taking care of their medical expenses and other damages caused by accidents.

Some of these burn injuries can indeed happen at home. But here, we will explain how someone else’s negligence can cause them and how the victim can seek compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Here at Ehline Law, we have a fantastic team of Los Angeles burns injury lawyers who are always ready to take care of your case and provide you with the justice you deserve. Call our peer-rated, expert personal injury lawyer team at (213) 596-9642 and get a free consultation for our services over your personal injury claim.

Why Hire Us For Your Food Service-Related Hot Liquid Burn Injury?

Michael Ehline is the lead attorney of the famed Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC.

We are contingency fee attorneys working on a no recovery, no fee promise, and we never charge new clients for their free initial case evaluation.

  • Michael is a former licensed C-47 contractor. This means he has independent, expert knowledge, extensive experience, and skill in all facets of surface and liquid burns and safety standards.
  • Combat Oriented: Michael Ehline is a Marine. His goal is total victory. This is what we aim for each of our clients.
  • Specialists: He and his team specialize in several premises and personal injury areas, including restaurants.
  • Years of training and skill: We have decades of experience in the legal representation field, and offer our clients a personalized, boutique experience.
  • Investigations/Negotiations: Our services include negotiations with the insurance company, arbitration, mediation, and trial.
  • Thousands of Victories: We have fought and won hundreds of similar cases over the years. This resulted in thousands of satisfied clients– each able to start putting their life back together.
  • Never Surrender: We will not stop until we’ve recovered for you.
  • Chameleons: We get this issue from all angles
  • Skin in the Game: We have family members who have suffered defective product burns.

A message from Michael Ehline, Esq.

“I love eating out with my family like any father. My background in several blue-collar jobs also means I’m not just looking at this from a stuffed suit perspective. I want to have a safe, enjoyable meal, just the same as you do. And I know what it’s like to be run around at a job regularly, especially if the owner or manager is not following proper safety protocols. I want to fight for you no matter what side of the customer table you sit at.

I’ve learned a lot during my time in the legal field. I selectively put together our legal team to create a network of interlocking strengths. One of our strongest is dealing with business and premises liability law.

We get that there is a particular risk in preparing food. However, we also understand restaurants’ obligations to their employees, customers, and the state. That is why we put together this article to explain better some of the finer points regarding restaurant burn injuries. We work on a contingency, meaning we won’t ask you for a cent unless we recover for you. And in some cases, we can even help find ways to pay for your medical expenses upfront.”

More About Burn Injuries

Burns are skin injuries caused by several elements, such as hot metals, steam, flames, and chemicals. In the best-case scenario, most burn injuries don’t need immediate medical attention, as they can heal independently.

Severe burn cases can cause amputation, disfiguration, and even wrongful death. To properly treat a burn injury and emotional and physical scars, you need to know its severity and what caused it, as each type will need a different treatment. Treatments can include physical therapy, skin grafting, and special vitamins and lotions to minimize scarring.

Many people don’t know that serious burn injuries are the fourth leading cause of accidental death in America, especially among elders, young children, and people with disabilities. Getting fair compensation is another matter, especially when facing astronomical medical bills.

Because of this, we wrote about some of the key concerns relating to restaurant burns from two perspectives.

  • Burn injuries to patrons
  • Burn injuries to employees

An unnecessary burn to your skin from scalding hot food, liquids, or surfaces could have an enormous impact on your life and that of your family.

For example, Korean restaurants are famous for their flaming hot tables for diners wanting to traditional stir fry raw meats. More common chains and venues like Carl’s Junior, McDonald’s, and Winchell’s Donuts are famous for hot liquid burn injuries such as those occurring to the groin area after a loose or unsecured lid split coffee in your lap.

In a split second, a dine-in eater could be afflicted with a scary penis or vaginal burn injury requiring immediate medical attention and resulting in nerve damage, as well as disfigurement.

And dining facilities or sport’s bars like BJs Restaurants often serve scalding hot deserts like flambes, or chocolate brownie cake, etc., with equally hot plates. Sure, some people laugh and claim the buyer should beware. And sometimes, they are right that the victim should have been more careful.

But other times, it’s not so cut and dry. For example, what if the food server was negligent in failing to warn the customer? Or what if a store employee burned him or herself and was at fault?

Therefore, keep in mind the following aspects, which will help you determine that you must go to an emergency room as soon as possible:

  • The extent of the burn. If it covers a sensitive or major body surface area, you should get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Keep in mind the severity of the burn injury, as you will need immediate attention for more serious injuries.
  • Skin that starts to look like leather is also a good indicator that something’s wrong.
  • Some burn injuries will feature dark patches of black and brown, which means they’re especially dangerous for the victims.
  • Electrical and chemical burns are much more dangerous than others.
  • If you or the victim have problems breathing because of the burn, you should seek medical attention.

Types of Burn Injuries

A Los Angeles burn injury lawyer must be aware of all the different types of burn injuries and how they affect each burn injury case differently. Therefore, the following list of the most common burn injuries will help you gain a better understanding:

Thermal Burns

Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injury, including burns caused by hot liquids and surfaces. Nonetheless, it can also include burns caused by flames and steam when they touch the skin and damage it due to the extreme heat.

Radiation Burns

Radiation burns are extremely dangerous, as they’re caused by prolonged exposure to radiation sources, such as the sun, x-rays, and other radioactive materials. They damage the skin and can even change the molecular components of the cells to cause cancer.

Chemical Burns

Strong chemicals commonly cause chemical burns when they get in contact with the skin.

Some are:

  • Strong detergents
  • Acids
  • Solvents
  • Other dangerous substances.

Caustic chemicals are common at homes and businesses throughout Los Angeles, CA. Construction workers, painters in particular can suffer burns from paint thinner ignition and other sources.

Electrical burns

Finally, the last type of burn injury is electrical burns, which consist of an electrical current going through the victim’s body and damaging their internal organs from the heat source.

Leading Causes:

  • Cooking accidents
  • Construction electrocutions
  • Faulty wiring.

Diagram of Burn Degrees. Contributed by Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
First, liquids with a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit may take a little less than 5 seconds to scald exposed human skin. Moreover, many places like Starbucks Coffee houses will serve hot coffee or tea beverages at between 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit for various reasons. A small child or grown adult can be permanently disfigured with hellish pain symptoms in mere seconds.

While a burn is a significant injury to a person of any age, children and older adults tend to be particularly vulnerable. But doctors will tell you that a smaller family member usually receives more significant burn complications due to their smaller body mass.

Caveat for Children: Children almost always have thin skin compared to a grown-up, requiring expensive nursing care, surgeries, and even psychological care.

  • Facial burns, including burns to the eyes, can also cause significant complications, including partial or full blindness.
  • Scarring along the face, chest, pelvic area, and legs are very common following this type of incident.
  • They can require major reconstructive surgery, such as skin grafts.

The Liquid Burn Injury Severity Scale

Hot liquid injuries are measured similarly to fire-inflicted burns, as they can be as bad or even worse than fire-related burns.

First-degree Burns

First-degree burns are the most minor and least dangerous burn injuries someone can get, as they only impact the epidermis. They can be highly painful, but if you care for them, they will heal on their own after some days have passed so that medical attention won’t be needed.

Second-degree Burns

Second-degree burns can cause damage to both the epidermis and the dermis, which makes them much more painful and cause them to need medical attention. They commonly cause the skin to swell and blister, which a professional must take care of. In some cases, you will need to get a skin graft.

Third-degree Burns

Third-degree burns are one of the most severe burn injuries someone can get, as they destroy the epidermis and dermis, which allows the dangerous liquid to penetrate the deepest skin layers and damage them. These burns commonly appear black and charred too.

Fourth-degree Burns

Fourth-degree burns cause terrible damage to all skin layers and surrounding tissues, including nerve endings, bones, and muscles. These burns will need long-term medical care and can cause amputation or permanent disfigurement.

Seeking Compensation After a Burn Injury

If you’re a Los Angeles burn injury victim, you are entitled to receive financial compensation for all the losses you suffered because of the accident. However, to do this, you must hire a burn injury lawyer who can take care of your case and look into its aspects to ensure you get adequately compensated for your thermal burns.

The first step to winning Los Angeles burn injury cases is to prove liability for the accident, so your burn injury lawyer must provide evidence of the following negligence aspects:

  • There must have been a duty of care between the liable party and the victim, representing how a reasonable person should have acted in certain circumstances.
  • The duty of care must have been breached, which means that the defendant acted in the way they were expected to.
  • Finally, there must be a direct correlation between the breach of duty and the victim’s injury and other losses.

Burn injury victims can be awarded all sorts of damages and recover compensation because of their burn injury accident. Let’s look at some of the items up for the taking.

The most common damages that Los Angeles burn victims get awarded are the following:

  • Medical expenses: Serious burn injuries will need immediate medical care, and it is no secret that taking care of thermal burns can be expensive. Therefore, if you had to spend money on transportation, diagnosis, surgery, hospitalization, and therapy, you can get that money back in your settlement.
  • Property damage: If a personal item got damaged during the accident, you could get compensated to get it fixed or buy a new one.
  • Lost income: In some burn injury cases, the victim will be too injured to return to work immediately, and they should be compensated for the money they lose.
  • Loss of future earning capability: Sometimes, a third-degree burn will cause permanent damage to the victim, reducing their ability to receive the same income as before, so they should be compensated for that too.

Schedule a Free Case Review With a Hot Surface Burn Injury Lawyer In Los Angeles

If you’ve been looking for a personal injury law firm in Los Angeles that can take care of burn victims and third-degree burn damages, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Ehline Law, we have a vast team of experienced burn injury attorneys ready to help those who suffered burn injuries take care of their burn injury lawsuits and burn injury claims.

We work with the best legal and medical minds to determine the money needed to heal your physical wounds. As well as the long-term cost of the trauma from the incident, we even help recoup the lost pay you suffered due to the injury.

All you have to do is call the Southern California attorney hotline at (213) 596-9642 and get a free consultation to let us help you get justice for your serious burns. Our team is here for you 24 / 7 and offers a free, no-pressure consultation in person or safely over the phone or zoom. Feel free to fill out our contact form for quick service here to discuss your legal options.

Works Cited:

Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants:

California injury law firm with locations in Northern, Southern, and Central California.

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Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.