Burns, Electrocutions & Smoke Inhalation

Among the most painful and serious injury types are those sustained as a result of a fire, whether the source is ignited fuel or electrical. No matter when or where your fire-related accident occurred, if you suffered a burn injury in Texas as a result of another person or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

The nature of many refineries, industrial plants, and manufacturing facilities in Texas requires the use of complex machinery and equipment that may present a danger of fire or electrocution. Due to the industrial nature of this equipment, strict safety procedures must be followed to the letter. When proper precautions are not taken or safety training is inadequate, serious accidents may occur that result in severe burns, electrocution injuries, or smoke inhalation damage.

But fire-related injuries can also happen anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s a scalding accident that affects a child or a secondary injury that occurs as a result of a car accident or fire in a home or building, fire-related injuries can create complex legal cases that require serious legal expertise to evaluate and litigate.

Sometimes the effects of fire damage or electrocution are immediately visible, such as with burns, scars, pain or other symptoms. Other times symptoms may not appear until later, as is the case with long-term pain management or life-threatening injuries caused by factors like smoke inhalation. So while it is important to seek immediate medical attention directly after your accident, you also need to closely monitor your condition in the months following.

Serious burns and injuries incurred from electrocution can be excruciating both at the time of the accident and during the long road to recovery. Many who experience this type of injury will face lifelong repercussions and may be permanently disfigured.

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our skilled Houston personal injury lawyers have decades of experience successfully pursuing injury claims caused by burns, electrocutions, and smoke inhalation. We can help you get through the process of making a legal claim so that you can focus on your recovery and move forward with your life.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries may have a variety of causes, including:

  • Fires, including flames from matches, candles, and lighters
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Scalding from hot or boiling liquids
  • Excessive exposure to the sun

Workplace Burns: Any number of workplace scenarios may involve the danger of burns. Employers have an obligation to ensure that their employees are working in safe conditions, including the maintenance of equipment logs, safe levels of hourly employment, and ensuring the job site is safe.

Explosions: Gas explosions can be deadly. They also burn hot, which means they can cause some of the most severe burns. Injuries may be even worse when victims are trapped inside of a structure, vehicle, or piece of equipment and can’t escape. Explosions can also happen in a private home, workplace, or construction site when a utility company doesn’t properly maintain its pipelines or respond to complaints, or when a contractor doesn’t check the location of gas lines before digging with construction equipment.

Entrapment: Individuals who are injured by fire sometimes have been trapped in a dangerous location through some other party’s failure to care for a property or preserve safe fire exits. Any property owner has an obligation to maintain a safe environment, whether it is a workplace, restaurant, or apartment building.

Automobile Accidents: Many car accidents and other vehicle emergencies result in vehicle fires. Fuel lines may ignite when a car crashes into another vehicle or stationary object, when the car’s exhaust or electrical systems need repair, or when there is a design or manufacturing defect.

Burns Defined

Burns are among the most common domestic injuries, especially to children. Fire-related workplace accidents are also common, especially in industrial or manufacturing settings.

The term “burn” means more than the painful sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterized by severe skin damage involving the death of affected cells. Depending on the cause and degree of injury, many people can recover from burns without serious health consequences. However, more serious burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent
complications and death.

The categorization of a burn is not based on its immediate cause. Scalding, for example, can cause various degrees of burn, depending on how hot the liquid is and how long it makes contact with the skin. Chemical and electrical burns necessitate immediate medical attention because they can affect the inside of a body, even if skin damage appears minor.

There are six types or “degrees” of burns, although most people only hear about the first three. Each degree is indicated by the severity of damage to the skin.

  • First-Degree Burns — These are relatively minor, usually resulting in nothing more serious than red, non-blistered skin. These typically heal within a few days and usually don’t require hospitalization.
  • Second-Degree Burns — These show some blisters and some thickening of the skin. Second-degree burns can be full thickness or partial thickness, depending on how much damage is done to various layers of skin. A person with second-degree burns may experience significant pain and need skin grafts.
  • Third-Degree Burns — These include more severe skin damage, including serious thickness and a white, leathery appearance. Third-degree burns usually involve the destruction of every skin layer at the burn location. A person with third-degree burns most likely will have severe scarring and require skin grafts.
  • Fourth-Degree Burns — These include burns in which the damage extends into muscles, tendons and bones. The extensive damage caused by this type of burn can be fatal. Skin grafting usually is necessary for someone who survives a fourth-degree burn.
  • Fifth-Degree and Sixth-Degree Burns — These types of burns are usually fatal. Fifth-degree and sixth-degree burns destroy skin layers, muscle tissue, tendons, and ligaments down to the bone. If someone survives a fifth-degree or sixth-degree burn, amputation of the burned body part is necessary.
  • Electrocution Defined

    An electrocution injury or electric shock occurs when an individual comes into contact with an electrical energy source. Electrical energy flows through a portion of the body, which causes an immediate and potentially dangerous shock. Burns are the most common injury from electric shock. In addition to burns, contact with electricity can cause the person’s muscles to forcibly contract — which may cause their body to be flung away from the electrical source.

    Electrical injuries are less common than burns or other fire-related injuries, but can be serious when they occur. Adult electrical injuries typically occur in occupational or workplace settings, while children are primarily injured in a domestic setting.

    When you suffer an electrical shock, you may have visible skin damage — or no visible injury at all. Even when there is no visible injury, contact with live electricity can cause serious harm that includes heart attack, damage to internal organs, or other injuries. Electrocution may be fatal under some circumstances.

    The severity of the consequences of electrocution may depend on several factors, such as the kind of current, the amount of voltage, how the electricity traveled through your body, how fast you received medical treatment and your general health.

    Smoke Inhalation Defined

    Smoke inhalation injuries refer to damage caused by breathing in or being exposed to the hot gaseous products of combustion. Breathing in smoke can cause serious respiratory complications. Smoke inhalation is often the primary cause of death for victims of indoor fires.

    Symptoms can include coughing, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, confusion, trouble breathing, and burns to the nose, mouth, or face. Approximately one-third of patients admitted to burn units will also show evidence of lung damage from the inhalation of smoke.

    A medical professional should immediately evaluate any person showing signs of smoke inhalation. Advanced medical care may be necessary, not only to save the life of the patient, but their condition may also require long-term medical care in the future.

    Who is Liable in Case of a Fire-Related Injury?

    A claim for compensation may be brought against a number of parties in the event that an accident results in burns, electrocution, or smoke inhalation. The liable party or parties will depend on the circumstances, but may include a driver who causes a crash, a homeowner, a business owner, a property owner, a property manager, or maintenance company responsible for the upkeep of a property.

    An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer can listen to your story and discuss your options for pursuing a claim. With the help of a good team of lawyers, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, physical limitations, disfigurement, and mental anguish.

    Houston Personal Injury Attorneys Fighting for Burn Injury Victims

    Legal action does more than just hold negligent people and companies accountable. It gives burn injury victims a way to get the resources they need for recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration back into daily life. It helps them get the support they need to move forward with their lives.

    The Houston personal injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. strive to help burn and electrocution injury victims get the financial resources they need. That may include compensation to pay for:

    • Plastic reconstructive surgery on “healed” burns
    • Job retraining for a new job that accommodates the burn injury
    • Compensation for fighting sepsis or infection
    • Compensation for scarring and facial deformity
    • Help in reducing scarring that interferes with mobility of the limbs and head
    • Compensation for emotional damage due to fire or chemical accidents

    Our devotion to fighting for people who suffer serious injuries is evident in our firm’s history of success, which includes a staggering number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

    We can also help with a wrongful death claim if you’ve lost a loved one to a fire or electrical accident caused by negligence.

    Contact Our Lawyers

    If you or a loved one has been badly burned, or if you need help, talk with someone who can take care of things for you. Contact the Houston personal injury lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. by calling .