Bill Adler: Welcome to Hammer TV everybody. I’m Bill Adler, the Texas Hammer, and this is Jim Adler, the Texas Hammer. Today we’re going to talk about burn injuries. In Texas where industrial accidents occur on almost a regularly daily basis, you need to be aware of what type of burns you could have and be exposed to. All right, Jim, can you talk a little bit about different types of fires that occur and the resulting burns?
Jim Adler: Of course. The first fire, the worst fire is a thermal fire. That’s like a flash fire, a scalding, a flame, an explosion. Those are horrible burns because you’re going to have either first, second or third degree burns. If someone has third degree burns, they’re going to have skin grafting and they’re going to have to be put in a horrible, horrible situation where they’re going to have to be put in a scrub tank and they’re going to have to scrub their skin with chlorine and brushes to make sure that the skin heals properly. It’s the most painful thing there is.
Bill Adler: I can only imagine.
Jim Adler: So those kinds of flash fires can occur let’s say when a fire is behind a door and it blasts the door out and the fire burns things or something explodes, a tank explodes at a refinery or there’s some sort of explosion at a chemical plant. And the chemicals or a hot liquid or the flames come in contact with somebody’s skin. It’s literally a fire that can skin you alive.
Bill Adler: Tell me a little bit about chemical burns and the resulting injuries.
Jim Adler: Well, all burns are serious and burns are some of the most serious accidents that I’ve ever seen and people can get horribly burned. And people don’t realize that the skin is considered one of the largest organs. It’s considered an organ in and of itself in the human body. So when you’re talking about chemical burns, you’re talking about 10% body burns, 90% body burns are sometimes not survivable. 50% body burns are typically survivable with good, good medical treatment.
Jim Adler: On the chemical burn scenario, these are usually in an industrial or a research setting where there’s chemicals involved and they can be extremely painful and destructive because their natural reaction to elements in the skin. There are types of chemicals that just keep burning into the skin and burning and they can’t be gotten off the skin without proper treatment and proper expertise. Chemical burns will occur at a chemical factory where chemicals explode, at a refinery where they’re refining gasoline, at a refinery where they’re making fertilizers.
Jim Adler: So these kinds of burns, again, result in people being placed in a burn unit, having to have skin grafts. If you burn your face, they’re going to have to take skin off your leg and put it in your face. If you burn your chest, they’ll take skin off of your arm or legs and put new skin on your chest. Skin grafts are very dangerous because they can get affected. If it’s a third degree burn, they’re going to have to put you in the scrub tank and get the burn tissue off of you so that they can do a proper healing process and help you to get better. It’s the most painful thing and people have to be put on morphine to go in this scrub tank. So if you have a burn case, you certainly want a lawyer that’s going to protect your legal rights.
Bill Adler: Well also there’s radiological burns and ultimately radiological burns involve individuals being burned in research institutes, industrial settings. They can also occur in a medical facility with malfunctioning equipment. There’s radiological burns that often need to be treated for an extremely long period of time until you’re considered what’s called safe to go out in front of the public and ultimately don’t want to expose people to radiological type situations and substances unless you’re safe. So also there’s something called an electrical burn. Can you explain a little bit about what an electrical burn is and how it comes about?
Jim Adler: Well, typically electrical burns are the type of burns that occur in an industrial setting, or it can occur outside the workplace, at home. And it’s when wires are touched together and the electricity arcs or sometimes people get burned with arc welders. There’s all kinds of electrical burns. The problem with electrical burns is that in order to create a circuit, the electricity will go into your body and sometimes it burns your heart or destroys your heart function. It will burn your internal organs. And burn injuries are just horrible because of the internal damage and makes it very difficult to treat and even life threatening. We had a case, a sad case the other day where a young man, an electrician, was electrocuted due to an electrical burn.
Bill Adler: And he passed away due to his injuries.
Jim Adler: Yeah. Yeah.
Bill Adler: It was a very sad case. In many instances, burn injuries are caused by negligence. So for example, some negligent situations are when there’s explosions, chemical spills, landlords not installing or maintaining proper smoke alarms. They have defective products such as faulty space heaters, faulty electrical wiring. When there’s an auto accident, when gasoline goes on the road and a gasoline fire starts. So when you’re involved in a burn injury, how can you recover and what type of things would you want to recover in these types of situations?
Jim Adler: Well, you’re looking at recovering medical costs for your burn injuries, typically your lost wages, compensation for your pain and suffering. If you suffer disfigurement because you have scarring that makes you nervous in a public setting or you, facial burns are the worst. And especially if you feel uncomfortable because you have burns that make you look different from other people. People get very self conscious and it causes psychological damage, so you’re entitled to the psychological damage or the mental anguish that you suffer when you have horrible burns.
Bill Adler: So you were talking about some type of damages. What you’re talking about are compensatory damages. In certain situations, there’s something called punitive damages. Punitive damages are often times to punish an individual for their conduct and their reckless conduct. Burn injuries are very complex, so you need to hire an experienced lawyer like Jim or Bill Adler. Can you talk about a little bit of the complex nature of smoke alarm fires or defective products such as faulty space heaters and what you’ve seen in your practice?
Jim Adler: Let’s say you’re living in an apartment and the landlord doesn’t replace the batteries in your smoke alarm or the smoke alarm equipment malfunctions. You can easily be in a fire situation where you suffer damage from burns or smoke inhalation. It happens all the time because landlords sometimes sadly enough, don’t follow proper maintenance or proper safety. You want to hear about space heaters?
Bill Adler: Tell me the story. Oh no.
Jim Adler: Yeah. A lot of times these space heaters malfunction and they’ll cause fires and people get burned from space heaters. Another horrible type of burn injury I’ve seen is from faulty electrical wiring. A lot of times these apartments have wiring that’s old or defective or faulty. It’s not up to code. Every city has a code that’s supposed to be followed for electrical wiring. Sometimes it’s not, fires start, people get hurt. And then the other thing is when you have chemicals that are close to water heaters and start a fire or chemicals that are close to sources of ignition in apartments, these can cause terrible fires also.
Bill Adler: It’s important that you contact an experienced burn injury lawyer like Jim and Bill Adler. So if you would, leave us your questions, your comments. If you need to call us as a result of you or a loved one sustaining a burn injury, call us at (800) 567-7575. Also, we have a lot of content on the web, so go to our website if you need our help or you need information. Our website is www.jimadler.com. We’re here to help you. Thanks everybody for watching Hammer TV. Leave us your comments, your questions. Tell us what topics you’d like for us to discuss on future shows. We’d really love it if you’d like us on Facebook or share this video with your friends or loved ones that might need our help. That would mean a lot to Jim and I. This is Bill and Jim Adler signing off for today. The Texas Hammers. Everybody take care and call us if you need us.