Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?
February 17, 2022 / Catastrophic Injuries
Chemical burns can leave lasting injuries. Whether you got injured at work, at home, or in a place of business, you have the right to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses as a result of a chemical burn caused by someone else’s negligence. While insurance might cover part of what you’re owed, it’s often the case that you need to sue for chemical burns to receive all of the compensation you’re entitled to.
If You Want to Bring a Lawsuit, Can You Sue for Chemical Burns?
You have the right to receive full compensation any time the negligence of another person or business causes you chemical burns or other injuries. Some people would even say you have a duty to sue to prevent that same injury from happening to someone else.
There are a number of ways a chemical burn can occur.
- Improper mixing of chemicals
- Misapplication or misuse of chemicals
- Splashing onto your eyes or skin
- Inhalation of toxic fumes
- Failure of safety equipment.
The common theme in chemical burn injuries is that they are almost always preventable. Someone may have ignored safety procedures, a manufacturer may have done something incorrectly, or an employer may have failed to provide the needed safety equipment. Even if someone made an honest mistake, failing to take reasonable steps to prevent chemical burns is negligence.
Lawsuits for chemical burns and other injuries are based on the theory of negligence. Whether it was the person handling the chemicals, the manufacturer of the chemicals, or the employer who set the procedures, someone likely owed you a duty to prevent you from being harmed by dangerous chemicals. Because chemical burns are so serious, nearly any chemical accident can be argued to be a lack of reasonable care constituting negligence. If you’ve been injured by chemicals, you probably do have the right to sue.
Chemical Burn Lawsuit Settlement
Most chemical burn lawsuits are resolved by settlement. A settlement is when the other side agrees to pay your claim without going to trial. Defendants agree to settlements not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it saves them the legal costs of going to trial and still having to pay your claim.
When you meet with a burn injury lawyer, they can advise you on what they think your case is worth based on your losses. They can also advise you on your chances at trial and whether there is anything that might hurt your case. For example, a chemical manufacturer might say that you only got hurt because you failed to follow the safety instructions on the label. The defendant’s lawyer will also tell their client what they can expect to pay.
After the lawyers negotiate, most cases reach a settlement that the plaintiff is happy with. This includes providing adequate compensation, potentially getting paid sooner than if they went to trial, and avoiding the risk of losing or getting less at trial. If you are not happy with the settlement offer for any reason, you still have the right to take your case to trial in front of a jury. The Indiana statute of limitations generally gives you two years to file a lawsuit from the date you were burned.
Compensation for a Chemical Burn at Work
Injuries at work are a special case. Generally, you keep the same rights to recover for negligence by your employers or others as you would in other situations. However, workers’ compensation also comes into play. Workers’ compensation is a mandatory form of insurance that most employers have to carry to cover injuries to their workers. Workers’ compensation is no-fault, meaning that your employer can’t say they’re not responsible for your injury because it was caused by your mistake. You can find forms associated with filing a claim on the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board site.
If your claim falls outside of workers’ compensation or workers’ compensation doesn’t cover your entire claim, you still have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the remaining amount. For example, workers’ compensation often doesn’t cover claims for pain and suffering, but you may have the right to recover for pain and suffering in a chemical burn injury.
Can You Sue a Salon for Chemical Burns?
Lawsuits against salons for chemical burns are fairly common. Many of the chemicals that salons use are potentially dangerous. Salon staff members are frequently undertrained, overworked, lacking supplies, or rushing to get to the next client. This can all add up to negligence on the part of the salon worker or owner.
In a salon chemical burn, it’s common that the salon might say you were injured because you tilted your head when you weren’t supposed to, or something similar. Reasonable care by a salon includes understanding that people might cough, sneeze, or just not be able to hold perfectly still. Even if you think you did something that led to your injury, you may still have a case. In addition, your claim will typically be paid by insurance and not by the salon worker or owner.
Get Help from Our Chemical Burn Lawyer
If you were injured by a chemical burn at work, at a salon, or somewhere else, talk to a chemical burn lawyer to learn more about what compensation you may be entitled to. Call Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501 to schedule a consultation about your case.