Barbecuing and Grilling are fun summertime family past times. But what happens when these events turn dangerous due to a defective product. Injuries suffered from exploding barbecue or propane tanks can cause serious burn injuries. These injuries can require long term extensive medical care, followed by intensive treatment and many times disfigurement. It is important to hold those responsible for the manufacture and sale of these defective barbecues, grills or propane tanks responsible. If you find the information in this article helpful and have been injured contact our offices for a free consultation.
Defective Barbecue – Product Manufacturer’s Liability for Burn Injuries
A common questions, is what makes a product defective? This can be based on a number of different factors including, defective design, manufacturers defect or failure to warn. Unlike most cases where negligence needs to be proven, product defect cases require a showing that the product was merely defective.
What are Design Defects: Design defects, assert that the product in its entirety is defective and that a new design should be put in place to cure future defects. Manufacturer defect claims assert that, the particular product was defective when it left the factory. Each claim allows for recovery under a product liability theory.
While most companies will immediately deny wrongdoing, it is important to know your rights. Knowing whether a product is defective requires knowledge of the facts. You should try not to tamper with the product if you have been injured until a proper expert inspects and identifies the source of the issue.
Types of Injuries caused by Defective Exploding Propane Barbeques and Grills
The most common injuries are burn injuries. Burn injuries are categorized in degrees from first degree burns to sixth degree burns. Under certain circumstances there can be higher degrees, but that involves serious charring of the skin. What are the different degrees of burns? Burns injuries are categorized as follows:
- First Degree Burns: 1st degree burns from barbeque accidents are common. 1st degree burns are categorized as those having the least amount of penetration through the skin. These are considered the least dangerous or hurtful.
- Second Degree Burns: 2nd degree burns generally cause a greater level of discomfort. Signs of second degree burns include blistering of the skin. This usually happens when the contact with the chemical, heat or other substance penetrates through the skin. Usually those suffering from 2nd degree burns require medical attention. Barbecue defects will likely cause 2nd degree burns or greater. It is important to seek medical attention when suffering from this level of burns.
- Third Degree Burns: 3rd degree burns are those that penetrate through the skin causing serious damage. These types of burns occur from electrocution, or serious prolonged exposure to heat or fire. 3rd degree burns require extensive medical attention and can be life threatening. These types of injuries often require cosmetic surgery to have them correct.
- Fourth Degree Burns: 4th degree burns penetrate beneath the skin and lead to muscle damage. These types of burns are often life threatening and if not treated promptly will lead to death. Often times even those who seek timely medical attention die shortly after exposure.
- Fifth Degree Burns: 5th degree burns, are those that penetrate to the bone. These types of burns are fatal and do not leave survivors.
- Sixth Degree Burns: 6th degree burns, much like 5th degree burns are unlikely to leave survivors. Unfortunately these types of injuries are so severe that they leave the body un-identifiable.
Why are Burn Injuries Different? – Compensation for your Burn Injury Claim
Burn injuries are unique and require special attention to future medical cost. Due to nature of these burns, extensive medical care and treatment is required. Often times this treatment extends beyond the regular or normal scope of time needed to care for a patient. Injured parties, depending on the degree o of burns, will likely seek long term treatment.
This means that any settlement award or demand must include these future cost as well the immense amount of pain and suffering these victims go through. An attorney who is not willing to fight for their clients or does not have the resources to absorb the cost and delays of litigation, should not take such a case. It is important that you identify whether your attorney can even handle this type of case and is not looking for a quick settlement.
How to File a Lawsuit for a Defective Barbecue
If you sustained burn injuries, it is imperative that you get medical treatment at once. You’ll need to undergo treatment, take medication, and potentially get skin grafts or surgery. It is recommended that you do not hesitate to go to the doctor – the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your claim will be disregarded by the insurance agent. More importantly, though, the insurance agent will say that you were actually injured elsewhere. Further, be sure to hold on to all medical receipts, test results, prescriptions, and more.
Take photos of the physical injuries, but also take pictures of the barbecue grill as well. It will come in handy to show the status of it prior to being broken or malfunctioning.
You should actually refrain from getting the grill repaired if you can help it. You can replace it and keep the barbecue in your garage or elsewhere so that it can be used as evidence, but any tampering, repairs, fixes, and alterations can harm your case. You should also not pursue a refund – if you do, the company can say that you were already fairly compensated.
If there were any eyewitnesses who can testify that the barbecue was defective, you can add their statements to your claim. If numerous individuals were also affected by the defective barbecues, you can join or start a class action lawsuit against the company. Class action lawsuits involve numerous plaintiffs banding together to sue one defendant, and all of the evidence is combined. The issue is that the total settlement will be distributed evenly among the plaintiffs if they win, so each person may not get as much as he would otherwise.
If you have a receipt showing that you purchased the barbecue, make copies of it. You can also use bank and credit card statements or proof of purchase/installation papers.
It is highly recommended that you seek legal assistance if you have never filed a claim before. You might not know product liability laws and you might not be able to adequately gather additional evidence. Our attorneys will gather your proof, write your demand letter, hire expert witnesses, and more. We will do everything in our power to secure you the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering.
Trusted Burn Injury Lawyers – Expert Legal Representation from the Downtown LA Law Group
If you are bringing a suit on behalf of a now deceased family members, it is important that you understand California Wrongful Death Statutes, which allow for immediate family or spouse to bring a claim on behalf of the deceased.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law today for a free case evaluation. We have mobile services to meet with you if needed and our consultations are always without cost. Our no-recovery no-fee promise, guarantees that you will not pay us anything unless we are successful in our recovery.