Articles Posted in Burn Injury

The 4th of July is officially upon us! Most people are focused on planning barbecues, fireworks, pool parties and drinking right about now. While there is nothing wrong with a good party, Independence Day festivities can sometimes lead to severe injuries. What you may not even know is that the 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays. However, most of the injuries suffered on this holiday are entirely preventable.  

Being aware of the most common injuries can help you avoid them. When you know what to look out for, you can take extra safety precautions and be prepared. The following is a breakdown of the injuries seen on the 4th of July holiday:  

Car Accidents

The National Safety Council estimated that 466 people were killed and 53,600 more suffered serious injuries in auto accidents during the three-day 4th of July holiday period last year. Sadly, this was an all-time record.

Drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of car accidents. If you plan to drink this 4th of July, please make alternative plans for getting home safe. There are too many outlets nowadays (Uber, Lyft, taxis, DDs, etc.) for you to not be able to avoid driving drunk. If you cannot find a ride, then stay put! Don’t jeopardize your life or anyone else’s because you had too much to drink.  

Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks are fun, but also quite dangerous! If you want our advice: leave the fireworks to the professionals!

If you’re planning a holiday fireworks show, you  should be aware that not all fireworks are legal in Florida. Even if you see it at a store or roadside stand, this does not mean that it is legal to buy or use it.

The only fireworks legal for use by consumers who don’t possess a special permit are sparklers. If you’re unsure of what fireworks are legal, the Florida Fire Marshall publishes a full list of legal sparklers each year, and you can view the list here.

Please keep in mind that in Florida, possession or use of illegal fireworks is classified as a misdemeanor. Violating this law can result in fines up to $1,000 and up to one year behind bars.

Heat Stroke

It is hot! If you stay outside too long in the hot sun, you could be at risk for dehydration and heat stroke. If you feel weak, faint, confused, dizzy, or have a headache, this is a sign to get to a shaded area and drink some water.  

Swimming Injuries

Swimming and alcohol do not mix. When people become drunk and are near large bodies of water or a swimming pool, they can make poor judgement calls that can result in serious injuries, or even death.

Make sure all children are supervised by an adult when swimming. Drowning accidents and other tragedies can occur in the blink of an eye.

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Samsung wants everyone to turn off their Galaxy Note 7 even if they have received a replacement. This comes right after the company said it was halting production of the smartphone.

Samsung Electronics says it is stopping production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, a day after it put an end to global sales of the devices.

The South Korean company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it has made a final decision to stop production for the sake of consumer safety.

Samsung is struggling to regain consumer trust after a first round of recalls. The company stopped selling the device after finding that even the supposedly safer replacements it was providing for recalled Note 7 phones were catching fire.

There have been at least five reports of people claiming the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 replacements have caught fire.

One report came out of Kentucky – the owner said he woke up to a hissing sound and smoke filling the room when he realized his phone was on fire.

Samsung released this statement Monday night:

“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”

Cell phone retailers including AT&T and Verizon are offering refunds for the Galaxy Note 7 or an exchange for a different smartphone.

On September 2, 2016, Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 in 10 countries, including the U.S., just 2 weeks after the product was launched. Six days later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advised passengers not to use, charge, or even stow Galaxy Note 7 phones on domestic flights.

An investigation was immediately launched in response to dozens of consumer complaints about Samsung phones catching fire. The problem was identified as a potential battery flaw that affects about 1 in 42,000 units.

The Samsung Note 7 recall highlights how dangerous electronic devices can be. Samsung Note 7’s use lithium-ion batteries, which are useful because they can store large amounts of energy in a small space. However, this same quality is what makes lithium-ion batteries hazardous. The more energy stored, the potentially more dangerous the battery becomes.

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Police have reported that a teenage girl riding a Universal Orlando amusement park ride suffered burns after an electronic cigarette belonging to another rider exploded and shot a fireball at her.

Police believe that the 14-year-old girl from Tennessee was riding the Hogwarts Express train Saturday with her family when an e-cigarette belonging to a rider in another group blew up in his pocket and the fireball hit her in the face and elsewhere.

The explosion wasn’t big, but scared everyone on the train, according to reports.

The girl was taken to the hospital with mild to moderate burns to her face, arm and leg. The man suffered minor injuries.

An e-cigarette, also known as a vape, is an electronic nicotine delivery system that produces a heated vapor that resembles smoke. They have been for sale in the United States since 2007. E-cigarettes are now used by more than 2.5 million people in the U.S.

If you were burned by an exploding e-cigarette or vape, you could have a legitimate claim against the manufacturers of the vape device and battery, and perhaps other parties. What this means is that you could file a personal injury claim for monetary damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional & mental anguish

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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products. They have compiled some pretty surprising data on holiday decorating injuries, so if you find yourself in the hospital emergency room from a holiday decorating injury this year, you will certainly not be alone.

Last Year’s Stats

According to the CPSC, during November and December 2014, there were 12 fatalities and 145,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms all related to some type of holiday decorating fiasco. This equates to an average of 240 injuries per day during the holiday season!

The consumer protection organization said the top reasons for injuries were falls, lacerations, back strains, and ingestion of foreign objects. The CPSC suggests following the tips below to avoid decorating disasters.

  1. Exercise extreme caution on ladders. The CPSC says that 36 percent of holiday decorating injuries are the result of falls, and half of those are falls from ladders.
  2. Check live Christmas trees for freshness. Keep them away from heat sources. Make sure to keep trees watered.
  3. The CPSC suggests buying fire resistant artificial trees. Not as fun, but much safer.
  4. Keep lit candles away from trees. Also keep candles away from wreaths, curtains and furniture.
  5. Examine Christmas light sets for damage. Discard all sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections. It is recommended to buy lights that show markings of a safety testing laboratory. Fires from holiday lights caused ten deaths last year.
  6. Keep small decorations away from children. Tiny decorations are huge choking hazards.
  7. Avoid decorating with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Lacerations were the top-reported decorating-related injuries last year!

Consult With A Florida Injury Lawyer

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If you are like most Americans, you will likely be spending numerous hours in the kitchen over the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, that increased activity also leads to more chances of residential home fires, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association. According to reports, the Thanksgiving holiday sees three times the nation’s daily average in emergency fire accidents. Research shows that fires originating in the kitchen are the top reason for home fires and burn injuries. Last year, fire departments throughout the country replied to a median of almost 156,000 fires resulting  from cooking mishaps, which led to 390 deaths and 4,800 injuries, not to mention a whopping $771 million in property damages.

Keeping all this in mind, please follow a few simple fire prevention safety steps this Thanksgiving holiday when you and your family are in the kitchen:

  • Keep items away from the stove or oven that may catch fire, including cloth mitts, wood items, and any kind of packaging. Other potential fire hazards to watch out for are rags or towels, aprons, clothes, and even drapes.
  • Never leave the stove or oven unattended, even if you are walking away for a few seconds. Turn the heat off whenever you leave the room. Many fires start because an oven or stove is left unsupervised for a very short amount of time.
  • Use timers to stay on top of cooking schedules and to avoid burning accidents that can result in fires.
  • If you do happen to start a small fire in a pan or oven, immediately cover it with a metal or glass lid and turn the heat off. If it does not extinguish after 30 seconds, call the fire department for immediate assistance.

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According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, General Electric has agreed to pay a $3.5 million civil penalty due to their failure to report an unreasonable risk of serious injury caused by defective ranges and dishwashers.

Reports show that the connector in the range’s wire harness can overheat and cause a fire, which could lead to serious burn injuries. In addition, various models of dishwashers were recalled because of  similar fire hazards. The CPSC said the dishwashers could short circuit when condensation builds up on the control board.

6884568558_06fb98ba6d_zStandard CPSC policy requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report any findings related to a potential safety hazard or defect to the CPSC immediately. Generally, all information regarding possible risks or dangers should be reported within 24 hours of obtaining the information.

GE and the CPSC announced the recall of 28,000 dual-fuel ranges in April of 2009. The ranges were sold across the United States from June 2002 through December 2005. By the time GE had recalled the product, 13 separate incidents had been reported regarding the harness and wiring overheating in the back of the range. Of these reported incidents, five resulted in a fire.

GE was apparently aware of this hazard dating all the way back to 2004. GE also failed to report the fire hazards that were found in Profile and Monogram Dishwashers that were sold between July 2003 and October 2010. GE recalled 174,000 units in 2010, but knew of several incidents reports dating back to 2007.

In addition to the payment of $3.5 million, GE has also agreed to a compliance program as part of the settlement.  The compliance program will be set up to ensure that the Consumer Product Safety Act is being met as well as various protocols, including:

  • Proper procedures for recording, processing and reporting information regarding possible safety issues
  • Written standards and policies
  • Confidential employee reporting of compliance concerns to a senior manager
  • Senior management responsibility for, and general board oversight of compliance
  • Requirements for record retention

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The National Safety Council delegates the months of June and July to focus on fireworks safety, since fireworks injuries are most common between June 1 and July 4 each year.

Eye injuries are a noteworthy concern when it comes to projectile fireworks like bottle rockets and Roman candles. According to Prevent Blindness America, eye injuries are common with fireworks, as are burns and other very serious injuries. Most of those who suffer fireworks-related eye injuries are children under the age of 15 since they do not fully understand the dangers of these hot explosives, but it is important to point out that anyone can be harmed by fireworks.

fireworksLast year there were eight deaths and about 11,400 injuries nationally from fireworks, according to a recent report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To help protect yourself and those you love from fireworks injuries this summer, please familiarize yourself with the following safety tips:

  • Check the fireworks laws and ordinances where you live. In the state of Florida, consumer fireworks are illegal. However, state lawmakers passed an exception to this rule allowing fireworks to be purchased by farms and fish hatcheries. In order for vendors to sell fireworks to customers, all they have to do is have purchasers sign forms saying they’re buying under an agricultural or other exemption.
  • Never let children play with fireworks. While most people tend to think hand-held fireworks like sparklers are safe enough, know that these can reach temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause serious burn injuries. Do not let your child play with, hold or light off fireworks of any kind.
  • If you are going to light off fireworks, make sure to set up a fire-resistant area. Everyone else should be kept several yards away from this area. Also, have a fire extinguisher or hose handy in case fireworks get out of control.
  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Rather than lighting off your own fireworks at home, head to professional fireworks shows. While you could still possibly be injured at one of these shows, the risk is much lower than if you choose to light your own fireworks off at your house.

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For many Americans, the Fourth of July holiday means grabbing friends and family members and barbecuing on the grill. While cooking out is essentially a rite of summer, most people fail to realize the budding dangers for serious burns and other injuries right in your back yard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2005 to 2009, fire departments across the United States responded to around 8,200 home fires per year that involved grills, hibachis or barbecues. Annually, these fires cause an estimated $75 million in property damage and injure 120 people. In addition, 15 deaths are reported every year as a result of home and grill fires.

Since June and July are considered the peak months for grilling fires, it is important to discuss how you can keep you and your loved ones safe this summer. The most important thing to remember is to keep your grill away from your house or garage as it could cause these structures to ignite. While it is convenient to grill on your deck or patio, it is not a good idea. Make sure your grill is at least 10 feet away from your home in order to reduce the possibility of setting any structures on fire as well as prevent carbon monoxide from building up in a confined area. Always keep children and pets away from the grill area and never leave the grill unattended.

It is a great idea to make sure your grill is in good shape before cranking up the heat. Whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, follow these safety tips to execute a memorable barbeque this Fourth of July.

Charcoal Grills

• Get the charcoal ready for use. You can use charcoal chimney starters to start the charcoal using newspaper for fuel. You can also use a starter fluid, but make sure it is specifically charcoal starter fluid. Electrical charcoal starters can also be used, and these do not use fire at all. Just make sure you have an extension cord appropriate for outdoor use.

• Do not add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire once it has been lit.

• Make sure charcoal fluid stays out of the hands of children and away from any heat sources
• After you are done grilling, let the coals cool completely. Once this is done, the charcoal can be disposed of in a metal container.

Propane Grills

• Check the hoses and connections between the grill and propane tank before using it.

• Never use a match to check for leaks.

• A propane leak will release bubbles – running water over a hose will show these bubbles if there is a leak.

• If your grill has a leak, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, make sure to get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call your local fire department immediately.

• Should you start to smell gas while cooking, get everyone away from the grill right away and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.

As always, the Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton remind you and your loved ones to exercise safety first and enjoy your Fourth of July. Should the worst happen, we are equipped to handle cases involving fires, burns or other catastrophic injuries.

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A Davie, Florida woman is recovering from a burn injury after reaching her hand inside a mailbox where police believe an acid bomb exploded.

Police responded to a residence around 9 a.m. and treated the woman for a minor injury.

The woman told police she heard a loud noise Tuesday night, but did not link the sound to the hanging mailbox door she found Wednesday morning.

Inside the mailbox, police found the shredded remains of mail and a plastic water bottle.

Bomb squad specialists responded to the scene to handle the mailbox’s contents. As of late Wednesday, they were still unidentifiable.

It is suspected that household items were combined to make an acid-based substance, which can cause enough pressure to make a bottle explode.

The physical pain associated with a burn injury can be agony. Burn injuries can result in a lifetime of limited mobility and medical care needs, including skin graft operations and daily medication to control chronic pain. Depending on the substance involved, even minor burns can cause localized or systemic damage to the nervous, immune or endocrine system. Whether your burn injury was the result of a defective product, an explosion or even chemical exposures, the sooner an attorney can conduct an investigation and look out for your interests, the better.

Burn injuries resulting from fires, electricity, acid and exposure to toxic substances may cause scarring that requires plastic or reconstructive surgery. The Florida Burn Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have the resources and access to medical experts to correctly evaluate the full lifetime cost of your injury. We are trial lawyers. This means we are prepared to zealously pursue maximum recovery in a lawsuit against any responsible parties.

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A Florida Panhandle man lost a piece of his tongue and a few of his front teeth after the electronic cigarette he was smoking Monday night exploded.

The fire chief for the North Bay Fire Department near Niceville equated the incident to a bottle rocket igniting in the man’s mouth.

The man was using electronic cigarettes in an effort to quit smoking.

Authorities have yet to identify what model cigarette the man was smoking.

The man is being treated for his injuries at a Mobile, Alabama burn unit.

While cigarette explosions are uncommon to hear of, burn injuries are not. In fact, deaths resulting in fires and burns are the third leading cause of fatal home injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information collected by the CDC shows that firefighters responded to 384,000 home fires across the United States in 2010, resulting in the deaths of 2,640 people and leaving another 13,350 injured. Likewise, the American Burn Association’s 2011 Fact Sheet estimates nearly 450,000 Americans receive medical care for burns each year. The majority of these burn deaths and injuries are a result of residential fires, but a vast number of injuries and deaths can be linked to car accidents, explosions, motorcycle collisions, industrial accidents and workplace malfunctions.

Burn victims require special medical treatment in order to make a full recovery, which can be costly. If your or a loved one has suffered the devastating aftermath of a burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a Florida Burn Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. Accidents that result in serious burn injuries or even wrongful death are often the result of another party’s inattention or negligence. Our personal injury lawyers can help you recover the costs associated with burn therapy and other medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

No matter how small or catastrophic the injury, the Florida Burn Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help. Our lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of burn victims and making sure the responsible parties are held accountable. We understand that traumatic injuries like burns are the most painful and difficult injuries to recover from. We can negotiate with insurance companies and any other responsible parties to obtain a full and fair settlement for your claim.

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