Articles Posted in Burn Injury


Grilling is a well-liked and fun hobby that brings together families and friends. To avoid mishaps and potential harm, it is essential to put safety first.

Our group of knowledgeable accident injury attorneys have put together a list of priceless suggestions to make sure your grilling session is safe and enjoyable. If you are going to relish the sunshine and grill with your number one guy this Father’s Day weekend, then please remember these grilling guidelines:

  1. Make sure your grill is in a safe distance from all buildings. Set your grill up away from your house, shacks, sheds, etc., as grills can sometimes not be fluid with fire and things like this, so you want to keep them away from any buildings or structures.
  2. If you have any kids or pets, we recommend creating a hot zone around the grill so that they know not to get too close as they could get burned.
  3. If you are cooking with propane, you want to check the fuel line before firing your grill up. The easiest thing to do is to get some soapy water and run it down the fuel line, and if you start to see bubbles, then you probably have a leak and you want to deal with that right away before you start grilling.
  4. Store your propane tanks properly. It is best to store these upright and in a cool place because that is what the literature says to do.

Our Florida Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want you to always enjoy the popular hobby of grilling. We have seen cases where propane tanks have exploded at apartment complexes and caused very bad burn injuries, as well as cases where grille fires have destroyed homes and caused serious injuries.

If you have a grilling disaster or propane tank explosion and there are injuries, then please call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online. We would love to help you – this is what we do. Continue reading


Decorating for the Christmas season is something millions of people partake in every year, and your Christmas tree is a holiday staple. Getting into the Christmas spirit by decorating is great fun, but you may be unaware that Christmas trees can be huge dangers to your home. However, if you know the risks associated with Christmas trees, then you can be prepared in the event of an accident.

Our Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We want your holiday season to be happy and bright, so here are 4 Christmas tree hazards you should familiarize yourself with:

  1. Both Real and Artificial Christmas Trees Can Catch Fire

Many people are unaware that real or artificial trees can catch fire and cause serious burn injuries or home fires. You can prevent burns and fires from happening by:

  • Christmas-Tree-Safety-101-4-Dangers-of-Christmas-Trees-You-Should-Know-200x300Selecting a fresh Christmas tree if you are opting for a real one. Look for green needles that do not shed easily.
  • Keep an eye on your tree’s water level daily and make sure that it does not dry out.
  • If you are going with an artificial tree, check the labels before you purchase it to make sure that it is flame-retardant.
  • Keep your real or artificial tree at least three feet away from heat sources, like candles, fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, lamps, and space heaters.
  • Turn your Christmas tree lights off anytime you are away from home or when going to bed.
  • If your real tree starts showing signs that it is drying out, then it is time to dispose of your tree. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that 37% of Christmas tree fires start in January, so keep checking on your tree after Christmas.
  1. Christmas Lights Can Be Hazardous

Many people opt for string lights when decorating their trees, mantles, etc., but if not used properly, these lights can lead to electrocution injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says 20% of holiday decoration injuries that are treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. are related to Christmas tree lights. Here are some Christmas light tips to keep in mind when decorating:

  • Check that the lights you plan to use are designed for indoor use.
  • Do not use lights that have frayed or punctured cables, broken bulbs, or other signs that they are defective.
  • Do not overload your outlets – use an extension cord and do not connect more than three standard-size sets of Christmas lights to one extension cord.
  • If you have a real tree, then keep extension cords away from the tree’s water source.
  • Never place cords under rugs as they could overheat.
  • Never try to squeeze cords behind furniture where they can pinch – this can lead to fraying and cause the cords to short.
  1. Be Mindful of Slip and Fall Accidents When You Are Decorating

For bigger trees, you may require a ladder to help you reach the top. It is easy to fall off a ladder when decorating, so proceed with caution when decorating.

  • Do not use a chair to reach the top of your tree – ladders or step stools are much better options. Chairs are not designed for people standing on them, making them more susceptible to toppling over.
  • Have someone else nearby who can spot you and hand you ornaments and other décor that you may need. The less you must move around while using a ladder or step stool, the better.
  • Keep any cords out of walkways so that no one will trip and fall.
  1. Decorate Safely for Children and Pets

Small children and pets will be very interested in your holiday décor, so keep these tips in mind so that you can prevent children and pet injuries during the holidays:

  • Extension cords need to be out of sight and out of reach. Kids can get tangled in them and pets may chew on them.
  • Ensure that your tree is secure in its base, as kids or pets that push or pull on the tree could cause it to tip over, resulting in injuries.
  • Watch that pets and kids do not drink from your real tree’s waters. Any fertilizers or bacteria present could upset your child or pet’s stomach.
  • The best thing you can do with kids and pets around is to not leave them unattended around your tree.

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FLORAL CITY, FL – One person sustained injuries after a fire in Citrus County on Saturday, reports the Citrus County Chronicle.

Emergency crews were called to the scene of a 90-foot by 70-foot pole barn engulfed in flames off of East Haines Court. It took crews a little over two hours to extinguish the blaze.

The property owner said they noticed a fire had started around a flatbed truck with a 1,000-gallon diesel tank. A camper van and John Deer backhoe also caught fire.


Cooking oil left out on the stove resulted in a fire in a Winter Haven apartment building, leaving several families without a home.  

Four apartments were evacuated, and power company TECO cut electricity to the building.

The blaze was contained to the single apartment that caught fire, but others incurred water and smoke damage.

There were no injuries, but a dog that was rescued from a second-floor balcony was taken to a veterinarian as a precaution.

About three dozen firefighters responded to the scene.

If you like to deep fry with oil or cook with grease to prepare your meals, you are certainly not alone. While these are effective methods that often result in tasty meals, many dangers can arise out of these cooking techniques. Home chefs must take extra precautions when using oil or grease to prepare their meals.

As this article shows, using oil for cooking or frying can be very dangerous. More than 40 percent of range or stove fires begin as a result of cooking oil ignition. Another 25 percent of all home fires get started by fat or grease. When cooking with oil or grease, not all risks can be avoided, but being prepared can greatly reduce the likelihood of injury.

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An Orange County woman is suing McDonald’s, alleging failure to properly secure the lid of a hot coffee cup that led to injuries.

The woman filed a complaint Nov. 6 in Orange County Circuit Court against McDonald’s Restaurants of Florida Inc., alleging failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of customers.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 1. 2016, the woman was at the drive-through at McDonald’s when an employee handed her a cup of hot coffee. As she took a sip of the coffee, she said, the lid was not properly secured, and the hot coffee spilled onto her.

As a result, the woman says she sustained physical injuries, mental anguish, loss of earnings and incurred medical expenses.

The woman alleges the McDonald’s employee failed to adequately secure the lid on the coffee cup, thus creating a hazardous condition to its customers when handing them hot coffee.

If certain details of this case sound familiar, you are probably thinking of the most famous case of a coffee-related burn lawsuit where a New Mexico woman successfully sued McDonald’s for over $2.8 million after suffering serious burns from a 190 degree cup of coffee. That judgement was later reduced to just over $600,000 before a confidential settlement was reached between the two parties.

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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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