Chemical burn injuries don’t only happen in labs or processing plants. They can occur at school, in the household, in the workplace, and during normal daily activities. We have a duty to take safety precautions around dangerous chemicals, but manufacturers and employers also have a duty to provide reasonable care for consumers and employees. When someone else’s negligence results in a chemical burn, victims should reach out to an experienced chemical burn injury attorney for help.
What Are Chemical Burns?
Chemical burns cause different types of damages than thermal (heat-related) burns. While thermal burns cause painful scalds, tissue, and muscle damage, chemical burns damage tissues through protein coagulation. Acids, bases, and hydrocarbons kill skin cells, change the structure of proteins, and break down the bonds between amino acids. Chemical burns from bases essentially liquefy the skin, allowing the chemical to penetrate deep into the body.
Three types of chemical burn injuries:
- Superficial Chemical Burn – Damage to the top layer of skin.
- Partial Thickness Chemical Burn – Also known as a “dermal injury” affects the second layer of skin.
- Full Thickness Chemical Burn – This injury reaches the subcutaneous (or third layer) tissues.
Treatment for chemical burn injuries varies depending on the severity and type of burn. It is advisable to seek medical assistance as soon as possible in order to determine the best treatments for your chemical burn.
Many chemicals you handle daily can cause chemical burns: car batteries, bleach, ammonia, pool chlorine, and teeth whitening products. When manufacturers produce a defective product or fail to adequately warn consumers of the potential for chemical burns, these “safe” household products can pose serious health risks.
Common Chemical Burn Injuries in San Bernardino
Chemical burns can occur in many different ways, from swallowing a dangerous chemical to breathing in vapors. Symptoms of coming into contact with dangerous chemicals include:
- Skin irritation, redness, or burning
- Numbness or pain
- Loss of vision (if the chemical touches the eyes)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
The symptoms of a chemical burn depend on the type of chemical, concentration of the substance, length of exposure, and how the victim came into contact with the chemical. For example, swallowing an alkaline chemical will burn the inside of your stomach, while skin contact with acid can result in blackened or dead skin. Chemicals in a gaseous form can damage the lungs and respiratory system, ingesting chemicals can cause direct pulmonary damage, and skin contact with a chemical can absorb the chemical into the tissues.
Chemical burns can result in permanent disability, disfigurement, and physical and mental harm. Victims of chemical burns often need skin replacement, pain management, cosmetic surgery, and occupational and emotional therapy. Chemical burns can cause nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, and body image issues. If you’ve suffered a traumatic chemical burn injury because of someone else’s failure to properly warn you or prevent the accident, a chemical burn accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation.
Let Our Attorneys Investigate Your Chemical Burn Injury
Chemical burns are preventable with proper safety warnings, labels, and procedures. If an employer fails to give you the appropriate safety equipment or training to handle dangerous chemicals in the workplace, you may have a case of employer negligence. If a defective household chemical or product without proper warnings caused your chemical burn, it may be a case of product liability.
The experienced San Bernardino chemical burn accident attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP can investigate your specific case and pinpoint the cause of the injury. We’ll help you file the appropriate claim against a negligent defendant, gathering evidence supporting your case through eyewitness interviews, expert testimony, and medical documentation.
When you need aggressive representation for an injury, contact our team or call our San Bernardino office at 909-693-3631 for a free case evaluation today!