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Premises Liability: Burn Injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer

To the average person, the word “negligence” can be easily defined as carelessness. However, in a legal context, it is the concept of one’s failings or carelessness which ultimately causes harm, intended or not. Negligence can easily turn into a harmful act, causing physical, mental, and emotional damage. Negligence can quickly turn into gross negligence when the lack of care that is deliberate or reckless to the safety and lives of others is so great that it appears to be a conscious decision. 

Property managers, landlords, and supervisors’ have a duty to maintain a certain level of safety to prevent residents, visitors, and guests from sustaining injuries on their property. Be that as it may, this often goes askew when the care of facilities is not top priority. Violations can be a lack of fire alarms or sprinkler systems, cracks in pavement, or loose railings. More seriously, a breach in duty of care can result in chemical burns from improperly stored and maintenance of hazardous materials, and even water or steam burns from boiler room malfunctions.

While the specific duties and responsibilities of each kind of property holder may depend on the kind of establishment it is, there is an underlying duty of care that needs to be provided to keep its inhabitants safe. For instance, an apartment complex manager has a duty to ensure that potentially hazardous power sockets are properly maintained to avoid potential electrical burn injuries to adults and children. 

Burden of Proof

In a negligence premises liability case, the plaintiff, or in this specific case the burn victim who is filing the lawsuit, is the person who holds the burden of proof, meaning that the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This concept can be applied to the figure of Lady Justice, which is the very personification of the moral force in our judicial system. If you can imagine her scales tipping ever so slightly further to one side, that idea is the visual representation of burden of proof, as now it is being proven more likely than not that the defendant was liable for the injuries caused. 

Depending on state and local jurisdiction, some examples of points you must prove in order to prove negligence could be:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.

  2. The duty of care that was to be provided was breached and safety laws could have been potentially violated.

  3.  The plaintiff suffered direct harm as a result of the defendant’s actions. 

To bring a successful premises liability claim for a burn injury, a plaintiff would have to prove that the burn would not have occurred if not for  the irresponsible actions of the owner of the property, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result. 

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another, a personal injury attorney can advise you on the complexities of negligence law and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Thanks to Eglet Adams for their insight on comparative negligence. 

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