A new version of the pressure cooker is the newest kitchen time-saver appliance to show up on many counters across the country, as a burn injury lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia can attest. These models are supposedly safer and easier to use. These pots, when working properly, offer a quick alternative to crockpots, cooking food in a fraction of the time it takes to prepare in a conventional manner.
What Can Go Wrong With Using a Pressure Cooker?
A great deal of pressure in the pot produces the heat that cooks the food. This heat cooks the food faster but also creates the potential for the pressure in the container to explode if the appliance is defective.
If the user opens the top of a pressure cooker that is defective, extremely hot, scalding food can splatter on the user because the pressure is released through the lid, causing serious burns to the face, hands, and upper body.
The pressure cooker has a steam valve that needs to be released before opening the lid. There is a safety mechanism that should not allow you to open the lid until the steam has been released. If that mechanism is defective and you open the lid before the pressure has been released through the steam valve, hot food can splatter everywhere.
What Can I Do if I Suffered from Burns Caused by My Pressure Cooker?
Contact a burn injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA to discuss your case. If others have been injured in the same manner from the same type of pressure cooker, there may already be a class action lawsuit in the works. If not, your Atlanta, GA burn injury lawyer can advise you of the steps to take to recover damages for your injuries.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Ask For?
Burn injuries differ from other types of injuries in that not only are they extraordinarily painful, but that pain can also last for a very long time. In addition, the scarring, disfigurement, plastic surgeries and emotional trauma caused the the accident can endure indefinitely. Damages your burn injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA can ask for include:
- Medical expenses that occurred at the time of the accident
- Ongoing medical expenses including plastic surgery
- Pain and suffering — if the burns have disfigured your face, you will likely be awarded a larger settlement than someone who experienced burns on their abdomen
Damages for emotional pain and suffering result from not only the explosion causing physical damage but the fact that being permanently disfigured caused you to be depressed or embarrassed. The amount of the award will depend on the extent of the injuries, if they are lifelong, the permanent scarring and the emotional state of the victim.
Classifying Burn Injuries
There are three types of burn injuries: first-degree, second-degree and third-degree — although the severity of the injury under each category does vary dramatically. Any compensation payment for a burn injury will obviously depend upon the severity of the injury and it’s impact on the victims psychological wellbeing. In some cases, a burn injury can immobilize a victim, either temporarily, or permanently, and also have a massive impact upon their standard of living. To break down each category:
- First-degree burns. This type of injury includes damage the first layer of the skin which may appear red and blotchy, but does not generally create a blister. There may be considerable pain when the injury occurs; but after relatively simple medical treatment, the pain should subside fairly quickly.
- Second-degree burns. These burns are more severe than first degree burns, and may have a greater impact on the victims well-being. A second degree burn damages the deeper layers of the epidermis and the dermis, likely causing significant redness and blistering. Unfortunately, there may also be issues with fluid loss if more than 10% of the body is affected. Some victims have been known to go into shock, which results in its own medical challenges.
- Third-degree burns. This is the most severe type of burn injury, in which all three layers of the skin are affected. These injuries may also cause issues with the layer of fat and tissue under the skin, leading to severe scarring and potentially requiring skin grafts. This type of injury will take a long time to heal and in most cases there will be permanent scarring and other issues to consider when claiming compensation.
If you have suffered a burn injury of any degree, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. This will ensure prompt treatment and establish important documentation should you pursue a burn injury compensation claim.
When purchasing a pressure cooker, it is important to understand how it works and carefully read and follow instructions. Pressure cookers, by virtue of their name, cook food under extreme pressure and heat. When the product does not operate correctly, accidents can happen. Always seek medical attention as soon as possible after any burn accident. If you feel the product malfunctioned and caused the lid to release undue pressure and splatter hot food on you causing burn injuries, you should contact a burn injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. They can meet with you and discuss the details of your accident and determine the next steps to take.