Dozens of workers every year suffer chemical burns on the job. And the products we use and businesses we frequent often contain or use dangerous chemicals. So, if you’re one of the people who suffers a chemical burn, when (and who) can you sue?

That will largely depend on the circumstances of your case. Here’s a look:

Product Liability

In 2017, almost 300,000 iPhone cases were recalled after leaking glitter from cracked cases caused chemical burns. Two dozen customers claimed they suffered skin irritation or chemical burns from leaking cases, and one person “reported chemical burns and swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands.” Product liability claims hold a manufacturer or seller liable if their product causes injuries.

There are generally three types of product liability lawsuits, depending on the cause of the malfunction or injury:

  1. Defects in Design: A defect in the design of the product that poses an unreasonable risk to consumers, even if it is manufactured and used as intended;
  2. Defects in Manufacturing: A mistake in the production of a well-designed product that introduces a new danger to consumers; or
  3. Defects in Warnings: A company’s failure to properly warn consumers of known risks in using the product, if they are inadequate warnings, inaccurate warnings, or no warnings at all.

Premises Liability

Maybe you suffered a burn on someone else’s property. At a restaurant, perhaps, or a car wash that uses chemicals to clean. In that case, the property owner might be held responsible under premises liability. The level of responsibility will often hinge on your relationship with the property owner.

Invitee (those who are invited onto the property of another, like customers in a store) and licensees (those who are guests or present at the consent of the owner) are owed a reasonable duty of care from the property owner, meaning they have taken reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises. If that’s not the case, you may have a premises liability claim.

Workers’ Compensation

If you are injured on the job, you’ll most likely need to file a workers’ compensation claim before you can file a lawsuit. Make sure you seek and receive any necessary medical treatment as soon as possible, and report the accident to your employer. If your workers’ comp claim is denied, or the benefits don’t fully cover your medical costs, lost wages, or expenses, you may have other legal options.

To know how to proceed with any injury claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.

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