Summertime is a great time to take the grill out of your shed or go over to a neighbors house for a cookout. Grilling has become as much a part of the American idea of summer as has apple pie and going swimming. Summer is also a good time to go out and buy a brand new grill with all that money that you saved over the winter. However, what happens when you are injured as a result of a grill?
Gas Grill Danger Facts
Grilling in the backyard is a favorite pastime of many people living in and around Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania. However, these popular cooking devices are often the source of many injuries and accidents. The following are facts and statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:
- From 2007 to 2011, gas grills were involved in roughly 7,200 home fires – Gas grills can run at extremely high temperatures, and can quickly ignite and cause a fire to rapidly spread throughout an entire house.
- Charcoal grills and other grills using solid fuel were involved in 1,400 home fires. In addition to gas grills, charcoal grills are another common type of cooking device. When one of the hot coals falls out of a grill it can lead to a fire.
- Roughly 29 percent of home fires involved grills that were started on an open porch or exterior balcony.
- Roughly 27 percent of home fires involved grills that were started on a terrace, courtyard, or patio.
Nearly half of these home fire incidents were caused by a combustible or flammable liquid or gas catching fire, so while having a grill and using one may be a great way to enjoy the outdoors while you make food for you and your family, they can also be a dangerous device that can lead to fires and injuries.
What Type of Injuries are Common from Grills?
Surprisingly, there is a large number of injuries that come from grills. One of the most common injuries, however, are burn injuries. Burn injuries can range in severity from one that will go away in a few days to a type of injury that will last for the rest of your life.
There are three types of burns, each listed as a “degree.”
- First-degree burns: First-degree burns are the least severe out of all the burns and generally do not require any special medical attention. A first-degree burn will cause pain and injury only to the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. A first-degree burn is generally equivalent to sunburn without blisters. When a person has sustained a first-degree burn there is usually dryness to the area affected and healing will take 3 to 5 days and typically there is no hospitalization, but if there is any medical treatment involved it is for pain management.
- Second-degree burns: With these types of burns there is a significant increase in the level of injury. Because of the severity of this type of injury, medical professionals have now distinguished between two types of second-degree burns.
- Partial thickness burns: Partial thickness burns are generally characterized as partial thickness burns when there are blisters. They involve the entire epidermis and upper layers of the dermis (the lower level of the skin as an organ). The wound will usually be pink or red and is typically painful. It often looks wet. A partial thickness burn will usually heal in two to three weeks and does not typically associated with scarring or require grafting.
- Full thickness burns: Things get very difficult if you have a second-degree full thickness burn. These appear red or white but dry. They also involved the destruction of the entire epidermis and most of the dermis. The sensation of touch will be diminished but often returns partially. Many times the skin that returns is blanched or sluggish. Many times the skin that returns is absent, it just will not grow back. Most of the time this level of the burn will require excision of dead skin and grafting of new skin.
- Third-degree burns: These are the worst burns, the horror movie looking burns. They destroy all the skin layers. They go into and affect the subcutaneous tissue. The area will look black and will be dry. It will appear to look or feel like leather. There is typically no pain because all the pain receptors have been burnt off.
While some burns may be due to inattentiveness, other burns are the result of something that went wrong with the grill itself. In those cases, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the grill manufacturer.
Can I Sue the Grill Manufacturer?
When something goes wrong with your grill, you may face the potential of severe if not permanent injuries. In these cases, you may be able to bring a product liability claim. This is where you are suing an individual because there was a defect in the product. Typically products liability cases fall into three categories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn.
- Manufacturing defects – These types of defects occur when products differ from the intended design, and the defect causes bodily injuries or death. For example, if a manufacturer of packaged foods permits bacteria, glass or other contaminants to spoil its products, a consumer that is sickened by the product may have a manufacturing defect claim.
- Design defects – Design defects occur when products present a safety hazard as designed, such as when a circular saw lacks a safety guard. With their high centers of gravity and weak crush-prone roofs, 15-passenger vans are another example of defective design.
- Failures to warn – Failures to warn occur when the manufacturer does not provide adequate warnings or instructions to warn the consumer of a known danger with their product. Pennsylvania’s product laws also provide that manufacturers and suppliers may even be found liable if a product was not being used in the way it was intended, deeming these warnings so important. In addition to clearly labeled warnings, certain products must also list age-related restrictions regarding sale, use, or purchase. Failure to provide these warnings may constitute a product defect regardless of if the product was being used correctly or if the product was being misused.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer at The Reiff Law Firm
The Pennsylvania product liability lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm have over 90 collective years of experience and know how to investigate claims to the fullest. Along with our extensive legal background, we strive to help our clients recover physically, emotionally, and financially in any way that we can and fight so that they can begin the healing process. If you or someone you love has been injured because of a faulty product, design flaw, or malfunction, call our law offices at (215) 246-9000, and speak to a lawyer for free today.