Scarring and Disfigurement Caused by Automotive Defects

Scarring and Disfigurement Caused by Automotive Defects

Some of the most common injuries in a motor vehicle crash are disfiguring facial injuries, often resulting from burns and flying projectiles. We all know that car fires can cause burns, but did you know that airbags can also be responsible for facial injuries from the chemicals and shrapnel inside the bag? Our faces are our identity. If we look in the mirror and do not see the person we recognize as ourselves, the emotional and psychological pain can be staggering. Steven H. Heisler has a proven track record of providing successful legal representation and guidance for injured clients and their family members. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury or facial scarring in a motor vehicle accident due to product defects or another person’s negligence, please give Steve a call. Facial Injuries Explained Burns sustained in a car accident can be caused by a fire or by the chemicals that activate inside an airbag. Briefly, burns are classified by degrees: A first-degree burn is superficial and contained within the top layer of skin. The skin is red, with no blisters. Scarring is not likely unless complications such as an infection arise. A second-degree burn is[…..]

If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

If You Own a Kia or Hyundai, Read This

Certain Kias and Hyundais from model years 2011 through 2014 are vulnerable to spontaneous fires. Vehicles affected include the Kia Sorento SUV and Kia Optima sedan, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and Hyundai Sonata sedan. While the fires have not been associated with any crashes, it’s estimated that six persons have suffered injuries from the fires. Petition Submitted to NHTSA The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) has petitioned Deputy Administrator Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of the fires. The petition, submitted June 11, 2018, noted that the NHTSA has on file 120 complaints of fires where no crash occurred, as well as 229 filed complaints that mention melted wires, smoke, and odors indicating something was burning. When the number of Hyundai and Kia reports was compared with other competing makes and models, the CAS discovered only 22 reports on file that mentioned fires without collisions for all other competing vehicles. The Hyundai Sonata had the most complaints at 47, with 10 for the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Sixty-three fires were reported to the NHTSA for the two Kia models. Dangerous Fires The CAS petition mentioned several fires, including the following ones:[…..]

First Death from Exploding Vape Pen Is Official

Vape Pen

On May 5, 2018, a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, was discovered in a blazing bedroom with burns on 80 percent of his body. But apparently what killed him weren’t his burns, but his vape pen blowing up while he was using it. After an autopsy, the medical examiner listed the cause of death as projectile wounds to the man’s cranium from two pieces of the vape pen driven into his head by the force of the explosion. The type of vape pen the man was using is known as a “mechanical mod.” His model carried the Smok-E Mountain Mech Works logo; the company is based in the Philippines. Mechanical mods differ from other vape pens and have their own set of problems. Smok-E believes the explosion is due either to the atomizer or to the use of a cloned battery (a non-authentic knockoff battery that is often of inferior quality and safety). Smok-E insists that their product does not explode. What Makes Mechanical Mods Distinctive? Mechanical mods are simpler than other vape pens because they are nothing but devices that deliver power directly to the atomizer. The atomizer supplies the fumes that users inhale; the entire vape pen is[…..]

The Hidden Dangers of Gas Cans

Can of Gasoline

Gasoline engines have been with us for over a century, so it’s not unusual to keep a can of gas around for lawn mowers and other items we need to take care of our properties. Your gas can could be metal, or it could be plastic—both types are in use. Gas cans are so commonplace that you might not realize that they can be dangerous, especially the plastic type. Simply pouring gas from the can under certain conditions can create an explosive fire. From 1998 through 2015, more than 1,200 visits to the ER and at least 11 deaths were due to explosions that occurred while pouring gasoline out of a plastic can. Flame Arrestors: An Ignored Solution Any gas can, when stored or handled improperly, can burst and cause an explosion and fire; but plastic gas cans have special dangers metal ones do not that arise from static electricity. Plastic rubbing on plastic (such as your truck bed’s liner) or on carpeting (such as in the trunk of your car) easily creates the right conditions for a static electricity spark. When the volatile gasoline vapors inside the can combine with the static electricity spark, the resulting flame can travel[…..]

The Costs of Treating Burns

Maryland Burn Injury Attorney

The pain and suffering from a burn injury is terrible—no question. The financial costs, however, can also cause you and your family pain. Part of the reason is that serious burn injuries require a lot of care, often in a hospital, and these days the care does not come cheap. Recent numbers that lay out the costs of burn injuries can be difficult to find. The lack of studies at a time when we need information about healthcare costs more than ever is a bit baffling. What we do know is that the annual costs of burn injuries in 2010 dollars are approximately $10.4 billion, with burn hospitalizations representing around 1 percent of all U.S. injuries. Complications of injuries can rapidly escalate costs; a severe burn with many complications can cost more than $10 million to treat effectively. Hospital stays for burns average 8.1 days, compared to 4.5 days for non-burn hospital stays. On average, hospital stays for burns are often twice the length and more than twice the cost of non-burn-related hospital stays. Something that illustrates how long a hospital stay can be for a burn patient is related to the percentage of the body that was burned. The[…..]

New Developments in Treating Serious Burns

Maryland Burn Injury Attorney

Burn treatments, like many other areas of medical care, have undergone some technological improvements over recent years. While none of us really want to contemplate burns and burn injuries, the treatments are worth reading about. They range from sprayed-on human skin to topical treatments to fish skin used as a bandage. Burn Statistics and Facts Burns usually occur at home and in the workplace. At home, the culprit will likely be a cooking accident or a heating source; at work, it could be anything from scalding (by water or steam) to caustic chemicals to an electrical source. Almost half a million folks seek burn treatment in hospitals and ERs every year—the actual number is around 450,000—and that figure does not include those who go to health clinics and doctors’ offices. The reasons for burns are fires or flames 43 percent of the time, and scalding agents 34 percent of the time. Burn “degrees” classify severity, with first being the least severe (a reddening of the skin and limited to the outermost layer, or epidermis) to fourth, the most severe (affecting bone). Second-degree burns, the ones that blister, can penetrate into the dermis and require specialized treatment to prevent scarring and[…..]

Focusing On Eye Injury

Eye Safety

Prevent Blindness America is an organization whose mission is to save eyesight through education, advocacy and research. During the month of March, we are encouraged to focus on eye safety in the workplace, a well placed emphasis since in 2012 there were 20,300 instances of occupational eye injury that caused employees to have to miss work. These injuries are expensive in terms of lost production time, medical care, and worker’s compensation costs. Of the total number of work-related eye injuries, 10-20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss, and for these victims the costs are enormous. At Highest Risk Males between the ages of 25 and 44 are at highest risk for on-the-job eye injuries. While almost every industry holds some hazards for eye injury, some of the most dangerous occupations are: Welders Cutters Sanders Grinding machine operators Mechanics Carpenters Plumbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that almost half of the workers who sustain eye injuries are employed in manufacturing, and slightly more than 20 percent are in construction. Common Causes Most workplace eye injuries result from small particles or objects — for example, metal slivers, wood chips, glass and dust — that are ejected by tools[…..]

Hazardous Hygiene

Hot Water Burn in Shower

Maybe when you think of death behind a shower curtain you envision the famous scene from the movie Psycho. But there’s another, less dramatic but more common, danger lurking in the bath. In the United States, burns from hot tap water result in about 1,500 hospital admissions and 100 deaths per year. The first week of February has been designated Burn Awareness Week, and the focus of the campaign this year is to prevent scalding injuries. It Happens Quicker Than You Think Water at 140 degrees can lead to a serious burn within three seconds, while it takes 10 minutes for water at 120 degrees to cause a serious burn. Scalding by hot water or another liquid can result in severe scarring, permanent disability and even death. Of hospitalized burn patients, liquid scald burns account for the second largest number of death. This is particularly true for certain high-risk groups — children, the elderly, and those with special needs. When a person in one of these high-risk groups suffers a scalding burn, it is often due to the negligence of a caregiver. Elderly React Different to Hot Water Older adults typically have certain characteristics which make exposure to extremely hot[…..]

Are We Asking for a Frackastrophe?

Railcar Carrying Explosive Materials

On December 1, a number of Baltimore residents attended an environmental hearing to weigh in on the potential danger of railroads in area neighborhoods being used for the transport of millions of gallons of crude oil. Houston-based Targa Resources has applied to expand its existing export pier in South Baltimore to store, handle, process and ship more crude oil to East Coast refineries. In fact, according to Chesapeake Climate Action Network, under the proposal “9.125 million barrels of oil every year would be exported out of Baltimore — which means some 12,766 rail cars annually. Broken down further, that’s one train of 35 cars every day running right through the city.” Record volumes of Bakken crude oil, produced through a controversial process known as “fracking” (read more about the dangers of fracking) are being transported by rail to refineries along the East Coast. According to the American Association of Railroads, there were 9,500 rail cars carrying crude oil in 2008; by 2013 that had increased to more than 400,000. It appears that Baltimore is poised to be a stop along the Bakken byway. What’s the Problem With That? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Association (PHMSA), a division of the[…..]

The Dangers Of Space Heaters

Fire Extinguisher

As cold weather settles in again, a tragic accident in Westminster, Maryland, reminds us that space heaters, when improperly used, can be the cause of serious injuries, property damage and death. Early in the morning on November 9, Bernie Toporzycki opened the door of a backyard shed and was met with a huge explosion. Mr. Toporzycki received second and third degree burns and died two days later at the Johns Hopkins Burn Center in Baltimore. The Toporzycki home and those on either side were so severely damaged that they were condemned. As many as 11 homes in the neighborhood were harmed by the blast. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the explosion. Officials said the explosion may have happened because of a space heater that was placed too close to propane tanks. Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch told WUSA 9, “We’re always reaching out to the public, ‘Please make sure you have a 3 feet area around any portable space heater, wood stove or fireplace.” Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group. Statistics from Nationwide Insurance indicate that[…..]