Tap water burns can be extremely painful and expensive to treat. Overheated tap water, which can result from a defective water heater, or having a water heater set to high, can, in some cases, result in 3rd degree burns. Burns such as these may require extensive ongoing medical care and surgical procedures, and can leave the victim scarred, disfigured and emotionally affected through the remainder of their life.
The design of many water heaters allows them to be set well above 150 degrees, a temperature too high for human contact. The human pain threshold for contact with hot water is around 110 degrees. Although 110 degrees is considered a "safe" temperature for hot water, it can result in third degree burns after approximately 10 hours of exposure. It is of the utmost importance that water heaters be set to produce hot water at a reasonable temperature, and, not be set to the highest temperature. The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that water heaters be set to a maximum temperature of 120 degrees.
Children (especially toddlers), and the elderly are among the most likely to be burned by hot tap water, usually when drawn for a bath. According to data from the National Safe Kids Campaign, 4,000-5,000 children are scalded each year, most often in bathtubs. The average bathtub scald burn covers 12% of the body surface with a full thickness third degree burn. Statistics from the National Safe Kids Campaign indicate that these scald burns occur 95% of the time in residential settings, with 54% of those scald injuries in apartments, and 46% occurring in single family homes.
In addition, hot drinks or pots with water or other liquids cooking on a stove that spill are often the cause of burns. A water heater that is set too high or is defective can also be very dangerous, especially for young children who can not tell when water is clearly too hot to touch, or, for diabetics who have lost sensitivity to temperature in their extremities.
Whether it was a water heater that was set too high by a landlord, home owner, or plumbing professional, or a defective water heater that caused the hot water burn injury, you may have rights under the law for compensation for your injuries. Our experienced New Jersey burn injury attorneys have the experience necessary to fully investigate the specifics of your case and determine who if anyone may be culpable and to blame for your burn injury. You may be able to recover economically for lost wages due to time off work, for medical expenses, for disfiguring scarring, emotional trauma or even for your pain and suffering.
If you're a victim of a serious burn caused by someone else's carelessness, negligence, or a defective water heater, contact Blume Forte at (973) 635-5400 today for a evaluation at no cost to you.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.