Fewer people died from fires in Baltimore last year than in any other year since the city started keeping records. That doesn’t mean, however, that there were fewer fires. According to Dr. Stephen Milner, Director of the burn center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, while the number of fire-related deaths decreased to 17 in 2011, burn injuries in Baltimore have doubled over the past five years.
“We have never been so busy,” Dr. Milner told the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Hermann.
Burn injuries are often catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical care and long-term rehabilitation efforts. They’re also largely preventable. Whether the burn injury occurs in a house, in an apartment, on the road, or elsewhere, a vast majority of all fire-related injuries and deaths are the result of someone’s carelessness.
Fires related to cigarettes, lighters, cooking, and other household hazards are mostly within the control of the potential victims. Others, such as vehicle fires and electrical fires, both of which were prevalent in Baltimore and across the U.S. last year, are often the result of faulty product design or negligent manufacturing.
Vehicle fires, especially post-collision fires, account for almost 20 percent of U.S. burn injuries and approximately 600 U.S. deaths each year. Electrical fires caused by faulty wiring and defective electrical systems account for approximately 50,000 household fires each year. The Sept. 22, 2011 fire in Baltimore City that killed a woman and her two young sons, for example, was likely caused by a possible electrical failure from a consumer appliance. So was a fire that occurred on Bonsai Street in Southeast Baltimore earlier this month. The fire inspector at the scene said faulty wiring in a ceiling fan was likely to blame.
Fire deaths or burn injuries caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence can be extremely costly. In Maryland, if you or a loved one has been the victim of a burn injury, there are several types of compensatory damages your lawyer could pursue, including damages for medical bills, rehabilitation treatments, follow-up care, and time off work. Compensation for pain and permanent damage may be awarded as well.
If you, or a loved one, have suffered a burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our offices today for your free case evaluation. Our Maryland personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee until and unless we win a judgment on your behalf. You do not have to face the devastation of a burn injury on your own. Our legal professionals are here to help you at anytime. Contact us now.