I Burned My Hand during a Cooking Lesson Because of a Malfunctioning Burner. Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
You may have signed up to the class with the best intentions. To improve your cooking skills, to meet new people, and to get out of the house were just some of the reasons why you took cooking lessons. It never occurred to you that you would have to be concerned about your safety. You took it for granted that the people who delivered the training would take all measures to ensure that the gear you used was perfectly safe. It turns out, you assumed too much. During a cooking lesson, you burned your hand on a malfunctioning burner. You required first aid on the scene and had to be rushed to hospital afterwards. You are in the process of recovery. Your question now is: what are my next steps?
The simple answer is that you should sue both the company that offered the lessons and the manufacturer of the burner. You have a case against them, and you should hire a lawyer to help you build it.
This is a clear instance of negligence on the part of the company that gave the cooking lesson and product liability on the part of the company that made the burner.
A cooking lesson is the kind of activity in which people have a reasonable expectation to be safe. It is up to the organizers and managers of such an event to do a thorough safety check of all the equipment that they use. Whether they have purchased the gear outright or have borrowed or leased it, they must establish a process and protocol for ensuring that it will do no harm to the people who are meant to use it. If such safety checks were not done and someone does get hurt, then the organizers should be held accountable.
The standard is even higher for product manufacturers. Every company is required to carry out a thorough safety evaluation for each item it sends to the market. Companies are liable for products that malfunction and cause injury. That is clear and straightforward in law.
The only worry that you as the injured party might encounter is the effort by the organizers of the event and the manufacturer of the burner to claim that the incident came as a result of your improper use of it. The manufacturer may go even further by claiming that the organizers of the cooking class somehow damaged or misused the burner, making them completely liable for your injury.
Indeed, the manufacturer of the burner has the most to lose. If word gets out that one of their products is defective, they may have to issue a general recall. In any case, the negative publicity that follows an admission that a product is defective will have all kinds of bad financial repercussions.
In other words, your lawsuit is not likely to go unchallenged. The respondents will put up a fight. You must therefore hire a tough, aggressive, experienced, and well-connected personal injury lawyer who will get you the justice you deserve.
Suing a well-resourced company can be frightening. You may think twice about doing so, as they will set their army of lawyers against you. But personal injury firms work under these conditions and against such forces all the time – and they win. Here is how your personal injury attorney will go about fighting the case.
They will gather the facts, introduce eyewitness and expert testimony, employ forensic evidence, and bring to bear the relevant parts of law to the case.
Establishing the nature and extent of your burns is one of the most important elements of the case. Your lawyer will collect your hospital admission records, the notes and diagnosis of the physician who treated you, and photographic evidence of the burns. They will also bring in their own experts to examine the burner. Your lawyer will track down the machine and ensure that it is kept in the state it was in at the moment of the incident. There will be trace evidence on the burner that connects it to the burn marks on your hand.
The manufacturer may attempt to float a range of theories that led to the malfunction, none of which makes them culpable. Your personal injury attorney will get to the truth of the matter by bringing in their own product engineers to look at the device. Personal injury law firms keep such experts on hand to carry out this kind of investigation. They know exactly what to look for and they know how to explain the malfunction and its cause in a way that juries and judges can understand. If the malfunction owed to a design, engineering, or production flaw, your attorney will gather the evidence needed to prove that.
The accident may have been the result of negligence by the manufacturer and the organizers of the cooking class. Your lawyer will work with the experts they’ve hired to examine and evaluate all of the circumstances and conditions in which the class was held. They will analyze the electrical grid of the building, the other equipment that was being operated at the time, and the burner itself. No item that is relevant to the investigation will be left unanalyzed.
You are suing for an injury you sustained and the pain and suffering it caused you. It is important that the people who will be deciding how much money you are to receive get a full and accurate picture of what you endured the moments after you were burned. Your attorney will gather statements from others in the cooking class. The people who tried to help you cope with the burn will also be asked to make statements and take the stand. Such testimony can help a jury understand just how much pain and agony you were forced to endure because of someone else’s negligence.
For your lawsuit to be successful, you must prove negligence or product defect, you must prove that it caused your injury, and you must be prepared to state the dollar amount you want in damages. You may think that proof of negligence or defect automatically makes the responsible parties liable for your injuries. But nothing can be taken for granted in law. Your lawyer must make a case that solidly connects the malfunction to your injury.
The lawsuit may not make it to court. Your lawyer may be able to collect so much evidence against the respondents that they decide to settle rather than be dragged to a long, arduous, and public court case. If this happens, you want a lawyer who is able to negotiate a settlement that is commensurate with all that you have suffered.