Charleston woman is severely burned by a heater and later dies from her injuries

In some situations, people are injured when using a product that they think will be safe and function as intended. This happens when products have defects, which may not be discovered until after someone is hurt. An incident will then become the basis for a products liability lawsuit to help the victims recover from their losses and health problems.

There was a news report regarding a woman from Charleston County South Carolina who died after being burned by a space heater in her home.

Elderly woman dies after space heater burns her clothing and home

The Coroner for Charleston County confirmed that the 75 year old female had died at Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta, Georgia where she was transported for special treatment.

The incident began when she was sitting near a space heater at her home in Hollywood during the winter. Around 11:30 am that morning, a fire broke out at the residence on Bock Road. She needed to be airlifted to the burn center in Augusta after suffering from wounds on about 75 percent of her body from the fire. A fire chief’s initial investigation showed that she was sitting too close to the heater and her clothing caught on fire. The blaze then eventually spread over her body and throughout the home. The woman suffered from a combination of first, second, and third degree burns.

The town of Hollywood is located just west of Charleston.

What is products liability?

The doctrine of products liability extends from the idea that businesses should be held accountable for defective products that they place into the stream of commerce. When a company needs to recall an item for defective design or a manufacturing defect, it is usually because people have already been hurt during an unforeseen problem while using the product as intended.

Products liability is an important area of the law because it protects consumers from injuries when they use an item for its intended purposes and sustain injuries. This also prevents businesses from cutting corners and attempting to make a quick profit from products that may be sold in a dangerous or untested condition. Products that may be used in a dangerous or unintended way are expected to have some kind of warnings attached. An absence of such warnings may also become the grounds for a lawsuit.

Most lawyers who handle civil personal injury cases also routinely deal with product liability issues. All of these kinds of cases fall under a broad area of the law called tort law. This area of practice is focused on providing victims of injuries or intentional misconduct with compensation to put them in the place they would have been in, if an accident had never happened.

It is not important to know anything too specific about products liability law to file a case against a business, as your attorney can explain how these rules may apply to your situation.

Strict Liability

In most cases, a business that releases a defective product that causes injuries will be held strictly liable for any damages. Businesses are expected to be diligent and pay for their own research and testing to ensure the safety of their products. They should compensate victims if these processes are not done well enough or mistakes are made. The plaintiff will need to prove that the product was sold in a dangerous condition and that the product was distributed and reached consumers without any changes planned to correct the defect.

This is beneficial for plaintiffs because once these elements are proven, the defendant will essentially have no defense against a strict liability claim unless the product was used in an unintended way or the user ignored known risks and warnings contained within the product.

Accidents that cause burn injuries

Many different types of personal injury cases linked to car accidents, fires, work accidents, or improper medical treatment can result in burns. While minor burns will go away and do not require extensive treatment, burns like the ones described in the news story above will either be life changing or deadly.

Severe burn injuries are serious because they can permanently cause damage to the skin or other organs. Even after multiple surgeries, the wounds may never heal properly or cause a disfigured appearance. This reduced quality of life can be factored into your attorney’s argument for damages. Available damages may include both economic losses from medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic damages related to mental health and emotional problems.

Learn more about the possibility of a products liability lawsuit

If a faulty product has harmed you, there is help available from lawyers who can file a lawsuit on your behalf. The Clekis Law Firm handles all kinds of accident and injury cases in the Charleston South Carolina area.