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A scald injury is a burn that a victim sustains from heated liquid. Most scald injuries are sustained when people are exposed to hot water such as tap water in baths and showers or cooking water when preparing food. Some scald injuries result from spilled drinks such as hot coffee or tea. Scald injuries are more common among children than adults and especially from the accidental spilling of hot liquids.


The Burn Foundation tells us that over 500,000 scald burns are suffered each year in the US. It also states that two highest risk populations are children under the age of 5 and adults over 65. Scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries in children aged 4 and younger.


Most scald injuries are first or second degree burns. However, a person can suffer a third degree scald burn injury if he or she has prolonged contact with a heated fluid. When scald injuries are the result of steam, they are typically far more severe as steam contains a high amount of latent heat.


A scald injury can result in a great deal of pain. This type of burn can cause severe blistering of the skin and can even result in skin that has become charred, black or red. According to medical research studies, dry heat tends to damage bodily tissues less severely than moist heat, making scald injuries one of the most severe types of burn injuries.


One of the most highly publicized cases of scald injury occurred in 1992 when a woman purchased coffee from a fast-food drive-thru. She place the cup of hot coffee between her knees while trying to add cream and sugar. Unfortunately, the coffee spilled, causing severe scald burns to her groin, genital area, inner thighs and buttocks. She spent over a week in a hospital and had to undergo skin grafting for the third degree burns she sustained. It was later found that the fast food restaurant kept their coffee at temperatures much higher than what is normal. The woman received compensatory damages of $160,000 and punitive damages of $480,000 as a result of her bringing and winning a legal claim against the fast food restaurant.


If you have sustained a severe scald injury that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries and related damages. Our San Francisco personal injury attorneys can help you file a claim for the scald injuries you received as well as for other related losses you suffered. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us online via our website or call us at 866-205-4971 to set up your no-fee case evaluation.

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