Articles Posted in Burn Injuries

The difference between an independent contractor and an employee is an important distinction in Washington, D.C. personal injury cases because an injured person’s ability to recover may be limited based on the negligent actor’s status. The following case shows how the plaintiff’s ability to recover compensation from his employer was limited by the wrongful actor’s status as an independent contractor.

In that case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s negligence was the proximate cause of injuries he suffered while working on his property. According to the record in the case, the defendant owned and operated a construction business, and the plaintiff was an employee of the defendant’s company. The defendant sometimes offered employees work at his home outside of normal work hours. One day, the plaintiff and his coworker went to do maintenance work, and among their tasks, they were told to burn the brush in the yard. The plaintiff attempted to do so by standing on top of a large pile of logs and throwing gasoline on the brush. The brush “blew up,” causing him to fall back and burning his skin with severe burns.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendant was liable because he failed to supervise the burning of the brush, he had gasoline available to use, he did not train the plaintiff on how to properly use the gasoline, and he did not train his coworker on how to properly use the gasoline or supervise others properly. He also claimed the defendant was responsible for his coworker’s negligence acts under respondeat superior. The defendant argued he was not liable for any of the coworker’s acts because he was an independent contractor rather than an employee.

The DC fire chief says that arson may have been a factor in the fire at a Northwest Washington apartment building. They are still investigating the cause of the blaze, which took place early Wednesday.

Four people were hospitalized with serious injuries, including a 2-year-old girl. Another fire victim, a 38-year-old male, died when he jumped from the fifth floor of the building to escape the fire. Several people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and burn injuries. Up to 40 people were treated at the scene. The 63-unit apartment building, which was likely constructed in the mid-20th century, did not have a sprinkler system. Also, some 125 people have been displaced.

If you or someone you love sustained burn injuries in a fire or another accident that you believe was caused by another party’s negligent or careless actions, please call your Washington DC burn accident law firm to request your free case evaluation.

Two kids suffered burn injuries in Washington DC on Monday during a fire accident on a playground at the Columbia Heights Village Apartment Complex. Neighbors blame careless workers for leaving a can of gasoline at the playground.

Police say that a boy was playing with the can of gas when the fire started. A little girl sitting on a bench got burned and was later hospitalized. Neighbors say they called emergency crew members when they heard screaming.

According to The Burn Institute:

• Children younger than 5 are two times as likely as other people to die in a fire accident.
• Children are at highest risk of dying from their burn injuries.
• Playing with fire is the number one cause of death for very young children.

• 18-month old toddlers have been known to start serious fires.

Property owners and managers and those in charge of overseeing job sites, public events, public areas, and other premises frequented by kids, patrons, employees, visitors, and others are supposed to make sure that there are no unsafe conditions on a premise that can lead to serious injuries or deaths.

Common causes of fire injures to children younger than 15:

• Fireworks
• Ovens
• Curling irons
• Heaters
• Matches and lighters
• Hot liquids and hot foods
• Household appliances
• Defective electrical products
Kids Playing with Fire Leave Two Hurt in D.C.,, September 2, 2008
Burn Injury Fact Sheet, CT Safe Kids

Related Web Resources:

The Burn Institute

Fire Deaths and Injuries: Fact Sheet, CDC

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