While most water heaters are perfectly safe, sometimes people opt to try installing one themselves instead of relying on installation contractors. This can often lead to improper installation. Water heaters that are not properly installed or maintained have the potential to explode. If you are standing too close to the water heater when it bursts, you could be scalded by up to 40 gallons of extremely hot liquid. While a financial award may not take away the pain that a burn injury may cause, it may help pay bills while you recover from one.
Talk to an Attorney
After seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you should contact a personal injury attorney in your area. A legal professional will likely review your case for free, and he or she will develop a legal strategy to help you protect your rights. Your attorney may also be able to take a look at any medical release or settlement forms that you are asked to sign.
Enter Into Settlement Negotiations
Agreeing to a settlement outside of court may be the fastest and most convenient option for all parties involved in a case. Depending on the facts of the case, you may be able to reach a favorable agreement in a matter of days or weeks. The terms of the deal may entitle you to compensation for medical bills or free water heater replacement and repair service for life. The defendants in a personal case benefit from settling outside of court because the terms of the deal are confidential.
Get A Heater Replacement
Your insurance or court fees should be able to cover a heater replacement. Talk to a trustworthy contractor to install a water heater replacement for you. Be sure to look for a high-quality replacement with less chance of leaks or burns, such as a tankless water heater system or a steel tank with bonded glass liner. You should also consider installing something like an automatic gas-shutoff valve, which will help prevent fires in case there is an earthquake or flood that damages the lines.
Take the Matter to Court
If the defendant won’t negotiate a settlement in good faith, it may be in your best interest to have your case heard by a judge and decided by a jury. Although it may take months or years for a trial to conclude, you may receive a larger financial award from a jury. At a minimum, the parties responsible for your injuries will now have to take your complaints seriously.
You Can Appeal an Unfavorable Ruling
The judge or jury in your case may decide that you are entitled to only a fraction of the damages that you are seeking. In such a scenario, you can appeal the verdict to an appellate court on the grounds that an error was made when it was rendered.
You may experience both physical and mental pain for weeks, months, or years after experiencing a burn injury. Financial compensation may help to make up for the fact that you can’t work, go to school or have fulfilling relationships with friends or family members.
Author information: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan.