Burn injuries are some of the most painful and disfiguring injuries a person can suffer. When this type of severe injury is caused by another party’s negligence, the injured victim may be entitled to compensation for damages, including scarring, disfigurement, rehabilitation, medical bills, and lost wages.
Recently two men in New Mexico suffered burn injuries after the hot air balloon in which they were riding crashed into some power lines. The balloon was flying in Rio Rancho in connection with Balloon Fiesta, and a spokesperson for the annual event indicated that the balloon’s primary pilot was not operating the aircraft at the time of the accident. The crash was still under investigation at the time of the report.
One of the injured men suffered face, chest, and arm burns, and the other man was burned on his head.
According to one witness, the balloon erupted “in a ball of fire” after one of the injured men tried to dislodge a sandbag from the power lines. A number of witnesses then worked to remove the men from the balloon’s burning basket.
The injured parties were taken to UNM Hospital to be treated.
Hot air balloons may not be subject to the same kinds of traffic laws as cars and trucks, but injury-causing negligence is possible in just about any form of transportation. The Albuquerque area is famous for its annual hot air balloon festival, and pilots and passengers alike would do well to exercise due caution. Accidents like this particular crash may be infrequent, but the consequences can last a lifetime.
Source: kob.com, “2 men burned in hot air balloon crash,” Elizabeth Reed, Oct. 9, 2013