Visitor Question

Third Degree Burns from Hot Water in a Bathtub…

Submitted By: Gary (Hayden, ID)

While staying at a well known resort, I went to bed but got up later to go to the bathroom. I tripped or fell into a jacuzzi tub in the powder room. Falling into the tub, I hit the hot water faucet – turning it on and landing in the tub. I either passed out or was knocked out for an unknown time and got third degree burns on my legs and feet (22% of my body).

My wife woke up after hearing me thrashing around and got me out of the tub. The water was not running and the tub was empty. My conclusion is that I instinctively turned the hot water off when it burned me, without being conscious of it. I was taken to a burn hospital and had skin graphing done. This occurred two years ago in Palm Springs California.

I do have an attorney and he is suing the resort for my tripping and falling. I just found out about the tripping being the basis of the suit and not the burns by the hot water. I’m at a loss because he just told me this is an extremely hard case as there were no witnesses.

I’m contending where did the extremely hot water come from? Why was it so hot to give me third degree burns? Shouldn’t that be part of the lawsuit?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Gary,

Our policy prohibits us from interfering with an attorney-client relationship. We can though make some observations about the facts you present…

Your facts don’t mention whether there were any intoxicants involved in your fall. If there were, there may be an issue of contributory negligence. That negligence would certainly have some impact upon your case.

To get to the hot water injury your attorney must first address the reason for your fall.

There is a legal premise referred to as “but for”. That is, but for the fall you would not have been injured. Your attorney must address the “but for” issue first before he can get to the burns.

You attorney may be telling you it is an extremely hard case because he is having a problem getting past the fall. The fall is the 1st, and most important legal issue.

Most people who run hot water in their home or people in hotels or resorts who hold their hands or any other part of their body under hot water which has been running for a few seconds will receive third degree burns. Try turning on your hot water faucet at home and once it runs for a few seconds and becomes hot, hold your hands under it. There is an excellent chance you will receive third degree burns.

So it’s not the hot water; it’s the fall. If you were at home and slipped and fell into your bathtub rendering you unconscious and your foot inadvertently turned on the hot water faucet, after a few seconds you would be scolded.

The fall is the main issue, and not the hot water.

Best of luck,

Law Guy

Learn more here: Hotel Accident and Injury Claims

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


Leave a Comment

Don’t ask a personal injury question here – comments are not reviewed by an attorney. Ask your question on this page. Required fields are marked *