Burn injuries are among the most painful injuries a person may suffer. They take a long time to heal and, in most cases, leave an indelible reminder of the traumatic event in the form of scar tissue. If you or a loved one suffered a severe burn injury caused by an incident provoked by someone's negligence or recklessness, you are entitled to receive financial compensation from the at-fault party. We urge you to contact a personal injury attorney at Dunn Sheehan LLP to analyze your case and give you the best legal advice for your specific circumstances.
We know that injury victims are more focused on getting better and overcoming the mental anguish caused by the incident. However, every day spent in hospital will increase your medical bills and reduce your family's income because you are losing your wages. An experienced burn injury lawyer can tell you exactly how much you deserve to get in financial compensation from the party responsible for your burn injuries, and will negotiate on your behalf with their insurance company. If we cannot get the maximum compensation you deserve through amicable negotiations, we are prepared to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit and win your case.
Some Recent Statistics Regarding Burn Injuries
According to the National Fire Prevention Administration (NFPA), in 2020 firefighters responded to approximately 1.4 million fires across the US, causing the deaths of 3,500 people and leaving 15,200 with burn injuries in various degrees.
Leaving aside the wildfires that affected parts of our country, the majority of these tragedies were home fires (27%) followed by vehicle fires (15%).
A separate statistical report prepared by the American Burn Association shows that:
- 486,000 Americans receive medical treatment for burn injuries each year
- 40,000 of them are hospitalized, out of which 30,000 at special burn centers
- burn victims were injured at home (73%), at work (8%) and on a highway (5%).
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are not always caused by open fires. In some cases, victims suffer inhalation injuries from breathing in hot air or suffer damage to the upper layer of skin by touching very hot objects. According to healthcare specialists, there are four types of burns:
First-degree burns cause minor damage to the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). They usually heal within 7 to 10 days without any special medical care. Symptoms of this type of burn are:
- Redness of the skin
- Slight swelling or inflammation.
Second degree burns damage both the outer and the mid layer of the skin (the epidermis and the dermis). A second-degree burns causes blisters, which may pop and ooze a liquid. This type of burn injury requires dressing, because there is a high risk of infection of the damaged area.
A burn victim who has at least two layers of skin affected must seek medical attention and return for examination when the bandages need to come off.
This is one of the most severe types of burns, because it affects all the layers of the skin. The level of penetration is so deep that even the nerve terminations are damaged and the patient usually does not feel a lot of pain.
Third-degree burns require specialized medical attention, usually followed by a skin graft or other type of plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery.
These are some of the most devastating injuries a person may suffer due to fire, extreme high temperatures, chemicals or hot solid objects or liquids. The burn affects all the layers of the skin and the muscles or even the bone underneath.
They take a lot of time to heal, and patients have a very high risk of an impairment of the affected area, as well as needing extensive skin grafting and reconstructive surgery.Get in Touch
What Are the Causes of Burn Injuries from the Point of View of Personal Injury Law?
Let us start by discussing the types of incidents which lead to various types of burn injuries and which represent grounds to file a claim for compensation. These are:
- burns caused by an open fire
- electrical burns, cause by faulty wiring
- chemical burns, caused by corrosive chemicals or other types of dangerous chemicals
- burns caused by contact with hot liquids and solid objects
- thermal burns caused by exposure to very hot air.
Now, let's discuss the circumstances of these burn injuries and the manner that makes them attributable to someone else's negligence (one of the core principles of personal injury law). Thus, this type of injury can be caused by:
- car accidents, when the fuel ignites
- truck accidents, if the truck carries corrosive chemicals that leak out of the container
- workplace accidents
- dangerous products
What You Need to Do After You Suffer a Burn Incident
Getting a fair settlement or winning a personal injury lawsuit is not easy. You need to have a solid case that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- the responsible party owed you a duty of care
- they breached their duty
- the breach of duty caused your burn injuries
- you suffered economic damages as a direct result of the incident.
An experienced burn injury attorney can establish all these elements after investigating your case. However, you should also help your case by acting in a correct manner starting with the first moments after the incident.
Call 911 and Agree to Be Taken to the Hospital
Your safety is the first thing to consider, so call or ask someone else to call 911 immediately after the incident that caused your injuries. If it is a traffic accident or a premises liability situation (your accident-related injuries occurred at someone else's property), the police will also arrive to investigate the circumstances. Be honest and tell them what happened, but without making any statements that imply any party's fault, including yours. For clarification, do not say phrases such as "I'm sorry", "I regret" or "I may be partly at fault".
Document the Circumstances of the Incident
As you are waiting for the ambulance and the police, use your phone to take photos of:
- the accident scene
- your injuries
- any property damage you suffered.
At the same time, look for eyewitnesses and get their contact details, asking them to provide a statement about what they saw.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Adjuster
Whenever an incident which is likely to end with a claim for compensation occurs, the responsible party's insurance company will send an adjuster to talk to you. Their pretext is helping you get quick compensation for your injuries. Their real purpose is to offer you a small amount of money and get you to sign a waiver, barring you from taking further legal action.
Do not sign any document and do not even talk to the insurance adjuster. They are most likely recording the discussion, and any statement you make will be interpreted and used against you.
Hire a Burn Injury Attorney
An experienced personal injury lawyer is the only person you should be talking to. Your lawyer will examine the case, collect the necessary evidence and calculate the actual compensation amount you are entitled to receive. Under Texas personal injury law, you can demand:
- economic damages for: medical expenses, hospital bills, loss of income, loss of future earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses and various surgical procedures you have to undertake (plastic surgery, artificial skin grafts, etc.)
- noneconomic damages for: physical pain, emotional trauma, mental anguish, disfiguring physical scars
Hire Experienced Burn Injuries Lawyers with a Proven Track Record
At Dunn Sheehan LLP you will find a team of skilled and compassionate personal injury attorneys. Your case will receive the full attention of an experienced lawyer. We will strive to negotiate the maximum compensation or take your case to court and represent you in a personal injury lawsuit.
We work on a contingency fee basis, collecting our fees out of the jury award or settlement amount we negotiate for you. If someone else is responsible for your burn injuries, call us as soon as possible to discuss your case: 214-855-0077.Get in Touch