Burns in Personal Injury Law Cases
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Severe injuries from burns can occur for many reasons, and leave an individual with permanent scarring, as well as mounting medical bills, an extensive hospital stay, and other expenses. Burn injuries that occur through negligence fall under personal injury law, and the sufferer can seek fair compensation for the harm they incur.
What Types of Burn Injuries Occur?
Injuries from burns can be caused for the following reasons:
- Chemical burns: These types of burn injuries occur at home, work, in an agricultural setting, manufacturing plant or in an accident. Some are caused by cleaning products around the house or industrial products at the workplace. While some chemical burns are minor, others can lead to long-term health problems such as emphysema or cancer that arises years later.
- Thermal burns: According to the American Burn Association, burns from open flames caused more than 486,000 people to seek medical treatment and resulted in the hospitalization of about 40,000. Thermal burn injuries can result from car accidents, defective products in a home such as stoves, flammable clothing, and barbecue grills or faulty wiring.
- Radiological burns: While these types of injuries are rarer, they do occur. Most instances of radioactive burns are because of a malfunctioning x-ray machine or overexposure in a tanning bed.
- Electrical burns: Electrical burns can be caused by faulty wiring or electrical appliances and wiring around swimming pools or spas. Because an electrical burn passes through the person’s body, it can cause extensive injury to tissues, organs, and skin or result in the death of that individual.
How Are Burn Injuries Classified?
Burn injuries are separated into different categories from one through four that are called degrees. The higher the number, the more dangerous the injury.
- First Degree: These burns affect the skin on its outer layer only, which is called the epidermis. Symptoms include dry-appearing surface that may be painful to the touch. The skin may also be slightly swollen or tingle.
- Second Degree: A second-degree burn affects both the first layer of the skin (epidermis) and second layer (dermis). These burns can be very painful, blister and cause scarring.
- Third Degree: According to WebMD, a third-degree burn goes in more in-depth than the first two types. It can result in the destruction of the first two layers of skin into the body’s tissues. These burns can make the burn site feel numb, and the outer layer will appear whitened or charred. Skin grafts are commonly used to replace destroyed skin, and permanent scarring can occur.
- Fourth Degree: This is the most serious injury of the burn categories. It means the burn has extended into the muscles and nerves, ligaments or even bones. Because the nerves are damaged, pain may not be present. Grafting or surgery may be needed to close the wound, and infection occurs in some cases. Rehabilitation may be lengthy, and this type of burn injury can cause permanent disfigurement and disability.
Liability in a Burn Injury
Liability in a burn injury depends on whether negligence by another individual or entity caused that injury. For example, if someone is injured in an apartment fire caused by faulty wiring, the company that constructed the building may be liable as well as the subcontractor who installed the wiring. Contacting a personal injury attorney who is experienced in claims for burn injuries is a good step toward obtaining compensation.
Damages in Burn Injury
Burns, mainly third and fourth-degree burns, may require surgery and hospital stays. The risk of infection is a considerable worry, and steps are taken to reduce the overall risk. An operation can be complicated and require grafts. Rehabilitation or physical therapy after the initial treatment is often necessary. Damages associated with burn injuries can include lost wages and medical expenses. Non-economic damages are regularly assessed and include disfigurements such as scarring, the emotional trauma of a burn and psychological issues such as anxiety and fear of fire.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Injuries from burns can cause a lengthy hospitalization and resulting bills and lost time at work. They also can result in disfigurement or repeated surgeries to correct the damage. If you or a loved one received a burn injury because of negligence, give me a call at (916) 921-6400 for friendly and free advice. I also have a toll-free line at (800) 404-5400.
I’m a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates.
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/car-accident-fire-street-accident-2789841/
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