Articles Posted in Scars

Just as every catastrophic injury is unique and every victim is unique, so are the teams of medical and legal experts needed to handle the catastrophic injury victim’s care and their personal injury claim.

catastrophic injury treatmentExperts Utilized in Catastrophic Injury Cases — Severe Burn Injuries

The most common causes of major burn injuries in the United States are fires and scalding from hot liquids.  Although much less common, catastrophic injury burns from electricity tend to be severe because of the high temperatures involved with electrical arcing.  Severe burn injuries will require specialized treatment in burn centers that are often attached to major trauma hospitals.  Immediate dangers that must be managed include shock from fluid loss and edema.  Following that, infection is the complication most often seen with major burns due to the body’s loss of the skin as the primary barrier against microorganisms.  Once these immediate dangers are countered, other medical specialists become involved in longer term care:

Classification of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries to the skin and flesh can be caused by several things, including chemicals, heat, friction, electricity, and radiation. There are different classification systems that describe the severity of a burn, with the most familiar one describing the “degree” of the burn. This includes:

  • A “first-degree” burn that only injuries the superficial layers of the skin;

Think your cat’s love nips are harmless? Think again. According to Mercury News, cat bites can be more serious than you might have expected.

Feline bites can become more prone to infections from the bacteria found in cats know as Pasteurella multocida. This bacteria can mix with the bacteria found in human skin named Staphylococcus and streptococcus and sometimes can even become deadly. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital reported that close to 50 percent of all feline bites become infected

If you or someone you know is bitten by a cat you should not underestimate the dangers. Most people do not realize that you have a 1-in-2 chance of the bite becoming infected. These injuries can lead to bone infections, septic shock and surgery to clean out the wound.

A report released that dog bite claims are on the rise across the states by 5.5 percent since last year and California is ranked the highest according to the Insurance Information Institute. California had the most claims last year at 1,919.

The study reported that in 2013, insurance companies in California paid out over $64 million in claims involving dog bites. California law holds dog owners 100% liable when their dog bites someone.

What is the definition of a dog bite in California?

dog keloid

Keloid Scarring and Dog Bite Claims

Typically, after a dog bite, initial treatment will be directed to treating the patient for possible infection, providing tetanus shots to prevent illness, and stitching open wounds. If severe bleeding has occurred or the severity of the injury demands it, surgery may be performed immediately.

However, to fully see how the dog bite trauma will heal requires time. Therefore, those who pursue a personal injury claim must be patient with the process as their personal injury lawyer cannot value the case until it is clear what the scarring prognosis will be, what treatment will be required and how the person will deal with emotional trauma associated with permanent scarring.

Most dog bite attack victims suffer from lifelong psychological injury, including emotional trauma, Post Traumatic Stress and a fear of dogs. Even after a dog bite victim’s physical injuries have healed, emotional scarring can last a very long time. Each time a victim takes a walk through a park, walks down a sidewalk, strolls the beach or visits a dog owner’s home, the trauma from a dog bite can return.

Depression, shock and anxiety often plague a dog bite victim’s normal life effecting their well being, relationships, school and work. Children are particularly prone to developing post traumatic stress after a dog bite. Some of the symptoms of post traumatic stress include distressing memories of the event including flashbacks and dreams, avoidance, changes in mood such as feeling hopeless, and changes in their emotional reactions such as feeling irritable, angry or easily startled. Difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping also tend to be problematic for a victim of a dog bite. More information about post traumatic stress can be found at the Mayo Clinic.

Additionally, a fear of dogs poses a major challenge to a dog bite victim. Even if a victim was a dog lover before the attack, he or she no longer feels comfortable around dogs. Typically, after an attack, a dog bite victim will feel anxious and have difficulty enjoying dogs companionship as usual. More information about dog phobia can be found here.

As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention. Whether you were bitten at a park, in your neighborhood or while at someone’s home, it is critical that you know your rights.  Under California law, the owner of the dog is responsible for the damages to the victim who was bitten by a dog. Unfortunately, most dog bite victims are a family member, friend or a neighbor. Dog bite victims often worry about how they will be compensated because they don’t want their friend or family member to have to pay out of their pocket. There is no reason to worry. In California, if you were attacked or bitten by a dog, there are several possibilities of who will pay for your damages:

Homeowners Insurance:

In most cases, the dog’s owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover the damages resulting from a dog bite attack. If there is homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, there also might be “medical payments” coverage that will pay for your medical bills.

One of the joys of motorcycle riding is the feeling of having little to nothing between the rider and the open road. It is a freeing feeling, good for the human psyche. Unfortunately, the reality of there being nothing between the rider and the open road,  in a literal sense, can be the very thing that causes great physical pain and suffering during a motorcycle accident.

A study performed in Auckland region of New Zealand from February 1993 to February 1996 was done to estimate the risk of crash when conspicuity measures were put into place. This study included taking into consideration such variables such as the use of color protective clothing.

While this blog discusses the Auckland study, it is also understood that despite any measure a motorcyclist may take to prevent collision – including the use of color protective clothing – there are simply no guarantees that they are 100% effective. While the use of color protective clothing can decrease to some degree the risk of a collision, a motorcyclist still must battle other limiting visibility factors, including poor roadway illumination, a motorcycle size that may be difficult for motorists to see, or difficulty seeing the rider due to the contrast of the background environment.

One of the First issues a personal injury lawyer in California looks at in a dogbite case, is the amount of insurance available.

The responsibility for the dogbite may be very clear, but without adequate insurance there usually isn’t a good chance for recovery.

The primary source of insurance is usually the Homeowner’s Insurance of the owner of the dog. Usually, if someone owns a home, they will have Homeowner’s insurance.

Whenever there is a defect in the skin or a non-vital section of skin, such as from burns or other damage resulting in scars, it needs to be replaced with a partial or full thickness skin grafting. Skin generally covers the entire body and protects underlying tissues from damage and infection. It also provides thermoregulation via skin temperature changes and radiation of heat through the skin. Restoring a normal skin border is the purpose behind skin grafting.

Skin grafting was performed two millennia ago in India but wasn’t popular in western medicine until almost two hundred years ago. Grafting was found to speed healing and reduce fluid loss from major wounds and burns. Grafting makes wounds look better and reduces scar contraction. Wounds that extend to bone must be grafted because bone does not cover itself with tissue or skin.

Skin can be transplanted from one location to another on the same individual. This is called an autogenous graft or an autograft. If the dermis is used in its entirety, it is called a full thickness graft. It looks more like normal skin after this type of grafting when compared to split thickness grafting. In full thickness grafting, the doctor needs more optimal conditions for survival because of the greater amount of tissue that needs to be revascularized.