Burns

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Burns
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Have You Suffered Burn Injuries?

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Burns, even minor first degree burns, can be very painful. The burn causes damage to a person’s skin, tissues, and nerves. Of the over two million people who are burned each year in America, 300,000 are serious injuries and 6,000 burns result in fatalities, according to the Miami Burn Center.

First degree burns are the most minor and can include sunburns. Second degree burns damage several skin lawyers and may require skin grafts. Third-degree burns are the most serious and usually destroy nerves, which may require surgery, grafts, or transplants.

What are the Statistics on Burn Injuries?

The most common types of burns are thermal burns, resulting from house fires, car accidents, heaters, and electrical failures; electrical burns, caused by contact with an electrical current; and chemical burns, often caused by acids.

Let’s go over some important statistics from the American Burn Association:

  • In 2016 there were 40,000 hospitalizations related to burn injuries, including 30,000 at burn centers.
  • The most common place for burns to occur is within the home, followed by burns occurring at work or on the road.
  • The majority of burns occur as a result of fire, closely followed by scalding, which occurs when an extremely hot liquid causes burn damage when it makes contact with the skin. Electrical and chemical burns are next in line but cause significantly fewer burn injuries every year.
  • About twice as many men as women suffer burn injuries
  • In 2015, the survival rate for burn injuries was determined to be 96.8%

Who is Responsible for Burn Injuries?

The litigation process for burn injuries can be complex. With so many different kinds of burns varying by location and causation, there may be different parties responsible depending on what kind of burn injury you sustained. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury, there may even be several parties involved in your particular case. These may include:

  • The injured party. Accidents are most often caused by people themselves, and, in the case of thermal burns, usually occur while cooking or interacting with an open flame. Whether due to unintentional carelessness or not, if you are responsible for the fire that burned you, you may be the only party liable for damages.
  • Electrical companies. If your burns were determined to be the result of faulty or unprotected wiring (electrical burns), or thermal burns as the result of a fire which started due to faulty wiring or another electrical issue, the electrical company may be liable for damages.
  • Gas companies. If the cause of the fire in which you suffered burn injuries is determined to be due to a gas leak or error, the gas company may be liable for damages.
  • Chemical companies. If your burn injury occurred due to a chemical that burned your skin, the chemical company may be liable for damages.
  • Product manufacturers. If you received any kind of burn from a defective product, the product manufacturer can be held liable for damages incurred.
  • Landlords. When renting a house, apartment, or other structure and a dangerous situation occurs due to some kind of negligence on the landlord’s part, possibly including a lack of maintenance or failure to abide by current fire codes, the landlord may be held liable for damages.
  • Businesses. In the case of businesses, even if the business is not directly at fault for the fire or circumstances surrounding your burn, they will likely still be held liable for damages to employees/employee property/public property. This is especially true if the business was found not adequately prepared to prevent and fight the fire, or lacked sufficient fire or chemical safety protocols.
  • Arsonists. In very rare instances when a fire is intentionally caused by another person with criminal intent, that person may be charged with arson and face a civil lawsuit to provide the injured party with compensation for damages.

Do You Have a Claim for Burn Injuries?

Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s burn injuries, your lawyer may identify possible claims for:

  • Medical expenses. Injuries resulting from a fire or exposure to an unsafe material may include: thermal burns; chemical burns; electrical burns; friction burns; radiation burns; first, second, and third degree burns; smoke inhalation; and, in the worst-case scenario, death.
  • Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a burn injury victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
  • Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
  • Vocational rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
  • Wrongful death.
  • Funeral expenses.

If you or a loved one sustained a burn injury or were killed by a burn, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll these kinds of situations can take on a person’s life. An experienced attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.

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