Anytime someone suffers a burn, it’s going to be extremely painful, of course. In some cases, that burn will require extensive treatment that is often excruciating. In severe cases, burn injuries can result in lasting effects including disfiguration, nerve damage, or amputation.
You could have been burned at work, as the result of an explosion at a construction site. Or, your burn might have occurred in a traffic accident. Whatever the reason for your injury, if it occurred due to someone else’s negligence you owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney with McEwen Law.
Our firm specializes in representing clients who have suffered burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence. And we’ve helped them obtain significant compensation for damages related to their injuries. We may be able to do the same for you. Give us a call at (800) 732-3070 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’ll listen to the details of your case, and let you know how we may be of assistance.
Here’s some information on the potential lasting effects of burn injuries – even a so-called “minor” one.
Types of Burns
A burn injury occurs when tissue is damaged due to excessive heat. The source of that heat can be electricity, fire, hot liquids, or something else. Vehicle accidents, household fires, gas explosions and faulty wiring are just a few examples of how burns can occur.
Burns are classified in “degrees.” The higher the degree of burn, the worse the damage to the body. Here’s a quick look at the different categories.
- First-degree burns. Even though these are regarded as relatively minor, they can still be extremely painful. The good news, however, is that a first-degree burn will usually not require a lot of medical treatment, since it will typically heal in about a week.
- Second-degree burns. This is a much more significant burn, one that damages not only the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), but also the dermis (the layer below the epidermis). Some victims will need a skin graft in order to help with healing, and will likely experience scarring as well.
- Third-degree burns. A third-degree burn will typically destroy affected areas of the epidermis and dermis, and also damage other tissues deeper in the skin. A skin graft will always be needed. These types of burn injuries can often damage nerve endings that will have lasting effects on the victim’s life.
As horrible as a third-degree burn can be, burn injuries can get even worse. Fourth-degree burns get deep enough to affect fat underneath the skin, while fifth-degree burns damage muscles. Sixth-degree burns get far enough to damage bone.
Causes of Minor and Major Burns
Burns can occur in a virtually unlimited number of ways. Products that are defective due to negligent manufacturing, for example, can catch fire. Smartphones and vape pens are two examples of products that contain a lithium-ion battery. This battery can overheat so much that it explodes.
Structural fires are also common. These can occur due to wiring that isn’t up to code, or a lack of general maintenance. Vehicle accidents can lead to devastating explosions, due to liquids such as oil, gas and other fluids that become superheated. Electrical burns occur due to electrocution. This could also be due to faulty wiring, as well as an overloaded electrical outlet or making contact with a downed power line. Potent household items, such as cleaning products, can lead to extremely dangerous chemical burns.
How do Burns Affect Quality of Life?
When someone suffers a severe burn, that’s bad enough on its own. But this kind of injury can often result in a secondary medical condition, and impact a victim’s life in a profound fashion. Serious burns can increase the risk for severe infections that can quickly turn deadly if not immediately addressed. Burn victims may also be at a higher risk for developing disorders that affect the nervous system.
A burn injury can also make it impossible to work, since it can have a severe lasting effect on the muscles. Victims will also suffer from chronic pain in many instances, and could also experience emotional trauma due to disfigurement.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against the party (or parties) responsible for the accident that resulted in your burn injury, the first thing you’ll need to do will be to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Once your attorney accepts the case, they will work to help you recover the financial losses you’ve incurred. These losses are known as “damages” in legal terms.
There are two main types of damages – economic and non-economic. Economic damages include lost wages, hospital bills, prescriptions, and other medical expenses, and any other types of financial losses you’ve experienced.
Non-economic damages aren’t as tangible, and are harder to prove as a result. These include emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering and many others.
Factors that Determine Your Settlement Amount
Your legal representative will determine how much to demand from the insurance company that covers those whose negligence led to your injury. They will use evidence gathered through their investigation to show how much money you are entitled to receive in hopes of obtaining a fair settlement from the insurer.
So, how will that amount be determined? Negligence will play a key role. If, for instance, you were hurt in a workplace injury caused by a negligent employer that failed to follow proper safety protocols, you will likely receive more than if the employer had complied with safety regulations.
The severity of the injury will also be a major factor. If your burn injuries were third degree, you’ll have more extensive medical treatment and lasting effeccts than if you had a first-degree burn. You’ll also miss much more time from work. Since your damages will be more, your attorney will demand more money from the insurer.
Call McEwen Law Firm Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
A McEwen Law Firm representative is standing by to tell you more about how we may be able to help. You can schedule a free consultation by using our online contact form, or by giving us a call at (800) 732-3070. We’ll be ready to fight for your rights, and to seek the justice you deserve.