Burn injuries are traumatic events and, in many cases, severe enough to require long-term care and treatment. In the unfortunate event that you are dealing with burn injuries, your focus should be on healing. This is why we at TorkLaw are ready to deal with all the legalities and get you the compensation you deserve.
Although in many cases, it can be obvious who is at fault, the defendant or their insurance company might not be willing to cooperate and issue the compensation you are entitled to so you can cover all the economic and non-economic damages. In addition, insurance companies might try to settle for less, disregarding the full extend of your pain and suffering or any other long-term medical bills you might incur in the future.
What Can Cause a Burn Injury
The American Burn Association Guide reports that there are approximately 3400 deaths because of burn injuries in the United States annually. The most significant cause of death by a burn injury is residential fires, followed by vehicle crash fires. The rest are attributed to other reasons such as smoke inhalation, electricity, scalding, etc. The American Burn Association reports that over 40000 cases annually are admitted to emergency rooms for burn injuries.
Mayo Clinic lists the following causes for burn injuries:
- Hot liquids and steam
- Hot objects (metal, glass, other)
- Electrical malfunction
- Exposure to UV rays
There are three different categories to burn injuries:
- 1st-degree burns – minor burns affecting only the first layer of the skin. It causes redness and intense pain.
- 2nd-degree burns – medium burns, affecting the first and the second layer of the skin. Second-degree burns can cause swelling, redness, white, or splotchy skill. They are usually accompanied by blistering and severe pain. In some cases, second-degree burns lead to scarring.
- 3rd-degree burns – severe burns that can penetrate all skin layers and reach the fat layer under the skin. Third-degree burns lead to black leathery-looking skin, and in extreme cases, they can destroy nerves, reach the bones and lead to numbness.
What Are Some Complications from a Burn Injury
Burn injuries are not only excruciating, but they can also be life-altering, leaving the victim permanently disable and disfigured. If you are suffering from severe burn injuries, contact your legal team as soon as possible. You might be entitled to compensation that can pay for your recovery and rehabilitation.
Some of the most common complications from burn injuries include:
- Infection, in some cases leading to bloodstream infections, also known as sepsis
- Hypovolemia, which means the loss of fluids, including blood
- Hypothermia, which is a dangerously low body temperature
- Scar tissue
- Joint problems
- Bone problems
- Muscle and tendon problems
Beyond this, there can be further complications such as acute gastrointestinal ulcers, post-burn seizures (common in children), fibrous masses (hypertrophic scars and keloids), and respiratory complications.
Respiratory complications are one of the primary complications linked to many fatalities. Such complications include:
- Inhalation injuries (dry heat, carbon monoxide poisoning, and smoke inhalation)
- Aspiration of fluids (when the patient is unconscious)
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Pulmonary edema
- Obstruction of pulmonary arteries
- Post injury respiratory failure
Liability for Burn Injuries
Establishing liability when you suffer from a burn injury is critical in securing compensation. Burn injuries are harrowing, and emotional and psychological issues usually accompany them. In order to be in a position to seek compensation, you first need to:
- Identify the main reason the injury happened and what could have been done to prevent the accident from happening.
- Determine if the liable party was acting maliciously or neglectfully. Understanding the movies behind the injury will help establish the level of compensation you can claim.
- Measure the severity of the burn injury and evaluate whether it will have long-term effects (multiple surgeries, disability, disfigurement, etc.)
Since there are multiple ways a person can suffer from a burn injury, there are also numerous potential liable parties.
Some liable parties include:
- Product manufacturer (in case of a product malfunction)
- Motorists (in case of an accident fire)
- Landlords (in case of a rental property that is not correctly equipt)
- Parts manufacturers (in case of a specific part malfunctioning)
- Business owners (in case of the injury happening on their premises)
Determining liability for a burn injury can be tricky. In many instances, more than one party is liable. Some cases will be tried by a jury, while in other cases, it can be resolved by motion practice. The responsible party and their insurance will fight to minimize the responsibility that falls on the defendant. It can be an overly emotional situation for the victim, and having the right legal team supporting you is critical in getting the compensation you deserve.
What Can I Get Compensated for in Case of a Burn Injury
Burn injuries victims can get compensated for personal injury, pain, and suffering from physical and mental damages.
The damages are broken down into two categories:
- Economic damages – these damages include loss of income, any out-pocket expenses, loss of vehicle, current of future medical expenses, medication, rehabilitation, at-home care, etc.
- Non-economic damages – these damages include pain and suffering, loss of relationships, mental anguish, etc.
General Legal Information
The burned victim has the burden to prove that the defendant (the alleged liable party) is legally responsible for the injury. The burned victim needs to show that the alleged liable party:
- Was responsible for the product or equipment that caused the injury
- Neglected their responsibilities, which led to the injury
- Neglected to carry out proper inspections
- Failed to adequately train themselves or employees, which led to the injury
- Caused harm to the victim
In many cases, the victim and the liable party disagree on who is at fault and how much is the fair compensation. TorkLaw is here to help you seek maximum compensation for your damages, pain, and suffering. Recovering from a burn injury is difficult enough. Let us help you by putting together a strong case and getting you the right compensation.