If you’ve ever been burned, you know how horribly painful they can be. You also know that depending on how severe the injury, it can take months or longer to heal.
Which is why if you’ve suffered a burn injury due to an accident, then you need to hire a burn injury attorney because burns aren’t just wounds of the flesh. The pain and suffering you feel every day even after the burns heal can affect you in other ways as well.
Here’s what you need to know to help you take care of yourself or a loved one after suffering a burn injury.
A Burn Injury Attorney is Your Greatest Advocate
It’s important to take action immediately after receiving a serious burn. The other party is busy protecting themselves and certainly are not going to help you out, even if they are acting as if they are.
Their primary role is to protect themselves from all liability and to pay the least amount of money possible, if at all. Insurance adjusters and HR departments are trained to drag out the case until the statute of limitations runs out.
In Louisiana, a personal injury victim has one year from the date of the accident to file a claim. If a claim isn’t made in that amount of time, it means the burn victims and their families are no longer entitled to any compensation, no matter how serious or life-threatening the injury was and even if you hired a burn injury attorney after that time, they won’t be able to help you.
Remembering to contact a burn injury attorney can be hard because often, the injured parties don’t think about anything but their pain and suffering. They are more focused on healing. but their future in many cases has been permanently altered and monetary compensation will be necessary.
However, in many cases, the injured parties future has been permanently altered and monetary compensation will be necessary. Medical expenses, ongoing medical care, lost wages, and future lost income are just a few of the issues that need to be factored into the final compensation.
Not only that, but in the case where a family loses a loved one due to a severe burn, medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, and even future revenue and companionship should also be factored in.
After you or a family member is burned in an accident, it’s often a stressful and confusing time. Most people don’t understand the laws or how to navigate them.
However, a burn injury attorney specializing in personal injury cases will know exactly what steps to take and will vigilantly take steps to ensure all your needs are met.
Work Places Where Burns are Most Likely to Occur
There are some jobs where being burned is a much higher possibility. According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common work-related burns are thermal, chemical, electrical, contact, and scalding.
About 90% of those were received burns while on the job are men and the most common contributor to their being burned were scalding and chemicals.
Work-related burns are also twice as likely to occur than non-work-related burns. Burn victims also spent an average of 5.54 days in the hospital and most of those burns were chemical burns. In fact, some of our past clients have spent weeks in a burn unit after a burn.
Industries such as manufacturing and paper mills have a higher percentage of employees being burned due to explosions and flash fires. Emergency personnel, cable, construction, and electrical workers, and medical workers and scientists are at a much higher risk of being burned on the job and may require a burn injury attorney.
There is also a high incidence of burns at fast food restaurants and pizzerias. However, burns received at these places of business tend to be smaller in size and depth.
Preventing Burns in the Home
Every 60 seconds, someone in the US is burned. Many of these burns happen at home but are often preventable.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent a burn in the home:
- Never leave the stove or oven unattended
- Set your thermostat for the hot water below 120 degrees
- Change your smoke alarm batteries every six months
- Have a professional electrician check the wiring every 10 years
These are just a few easy steps to help keep you and your family safe in your own home. It’s important to each homeowner, especially those with small children in their homes, to learn how to prevent burns of all types in the home.
The Various Types of Burns
There are two types of burns that a burn injury attorney can handle. External burn injuries and internal burn injuries.
External burns occur when the skin has been exposed to a source of heat such as chemicals, radiation, or electricity. Internal burns are caused by ingesting chemicals, inhaling superheated liquids or gases, or by being electrically shocked.
There are six different degrees of burns. Each degree has a different type of treatment that’s needed.
First Degree Burns
First degree burns sound like they would be the most painful and severe, but thankfully, they are not. A sunburn is considered a first-degree burn and in most cases, these kinds of burns do not require medical attention.
However, first-degree burns can also occur from scalding and/or electricity and you should see a doctor if it seems severe or if the burn area includes the face, groin, hands, or feet.
Symptoms for first-degree burns include red skin, along with mild pain and swelling. Peeling skin usually begins after a day or two.
Second Degree Burns
Second-degree burns, in addition to the pain and redness, are accompanied by blistering and swelling. It can take up to three weeks for the blisters and the swelling to disappear.
While it’s not always necessary to seek out a medical professional for second-degree burns, many ointments to help with pain and swelling need a prescription. However, there are also holistic alternatives you can try.
Third Degree Burns
Third-degree burns are much more severe and always require immediate medical attention. These burns are characterized by a stiff, white, or leathery skin. That’s because the top two layers of skin have been burned through.
It’s important to note that the victim may not even feel pain because the nerve endings may have been destroyed. The victim may also be in shock.
These burns can take months to heal and may leave permanent scars. A burn injury attorney should be called in cases where an accident left third-degree burns.
Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Degree Burns
Like third-degree burns, layers of the skin have been burned away. However, these burns are more severe than even third-degree burns because of charring and loss of function.
Charring happens when the skin is exposed to high heat. It burns the hydrogen and oxygen from the skin, leaving a carbon-based black substance. When charring happens, scaring is common and will most likely require grafting.
When fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns occur, the skin’s protective capabilities are destroyed and the underlying muscle has been damaged. Since the body doesn’t regrow muscle or bone in the same way it grows skin, it’s a longer lasting, more debilitating injury. In some cases, loss of function can lead to amputation or are fatal to the victim.
Since the body doesn’t regrow muscle or bone in the same way it grows skin, it’s a longer lasting, more debilitating injury. In some cases, loss of function can lead to amputation or are fatal to the victim.
What Happens After a Serious Burn
If you receive a burn, even a minor, first-degree burn, Do NOT put butter or oil on a burn. These will only serve to continue the burning process and make matters worse.
If the burn is serious, contact your physician or call 911 immediately for help. In the case of serious burns, at the hospital, the medical team will stabilize the patient and keep them hydrated. Dehydration is common because of a loss of fluids that happens when being burned and directly afterward.
The medical team will also most likely place the burn victim on antibiotics to prevent infection. Most often, the antibiotics are delivered intravenously.
Pain medication is also provided. While the burn victim may not feel any pain, the process to treat the burn is often painful. Once the patient is stabilized, they will remove the dead and damaged skin from the injury.
However, in the case of serious burns, the injured parties problems are just beginning. Often, multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and long-term stays in the hospital are required.
After they are released from the hospital, ongoing rehabilitation is often the next step in recovery. This is especially true for victims who have incurred scarring to their head or face or experienced damage to their genitals or torso. Limb deformities will also require a lot of recuperation time.
In some cases, if the burns are severe enough, a fatality occurs. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 180,000 burns each year results in a fatality. Most occur in the home or workplace.
As soon as the burn victim has begun to receive treatment, it’s a smart idea to contact a burn injury attorney is a smart idea. The sooner you contact them, the more help and support the victim and their families can begin to receive.
The Types of Damages Awarded from a Burn Injury Settlement
Depending on how the victim received the burn will determine what a burn injury attorney can do for the victim and their family. Often, a serious burn will leave a victim in the hospital for an extended time and then at home to recuperate.
A loss of wages then typically occurs. But it’s not just a loss of wages or even the physical pain from a serious burn that the victims and their families suffer through.
The emotional toll a severe burn can take is often immeasurable. It can take years for someone to fully recuperate from the emotional trauma a burn has caused, especially if the burn was severe enough to cause death.
The emotional toll is even higher for burn victims where the scarring is easily noticeable. The shame of being permanently disfigured can cause permanent emotional scarring just as deep and painful as the physical scarring has.
Often, after a serious burn injury, it’s difficult to ascertain who is at fault. If you were in a car accident, the burns could be due to a product default in the car. Or it could be operator error or a combination of the two.
If the burn occurred at work, safety protocols could have been overlooked or just that there were no safety protocols, to begin with. It could also be a product defect or the fault of the victim or a co-worker.
If the burn happened at home, property owners such as managers, other tenants, or anyone in charge of the property might be at fault. Or, in other cases, product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers might be responsible. Having a burn injury attorney on your side can help you ascertain whose fault the accident was.
When to Hire a Burn Injury Attorney
Being burned is a highly traumatic event. In most cases, the injured and their families are reeling from the after-effects of the burn and often aren’t sure what action to take.
Sometimes, they aren’t even aware they can take action. That’s when it’s smart to consult with a burn injury attorney.
We are here first to listen to you and your family. This is a free case review we offer to all of our clients.
Secondly, our next priority to is to aggressively pursue the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. We know and understand the law and we’re here to ensure you spend your time healing physically and emotionally.
Lastly, many people fear that hiring a burn injury attorney will be too expensive for them. This is very far from the truth. Instead, we do not charge unless we secure a recovery for you.
You won’t owe our law firm anything unless the firm wins or settles your case, but we take it one step further. We know hiring a lawyer is stressful. We try to make it stress-free.
Hire us for your accident, and if you are not 100% satisfied, terminate us within 30 days, and you won’t owe us anything at all. Nothing. No costs. No fees. No kidding.
So don’t wait until it’s too late to contact a burn injury attorney. If you request a callback, we’ll get back to you within 12 hours to set up your initial consultation. Otherwise, connect with us for a live chat, or get your free case review now.
If you’ve been burned, Stephen Babcock of Babcock Injury Lawyers is standing by to help you.
Your case — and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free, and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.