Burn injuries range from mild to catastrophic and happen in a variety of accidents. Nonetheless, most people who suffer a serious burn injury deal with difficult physical and psychological injuries. They can lose a limb or part of a limb. They might also suffer from disfiguring scars which impair their ability to socialize in public or maintain intimacy with a partner. It is no exaggeration that some burn injuries cause repercussions for the rest of a victim’s life.
If you were injured in a fire or other accident, call Correll Law Firm. Our Winchester personal injury lawyer can meet with you to go over your case and analyze whether you can sue.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns are caused by fire, steam, liquids, electricity, and chemicals. Our clients have suffered burns in many different accidents, including:
- Car accidents. A motorist could suffer a burn if their car catches on fire or if battery acid splashes on their skin. The risk of fires increases with electric vehicles, which are increasingly popular.
- Motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists can suffer serious burns from the exhaust on their bike or a friction burn when their skin rubs along the asphalt.
- Defective products. Many products catch on fire due to some defect. Clothing, furniture, and appliances can all catch on fire, especially when the manufacturer doesn’t follow government regulations. Other hazardous products include toaster ovens and batteries.
- Premises liability accidents. Poor wiring and malfunctioning appliances can lead to fires and explosions, injuring people.
- Workplace accidents. Countless people are burned at work due to a sudden fire or electrical current. Construction workers are at risk because of working around live wires.
Burn Injury Severity
Some burns require only minimal treatment, whereas others are life threatening. Doctors classify burns according to degree:
- First degree: This is a superficial burn which damages the outermost layer of skin. The skin usually heals on its own, and you can manage pain with over-the-counter meds.
- Second degree: This is a more serious injury which damages multiple layers of skin. You can suffer blistering and increased pain.
- Third degree: A third degree burn damages all lawyers of skin and can even damage underlying tissue. Permanent disfigurement is much more likely with a third-degree burn.
- Fourth degree: This burn damages tissue, muscle, nerves, and even bones. It is a severe injury which can lead to amputation of the affected limb.
We recommend that anyone who suffers a burn injury go to the hospital to have it looked at. One complication risk is infection. After a burn, your immune system could become suppressed, allowing infection to take hold. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics so that you prevent serious infection.
Other complications are psychological in nature. Many burn injury victims struggle with fear, restlessness, depression, and anxiety. Disfiguring scars can lead to intense fear of being seen in public. Some burn victims and even their families benefit from counseling with a mental health professional.
A burn around a joint can also limit mobility. Many people need multiple surgeries to loosen these contractures. Physical therapy might also be necessary, so victims have ongoing medical expenses.
Take These Steps After a Burn
Fires and accidents leave many people momentarily paralyzed. They are in too much shock to do anything, but we recommend the following steps:
- Get away from the flame or chemicals. The best way to reduce the severity of a burn is to eliminate exposure to fire or chemicals. If your clothes are on fire, you should stop, drop, and roll.
- Don’t remove clothing that has melted onto your skin. You’ll only end up peeling skin off. Instead, medical personnel can remove the clothing.
- Assess your burn. You should go to the hospital if the burn is larger than three inches, or if it covers a joint, like your knee or knuckles. Also go to the hospital if the burn is very deep and you see exposed tissue. It’s better to err on the side of caution and have a medical professional look at anything other than the most superficial burn.
- Avoid putting butter or oil on the burn. Those substances simply trap heat and lead to greater injuries.
- Go to the hospital. Your medical team can clean the wound and cover it to reduce infection. They might also need to close the wound or amputate a limb.
- Watch the burn in the following days and weeks. A doctor might clean the burn and dress it. If you notice redness or pus leakage, then an infection could have set in.
Are You Entitled to Compensation?
Yes. In Virginia, you can receive compensation if someone else is responsible for the accident that resulted in your burn. If you light a match and burn yourself, then you are to blame. But we might sue:
- A negligent motorist who hit you and caused a car or motorcycle accident.
- A manufacturer who sells a product with a design or other defect.
- A property owner who fails to fix hazards on their property that lead to a fire or explosion.
- Correll Law Firm seeks compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses. Many burn victims spend time in the Intensive Care Unit or Burn Unit. Others require skin grafts or surgery. You can also request compensation for pain medication, physical therapy, and ongoing treatment.
- Job loss or reduced income. Serious burn injuries can prevent someone from returning to their job. If you lose a limb, then you might need to find a new job, which could pay less, or you could be permanently disabled. Many burn victims have past and future income loss, which the defendant should pay for.
- Pain and suffering. Burn victims are often in acute distress, dealing with mental anguish and pain.
Call Our Winchester Personal Injury Lawyer Today
After suffering a serious burn injury, your world might be reeling. But there is hope. Correll Law Firm can investigate an accident to uncover useful evidence and negotiate a settlement for you to cover medical care and other losses. Please contact us today, 540-535-2005.