Burn Injury Lawyers
Burn injuries can be serious, debilitating, and extremely painful wounds that can in some cases dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life. In addition to the physical damage caused by burns, burn victims often carry emotional scars from the trauma and the ongoing suffering caused by disability. If someone else is responsible for causing a burn injury due to their negligence or carelessness, even if you think you are partially at fault, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your past and future losses. The attorneys at Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti, LLP have decades of experience in helping burn victims obtain compensation, and we’re ready to put our excellence in this area to work for you.
WHAT IS A BURN INJURY?
A burn is any damage to the body’s tissues caused by heat, sunlight, electricity, chemicals, or radiation. All burn injuries involve some tissue death. Burns are categorized by how deep their effect is and the amount of the body they cover. A burn that covers a large area of the body likely includes burn injuries of different depths.
TYPES OF BURN INJURIES
According to the American Burn Association, the most common cause of burns is a thermal burn, meaning a burn caused by open flames, scalding from a hot liquid, contact with a hot object, or steam, for example. But there are many other burn injury causes.
A chemical burn is caused when by skin or eye contact with a strong acid, alkali, detergent, or solvent. A chemical burn can often happen in poorly regulated workplaces where such materials are handled.
A radiation burn can occur from prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, or to other sources of radiation such as X-rays or those used in cancer treatment. A vulnerable person, such as an elderly or disabled person or a child, can suffer severe radiation burns if they are left in direct sunlight for too long. Both cancer patients and those administering radiation treatment can be subject to radiation burns.
Electrical burns are caused by contact with electrical current, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).
You can also be harmed by a cold burn, also known as frostbite, from being exposed to cold temperatures or coming into prolonged contact with an extremely cold surface. Cold burns can cause just as much damage as heat or chemical-related burns.
A friction burn occurs when a hard object rubs off some of your skin. This type of injury is both an abrasion (or scrape) and a thermal burn. Friction burns are common in motorcycle and bicycle accidents, but can occur in other settings such as a carpet burn.
BURN INJURIES BY SEVERITY
- First-degree burns are burns to the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. A mild sunburn is a common example of this type of burn, and they often heal on their own within a week.
- Second-degree burns cause damage to not only the outer layer of skin, but the layer beneath it (the dermis), often causing blistering, pain, and swelling. These types of burns may require a skin graft and may leave a scar.
- Third-degree burns damage or destroy both layers of skin, including hair follicles and sweat glands, and also damage underlying tissues. Third-degree burns always require skin grafts, and burns of this severity and higher often involve infection.
- Fourth-degree burns damage or destroy fatty tissue below the skin. This may affect tendons and nerves, causing long-term consequences.
- Fifth-degree burns damage or destroy muscle tissue, often exposing bone, and can potentially lead to permanent internal damage. Amputation may be necessary to contain an infection resulting from such a burn.
- Sixth-degree burns cause damage to the bones and often result from prolonged exposure to high heat. Sixth-degree burns may also result in limb amputation and can be fatal.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A BURN INJURY?
The CDC estimates that every year 1.1 million people in the U.S. will sustain a burn injury that requires medical attention. Of that number, approximately 50,000 will require hospitalization and approximately 4,500 will die. What’s more, up to 10,000 Americans will die as a result of burn-related infections. Burn injuries can result from any of the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Defective products
- Unsafe premises
- Construction accidents
- Unsafe workplaces
- Medical Negligence, and
- Long-term care negligence.
WHO CAN BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR A BURN INJURY?
Anyone who in some way contributed to an accident that results in a burn injury may be liable. If they are found to have acted carelessly or negligently, any of the following can be held responsible for the ensuing damages:
- Employees of negligent parties
- Transit companies
- Government agencies
- Building or property owners
- General contractors on a construction site, and
- Companies that made or sold a defective product.
WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER FOR A BURN INJURY?
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be entitled to recover monetary damages to compensate you for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Temporary and/or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of consortium
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury and you believe someone else may be at fault, even in part, you must act quickly to preserve your rights.
Call the Burn Injury Attorneys at Harding Mazzotti
Our team of burn injury lawyers is devoted to protecting your rights and helping you receive the money you deserve. Let our professionals do all the heavy work. Our experienced lawyers will take charge of your case so you can relax and be with your loved ones.