Serious burn injuries are painful and can result in deep scarring and disfigurement that may or may not be treatable with surgeries and extensive medical care. Victims often suffer additionally from emotional distress associated with the trauma of being burned.
If you or someone you know has experienced severe burn injuries because of someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be entitled to meaningful compensation. An experienced burn injury lawyer can evaluate the strengths of your case, determine how much the negligent party should pay in damages, and help determine the best legal path forward.
How Common Are Serious Burn Injuries?
Unless you work in a job that deals with fire or flammable material, burn injuries are not something you probably think about a lot, but they certainly happen.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 11 million burn injuries of all types occur annually worldwide, 180,000 of which are fatal;
- Between 2009 and 2014, 0.4% of emergency department visits in the U.S. were for burn-related injuries totaling 3,047,701;
- Every day, 435 children in the U.S., ages 0 to 19, are treated in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries, and each day, two children die as a result of being burned;
- Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injuries, making up about 86% of the patients requiring burn center admission.
Treating serious burns can be painful, time-consuming, and expensive. If someone else was responsible for your burn injuries, they should also be responsible for covering the cost of the damage. An experienced burn injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you determine the true value of your claim so you do not settle for less than you deserve.
What Are the Different Degrees of Burn Injuries?
Every burn is painful, but some can also cause serious long-term or permanent damage to the body. Burns are categorized by degrees of severity. If you sustain any severe burns, you should always seek medical attention.
Getting a sunburn or coming into minimal contact with a heated dish can cause a first-degree burn. Symptoms can include discomfort, skin redness, inflammation, pain, and even blisters. First-degree burns do not require medical attention but may heal best with over-the-counter ointments.
As a result of a second-degree burn, the skin may have a shiny appearance, turn red, and blister. Pain can be intense. Second-degree burns are often the result of contact with very hot water, chemicals, and heated surfaces like stoves or ovens.
Injuries from third-degree burns may impact both the inner and outer layers of the skin. These burns may also damage muscles, bones, tendons, and nerve endings. The skin may appear white or yellow. These types of burns require medical attention to treat and especially to reduce the risk of infection and further injury.
Life-threatening burns are considered fourth-degree burns. Like third-degree burns, they generally encompass all layers of the skin and often impact organs. These burns are generally caused by prolonged exposure to flame, chemicals, electricity, scalding liquids, or steam.
Common Burn Injury Incidents That Result in a Personal Injury Claim
Severe burns can require multiple surgeries and ongoing care. They may also result in limited mobility and other disabilities. If your injury was caused, in whole or in part, by someone else’s negligent action or inaction, it is important that you understand your legal rights to seek damages. Let’s look at some examples of burn injuries that would qualify as a personal injury claim.
Workplace Burn Accidents
Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment, even those that require the use of chemicals, flammable or explosive materials, or fire. Most businesses that have a higher risk of burn dangers are required to meet certain industry standards.
Defective or poorly maintained machinery can also cause burn injuries. Regardless of whether burns are an inherent danger, if burn injuries occur at work and could have been prevented with reasonable care by the company, you may have a personal injury claim.
House and Apartment Fires
Faulty wiring, broken smoke detectors, defective kitchen appliances, and structures that are not up to code can result in dwelling fires. If a contractor did subpar work or the landlord knew that hazards existed, a third party may likely be liable for your injuries. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were approximately 353,500 residential building fires in 2021.
Defective Product Burn Accidents
Under no circumstance should a product accidentally cause severe burns to a consumer if used as intended. Designers, manufacturers, and distributors are obligated to ensure that the products they create and sell are reasonably safe. If the product is flammable, it should be listed on the warning label to avoid liability. Some examples of defective products may include:
- Skin products containing harmful chemicals,
- Flammable clothing,
- Space heaters,
- Furniture and mattresses,
- Hair dryers,
- Heating pads or blankets,
- Flammable toys, and
- Auto parts such as brakes, tires, fuel systems, and accelerators.
Anything that suddenly catches fire and should not have is probably defective. Your Los Angeles burn injury lawyers can help you determine who is responsible for the defect.
Burn Injuries from Car and Truck Fires
Motor vehicles can catch on fire due to mechanical failures or during certain types of collisions. Flammable fluids and items in and around the vehicle can act as an accelerant and cause devastating injuries to those inside the vehicle. Despite cinematic portrayal, vehicles rarely explode, though it is not unheard of.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered serious burn injuries, you have suffered enough and should not be responsible for the financial consequences of someone else’s actions. You need a burn injury lawyer who understands the California legal system and is not afraid to aggressively pursue maximum compensation.
The experienced team at the Weinberg Law Offices can help you determine what your case is worth, also taking into account your physical, mental, and emotional suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation. You have nothing to lose. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Disclaimer: This content should not be construed as legal advice.