Burn injuries are dangerous, painful, and often require complex long-term medical care. Many house fires result in burn injuries, with some victims even losing their lives.
Our law firm has even represented burn victims who’ve been harmed by the steam and scalding hot contents from pressure cooker and instant pot explosions.
If someone else’s negligence has caused your burn injury, you deserve to be compensated for the harm you’ve suffered. But many burn injuries go unreported, the victims suffering in silence. A legal action can help you get the medical care you need to recover.
Civil law works to “make you whole” if you’ve been injured on someone else’s account. A lawsuit often results in damages to help offset what your injury has cost you. Damages can help you cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
At Harlan Law, we can help you get proper compensation under the law. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we recover damages for you. Call our legal team now at (619) 870-0802 for your free consultation.
Types and Causes of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified into separate degrees based on their severity. The deeper and more serious your burns, the more intense medical treatment you will need to recover.
- First-degree burns – involve damage to the outer layer of skin (epidermis), resulting in painful inflammation and redness.
- Superficial second-degree burns – happen when a burn damages the upper dermis, the layer of skin just under the epidermis.
- Deep second-degree burns – affect the deeper dermis and can lead to scarring.
- Third-degree burns – are the most severe, destroying the epidermal and dermal layers of skin to damage subcutaneous tissue below (the layer between your skin and muscles). Victims often suffer from fluid loss and face a serious medical emergency. Because of the amount of nerve damage, third-degree burns can actually be less painful even though they pose much more of a danger to your health.
Aside from severity, burn injuries can also have varying outcomes based on their cause.
- Flame burns – Open flames pose a danger to people and buildings, sometimes causing untold damage in the span of a few minutes. Any direct contact with an open flame in a kitchen accident or building fire can cause significant injuries.
- Flash burns – Short but intense bursts of heat can cause flash burns on any exposed areas of skin, most often the face and hands. Flash burns can happen when materials combust on construction worksites or improperly maintained buildings.
- Contact burns – You can get seriously injured when your skin comes in contact with hot objects like kitchen appliances, pipes, or other materials.
- Scalding burns – Hot liquids can cause serious scalding injury. The longer you’re exposed, the worse your injury can get. Pressure cooker explosions can cause scalding.
- Steam burns – Steam can maintain high temperatures of heat. When released, steam can cause intense and violent injury. Our law firm sees a lot of steam-related injuries from instant pots and pressure cookers that open unexpectedly.
- Electrical burns – Although electrical burns may not always look serious on the outside, they can penetrate deep under the skin to cause significant damage.
- Chemical burns – Chemical burns can be caused by industrial solvents or household goods like bleach. Because of the additional chemical component, their effects and treatment depend on the type of chemical exposure.
- Radiation burns – Radiation burns come with serious side effects. You may experience burns from radiation exposure on a worksite or from radiation treatment therapy at a hospital, in which case you may have a medical malpractice claim as well.
Whatever type of burn you have, we can help you understand your legal options.
Types of Burn Injury Lawsuits
Every case is different and burn injuries can be complex. You’ll have to prove the extent of your injuries and show evidence to establish who is at fault.
- Personal injury lawsuit based on negligence – In most cases, you can expect a certain standard of care from the people around you. If someone else’s wrongdoing causes your injury, you could have a claim against them for negligence.
- Premises liability lawsuit – If you were burned on someone else’s property, you could have a claim against them for the conditions that led to your injury.
- Product liability lawsuit – If a product is unsafe either because of a manufacturing or design defect, it can lead to serious burn injuries. We see this a lot with pressure cooker explosions. You should be able to trust the products you use not to hurt you.
- Workplace accident lawsuit – Worksites have rules to protect employees. When employers fail to take the necessary precautions under the law, a workplace accident could devastate the lives of their employees.
- Wrongful death lawsuit – If your family member died from a burn injury, you can file a legal claim on their behalf to help your family with expenses and lost income.
The best way to find out what type of legal claim you have is to talk to a personal injury lawyer. But personal injury claims have statutes of limitations. That means you only have a limited amount of time to file your lawsuit before you could lose your chance forever.
Types of Damages in Burn Injury Lawsuits
The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to cover you for the losses you’ve suffered. The law does this through “damages,” or monetary compensation.
- Economic (compensatory) damages cover monetary losses you’ve suffered, like the cost of your medical treatment (past and future) and any loss of income from you or your family member being unable to work because of your injury.
- Non-economic damages (pain and suffering) cover the mental and emotional toll of your injury, especially if you’ve endured long-term effects, loss of mobility, or scars.
- Punitive damages come into play when the responsible party’s behavior is so reckless or morally problematic that the law decides to punish them.
A burn injury can be painful and difficult to treat. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Harlan Law can help you understand what kind of damages you can expect from your claim. Call our legal team now at (619) 870-0802 for your free consultation.