Can I Take Legal Action Over My Burn Injury?
Burn injuries can be severely painful and cause a person to experience serious physical injury and mental stress. Victims often have many questions about their injury when the know or believe it was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another.
If you are wondering if your burn injury entitles you to compensation for physical and mental damages, contact our Albany burn injury lawyers today for a free legal consultation. We know how to pursue maximum compensation for these severe and debilitating injuries.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are typically classified into one of four categories:
- First degree – These burns result in damage to the outer skin. They often swell up and cause pain and redness around the affected area. They typically heal within a few days.
- Second degree – This type of injury goes past the first layer of skin. The second layer is impacted but not destroyed. Blisters tend to develop but antibiotic ointments and cleaning the wound daily can heal the injury.
- Third degree – Third degree burns damage all layers of the skin and may cause white patches on the skin. This type of injury can cause infection and damage to the nerves. With these injuries victims may require skin grafts, where patches of skin from other areas are removed and placed over the burned portion of the skin.
- Fourth degree – These burns can be life-threatening and destroy all skin layers, and parts of the bone and tendons.
Steps to Take After a Burn Injury
If you were burned in a car accident, at work or on someone else’s property, follow these steps to protect your health and possible future legal claim:
Seek Medical Attention
You may require immediate medical assistance to minimize the long-term impact of your burn injury. However, no matter how severe your injury, you should err on the side of caution and be seen by doctors. This is the only way to help ensure your health issues are being dealt with the right way. Seeking medical attention right away can also help link the accident and your injury. This is a critical element of any personal injury claim, because the other side will try to say your injuries were a result of something else, not the accident.
Document Your Injuries
Injuries will change over time, especially burn injuries. If your case goes to trial, it may be months or years before a judge or jury evaluates the evidence. Your injuries may have healed during that time. For this reason, it is important to document your injuries.
Take pictures of your injuries as they progress and document each stage of healing. This will help the judge or jury get a better idea of your injuries and their severity. Your lawyer may also recommend that you keep a pain journal so that you keep track of how you were feeling while you were undergoing medical treatment and recovery.
Contact a Lawyer
You may have numerous legal options of which you are not aware. A qualified burn lawyer can examine the specific circumstances surrounding your claim and determine the identity of potential defendants who intentionally or negligently contributed to your injuries. A lawyer can also investigate how the at-fault individual’s actions led to serious burn injuries and handle communication with him or her or the insurance company.
Examples of a Successful Burn Injury Case
The most famous example of a successful burn injury case is the McDonald’s hot coffee case. In this case, a woman was scalded by hot coffee that was served to her by an employee. She spilled the coffee on herself, which led to third degree burns and the need to get skin grafts on her inner thighs and elsewhere.
The policy at McDonald's at the time was to serve coffee at 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot liquids spilled at that temperature can result in third-degree burns in three to seven seconds. The company continued to serve the coffee at these high temperatures despite being aware of several other reports of their coffee causing injuries. The jury found the company liable and the woman was awarded millions in compensation.
Other situations where burn injury victims may be more likely to receive compensation include:
- Employers who had employees work around dangerous chemicals without proper safety equipment
- Individuals who intentionally started fires and injured people on the property
- Motorists who caused accidents that led to thermal burns
- Health care providers who caused radiation burns through the misuse of x-rays or radiation therapy
- Manufacturers who negligently caused harm to consumers because of toxic ingredients
Compensation for Injuries
A tort claim allows a personal injury victim to sue for compensation to make him or her “whole” again. This means that the person is entitled to full compensation for the full extent of their injuries. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, change in their ability to complete routine activities, and pain and suffering.
A burn injury lawsuit may demand damages for the following:
- Tissue damage
- Organ failure
- Circulation problems
- Failure of the senses
- Loss of sensation
- Respiratory problems
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
The compensation to which you may be entitled depends on the type of damages you suffered. An experienced burn injury lawyer can examine the facts of your case to determine the potential compensation you may be able to receive from your burn injury claim, including the fair value of each form of compensation.
Contact a Qualified Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been suffering from a burn injury due to the negligent actions of another, the skilled legal team at Roden Law can help. We will investigate your claim to determine who should be held accountable for the damages that you have suffered.
We can discuss your case during a free consultation to determine if you have a viable claim. If you decide to move forward with your claim, we will fight for maximum compensation for your injuries. Our experienced burn injury lawyers are ready to work and guide you through your legal options.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.