Not only are burns some of the most painful injuries someone can sustain, they can also cause extreme stress resulting from medical bills, dealing with insurance companies, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important to know your rights as a patient, and to what compensation you may be entitled.
Trying to navigate the legal aspects of burn injuries can be overwhelming, but you do not have to endure it alone. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Van Wey, Metzler & Williams will be there for you throughout the process.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries vary in pain and damage, and are measured on a scale for the purpose of prognosis and treatment. Severity is also determined by what percentage of the body is affected.
First Degree Burns
These are the superficial burns received when briefly touching something like hot metal. The skin does not blister but may turn red, and the outer layer of epidermis may peel during the healing process.
Second Degree Burns
Slightly more serious, these are often caused by boiling water or fire. Blisters will form and may eventually pop, generally taking two to three weeks to heal.
Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns are more severe and caused by more intense fire or scalding liquids. Damage goes well beyond the epidermis to the fascia and may affect nerve endings. Skin usually takes on a leathery texture and changes in color to a yellow or brown hue.
Fourth Degree Burns
Fourth degree burns usually result from intense fire or high voltage shock. The skin becomes charred and may turn white, exposing layers of fascia, muscle, bone, and organs. Nerve endings are destroyed so pain is typically not present, however these burns may lead to shock, sepsis, hypothermia, and other life-threatening complications.
Causes of Burns
Burn injuries can be caused by many different things and are classified into four categories. The treatment for the burn often depends on the cause, so it is important for doctors to know as much as possible about the situation when the injury occured. This information is also important for personal injury claims in the event legal support is required.
Caused by raised skin temperature, thermal burns include direct contact with hot metal, scalding liquid, fire, or intense steam. These burns, depending on the degree, can cause mild to severe damage or death to the cells of the epidermis and underlying tissue, organs, and bone.
Radiation burns are caused by prolonged exposure to X-rays or ultraviolet light. They can also occur from certain cancer treatments.
Any time skin comes into direct contact with strong alkalies, acids, or solvents, there is risk for chemical burn. This is especially true with accidental splashing into eyes, which can have severe long-term effects.
Both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) can cause burns, especially with high voltage use.
Burn Injury Compensation
Personal injury lawsuits for burns can help victims recover from extensive expenses as well as psychological effects. The attorneys at Van Wey, Metzler & Williams understand the pain goes well beyond superficial damage. Burn injuries are often the result of a traumatic event and cause long-term life changes. We are here for you and will give your case the personalized attention you need, to get you the compensation you deserve.
Emergency and long-range treatments for burn injuries are extensive and medical bills quickly become significant. Hundreds of thousands of dollars add up over weeks, months and sometimes years of ongoing procedures, surgeries, therapies, medications, and continued visits. Secondary medical issues further intensify financial obligations, and often last a lifetime. Without some type of compensation, this accumulated debt can be crippling.
Pain and Suffering
This aspect of a burn injury is entirely subjective, and can be the most difficult to evaluate and prove. Any unique circumstances must be carefully considered, discussed at length, and documented in detail. This is one important way an experienced burn injury attorney can be most beneficial when building your case.
Any time wages are lost due to an injury, regardless of where it took place, a financial burden is created. This includes the time of the injury and related procedures, recovery time, physical therapy, follow up appointments, and counseling. There is a formula for calculating wages lost based on pay at the time of injury. Additional benefits can be compensated for but often proves to be more difficult.
This does not apply to all injury burn cases but sometimes is relevant to car accidents, house fires, and even chemical burns. Property damage can refer to anything from jewelry and clothing to vehicles and homes. Anything of value destroyed as a result of the incident may be subject to compensation.
Experienced Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
Our law firm has the expert certification and over 30 years of experience to represent your burn injury claim. When you hire Van Wey, Metzler & Williams to fight for your case, you join our family and we treat you as an individual. We are proud to limit the number of cases we take on so we can dedicate our time to each person and truly give you the personalized attention you deserve.
Call us today or request an appointment online to discuss your burn injury lawsuit and what compensation you may be entitled to.