This page explains what you should do if you or a loved one have received a burn injury in an accident. Many people have questions after they have sustained a burn injury. When should I call for medical treatment? Who was at fault? Should I call a lawyer? When should I hire one? This page provides answers to many of the common questions that personal injury lawyers get on a daily basis.
This page details:
- What you should do if you get burned
- Determining fault
- When should you consult with a injury lawyer?
- Burn injury facts, statistics, and figures
- Insurance adjusters
- Damages for burn victims
- When should you hire a lawyer?
- Consultation & attorney fees
What Should You Do After a Burn Injury?
The first thing you should do with all accidents is assess your injury. Burns are rated within four different degrees that require different medical attention:
- First Degree Burn – these burns are considered mild compared to other burns. Sunburns are a prime example of a first degree burn and they are characterized by pain and reddening in the burn area. In most cases, but not all, a first degree burn will not require emergency medical treatment.
- Second Degree Burn – these burns are characterized by the swelling and blistering in addition to the reddening and pain the victim sees in a first degree burn. These burns may not always require immediate medical attention, but the ointments and creams used to prevent infection and soothe the pain usually require a prescription, so you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Third Degree Burn – these burns almost always require emergency medical treatment. They are characterized by stiff, white, or leathery skin. The victim may not feel any pain because the nerve ended may have been destroyed or the victim may even be in shock. Call 911 immediately.
- Fourth Degree Burns – these burns are the most serious. The burn damaged the underlying bones, muscles, and tendons. The victim may not feel any pain because the nerve ended may have been destroyed or the victim may even be in shock. Call 911 immediately.
After you’ve received medical attention, contact a burn injury lawyer. It is very likely the lawyer will ask you to take pictures of the area where you were burned and of what caused the burn. This evidence will likely be destroyed so taking photos soon after the accident is extremely important. The lawyer will also ask you if you know who caused the burn or who owned the thing that burned you. Be prepared to help your lawyer investigate these extremely important questions.
After a burn injury, it may be difficult to figure out who, or what, is legally at fault. If the burn injury occurred during a car accident, it may be purely operator error, a product defect in the car, or even a combination of the two. If the burn injury occurred at your job, it could be a lack of safety protocols or, again, defective products.
Regardless of where or how it occurred, it is almost impossible for you to figuring out the legal complexities behind a serious or catastrophic burn injury. You should stay focused on your road to recovery. A burn injury lawyer will be able to help you sort through all of the possible variables to figure out if you have a case and who the case should be brought against.
When Should You Consult with a Burn Injury Lawyer?
The answer to this questions will almost always be, “As soon as possible.” The advice from your experienced burn injury lawyer will enable to you make the difficult decision as to how to proceed. Not having a burn injury lawyer will make it extremely difficult to recover compensation from the insurance company of the other party. Insurance adjusters are extremely sophisticated and know how to minimize the amount of money they owe to people injured in any accidents.
Aside from the compensation, consulting with a burn injury lawyer provides peace of mind. After many types of injuries, the victim is unsure of what to say regarding the accident, who to say it to, and how to get treatment. Burn injuries, in particular, may result in disfigurement, skin grafts, scarring, and long-term physical rehabilitation. Your focus should be the difficult road of recovery ahead and not the stress of how to handle your case. Consulting with an experienced and compassionate burn injury lawyer will help to ease these concerns.
Burn Injury Facts, Statistics, & Figures
In 2014, 3275 people died from fire or burn related deaths in the United States. That amounts to one civilian death every 2 hours and 41 minutes. Furthermore, in 2013, your odds of dying from exposure to fire, flames, or smoke was 1 in 1,454. Those numbers may seem in your favor, but that odds are about 20 times greater than your odds of dying from electrocution, radiation, temperature or pressure combined!
Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers for the at-fault party will often try to trick the victim so that their liability can be minimized. This may mean that the injured victim will lose out on the thousands of dollars that they need to recover. A burn injury lawyer can prevent this from happening.
Damages for Burn Victims
An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer can also maximize the compensation you receive from the accident. The goal is to put you back in the position you would have been had the accident never occurred. With burn injuries, this may not always be possible due to the disfigurement and scarring from the accident. You deserve to be compensated for your medical expenses, lost income from rehabilitation or permanent disability, the loss of intimacy for your spouse, and, possibly, punitive damages.
If you want to learn more about what kind of damages you could earn in a catastrophic burn injury, visit our catastrophic injury page.
When Should You Hire a Burn Injury Lawyer?
First take care of yourself by seeking medical attention if it is needed urgently. Once you have addressed your medical needs, call a burn injury lawyer. If you are at your workplace, your employer may ask you to fill out an incident report regarding the accident. If possible, ask your employer if you may take it home with you so that you are not rushed through the details. When you get home, call your burn injury lawyer and they can advise you on what to say and how to say it so as to best position your case.
Consultation & Attorney’s Fees
If you’ve received a burn injury in an accident you should contact a lawyer immediately and receive a free consultation. There is no risk or obligation in calling a burn injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers are compensated via a contingency fee. That means they don’t get paid a penny unless they recover money on your behalf. They get paid a percentage of your recovery.