Burns injuries are one of the most traumatic and excruciating injuries that an individual can experience. They are both physically damaging and psychologically demoralizing. Burns can also virtually ruin a person financially because of the short and long-term medical intervention needed to treat the injury.

Should burn victims injured through no fault of their own be forced to bear the emotional and financial consequences of an accident on their own? The Modesto personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw don’t think so. We believe that burn victims deserve aggressive representation from a compassionate team of professionals. Our Modesto burn attorneys strive to deliver legal representation that gives you the best possible chance to secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

If reckless or negligent actions have resulted in significant burns to you or a loved one, talk to the team at OnderLaw. We will hear you out and discuss your legal options for recovering compensation. Justice may be a phone call away. Set up your free consultation by calling us today.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer and Why Choose OnderLaw?

Burn injury claims can be complex. While you are getting medical bills today, you have no idea what other costs may be associated with your injury down the road. Often, burn treatments require months of agonizing recovery, rehabilitation, surgical intervention, and follow-up care. A quick payout from an insurer may not be enough to cover future medical expenses.

A knowledgeable burn injury attorney can more accurately estimate the value of a burn injury claim than the victim probably can. An attorney can also delve deeper into the cause of the accident and identify all parties that may be liable for paying damages. While an attorney focuses their attention on the details of your case, you are free to focus on your recovery without stressing about your claim.

At OnderLaw, we have highly experienced attorneys with the skills and resources to handle complicated burn injury accident claims. We want to help you achieve justice and earn you the maximum compensation for your injuries. If you are ready to work with a sensitive team that keeps your best interests in mind, talk to the Modesto team at OnderLaw today about your claim.

Causes of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can happen in a variety of different ways. At OnderLaw, our Modesto attorneys have experience handling all types of burn injury claims. Some of the more common causes of burn injuries that we see include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Residential fires caused by negligence
  • Arson
  • Explosions
  • Burns from defective consumer products
  • Negligent exposure to scalding water or other fluids
  • Workplace accidents
  • Electrocution burns

Types and Severity of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are typically categorized by type and severity. When people think of burns, they generally think of thermal burns. Thermal burns are injuries caused by interaction with fire or super-heated materials. However, thermal burns are only one category of burn type. The most common types of burns include:

Thermal Burns. These are burns that damage skin and tissue through exposure to open flames or hot materials such as metals, liquids, or steam. A thermal burn raises the temperature of the skin to the point where cells begin to die.

Chemical Burns. Chemical burns are sometimes referred to as caustic burns. These burns are the result of exposure to substances with an extremely high or extremely low pH, such as an acid or a base. Materials like drain cleaner, pool chemicals, cleaning solvents, lye, battery acid, and other products can cause chemical burns.

Electrical Burns. Electric current from power lines, exposed wires, uncovered outlets, or defective products can result in electrical burns. Electric current can char and blacken the skin as well as surrounding tissue.

Radiation Burns. Sunburns are the most common form of radiation burn. However, radiation burns can also happen when an individual is negligently exposed to x-rays or if they work with certain radioactive materials.

Each of these different types of burns can cause life-altering or life-threatening injuries. However, burn type isn’t the only measure of how serious a burn injury is. Burns are classified by degree, which is a measure of the severity of the burn. These categories include:

First-Degree Burns. A first-degree burn is an injury that damages the surface layer of the skin. These types of burns can cause the skin to become red and painful and sometimes be hot to the touch. Sunburns are one of the most common examples of a first-degree burn.

Second-Degree Burns. Second-degree burns damage both the outer layer of skin and the second layer known as the dermis. Depending on the depth of the burn into the dermis, these burns can be extremely painful because they can expose raw nerves. Second-degree burns take longer to heal and can cause the skin to blister.

Third-Degree Burns. These types of burns are serious. Third-degree burns tend to penetrate and damage all layers of skin destroying skin, nerves, and sometimes underlying tissues. These burns can char the flesh and cause such extensive damage that skin grafts may be necessary to close the wound.

Fourth-Degree Burns. Fourth-degree burns go deep enough to damage muscle tissue and bones. Nerve endings can also be destroyed by fourth-degree burns, so there will likely be little pain.

The severity of the burn is only part of the equation. A third-degree burn covering only a small area of the body is serious but can typically be treated effectively while leaving few long-term complications. Yet, first-degree burns covering 90 percent of a person’s body could become life-threatening, especially if the person is a child or is elderly.

All significant burns can cause medical complications and long-term side effects. Burn victims are susceptible to developing infections if their wounds aren’t properly treated or maintained. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 10,000 burn victims die each year from burn-related infections.

Severe burns and burns requiring skin grafts will also leave behind scars. These scars can limit an individual’s range of motion and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. Scars can also severely impact a person’s mental health resulting in depression and anxiety.

Compensation for Burn Injuries

It can be hard to pinpoint the value of a burn injury claim because burn victims tend to suffer excruciating pain and emotional distress because of their injuries. Damages, or losses, associated with the emotional and mental consequences of an injury are classified as noneconomic damages. Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for significant quality of life changes and disfigurement, both of which are difficult to quantify in terms of money. Victims may also be able to recover money for economic damages, or their measurable losses like property damage or medical bills.

In total, a burn victim may be able to pursue compensation for the following economic and noneconomic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses related to the burn injuries
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

In some cases, exemplary damages may be awarded to a victim as well. These damages do not specifically cover a victim’s losses. Exemplary damages are a form of financial punishment doled out to the wrongdoer for a malicious, fraudulent, or oppressive act.

If you have questions about what your burn claim may be worth, talk to a Modesto burn injury attorney for free today. Contact us and we will set you up with a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation, how much your claim may be worth, and to answer your questions about the legal process.

California and National Burn Accident Statistics

The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that there are almost two deaths and five injuries for every 1,000 fires in California. Structural fires account for just over 50 percent of fire-related deaths, while vehicle fires account for approximately 44 percent of fatalities.

Wildfires also pose a significant threat to the health and safety of California residents. In 2018, the Camp Fire destroyed 18,804 structures leaving 85 dead and others severely injured.

Unfortunately, according to data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute, 90 percent of wildland fires are caused by humans. Negligence tends to be one of the main factors in how these fires start.

Overall, 486,000 burn injuries require medical attention in the United States annually. This data comes from the American Burn Association. In 2010, the total cost of burn treatments hit $1.5 billion. Companies also suffered close to $5 billion in losses due to lost work and productivity associated with burn injuries.

Contact a Modesto Burn Injury Attorney Today

Not only are burn injuries supremely painful physically, but they can also cripple an individual’s confidence and self-esteem. Victims who sustained burn injuries through no fault of their own deserve to be fairly compensated for the pain and trauma they have had to endure. At OnderLaw, we do everything in our power to help you build a case that results in obtaining full and fair compensation for your situation.

Contact the highly experienced Modesto burn injury team at OnderLaw today to discuss your case. Call us for a free consultation.