If you suffered a burn injury due to another person’s negligent or reckless conduct, contact the Newport Beach personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC to seek compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other losses.
The American Burn Association estimates that there are more than 450,000 burn injuries each year. Burns can be caused by a number of factors, such as a fire, exposure to chemicals, a car accident, or an occupational hazard. This type of excruciating injury can lead to permanent disability or disfigurement.
Burn victims typically face years of surgery, physical therapy, and other treatments needed to heal. While some make a full recovery, others end up with significant scars that continually remind them of the traumatic experience.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we represent injured clients just like you. We work vigorously to hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions. You deserve to seek justice and compensation for the suffering you were forced to endure. Call us at (314) 963-9000 today for a free consultation with one of our Newport Beach burn injury lawyers.
Common Types of Burn Injury Cases
OnderLaw, LLC can handle a variety of cases involving burn injuries. Whether you were injured in a chemical explosion or from scalding coffee at a restaurant, we have the experience and resources to hold the at-fault party liable.
Common types of burn injury cases include:
- Electrical burns – Subdermal damage is common with this type of burn. Exposure to electricity can also result in organ failure, brain trauma, and heart problems.
- Chemical burns – When a hazardous substance makes contact with the skin, it can cause severe burns. Common chemicals include bleach, ammonia, and car battery acid.
- Gas explosions – Defective gas lines or heaters can cause an explosion. It could result in burns and other injuries from the force of the blast.
- Car accidents – If a vehicle catches on fire or hot fluids come in contact with the skin, burn injuries can occur.
- Fire-related burns – A house fire, cooking accident, or campfire can all result in direct contact with flames.
- Scalding burns – Spilled coffee, steam, and hot liquids can burn the skin and cause significant damage to the layers underneath.
There are four main classifications of burns: first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree.
First-degree burns are superficial and typically only damage the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). A mild sunburn is a great example of a first-degree burn. It can cause redness and pain, but there are no blisters.
Second-degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin and the dermis, which is the second layer. This classification can involve the formation of blisters.
Third-degree burns damage the epidermis and dermis and deeper tissues. The area can be charred or leathery in appearance. Nerve endings are usually destroyed, so there isn’t much pain involved.
Fourth-degree burns are quite severe. These burns include all the characteristics of third-degree burns, but also extend beyond the skin into tendons and bones.
There are also different levels of severity depending on how much of the body suffered burn injuries:
- Adults – Less than 10% total surface area of the body
- Children or elderly – Less than 5% total surface area of the body
- Less than 2% burn thickness
- Adults – 10-20% total surface area of the body
- Children or elderly – 5-10% total surface area of the body
- 2-5% burn thickness
- Adults – More than 20% total surface area of the body
- Children or elderly – More than 10% total surface area of the body
- More than 5% burn thickness
Complications From Burn Injuries
Sometimes burns don’t heal completely or evenly. There are some complications you could experience, depending on the degree and severity of your injury. They include:
- Scars – Scarring could require surgery to graft the skin. Burn victims often have visible scars for the rest of their lives.
- Infection – Bacterial infections and sepsis could occur if the burn area becomes infected and spreads to the bloodstream. Serious infections can lead to organ failure, death, or require amputation of a limb.
- Bone and joint issues – When the skin is left with scars, it can affect the ligaments and tendons, leading to mobility issues and joint pain.
- Breathing problems – If your injury resulted from a fire or explosion, smoke inhalation could damage your lungs and cause respiratory conditions.
- Psychological trauma – Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and other mental issues could result after a burn injury.
Hire a Newport Beach Burn Injury Lawyer Immediately
If you suffer a burn injury through no fault of your own, you should seek legal representation. Cases like this are often complex and difficult to prove. An insurance company may try to place blame on you and deny your claim if they believe your actions contributed to your injury. They will not be on your side throughout the legal process and might try to take advantage of you if you don’t have an experienced attorney handling your case.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we advocate for our clients’ rights and protect them from the unfair tactics insurance companies use. When you hire us, we will begin an investigation into the incident and determine who was at fault. Proving negligence is essential in a burn injury case, and we will work to obtain relevant evidence, such as:
- Police/incident report
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Medical records and medical bills
- Surveillance footage of the incident
- Photos from the scene and of your burns and associated injuries
After collecting the necessary evidence, we will file a claim and submit it to the insurance company. Usually, we can settle the case, but insurance companies will often do whatever it takes to get out of paying someone’s claim. If they deny the claim or refuse to settle for an amount we believe is fair, we can move forward with a lawsuit.
There is a statute of limitations in California we must adhere to if we want to sue the insurance company and at-fault party for your losses. It is a strict deadline, and if it passes, you could lose your right to pursue compensation. The statute of limitations for burn injury cases is two years. That means we will have two years from the incident date to file a lawsuit. If the statute passes and we try to file anyway, the judge will likely dismiss your case.
That is why it is vital that you hire a Newport Beach burn injury lawyer within days of the incident. That will give us plenty of time to prepare your case and work on recovering an insurance settlement. If we can’t resolve the claim, we will be within the timeframe to file suit and take the fight to court.
Compensation You Might Be Entitled to After a Burn Injury
Whether you choose to file an injury claim or lawsuit, there are damages, or compensation for losses, you can seek. There are two main types available: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are all the expenses associated with an injury, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
You could also attempt to recover punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages are a rare financial award that punishes the defendant for their misconduct instead of compensating the victim for their losses. You must provide the jury with clear and convincing evidence that the negligent party acted with malice, oppression, or fraud if you want to win punitive damages.
What Are My Legal Options If a Loved One Died From a Burn Injury?
If you lost someone in a fire, car accident, or another incident that led to fatal burn injuries, you might be entitled to monetary damages from a wrongful death lawsuit. California defines wrongful death as a person’s death caused by someone else’s neglect or wrongful act.
Specific individuals are allowed to pursue this type of case, including:
- Surviving spouse;
- Surviving domestic partner;
- Surviving children; or
- A person who would be entitled to the deceased’s property through intestate succession.
Damages can be awarded to compensate the estate and surviving family members for the losses they suffered, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Value of household services
- Loss of attention, love, guidance, and support
- Loss of future financial support
- Lost income, including what the deceased would have earned if they survived
- Hospital and medical bills associated with the fatal burn injury
There is a two-year statute of limitations in California you must be aware of if you want to sue the party responsible for your relative’s death. The clock begins on the date they died. If you do not file the lawsuit by the deadline, you could lose the right to pursue compensation for yourself and your family.
Speak to a Dedicated Newport Beach Burn Injury Lawyer
OnderLaw, LLC has been holding negligent parties accountable for their actions since 2002. We know this has been a devastating experience for you and your family. It can take years to recover from a burn injury, and this type of injury often leads to expensive losses. You should not have to face these challenges on your own.
You can count on us to advocate for your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us at (314) 963-9000 today if you suffered a burn injury in Newport Beach and are ready to hold the responsible party liable for their actions.