If you or a family member has been seriously burned because of someone else’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Burn injuries can be devastating and have a lifelong impact on the victim and their family.

Burns can penetrate far beneath the skin, damaging muscle, nerves, fat, and even bone. Additional medical treatment may be necessary to treat respiratory problems, infections, and other physical complications that result from deep burns. In addition to the local damage from a burn, smoke inhalation may result in other long-term and short-term injuries, including headaches, lung damage, shortness of breath, and changes in mental status.

In many cases, the emotional and physical pain lasts long after the injury has healed. Unfortunately, burn injury settlements from insurance companies may not be enough to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other direct and indirect costs.

The Sacramento personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw can help secure compensation you may be entitled to if you were injured because of someone else’s negligence. During your free consultation, we will review your case and offer advice. You won’t owe us any money upfront. In fact, when we take your case, if we don’t get compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything at all.

Call us today, or contact us on our website to schedule your free consultation.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer? Why Choose OnderLaw?

A burn injury can require extensive treatment and long-term rehabilitation. After a particularly serious burn injury, some people do not fully recover. One of the most important decisions you can make after an injury is to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can offer you and your family the best chance to recover fair compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered and the expenses you’ve incurred. They have the knowledge, skills, and resources to place a fair value on your case and fight for your rights.

The caring and compassionate legal team at OnderLaw have been working with clients like you for more than two decades. The legal aspects of a personal injury lawsuit can be overwhelming and may be impossible to manage if you are hospitalized or physically debilitated.

A skilled lawyer can help protect you from accidentally misreporting information in your claim or misrepresenting the events that led to your injury. Either of these accidental reporting errors can result in a denial of compensation. The at-fault party’s insurance company may immediately reach out to offer you a settlement. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators trained to maximize the profit of the insurance company. It is important to allow your attorney to handle negotiations and communications on your behalf so you don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case.

If the at-fault person’s insurance company denies your personal injury claim, your lawyer from OnderLaw can prepare your case for trial. Our first priority is getting a fair judgment for our clients, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you have no out-of-pocket or upfront costs until we obtain compensation for you.

Causes of Burn Injuries

Many people think only of burns that occur when someone comes into contact with fire or a hot surface. In truth, there are many different causes of burn injuries. Those varied causes produce different kinds of injuries that include:

  • Friction burns: These are also called abrasions and happen when a hard surface rubs off skin, like a carpet burn. This type of burn is common in bike and motorcycle accidents.
  • Thermal burns: A heat source, such as a hot object, scalding liquid, flames, or steam, causes this type of burn.
  • Chemical burns: These are also called caustic burns. An acid or base solution, such as drain cleaners, paint thinner, and hydrochloric acid, can cause a chemical burn. When a mild acid or base causes a burn, the pain and redness may develop hours after exposure.
  • Cold burns: This is also called “frostbite.” It damages the skin by freezing the cells. It can happen when a person is outdoors in freezing temperatures or comes into direct contact with a cold object or chemical, such as liquid nitrogen.
  • Radiation burns: Sources of radiation burns can be x-rays, radiation therapy, or the sun.
  • Electrical burns: An electrical current can damage the skin and cause a burn.
  • Inhalation burns: Breathing hot air from a fire can damage your lung tissue.

Types and Severity of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are classified by the severity of damage to the skin. The deeper the burn, the greater the scarring and disfigurement that results. Scarring is not only disfiguring but may also limit your mobility if the scar tissue is over a joint, such as your knee, hip, elbow, or hand. When the damage is deep, it can also affect nerve endings that control physical sensation, which can lead to numbness, sensitivity to touch, or burning sensations.

First-degree burns: These superficial burns affect only the outer layer of skin. The area becomes red, dry, and painful but does not blister. These may lead to a change in skin color.

Second-degree burns: These burns involve the top and second layers of skin. The area gets red, painful, and blisters. It may also become swollen.

Third-degree burns: These are full-thickness burns. They destroy the top and middle layers of skin and may reach the subcutaneous tissue. These burns will be white, black, or look charred.

Fourth-degree burns: These are the most severe types of burns. They go through all layers of skin and the underlying tissue as well, possibly to the muscle and bone. Since the nerve endings are destroyed, there is no pain in the immediate area.

Long-term consequences from burn injuries depend on the severity and location of the burn. They include:

  • Loss of function
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of limbs
  • Nerve damage
  • Organ damage
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Inability to work/loss of wages
  • Psychological trauma

Compensation for Burn Injuries

As with any personal injury, it’s difficult to accurately predict what a final settlement will be. Several factors are considered when assessing the value of your claim or lawsuit. These can include the extent of the injuries, the intention of the person who caused the burn injury, and the direct and indirect costs associated with the incident.

How and where the injury occurred may be considered when the judge determines the defendant’s liability. If there was gross negligence involved, during which the defendant was intentional or more than usually negligent in their actions that caused your injuries, you may also receive an award of punitive damages. This type of award is meant to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent.

The largest consideration when determining compensation is the direct and indirect costs of your injuries. For example, direct costs can include medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages. Indirect costs may include emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. For example, a judge may award more damages to a person whose face was badly burned than to a person with a permanent scar on the upper leg.

Sacramento Burn Accident Statistics

Burns are the fourth highest type of trauma in the world, following traffic accidents, falls, and interpersonal violence, in that order. They may also be one of the most devastating injuries. American Burn Association reports 486,000 people received medical treatment after a burn in a hospital clinic, emergency department, private medical office, or community health center in 2016.

There were also 3,275 fire and smoke inhalation deaths from residential fires and vehicle crashes that year. One civilian dies every two hours and forty-one minutes from burn injuries. This statistic does not include first and second responders.

Nearly half of all burns treated are the result of thermal burns, and 33 percent of people admitted to a burn center are burned by scalding. Direct medical costs related to treating burns in the U.S. exceed $1.5 billion every year, while indirect costs exceed $5 billion. The average hospital stay for a burn-related injury is $24,000, which is more than double the cost of non-burn hospitalizations.

Don’t Wait. Call OnderLaw Today for a Free Consultation

At OnderLaw, our clients are always our first priority. If you have suffered a burn injury through someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from a person or company that should be held accountable for their actions.

However, there is a deadline you must meet to file a civil lawsuit in California for personal injury claims. This is called a statute of limitations. California’s statute of limitations allows two years from the date of the accident for you to file your lawsuit. Should you file after the statutory deadline has passed, your case may be dismissed by the court.

There is no reason to wait to contact OnderLaw. We understand the financial and emotional burden you are already facing and stand ready to help you with your burn injury case.

We are confident in our ability to represent you and protect your rights. Call OnderLaw today or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.