After a severe burn injury, you or a loved one may have many questions. How will the medical expenses be paid? Who communicates with the insurance company? How will you deal with lost wages? Trying to address each of these issues on your own while recovering from injuries is more than anyone should have to bear.
The Santa Ana personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC will give you an unbiased opinion of the value of your case and help protect your rights. Before making a recorded statement with the insurance company or accepting a settlement offer, call our offices or use our website to schedule your free consultation. You may find that you are entitled to far more compensation than the insurance company has offered.
Burn injuries that are not your fault often involve multiple parties. Ensuring you receive the fullest compensation owed for the injury can be difficult when you try to take on those responsible without an experienced and skilled attorney.
Burn injuries may require extensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. One of the most important decisions you might make after a burn injury is your choice of a personal injury attorney who can offer you and your family the best chance to recover fair compensation for the losses your injury caused.
It is common for insurance adjusters to contact you quickly to begin gathering information about the situation. Although you might feel obligated to answer their questions, it is crucial to note that what you share could end up hurting your legal case. Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators who are trained to maximize the profit of the insurance company. It is important to avoid speaking with an insurance representative unless you are with your attorney. Your personal injury attorney can handle communication and negotiation on your behalf. This protects you from inadvertently sharing information that could jeopardize your case.
If the at-fault person’s insurance company denies your personal injury claim, your attorney from OnderLaw, LLC can prepare your case for trial. Our caring and compassionate legal team has been working with clients like you for more than two decades. It is our first priority to seek fair compensation for our clients. To achieve this, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you have no out-of-pocket or upfront costs. Once we get compensation for you, we’ll take an agreed-upon percentage for our fee. If we don’t get you any money, you owe us nothing.
To effectively treat your burns, your physician will determine the cause of the burn injury. This also helps your personal injury attorney establish a fair value of your compensation for damages. Some of the common types of burn injuries include:
Thermal burn: When your skin comes in contact with heat, it raises the temperature of the skin to the point where the skin cells begin to die. This results in a burn. Flames, hot metal, or scalding liquid are examples of the types of contact that can trigger a thermal burn.
Cold burn: This is also known as frostbite. The cold damages the skin cells by freezing them. When the skin comes in direct contact with something cold for a prolonged period, frostbite can result.
Friction burn: These are both abrasions (scraped skin) and heat burns. They are commonly experienced after a motorcycle or bike accident.
Radiation burn: Sources of radiation, like x-rays, radiation therapy, or the sun, can cause this type of burn.
Chemical burn: Strong acids, bases, or solvents can burn the skin.
Electrical burn: When the skin comes in contact with electricity, it can damage and kill skin cells, causing an electrical burn.
Doctors will categorize burns based on how much damage has been done. These are called “degrees” of burn. The higher the degree, the more severe the damage done to the skin. Deeper burns result in greater amounts of scarring and disfigurement. Scarring can also limit mobility and, therefore, your ability to use your joints the way you did before being burned.
For example, scar tissue over a knee, ankle, elbow, or hand can affect movement. Deeper scars can also damage nerve endings that control sensation. This can lead to sensitivity to touch, burning sensations, or numbness. The degrees of a burn include:
First-degree burns: These are burns that affect only the outermost layer of skin and don’t result in long-term damage. For example, after a mild sunburn, the skin may be red and painful, but there won’t be any blisters.
Second-degree burns: These burns affect the layer under the outermost layer called the dermis. The skin gets red, swollen, may look shiny, and will blister. The area will be painful to touch.
Third-degree burns: These are sometimes called “full-thickness burns” because they involve two full layers of skin and often damage the nerve endings, so there is no pain. The area turns black, white, brown, or yellow instead of red.
Fourth-degree burns: These are the deepest type and are potentially life-threatening. The burn destroys all layers of skin and may reach through muscle to the bone.
Depending on the type of burn, the degree can change. This happens if the damage continues to spread and the injury becomes deeper, such as when you experience a chemical burn and the chemical is not completely cleaned from the area.
It is crucial to follow certain steps after a burn injury to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Even if you think you can treat the burn at home, seek medical care immediately. Up to 10,000 people die each year from burn-related infections that can develop days after being burned.
If you were injured at work, report it to your employer and fill out and sign an incident report. Ask for a copy of the incident report for your records. If possible, take photos or a video of where the accident happened to make it easier for officials to visualize the incident later. Keep a journal of medical visits, expenses, missed days at work, and any travel necessary to receive treatment for your injury. Each of these steps will help support your claim for personal injury.
There are long-term consequences from burn injuries that depend on several factors, including the location, type, and severity of the burn. They include:
It is difficult to accurately predict a final settlement for any personal injury lawsuit. There will be several factors that are important for a pre-court case settlement, or that will be considered when the court determines compensation. These factors can include the intention of the person who caused the injury, the extent of the injuries, and the direct and indirect costs that are associated with the incident.
The judge will consider whether there was gross negligence involved during which the defendant was intentional or negligent in their actions that caused the damage. In this case, you may possibly receive exemplary damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant and act as a deterrent against future negligence.
The largest consideration, however, is usually based on direct and indirect costs associated with the burn injury. For example, direct costs may include lost wages from an inability to work, medical expenses, and rehabilitation. Indirect costs may include loss of enjoyment, emotional pain and suffering, and anxiety.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies in a fire every two hours, and someone is injured every 23 minutes. Each year, 1.1 million burns require attention from health care professionals. Nearly 50,000 people will require hospitalization, 486,000 will require medical treatment, and 20,000 will have a major injury involving at least 25 percent of their body. Additionally, there will be 3,275 people who die from fire or smoke inhalation.
The American Burn Association reports 68 percent of those suffering burn injuries are men, while 32 percent are females. The majority of burns admitted to the hospital are from fire or flames, followed closely by scalding burns. These two types total 77 percent of all burn injuries. The remaining 23 percent are from contact, electrical, chemical, and other causes. Nearly 73 percent of all burns occur at home. The remaining 27 percent are from occupational accidents, recreational or sporting events, and accidents on the street and highways.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand that each person has a unique story. Our skilled and experienced legal team focuses on seeking justice for those who have been injured by the negligent or reckless acts of others. However, there is a statute of limitations on a civil lawsuit in California for personal liability. This means you must file a lawsuit in court within two years of your injury, or you may lose the right to pursue compensation through the court system.
We understand you are facing a financial and emotional burden after a burn injury, which is why there is no financial risk to hire us. There are no up-front or out-of-pocket costs until we get money for you. Our team is committed to providing you aggressive, skilled, and compassionate legal representation.
There is no reason to wait to contact our legal team. In your free consultation, we’ll review your information and discuss your rights and the possible compensation you may be owed. Call OnderLaw, LLC today or contact us online.