What to Know About Burns and Personal Injury Cases
Burns are some of the worst types of injuries. They are among the most painful injuries a human can suffer and more serious burns often lead to prolonged hospitalization, permanent scarring and disfigurement and an alteration of one’s body image, forever.
What Are the Types of Burns?
Types of burns include friction burns, cold burns (frostbite), thermal burns, radiation burns (sunburn), chemical burns, and electrical burns. In addition, there are different degrees of burns: first, second, and third.
First-degree burns are usually less severe and typically only affect the outermost layer of your skin. A second-degree burn also affects the dermis (the layer under the outer layer of skin), and a third-degree burn reaches the fatty layer below the dermis, and is thus the most severe type of burn.
While less common in first-degree burns, an infection sometimes arises after the skin is damaged by a burn. Second and third-degree burns usually require medical attention, and third-degree burns often require more prolonged treatment, hospitalization and, often, skin grafts.
Who May Be Liable for Your Burns?
In many cases, no one is at fault for your burns. For example, if you were trapped outside for a long period of time in the cold, there is no party liable for your frostbite. However, there are situations where the actions or negligence of others may contribute to someone’s burn injury.
Chemical burns are one type of burn that could be caused by someone else. For example, if you work with chemicals that are mislabeled, a manufacturer or company could be at fault.
Similarly, there may be times when employees at certain businesses may at fault for a burn injury. Perhaps you are at a restaurant and order some hot coffee, but the server spills it all over you, causing a severe second-degree burn. Other times, a landlord does not have proper fire systems in place which can lead to tenants sustaining burns in the event of a fire. Electrical burns also often occur due to the failure to follow safe practices on construction and other jobsites.
In some cases, multiple parties can be at fault for your burn injury. With the chemical burn example, your lawsuit could include others involved in the line of distribution, including retailers who sold the chemicals.
What Kind of Settlement Can You Get?
Legal cases involving burns are often complicated, which means your settlement can vary drastically. The settlement depends on the severity of your burn, the cause and the outcome. With a minor second-degree burn, you may only need money to pay for a trip to the doctor to clean and treat the burn. On the other hand, for a third-degree burn, treatment is often much longer and more expensive, especially if skin grafts are involved, and often permanent scarring and disfigurement occurs.
Finally, burns are heavily associated with pain and suffering. Burns cause physical pain for quite some time. However, even after the burn has fully healed, you may have emotional pain and suffering, especially if left with permanent scarring and disfigurement. Emotional pain and suffering may be caused by the trauma, leading to anxiety and PTSD. Many people also experience depression after a severe burn, especially if it leaves scarring and permanently alters one’s physical appearance.
If someone else is responsible for your burn injuries, consider a lawsuit to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. For more information, contact us at Carter and Fulton, P.S., today.