Burn Injury Attorney
Burn injuries are extremely dangerous and can have life-changing results for the person and their family. Your injuries may need substantial medical treatment, skin grafting, hospitalization, surgery, and other expensive procedures, depending on the nature of the burn. In many circumstances, this might result in lost income, diminished earning ability, physical pain, mental distress, and other problems. That is why you must act to protect yourself and your family because insurance representatives will pay the least amount possible and restrict your medical costs to the bare minimum.
We are dedicated to defending the rights of wounded people and their families. Our Houston Texas burn injury lawyers can help you in understanding your legal choices and develop a strategy.
Our burn injury attorney works to hold negligent people accountable when their carelessness causes substantial injury to you, and we always fight to get the full and reasonable compensation that our clients are entitled to. If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury as a result of a fire, you should consult with a Houston burn injury lawyer.
Legal action does more than simply holding irresponsible individuals and businesses accountable. It enables burn damage patients to obtain the resources they require for healing, rehabilitation, and reintegration back into society. It enables people to obtain the assistance they require to go on in their life. As burn injury attorneys, we are humbled to help victims through these difficult circumstances.
Table of Contents
The Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries
You must show that your burn injuries were caused by the negligent acts of another to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are several ways in which a person might get burn injuries, and many of them are the consequence of such neglect.
The following are some of the most prevalent causes of burn injuries that may be traced to someone else’s irresponsible or dangerous behavior:
- Accidents involving automobiles, trucks, or motorcycles
- Products and/or equipment that are defective
- Industrial, oil field, oil rigs, construction and other workplace accidents
- Fires and/or burns caused by electricity
- Unsafe conditions that result in flames
Worker’s Compensation Does Not Pay Enough
If you or a loved one were seriously burned as a result of a work-related fire or explosion, the business and its insurance carriers will do all they can to deny accountability, blame you for your burns, limit your access to workers’ compensation benefits, and stop you from receiving the money you need. Despite what the corporation tells you, its purpose is to pay you the least amount of money possible.
The company will also try to deter you from visiting the top burn experts and plastic surgeons by agreeing to pay for your medical costs only if you go to their hand-picked doctors.
Money for Burn Injuries
Damages are the money given in personal injury lawsuits. Damages differ from case to case since no two events are the same. Burn injuries are also uncertain since everyone’s scarring patterns vary and the degree of damage varies from each person.
In personal injury cases, there are two forms of compensation given. There are two types of damages: economic damages, which have monetary worth, and non-economic losses, which are more difficult to quantify. The following are the most prevalent kinds of compensation in a burn damage case:
- Medical costs
- Medication on prescription
- Travel expenses
- Costs of surgery, including skin grafting and plastic surgery
- Lost income
- Future earning capability is lost.
- Scarring or deformity that is permanent
- Suffering and pain
A burn injury lawyer can assist a client in recovering these damages. They may also include medical expenses for treatment and recovery, such as ambulance calls, emergency room treatment, doctor visits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medicine, and medical gadgets. Future medical bills might account for a sizable portion of medical losses. Due to a handicap, the victim may require long-term rehabilitation or permanent care. These are the types of damages for which the victim may be compensated.
Scarring or deformity is a frequent non-economic injury for which a burn sufferer may seek compensation. Scar valuation in terms of damages is complex; the overall amount of damages you might obtain for scarring depends on your age, gender, career, and a variety of other criteria. Scarring may sometimes be painful, especially if the scar grows over a joint. Scarring from a burn can also cause a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, lowering one’s quality of life.
Types of Fires
You and your family might be exposed to a variety of fires, including more than just flames from a burning structure. The four major forms of fire are as follows:
Thermal fires include flame, contact, scalds, and flash fires. It is the type of fire that most people know about and it is the type that most commonly affects people throughout the country.
A flash fire may occur if a fire is contained in an area before being released suddenly, such as a fire behind a door in a burning building. Scalds happen if a hot liquid of any type makes contact with skin. Contact fire injuries are burns you get if you touch a hot pan on a stove after leaning up against a pipe that you didn’t know was hot. The most common types of fire are flame fires and may occur under any circumstances.
Chemical fires are more commonly found in laboratories or industrial sites. Chemical burns may be quite damaging in some cases due to their reactivity to the components found in human skin.
Typically, radiological fires occur in industrial and research environments. They may, however, occur in medical institutions with faulty equipment. Radiological burns typically need extensive therapy before they may be deemed safe.
Electrical burns occur when a person becomes entangled in a flowing current or latches onto two wires, completing the circuit. Electrical burns frequently cause much more than surface and interior damage, which is why they are so difficult to heal.
Why Should I Consult a Burn Injury Attorney?
The extent to which you can be paid for a burn injury is determined by where and how it occurred. So if you were burned at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation payments and, in some situations, you may be able to sue your employer.
You may be entitled to sue the owner, manager, or corporation for negligence if you were burnt while in another place, such as a school, retail store, or restaurant. If you were burnt by a faulty product, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the product’s maker or merchant. A burn injury lawyer should be able to assess your case and advise you on whether you have a solid claim.
Severe burns are complex and may need extensive therapy in the future. Our burn injury attorney will collaborate with medical providers who specialize in treating burn injuries to identify your future burn injury treatment needs and develop a detailed life care plan to collect the cost of that treatment from the at-fault party.
The Difficulties of Medical Treatment for Burn Victims
Burn sufferers require a diverse approach to treatment. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the prevalent belief among burn care specialists is that treatment and recovery need more than simply transplanting skin from another part of the body. Treatment of the most serious symptoms is required for the person to survive the trauma. The patient will be treated in critical care and critical care settings until he or she has a strong chance of survival.
Caregivers should aim to begin rehabilitation as soon as the individual is out of the hospital. Patients will be given regular dressing changes, which will be extremely painful and necessitate the use of strong analgesics. Many doctors prefer not to use opioid pain relievers, although pain that cannot be relieved with non-narcotic medicines may be managed with more strong ones. The pain can be excruciating and might persist for a long period after the damage has occurred.
Inhaling smoke or heat causes considerable lung damage. The delicate lining and bronchi of the lungs are scorched by heat. Modern burn damage treatment techniques necessitate regular, if not continual, breathing support for burn victims. Breathing treatments aim to remove lung excretions and prevent lung disorders such as pneumonia.
Even if it is painful, burnt limbs should be moved as soon as possible after the accident. Patients who wait until they feel ready to begin physical therapy are less likely to complete a full recovery. Doctors may prescribe pain relievers to assist patients get through a strenuous physical therapy session.
Swelling control is an important function of mobility and physical therapy, as excessive swelling delays or even stops healing. Patients should also dress in anti-swelling clothes. Legs will also need to be raised to decrease edema in the extremities.
Doctors may need to immobilize a burnt limb in some circumstances due to a shattered bone or orthopedic condition. Skin grafts may also need to be immobilized following surgery. Doctors advise that if a body part must be immobilized, the limb should be put in such a way that abnormalities do not arise and held motionless for as little time as medically possible to facilitate recovery.
An anti-contracture method is splinting to prevent deformation. Scar tissue forms fast and covers the damaged region, and it is hard, tight, and lacks flexibility. As a result, moving the tough skin becomes difficult. Once complete contracture has set in, the patient may never be able to restore full range of motion. Flexed muscles, joints, and even skin are more easily rested, but a burn patient must resist the impulse to keep their limbs bent and focus on recovering or maintaining a full range of motion. Wearing compression clothing and obtaining proper therapy, such as plastic surgery, can also aid in the reduction or elimination of scarring.
The American Burn Association has provided the following statistics:
- 486,000 people were treated for burn injuries in 2016
- About 40,000 people were hospitalized with 30,000 being hospitalized at special burn centers
- 43 percent of admissions were caused by a flame or fire; 34 percent of admissions were caused by scalds (hot steam/liquid), 9 percent contact, 3 percent chemical, while 7 percent were from other sources.
- 73 percent of incidents were reported to have happened at home
- 8 percent of incidents were reported to have occurred at work
- 5 percent of incidents happened on a roadway or street
What Type of Treatment is Required for Burn Injuries?
The victim of a burn requires medical care immediately after it occurs. Using ice or water for cooling can help reduce the pain and depth of the burn but over-cooling may lead to hypothermia. Pain-relief medication and bandages are enough for minor burns.
For more extensive burns, however, further treatment will be needed. It may include the following:
- Antihistamines or massage
- Intravenous fluid as fluid leakage occurs
- Skin grafts
- Antibiotics or other treatment for infection
- Amputation might be required for extreme burns
Modern advancements in the field of medicine have increased the chances of surviving burn injuries and have increased the effectiveness of treatment. Skin graft and flap procedures can be used for repairing most burn scars for improving victims’ quality of life. Burn victims might live longer but their quality of life will significantly diminish as they suffer lifelong pain and permanent disfigurement.
A skin graft is one of the most popular treatment options for severe burn injuries. It is a surgical procedure that involves taking skin from a healthy donor spot on the victim and subsequently transplanted onto the damaged areas. Skin grafts are of several different types, which include:
- Pedicle Grafts
- Full-Thickness Grafts
- Split-Thickness Grafts
- Pinch Grafts
If the graft “survives” the first 72 hours after the initial implantation surgery, it will be accepted by the body. If the infection is kept away and a steady supply of blood provided, it should take about 6 months for the graft to fully heal.
What is a First-Degree Burn?
First-degree burns are rather common such as when you splash hot oil on yourself accidentally while cooking or if you bump your arm with the curling iron. First-degree burns are generally not severe and running cool water over the area helps reduce the pain.
Keep in mind that using ice isn’t advisable. Instead, use cooler water over the area to provide some relief. You should also ensure that you protect the wound by using a bandage to cover it. Use a bandage without adhesive so as not to get the sticky stuff inside the wound.
You might experience some pain and inflammation, which is why you might have to take some over-the-counter medication if necessary. First-degree burns are generally easily treatable at home and usually heal in due time.
First-degree burn symptoms include:
- Pain White or Blanched Skin
What is a Second-Degree Burn?
A second-degree burn is the next one up the severity ladder. The size of the burn determines whether the burn can be treated at home or you should seek emergency care. It is usually not larger than 3 inches in diameter as a second-degree burn. You should realize that it isn’t just a surface-level skin injury but rather can affect the skin’s next layer too.
Try not to use ice when attempting to treat a burn, and if blisters form, never try to pop them open to release the fluid. Finally, you might be tempted to use butter or ointments to relieve some of the pain, but you shouldn’t since that can further infect or irritate the area. So, always try avoiding topical treatments unless you have a doctor’s authorization.
Second-degree burn symptoms include:
- Severe Pain
- Intense Redness
- Splotchy Appearance
What is a Third and Fourth Degree Burn?
Third and fourth-degree burns are some of the most severe types of burns. The burns not only affect the different skin layers, but the intensity of a burn can extend as far as the bones, the surrounding muscles, as well as fat.
A burn like this can even damage the nerves, which would explain if you experience tingling or numbness in the burn area. The burns are usually the result of prolonged time in the flames as opposed to a quick encounter with a candle, etc.
The severity of third and fourth-degree burns can be experienced if there’s a fire in a building, and if that’s the case, it is also quite possible to inhale too much smoke, thus poisoning the lungs with carbon monoxide.
The first thing you need to do when dealing with such burns is contacting the emergency services. The burns require medical care. Don’t attempt anything that can cause further injury to yourself. If you were wearing clothes that have been burned to the skin, don’t even attempt to remove them. Instead, wait for the professionals to do that.
Don’t use cold water to treat your wounds. The pain will be severe, but cold water can irritate the area further, If possible, you should try to elevate the areas of the body that received the burns to lower the blood pressure close to the wounds.
The symptoms of third and fourth burn include the following:
- Tan or leathery appearance
- Waxy or stiff appearance
- Numbness that results from destroyed nerves
Is It Possible to Get a Settlement for a Burn Injury Case?
Burns have been associated with severe punishment and trauma. The jury verdict research shows just how serious burn injury cases usually are.
Due to the trauma associated with burns, the burn injury cases usually have a considerably higher verdict potential with juries. According to recent studies, burn cases involving extensive third-degree burns are likely to bring multiples above the economic damages that you won’t find in other case types.
Burns that are relatively minor such as a first-degree aren’t as valued as more severe burns. One study revealed that first-degree burn cases usually bring in less than expected while the second and third-degree burns bring considerably more.
Results in Burn Injury Cases
Burn injury lawyer David P. Willis has obtained superb results for clients affected by burns.
$3,000,000 RV and Motorhome Fire – Two Wrongful Deaths
Willis’ clients were a retired couple who were driving their motorhome. Suddenly the right front tire had a blowout from a road hazard. The tread struck the RV’s propane line located near the wheel well. It caused a rupture that suddenly engulfed the elderly couple’s home in flames, with the intensity at the front door of the RV. They burned alive because they could not escape the fire. David Willis brought a products liability lawsuit against the RV manufacturer and frame builder for negligent design and location of a propane line near the only exit. Below is a photo from the scene.
Houston Burn Injury Lawyer
We have handled many serious burn injury cases, some of them involving wrongful death and the vast majority involve disfigurement, as well as other substantial damages. We have successfully navigated cases, which include fuel-fed gas fires, apartment fires, as well as scalding burns and explosions.
If you have been in an accident that led to you suffering severe burns, you need to work with a burn lawyer you can trust.
Our burn injury lawyer has helped many critically burned clients nationwide recover money. David P. Willis is board certified as a personal injury trial law specialist. We’ve put in a lot of effort to get the best results for our clients, and we’ll do the same for you and your loved ones. Call us at 713-654-4040 or 1-800-883-9858.