Morgantown Burn Injury Lawyers
Those who suffer minor burns typically need first aid treatment and maybe even an emergency room visit. Their burns heal quickly, and they go on with their lives.
Serious burns have a vastly different and less fortunate outcome that typically includes excruciating pain and one or more corrective surgeries depending on the source and extent of the burn.
In the worst cases, doctors must induce a coma in a burn victim to give them relief from the pain while their body begins to heal. Sustaining a serious burn leads to emotional and physical turmoil that is expensive and requires a personal injury attorney.
Burn Injury Statistics
According to the American Burn Association, almost 500,000 people receive treatment for burn at hospitals and emergency rooms every year. Between 2005 and 2014, 43% of those hospital visits were due to burns from fires or flammable substances and 34% were due to injuries caused by scalding by hot liquids.
73% of burns requiring admission to burn centers occur in the home, but burns can happen in the workplace and on the highway. According to the ABA occupational burns made up 8% of burn center admissions and car accidents made up 5%.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2019:
- A home fire occurs every 90 seconds
- 75% of all fire deaths and 73% of fire injuries were caused by home fires
- Fires caused roughly 3,700 deaths, 16,600 injuries, and over $14 billion in property damage
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns have a variety of sources and causes. As discussed above, the majority of burn center admissions in the United States are due to house fires, but burns can come from a variety of sources.
Causes of burns include:
Hot Liquids, Fires, and Explosions
Fires, steam, hot liquids, and other sources of extreme heat cause dangerous thermal burns, which are the among the most common causes of burns. Burns of this type are what most people think of when discussing burn injury cases.
Many situations can cause a burn from steam or hot liquids, dining or working in a restaurant, cooking in your home kitchen, and bathing or showering, are the most common.
Defective products can be a source of painful thermal burns, whether from a fire or explosion.
Hazardous Chemicals and Corrosive Substances
Some chemicals and substances have dangerous properties that cause painful chemical burns on human skin.
Chemical burns can occur from exposure at home or in the workplace. Examples of corrosive and dangerous chemicals that lead to burns include ammonia, bleach, acids, teeth whitening products, denture cleaning products, and more.
Like burns from radiation, electrocution burns cause damage to internal organs, making them more dangerous than a thermal burn on the skin.
Electric currents are extremely dangerous, even for those who work around them. Others who are unfamiliar with the dangers face a higher risk of electrocution.
A variety of scenarios can lead to electrical burns such as defective electronic devices like hairdryers, curling irons, and cell phones. Poor or old electrical wiring can also cause fires and pose a risk for anyone nearby who comes in contact.
Another common source of burns is motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents can all lead to fires, and sometimes dangerous explosions depending on the force of impact.
Radiation burns are far less frequent than other types of burns, but they do happen. Aside from a catastrophe at a nuclear power plant, the average person is typically only exposed to radiation as part of medical treatment.
Radiation is used for x-rays and other diagnostic imaging and cancer patients also receive radiation treatment to shrink tumors.
When medical providers improperly administer treatment, severe internal burn injuries can occur.
Types of Burn Injuries
Medical professionals who help burn victims need language to evaluate burns, so they can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment. Types of burns are categorized by degree. Here is a broad overview of each type of burn:
- First-degree burns are minor burns that cause damage to the top layer of skin, called the epidermis. Unless a first-degree burn covers a large portion of the body, first aid treatment is typically enough to treat the burn so it heals completely.
- Second-degree burns refer to burns that go through the epidermis, into other layers of the skin causing blisters. Sometimes second-degree burns require skin grafting. Yet, even without a graft, burn victims need extra time to heal from a second-degree burn.
- Third-degree burns extend through the epidermis and dermis and almost always require surgery. These serious burn injuries burn victims who suffer third-degree burns face excruciating pain and can expect weeks or months of recovery. Permanent scars and nerve damage are common with third-degree burns.
- Fourth-degree burns, fifth-degree burns, and sixth-degree burns are grouped together into a category of catastrophic severe burn injuries. These burns extend into the fat and muscle layers of the body and sometimes expose the skeletal system. Catastrophic burns not only damage tissue, but they impact organs and other body functions. Additionally, those who suffer catastrophic burns have a high risk of infection, and if lucky enough to survive, typically must remain in a coma until they heal because their body is in shock.
Aftermath of a Burn Injury
The physical and emotional aftermath of a burn takes a toll on victims and their families. In addition to pain and discomfort burn victims also sometimes cope with the following:
- Permanent scarring. Severe burns leave permanent scars and disfigurement that can be humiliating for burn victims depending on their location.
- Infection. When a burn permeates through the skin and creates an open wound, burn victims risk serious infection, such as tetanus, a bacterial infection that impacts the brain and nervous system.
- Shock. Severe burns interfere with body processes and prevent organs from getting the blood and oxygen they need, causing the body to go into shock.
- Emotional trauma. Suffering burns sometimes leads to severe emotional distress that burn victims must work through as they recover.
- Death. Untreated infections and shock can lead to death after being burned. Even when doctors do their best to treat burn victims, fatality still occurs.
Burn Injury Treatments
Those who suffer third-degree or higher burns, and sometimes expansive second-degree burns need specialized medical care, sometimes at a hospital, but often at a special burn victims unit.
Burn treatments fall under three major areas:
- Extensive wound care. Severe burns leave open wounds that need to be treated to prevent infection.
- Surgery.Burn victims who suffer from infections sometimes need surgery. When some areas of the body cannot be saved from infection, doctors sometimes need to make the difficult decision to amputate.
- Skin grafts. These procedures refer to taking healthy skin from one part of the body and transplanting it to the burned area. Skin grafts are not only painful but expensive.
Compensation for West Virginia Burn Injury Victims
After suffering a serious injury, such as a burn, you may be left with not only the devastating physical and emotional after-effects, but expensive medical bills from your treatment. You may be eligible for the following compensation for your injuries:
- Past and future medical expenses and bills for treatment
- Lost income
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
While investigating your personal injury claim, your attorney may uncover other types of compensation that you may be eligible for. For instance, punitive damages may apply in some cases.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Burn Injury?
Yes. contacting a Morgantown burn injury lawyer for your claim is critical to getting the legal advice and compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Whether it was a workplace injury, an industrial accident, a trucking or motor vehicle accident, or a home fire caused by a defective product, our law firm is here to help you.
After a free initial consultation, a burn injury attorney will be able to negotiate with insurance companies and at-fault parties on your behalf to get you the best settlement possible. If negotiations stall out they can also help you file a lawsuit.
Free Consultation with a Morgantown Burn Injury Attorney
Coping with a personal injury case like a burn injury and its aftermath can be stressful. Taking legal action by contacting an experienced personal injury law firm can provide the funds you need to get the costly treatment you or your loved one needs for their burns.
Contact the skilled legal team at Miley Law Group so you have knowledgeable assistance to guide you through the claims process. Your attorney can focus on the details of your burn injury claim, while you focus on healing. You can contact us online today or at 304-745-2636 for a free consultation and free case evaluation.