Everyone may experience a burn injury at some point in their life, whether through a cooking mishap or touching a hot stove burner. Yet, even though these incidents often result in a minor injury that can be treated with a band-aid and some cooling ointment. Sometimes these burn injuries can leave you with significant scarring, debilitating harm, or a permanent disability.
Worse yet, these horrifying burn accidents can be the result of someone else’s fault- a product defect, a motor vehicle accident, or even because of unsafe premises. However, you are the one left to deal with the pain and suffering and the skyrocketing medical expenses that this type of injury results in, even though you should not have to be. In this blog, we want to better help you understand these burn injuries. Specifically, going over how they happen, what legal options you can pursue following this injury, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with the legal assistance you need to get through this devastating ordeal.
Different Types of Burn Injuries
When most people think of a burn injury, they tend to associate the wound with an open flame or a hot surface. But in truth, there are many other sources that can result in a burn injury, including:
- Radiation Burns: These burns usually ensue because of some type of radiation, such as radiation therapy used to treat cancer, X-rays, and even sunburns.
- Cold Burns: Also referred to as “frostbite,” these types of burns often cause damage to your skin by causing it to freeze. Cold burns can occur from being outside in freezing temperatures or when your skin touches something icy for long periods of time.
- Friction Burns: Quite often, these burns are a form of abrasion that results from a hard object rubbing off your skin. They usually occur following a biking accident or a motorcycle crash and are also referred to as chafing or skinning.
- Chemical Burns: These burns result from solvents, strong acids, or detergents touching your skin and causing it to burn.
- Thermal Burns: When you touch an extremely hot object such as a flame, steam, scalding liquids, and hot metals, it can result in your skin cells dying.
- Electrical Burns: An electrical burn results from electricity coming into contact with your body leading to damaged tissues, organs, and skin burns.
The Severity of Your Burn
Typically, medical professionals group burns into different categories depending on how deeply the skin has been harmed. These different categories are referred to as “degrees” and include the following:
- First- Degree Burns: In general, these burns only affect the skin’s outer layer but can result in painful and red skin. However, you should not have any blisters or long-term damage. Using basic first-aid techniques or over-the-counter creams may be enough to heal the burn and stop the pain.
- Second- Degree Burns: When you suffer a second-degree burn, this type of burn often affects the outer layer of the skin in addition to the dermis (the underneath layer). Following this type of burn, your skin may be swollen, bright red, and look wet and shiny. It will also hurt when touched, and you may see blisters, which can lead to scarring and infections if not treated properly.
- Third- Degree Burns: This type of burn can sometimes be referred to as a “full-thickness burn” and destroy two full layers of your skin. This burn can be extremely dangerous and become life-threatening if medical treatment is not immediately provided. Skin will usually be destroyed down to the muscle, bone, or underlying tissue and appear black, white, yellow, or brown. Many times this burn may not even hurt because the burn is so severe that it damages nerve endings. In general, hospitalization and lengthy treatments may be required.
- Fourth-Degree Burns: The most severe of burns. A fourth-degree burn is not only usually life-threatening, but it can also destroy all the layers of your skin, your muscles, tendons, and your bones. Because this type of burn is usually not considered survivable, the CDC does not include them in their data. However, some other medical journals do.
It is imperative that following a significant burn injury that you get examined by a medical professional. These burn injuries can often lead to numerous complications, including joint issues, bone problems, and deadly infections.
How Do You Prove Liability in a Burn Accident
If you suffered significant medical expenses, lost wages, and other bills due to your burn injury, you may be able to recover compensation for the damages you endured.
However, in order to obtain this compensation, you will first need to establish the injury was due to another’s intentional or negligent actions. To prove negligence, you need to show the following elements:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to avoid causing harm
- Breach: The at-fault party breached this duty of care
- Causation: This breach resulted in you to suffer a burn injury
- Damages: This burn injury led to monetary losses
Filing a Burn Injury Claim- How Much Time Do You Have?
If you have suffered a burn injury, you only have one year to bring an injury claim in Louisiana. If you do not bring a claim within this allotted time, you may be barred from collecting compensation for your damages. However, there are exceptions to this statute of limitation that can impact how much time you have to file. For these reasons, you need to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. These lawyers can not only determine how much time you have to file but ensure your case is filed correctly and promptly.
Get the Legal Help You Need, Following a Burn Accident Injury
Burn injury claims are complicated. They require extensive evidence to show fault and damages, a thorough understanding of the state’s laws, and sound arguments to help prove your claim. For these reasons, the best way to ensure you bring a strong case and fight for the damages you deserve is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. These lawyers can:
- Go over your case in detail, answer any questions and concerns you may have, and figure out the best legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate your burn accident thoroughly, assess your losses, and gather the vital evidence needed to prove what happened and who was at fault.
- Handle the discussions and negotiations with the defense or the insurance company, and ensure you do not say anything that can harm your claim while going after a fair settlement amount on your behalf.
- Bring in experts to testify, such as accident reconstructionists, engineers, doctors, and economists who can help substantiate your claims.
- If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, take your case to trial and fight for maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury because of another party’s intentional or negligent actions, do not wait. Contact the skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm today, or call our office at (504) 294-5075, and let our legal team fight for you and your rights.