Fire & Burn Injuries

Fire Claims & Burn Injuries

A burn may not seem like a severe injury but for accident victims, they are some of the most painful and most costly to recover from. Burns require extensive surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, long rehabilitation periods, and secondary illnesses. In many cases, accident victims suffer from the effects of burns for several years. When burn injuries cause permanent scars and disfigurement, the impact of the injuries remain with the victim for the rest of their life.

Approximately 1.4 millions Americans suffer from burns every year. These injuries are very complicated and can even affect the major organs. Burns are typically a result of an accidental fire. Scalding accidents can also occur from liquids and steam, and individuals also suffer from serious burns when they come into contact with something hot, chemicals, or when they are exposed to electrocution or radiation.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Most people think that burns are the result of a fire, but that is not always the case. While fire-related burns are one cause of these severe injuries, there are definitely other causes of burns:

  • Truck and car accidents resulting in explosions
  • Electrical accidents, such as defective electrical systems or improperly grounded wires
  • Touching hot objects and surfaces
  • Hot water or scalding accidents
  • Defective household appliances, such as hot water heaters
  • Gas and propane explosions

Types of Burn Injuries

Most people have touched a hot surface and sustained a burn, or they have stayed outside for too long and have suffered a serious sunburn. Most of these instances do not result in serious scarring or disfigurement. In most cases, people that suffer from a serious burn are injured in a fire, from steam or coming into contact with a scorching liquid, or from electricity. These types of burns are often sustained in the workplace, particularly when someone’s job requires them to use equipment that can cause fires and burns.

Before you can understand the potential severity of burns, you must first understand the different types and degrees of burns:

  • First-degree burns: These affect only the top layer of the skin. These burns should be covered with a cold compress or soaked in cool water. Once the pain subsides, they can then be covered with a non-adhesive bandage.
  • Second-degree burns: These burns also affect the top layer of the skin, as well as the layer just below it. These burns should also be soaked in cool water or covered with a compress that is neither too cold nor too hot. Anyone that suffers a second-degree burn should lie flat on their back, with their feet elevated above the heart, if possible. These burns also require medical attention so a doctor can determine the seriousness of the burn, and prescribe medication that can help victims manage the pain.
  • Third-degree burns: One of the most severe types of burns, these injuries require emergency medical help. Before medical help arrives, the injured area should be loosely covered with a sterile bandage or clean cloth. Do not soak these burns in water, but do try to prevent the accident victim from going into shock. The accident victim should lie flat, be covered with a blanket, and elevate their feet above their heart, if possible. These scars can result in serious scarring and disfigurement.
  • Fourth-degree burns: The most severe type of burn, these injuries can be life-threatening. All the layers of skin become damaged with these types of burns, and the tendons, bones, and muscles underneath may be damaged. Victims of these burns will likely experience extensive scarring and disfigurement.

Specialized treatment is typically necessary after someone sustains a serious burn. These injuries typically require skin grafts, pain relief, and other treatments that will help prevent scarring. The damage done by burn injuries, regardless of how the burn occurred, is extremely painful and debilitating for many accident victims. Accident victims with serious injuries often find themselves in burn units for days, weeks, or even months. Certain burn injuries will also leave their mark for the rest of the victim’s life. When an individual suffers a burn to their face or other visible body parts, they often have to overcome emotional pain as well as physical pain.

Liability for Burn Injuries

It is important to determine who is liable for your burn injuries because the negligent party is also responsible for paying compensation that can help you recover from them. Determining liability though, is never easy. A number of individuals or companies may be responsible for your injuries. If your burn was sustained during a car crash, the insurance companies will likely determine who was at fault for the accident and offer a settlement.

It is much more challenging to prove that a homeowner was negligent in causing a fire, or that a store owner placed their customers at risk for a burn. Chemical burns are even more complex, but if a public pool was negligent in adding chlorine, visitors qualify for compensation for any eye damage, irritation, or other agencies from the entity responsible for the operation of the pool. Accident victims that suffer a burn injury in the workplace may be eligible for workers’ compensation, while product manufacturers can also be held liable for burns resulting from a defective product.

Clearly, there are many potential liable parties in accidents that result in burn injuries. Fortunately, accident victims do not have to determine who was liable on their own. An experienced burn injury attorney can help victims determine who is liable of the injuries, and what insurance company to hold accountable for paying a fair settlement. Only an experienced lawyer can help ensure that you have accessed the full amount of compensation available to you in Florida.

How Do I Know Who Is Responsible for My Burn Injuries

The person who is liable for causing your injuries is also legally obligated to compensate you for them. It can be difficult to know which person, persons, or companies are legally responsible for causing your burn injuries. In car accidents, the insurance companies will generally determine which drivers were at fault—or apportion fault among multiple drivers—and pay for losses accordingly.

It can be far more difficult to establish that a homeowner was negligent in causing a fire or that a store owner subjected customers to an unreasonable risk of burns. Chemical burns are even more complicated. If a public pool used too much chlorine, patrons may be entitled to compensation for irritation, eye damage, or other illnesses from the agency running the pool. A laboratory worker accidentally exposed to chemicals in the workplace may be entitled to worker’s compensation coverage. If a defective consumer product—such as a curling iron—burns an unsuspecting user, the manufacturer may face products liability claims. In every situation, the specific circumstances of an individual case will determine the liable party.

The good news is that burn victims do not have to make complicated legal determinations of liability on their own. An experienced burn injury attorney will help determine exactly which party or parties are responsible for causing your injuries and what insurance coverage may be available to pay for your losses. Without a skilled legal professional to review your case, you cannot be certain that you have accessed all of compensation to which Florida law entitles you. Letting us handle your case will also allow you to focus on your recovery.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one suffered burn injuries, call Aventis Law Firm for a free consultation. We will work with you to learn about the facts of your case and let you know how we may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries from the negligent party responsible for your harm.