Burn injuries are some of the most devastating injuries you can ever have. They are not only painful but also debilitating. Victims can lose the ability to use some of their organs, experience months of hospitalization, and, in severe cases, die. Learn more about burn injury claims and how a Santa Ana catastrophic injury attorney at Attorney Jeff Injury Lawyers can help.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Here are some causes of burn injuries:
- Car fires
- Gas explosions
- House fires
- Chemical burns
- Electrocution and electrical fires
- Work-related burns from heating elements
- Faulty products that cause accidents
Degrees of Burn Injuries
Medics classify burns according to their severity. This is usually the number of layers of the skin that have been affected by the injury.
First-degree burns are the mildest type of injury, as they only affect the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. However, the victim will still experience swelling, redness, and pain. These injuries do not cause scarring or blistering. Common causes of first-degree burns are hot water scalds..
Second-degree burns go a layer deeper and affect the underlying layer, the dermis. As a result, the injuries are more painful. These burns cause swelling, redness, and blistering and may be sensitive to warmth.
The skin may also appear moist or wet. Some blisters may break and ooze fluid. One may get second-degree burns after exposure to flames, hot objects or liquids, or chemical burns.
Third-degree burns affect the entire screen and underlying tissue, making them one of the most severe types of burn injuries. They may also affect muscles, nerves, and bones. The injuries are very painful but can also be painless if nerves are damaged.
On the other hand, the skin may appear white and charred, black, or brown. The affected area may also be numb. One may get third-degree burns from exposure to naked flames, chemicals, prolonged contact with hot surfaces, and electricity.
Fourth- and fifth-degree burns
Fourth- and fifth-degree burns are the most severe types of burn injuries. They involve damage to the skin, bones, tendons, and muscles. The skin may look like third-degree burns, but the underlying tissue may be completely damaged. In most cases, the victim may lose the affected limb or organ to the injury.
How Are Burns Treated?
The type of treatment that a burn injury victim gets depends on the burn’s degree. First- and second-degree burns may be treated with topical ointments and painkillers. The doctor may also treat the resulting wounds.
However, third- to fifth-degree burns may require immediate medical attention. The victim may require specialized treatment, including reconstructive surgery, skin grafting, and rehabilitation. In some cases, the limbs may be amputated. Victims may have lifelong complications, physical disabilities, disfigurement, and scarring.
Apart from physical injuries, the victims require psychological treatment to help deal with the trauma, depression, hallucinations, flashbacks, and anxiety that come with the experience. They may need support, counseling, and regular visits to the doctor.
Factors in a Burn Injury Settlement
There are several factors that influence the settlement of a burn injury. Here are the most common ones:
- Severity of the burn injury: The severity of the injury directly determines the settlement value. Injuries that are third-degree and higher may attract a higher value than the rest.
- The location of the injury: The location of the burn also influences the settlement. Burns on visible areas such as hands, legs, and faces tend to have higher settlement amounts than those that can be covered by clothing.
- Scarring or disfigurement: Victims who have had permanent scarring or disfigurement get a higher settlement amount due to the likely impact it will have on their lives.
- Liability: If the court proves that someone else was at fault for the burn injury, the settlement amount is likely to be higher. The injury should have been caused by negligence, and the responsible party had a duty to prevent the injury.
- Medical expenses: The cost of medical treatment is usually factored into the settlement amount.
- Lost income: If the burn injury caused the victim to miss work, the court includes the lost wages or income in the settlement.
- Emotional distress: The court takes into account the emotional distress caused by a burn injury when calculating the settlement value. This includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and psychological trauma.
Contact a Santa Ana Burn Injury Attorney for Help
If you are a victim of a burn injury, a Santa Ana burn injury attorney can assist in several ways. We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf for a fair settlement and ensure that your rights are protected.
We will file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the injury where necessary. We handle all aspects of the legal process, from discovery through depositions and trials. Our team will investigate the cause of the injury, collect evidence, interview witnesses, and work with experts to build a strong case.