Burn injuries are very traumatic. Unlike other injuries, burns frequently leave scars and serve as a constant reminder of the accident or traumatic event that led to the burn. Burn victims require immediate medical treatment to protect their health.
Burns also leave victims in serious emotional distress. It is not an exaggeration to say that many burn victims are never the same after their accidents.
At Pritchard Injury Firm, we help burn victims get the compensation they need to move on with their lives. We understand the distress many burn victims feel and are prepared to fight for your legal rights. Contact a burn injuries lawyer today.
Types of Burn Injuries
As experienced attorneys, we have met with people burned in a variety of ways. The following are the different types of burn injuries:
- Thermal burns. These are caused by contact with something hot, such as fire or hot objects, like a stove. Steam and hot liquids can also cause thermal burns.
- Electrical burns. An electrical current can burn the skin where the current enters and exits the body. However, an electrical current can also burn internal organs.
- Chemical burns. Acids and other chemicals can cause burns when they contact skin.
- Friction burns. When a person’s skin is scraped across a hard surface, a friction burn can result. Road rash is a type of friction burn.
- Radiation burns. High energy radiation can damage the skin, which feels like a burn.
Burns are also classified by degree. Doctors have identified four different degrees of burn severity:
- First degree. A first-degree burn affects the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of skin. You can experience redness and pain; however, permanent scarring is rare.
- Second degree. A second-degree burn affects your epidermis but also injures the underlying layer, the dermis. These burns can develop painful blisters. Some second-degree burns will require skin grafts while others can heal on their own.
- Third degree. A third-degree burn damages both layers of skin, as well as underlying tissue.
- Fourth degree. A fourth-degree burn injures underlying tissue, including muscles and bones.
How to Treat a Burn Injury
Prompt medical treatment is necessary to protect your health. Even minor burn injuries can be potentially serious, especially if you do not cool the burn and keep it clean.
First, cool the burn by holding the affected limb under cool (but not cold) water. Don’t put oil or butter on the burn, which will lock in heat and cause even more damage. Remember to keep the burn submerged for a very long time because the tissue underneath could be very hot even if the outermost layer of skin has cooled.
Also remember not to remove clothing, which could have melted onto the skin. Ripping off burned clothing will only rip off the skin. Instead, cut around the burn as much as possible, and remove belts and wedding rings, because the affected area will swell.
Second, assess the burn as you are cooling it. If it is smaller than the palm of your hand and is superficial, then you can clean the wound and dress it with a sterile bandage. Very minor burns like these probably don’t warrant a trip to the hospital.
However, go to the hospital if any of the following apply:
- The burn is especially deep, regardless of the size.
- The burn is larger than the palm of your hand.
- The burn is on a sensitive part of the body, such as the face or genitals.
- The burn is on your knee or another joint.
- You suffered an electrocution burn.
Third, watch for signs of infection. An infected burn will begin to leak puss or be especially painful. Visit a doctor if you suspect infection so you can get as prescription for antibiotics.
What Compensation You Are Entitled To
If someone else’s negligent or intentional actions caused your burn, then you can sue them for compensation. Our clients have received compensation for the following:
- Medical treatment, such as the cost of skin graft surgery or amputation, as well as the cost of doctor visits or hospital stays.
- Physical therapy to help recover from the burn and improve mobility.
- Mental health counseling or therapy, to help you recover emotionally from the injuries.
- Future medical care, if a person is permanently disabled by a burn.
- Lost wages, if the victim cannot work while recovering.
- Lost future wages, if disability prevents the victim from returning to his or her old job.
- Property damage, if the accident damaged property.
These losses are considered “economic” and can be quickly calculated by looking at the amount of money spent. Even future losses—like future medical care or future lost earnings capacity—are fairly easy to calculate. For example, if you are permanently disabled, your burn injury lawyer can work with an accountant to calculate how much you likely would have earned over your entire working life.
Burn victims can also qualify for compensation for certain non-economic losses:
- Pain and suffering. Burn victims physically suffer from their injuries, experience pain and disability.
- Emotional distress. Bad burns can cause severe depression, anxiety, and embarrassment.
These types of losses are harder to quantify in dollars and cents. Take emotional distress. Yes, you can receive compensation for meeting with a therapist and for the cost of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines. But you deserve compensation simply for feeling the negative emotions themselves, and there is no market value for determining how much money makes up for this distress. Instead, your burn injury attorney will look at similar cases to determine how much you can receive in a settlement or a court case.
Speak to a Cartersville Burn Injuries Lawyer
Burn injuries are very stressful for the victim and for family members. If you or someone you care about has been burned, please contact a burn injuries lawyer at Pritchard Injury Firm today. We can meet to find out more about whether you have a valid legal claim against someone and how much compensation you might receive.
Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
We also help victims from burn injuries in Cobb and Cherokee County, if you have suffered injuries you should contact one of our attorneys to get started on your case.