The physical and emotional pain of a severe burn can stay with a victim for years. It is not uncommon for survivors to suffer flashbacks of the day of the blaze, some may carry visible scars as a permanent reminder of the trauma—and many victims will never fully recover from the accident. At Case Barnett Law, we represent burn injury survivors who have suffered significant losses and help them get a payment that will last as long as the effects of their injuries.
What Are the Different Kinds of Burn Injuries?
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, responsible for protecting your organs and allowing you to feel and interpret the world around you. Burn damage to the skin is more than just superficial—it can cause pain sensations and loss of sensitivity that can significantly restrict you from maintaining employment and enjoying life.
Burns are classified by the severity of the damage to the tissues, including:
- First-degree. First degree burns only affect the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis). Victims often experience pain and reddening of the skin, which may turn to a purplish mark as it heals. These burns usually heal within one to three weeks and cause minimal scarring.
- Second-degree. This burn extends into the lower layer of skin tissue (dermis). Victims often suffer pain and redness, but also blisters that may break, ooze, and become infected. These burns often take over a month to fully heal and may take several months if infection occurs. Long-term effects may include scarring or tightening of skin and muscle tissue that impair mobility (contractures).
- Third-degree. These severe injuries extend past the epidermis and dermis into the soft tissues beneath. Victims of third-degree burns often need skin grafts, heal only after several months, and suffer temporary or permanent nerve damage.
- Fourth-degree. A burn that affects the victim’s bones, muscles, or tendons underneath the skin is known as a fourth-degree burn. When these burns do not result in death, they are likely to cause permanent damage—both in the affected area and throughout the body.
Common Complications of Burn Injuries
Everyday life is extremely challenging for burn victims. Not only is the injury itself excruciatingly painful, the treatments that a victim must undergo are often just as painful as the original injury. Rehabilitation may continue for years, costing the victim to lose time away from work and pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of:
- Infections. Any breakage in the skin increases a victim’s risk of infection, and infection after a burn can penetrate into the bones and bloodstream. If the patient suffers sepsis, he may require tissue removal or amputation to remove the infected tissue.
- Respiratory problems. Exposure to smoke and hot air can scar a victim’s lungs, resulting in breathing problems such as asthma, pneumonia, or respiratory failure.
- Brain damage. Burn victims may suffer brain damage as a result of oxygen loss to the brain (hypoxia) from smoke inhalation, by inhaling caustic chemicals, or by suffering electrocution injuries.
- Blindness. Heat from a fire or a chemical burn to the face can permanently impair a victim’s vision, making it impossible for him or her to continue working.
- Mobility problems. Muscle contractures, nerve damage, and scaling or burns to the feet and hands can all cause a loss of coordination and dexterity. Patients may need compression therapy and many years of physical rehabilitation to regain lost range of motion.
- Scarring. Skin grafts may be required to repair the damage on a burn victim’s face and neck, causing disfiguring scars that can significantly impact the quality of life. While modern medicine continually finds ways to smooth scar tissue, present methods include plastic surgery, painful laser treatments, and other options that may not be covered by insurance.
- Psychological damage. Burn victims are at particular risk of psychological injuries after a fire. The trauma of the event and the constant reminder of the scars can cause victims to withdraw, suffer extreme anxiety or depression, and require guided counseling to cope with the effects of the accident.
We Are Focused on Full and Fair Payment for Your Burn Injury
Burn victims are often plunged into debt from their medical bills at a time when they are feeling dejected and vulnerable. At Case Barnett Law, we fight on behalf of injury victims who have suffered financial losses in excess of $2,000 through no fault of their own. With our help, victims have been able to recover payment for past medical bills and suffering, as well as compensation for future losses due to disability and disfigurement.
We are invaluable to our injury clients when it comes to:
- Determining fault. In many cases, more than one negligent party can be held liable for causing a burn injury. An employer, another driver, insurance company, coworker, or the manufacturer of a product are just a few parties who may share responsibility.
- Gathering evidence. After we have determined the liable parties in your case, we begin the process of discovery. This is the process of collecting information on both sides of the case—for us, it involves drawing a clear line from the defendant to your injury.
- Settlement negotiations. In order to ensure that our clients get maximum compensation for their injuries, we will typically file a lawsuit before we begin negotiations with an insurer or an at-fault party. This way, if negotiations are unsuccessful, your case will proceed to trial with no additional waiting.
- Trial. Many lawyers shy away from the courtroom, but at Case Barnett Law we enjoy going to trial. Most defendants would rather not go to trial, so they are less likely to lowball their settlement offer if they are fighting against an attorney who is willing to go to court.
Case Barnett Law is dedicated to getting each and every client the compensation they deserve. We can help you get the payment you need for past medical treatment, in-home nursing care, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering—and we do not collect any fees until we win your case. Simply fill out the contact form on this page to set up your free and confidential initial consultation.