Serious burns can have devastating and long-term consequences. For someone who has been burned in an accident and sues for compensation, it’s important to make a complete accounting of the damages associated with the burn. Doing so requires a thorough understanding of the burn’s medical prognosis and its impacts on the plaintiff’s life.
The types of burns
There are several causes of burns, any of which could be part of a personal injury case. Thermal burns are the type most people probably think of when they think of burns. They’re caused by exposure to heat, whether from touching a hot surface, being exposed to hot steam or liquids, or being burned by fire. Car accidents involving fire often can lead to burn injuries. Other types of burns include those caused by corrosive chemicals, especially to sensitive areas of the body like the eyes and respiratory system, and electrical burns resulting from high voltage shocks.
Burns fall within one of three tiers of severity:
- A first-degree burn is relatively mild and rarely leads to long-term consequences. A mild sunburn is a good example of a first-degree burn.
- Second-degree burns have penetrated deeper into the skin and can lead to painful blistering and other problems.
- Third-degree burns have penetrated the entire skin and may damage underlying tissues. Third-degree burns are extremely serious and potentially life-threatening, as they can result in destroyed nerve endings and other problems for which there is no remedy.
In addition to the tier system, burns are also categorized according to their location and the overall coverage of the body. A victim of a structure fire may have extensive burns over a large portion of his or her body. The more significant the burn coverage is and the deeper the burns have penetrated the skin, the more serious the burn.
Suing for damages after a burn injury
Burn victims often need to seek special forms of compensation in their personal injury lawsuits. A burn can involve a lifetime of lingering pain and discomfort, disfigurement, and a long road of physical therapy and other medical treatments. In settlement negotiations or at trial, the victim’s attorneys must account for all of these consequences. Doing so requires approaching the issue from several angles:
- A calculation of past and anticipated future medical costs.
- Consultation with burn experts to evaluate the anticipated long-term effects of the injury.
- Gathering evidence about the burn’s impacts on the plaintiff’s day-to-day life, such as the way the burn will affect the plaintiff’s emotional and psychological health, career prospects, and personal relationships.
Experienced personal injury attorneys understand that a burn victim is enduring an especially difficult process that needs to be handled with care and compassion. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in the Las Vegas area in personal injury cases. We can help you or your loved one seek just compensation for burn injuries. Please call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.