Burn Injury | Ellis Law
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Burn Injury

Burn injuries are among the most painful a person can endure. Physical contact with fire, chemicals, or electricity typically results in surface damage to the skin tissue. However, burns can penetrate deeper to affect the nerves, muscles, fat, and even bones. Burn treatment may involve intravenous fluids, multiple skin grafting surgeries, intensive care, rehabilitation, and specialist medical care at a burn center. Deeper burns are considered catastrophic injuries, as they can cause life-threatening shock and respiratory distress, as well as the loss of skin, lasting scars, disfigurement, and chronic pain. Even with the best physical care, a burn victim may be left with mental anguish, including depression, social isolation, anger, irritability, anxiety, and PTSD.    

Types of burn injuries 

Burns injury types include: 

  • Thermal – External heat sources can raise the temperature of the skin and soft tissue, causing cell death or charring. Thermal burns may come from the skin’s contact with metal, scalding liquid, steam, or flames.  
  • Chemical – Strong acids, detergents, or solvents can cause an external reaction on the skin or burn internal organs if ingested. Caustic burns of the eyes can cause blindness.  
  • Electrical – Electrical burns occur after touching a live wire, lightning strikes, short-circuiting products, inserting fingers or objects into electrical sockets, or falling into electrified water. Severe muscle contractions while being electrocuted can lead to broken bones and other injuries.  
  • Friction – The skin chafes off due to fast-moving pressure against an abrasive surface. Rope, rug, and sliding along the road after a motorcycle spill-out are all forms of friction.  
  • Radiation – The sun, x-rays, and radiation therapy for cancer are all possible sources of radiation burns. Radiation-exposed skin can peel off more quickly than it can grow back. Sores and ulcers are common. 

The extent of injury and maximum healing depends upon the degree to which they are classified:  

  • First Degree – The mildest classification of burn affects the outermost layer of skin, causing redness and pain without blistering. These burn injuries are likely to fully heal within one to three weeks. 
  • Second Degree – Damage is done to the outermost layer of skin and the dermis below, causing bright redness, swelling, blisters, and pain to the touch. Superficial second-degree burns may heal without permanent effects within three weeks. A deep partial-thickness second-degree burn is characterized by whiteness skin discoloration that may leave a scar.  
  • Third Degree – “Full-thickness” burns destroy two full layers of the skin, causing black, brown, white, or yellow. While these burns are less painful due to the destruction of nerve endings, medical attention is required to prevent infection and minimize scarring. There is no set timeline for healing.   
  • Fourth Degree – The deepest and most severe type of burns are potentially life-threatening. All layers of the skin are burned, which could leave muscles, tendons, and bones exposed.   

Causes of burn trauma 

A person can suffer a burn injury resulting from: 

  • A house fire  
  • A car accident fire  
  • A fire at a public place 
  • Electrical shocks on the job 
  • Scalding liquids  
  • Hot pipes 
  • Contact with corrosive chemicals 
  • Overheating products like Insta Pots or space heaters 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your burn injury, you may be eligible to pursue compensation.  

Do you need a Los Angeles accident lawyer for your burn injury? 

When the root cause of a burn can be traced back to another person or party’s negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed with an accident lawyer in civil court. Motorists, product manufacturers, employers, property owners, coworkers, medical centers, and other third parties may be deemed liable in some cases. If you’re not sure what happened in those moments before the burn injury, it’s worth talking to a Los Angeles accident lawyer for further investigation.  

Compensation available to burn accident victims 

Burn victims may be able to recover compensation for: 

  • Past and future medical expenses, including hospitalizations, grafting, surgeries, therapy, and medicine. 
  • Travel expenses, to and from, the hospital, specialized surgeons, and burn treatment centers. 
  • Lost past income and an estimated amount of disability pay or lost future capacity to earn money. 
  • An estimated amount of pain and suffering related to physical limitations and emotional hardship. 
  • Punitive damages, as determined by a judge, intended to punish the defendant for gross wrongdoing. 
  • Funeral and burial expenses, as well as other personal losses, arising from the death of a loved one. 

The value of a burn injury settlement depends upon: 

  • The extent of physical harm – The amount of suffering a person endures varies greatly from person to person but remains the largest factor when determining compensation. In the worst cases, a person may become unable to regulate body temperature, suffer widespread infections, lose sensation, and suffer permanent scars — both physical and psychological. 
  • The extent of financial harm – Certain items like related medical expenses and lost wages are simply tallied up as a portion of the settlement. Permanent disfigurement and the inability to earn a living in the future increases the settlement value considerably. 
  • The level of proven negligence – Working with skilled, experienced Los Angeles accident lawyers will be paramount to your case. A successful and resourceful law firm like Ellis Injury Law will provide you with access to investigators and experts who can prove liability and secure greater compensation on your behalf.  

Call us now for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that our payment derives out of recovered settlement money, requiring clients to pay nothing upfront or out-of-pocket.