Suffering a burn injury can be a traumatic experience. The resulting pain and suffering, potential scarring and disfigurement, as well as the prolonged medical care and expenses often add up to a difficult road to recovery. Burns can require hospitalizations, surgeries, and an array of specialized treatments.
When a burn injury occurs as a result of someone’s negligence or ill intent, the victim may be entitled to a significant cash settlement which accounts for multiple types of damages.
In the sections below, we will review everything you need to know about burn injuries and how to file a claim with the experienced attorneys at Martinian & Associates.
What are Some Common Causes of Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries can be the result of any number of scenarios. Some of the more common causes of burn injuries include:
- Chemicals (cement, acid, drain cleaners, etc.)
- House fires
- Defective products
- Motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, scooter, etc.)
- Machinery accidents
- Construction or workplace accidents
- Scalds from hot liquids
- Hot water faucets (improperly regulated thermostats)
- Thermal contact (with flames, hot objects, etc.)
What are Some Common Examples of Burn Injuries that Can Lead to Civil Lawsuits?
A burn injury can take a number of forms, such as:
- Chemical burns
- Contact burns
- Electrical burns
- Explosion burns
Unfortunately, all of the above examples of burn injuries can result in serious complications, such as:
- Fragile/weak skin
- Bone problems
- Joint problems
- Respiratory or breathing problems
- Emotional or psychological harm
Accordingly, these complications can equate to exorbitant and long-term medical bills which have a profoundly adverse impact on a victim’s quality of life. Filing a civil claim for damages with Martinian & Associated can help ensure justice is served and you recover the maximum cash settlement you deserve for your burn injury.
How are Burn Injuries Classified?
The Cleveland Clinic confirms the following information relative to how burns are classified by degree.
Burns are defined as “tissue damage brought on by heat, chemicals, electricity, radiation, or the sun” and the Cleveland Clinic notes that nearly half a million Americans seek medical care for accidental burns every year.
Healthcare providers classify burns according to degrees of severity. Accordingly, the three primary types of burns include:
- First-degree burns: are mild (like most sunburns). The top layer of skin (epidermis) turns red and is painful but doesn’t typically blister.
- Second-degree burns: affect the skin’s top and lower layers (dermis). You may experience pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
- Third-degree burns: affect all three skin layers: epidermis, dermis, and fat. The burn also destroys hair follicles and sweat glands. Because third-degree burns damage nerve endings, you probably won’t feel pain in the area of the burn itself, rather adjacent to it. Burned skin may be black, white, or red with a leathery appearance.
While it’s most common for medical professionals to classify burns by the three-degree categories listed above, additional categories may be used in instances where a burn is severe. In fact, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff members may classify burns up to the sixth degree.
Such severe burn classifications often signify injuries impacting the deep skin tissue, ligaments, tendons, bones, and even a patient’s internal organs. The more severe the burn, the larger the area of the body that is impacted (i.e. third-degree burns typically encompass a substantially larger portion of the victim’s body when compared to first-degree burns).
What Steps Should I Take After Suffering a Burn Injury?
Attending to a burn injury through professional medical care is critical, but there are a number of additional steps that should be taken to ensure that your claim has the best possible chance of success. Some of the most important steps to take after a burn injury include:
- Seeking immediate medical care: First and foremost, your health is the priority after a burn injury. Regardless of severity, it is strongly recommended that injured burn victims receive medical treatment from a physician immediately following an incident. Undergoing a medical examination not only ensures that your health is addressed, however, doing so also establishes an official medical record and documentation which can be invaluable when bringing a civil claim for damages.
- Taking photos and videos of your injuries: Beyond medical treatment, having videos and photographic evidence of your burn injury (as soon as possible after the incident occurs) can help support your claim to recover maximum financial compensation.
- Taking photos and videos of the scene of the incident: This step, while important in ensuring that corroborating evidence is available when filing your civil lawsuit, may need to be completed by a friend or uninjured witness depending on the severity of your burns. Use discretion and do not jeopardize your health to obtain such documentation.
- Making an official report: Whether your burn injury occurred in a public location like a hotel or casino, or on private property like an apartment or personal dwelling, making an official report with the property manager as well as potentially the police is strongly recommended.
- Securing witness statements and contact information: Any witnesses to your burn injury can help corroborate your version of events. Accordingly, be sure to obtain contact information (driver’s license, phone number, etc.) as well as a first-hand statement from each individual as soon as possible after the incident.
How is Liability Determined in a Burn Injury Claim?
The first step in determining liability for your burn injury claim is identifying the source of the incident. For example, defective products, scalding water from improperly maintained faucets, live electrical wires, and more can cause burn injuries. As a result, once the source of the burn injury is determined, your Martinian & Associates attorney will work to prove that the negligent person (or persons) or entity is held liable for your losses – such as hospital and medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
Proving liability in a burn injury civil claim comes down to establishing a connection between another’s negligence or malice and your accident. For example, if an electrical burn occurred due to faulty wiring in a dwelling that was not properly maintained, the property owner or manager may be found to be liable for negligence. Accordingly, the burn injury attorneys at Martinian & Associates would proceed with filing a claim against the negligent party on your behalf, issuing a demand for a settlement, and proceeding with a trial if necessary.
What Damages Can be Recovered in a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
Burn injuries can lead to significant losses for the victim. When you reach out to a Martinian & Associates lawyer for a free consultation, we will review the specific facts of your case to better determine all applicable damages that we will then pursue on your behalf.
Some common examples of damages sought and recovered in California burn injury cases include:
- Hospital and medical care costs (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Psychological harm
- Diminished quality of life
- Reduced earning capacity or lost wages
- Punitive damages
Our Burn Injury Division is dedicated to fighting for maximum financial compensation on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to ensure that justice is served and you are able to make a complete recovery which accounts for your overall physical and financial well-being.
Contact a Los Angeles, California, Burn Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
In California, burn injury victims have a limited window of time to file claims and recover the financial compensation they deserve. In most cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the burn accident or incident. In other words, you typically have two years from the date of your burn injury to file a claim.
However, the Martinian & Associates team of personal injury lawyers strongly encourages all victims to file claims as soon as possible. Doing so will help ensure you receive the proper medical care to support your case while also preserving critical evidence which will allow our investigators to conduct a proper examination and identify the at-fault party (or entity).
Reach out to a Martinian & Associates burn injury lawyer for a free consultation today via 323-850-1900 to discuss your claim. Proving burn injury claims requires the knowledge, skill, and ability of a proven attorney from Martinian & Associates. Don’t settle for anything less than our seasoned team of personal injury and burn accident lawyers. We will fight aggressively and strategically to recover you the largest possible cash settlement based on the circumstances of your unique claim.
Martinian & Associates is a leading Los Angeles burn injury firm representing victims throughout California. And when you choose M&A, you never have to worry about upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses. We won’t charge a penny until after successfully securing maximum financial compensation for your burn injury claim. If we don’t win for you, you don’t pay – it’s just that simple.
Reach out to a member of the Martinian & Associates team today to learn more. We’ve helped injured victims like you recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts, and we’ll fight tirelessly to get you the maximum cash settlement you deserve.