Burn injuries are among the most traumatic injuries sustained by accident victims If you received burn injuries from an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, you may have to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial trauma related to your burns for the remainder of your life. Disfigurement from burns can lead to additional emotional trauma that prevents you from engaging in your normal day-to-day life or returning to work. The financial devastation of burn injuries can add to the trauma. You may wonder how you will pay your past, ongoing, and future medical expenses related to your burn injuries.
If you are unable to return to work, you may be unable to pay your normal monthly expenses as well. This is a time when you desperately need an advocate by your side—someone who will work hard on your behalf to hold the liable party accountable and help you receive the financial compensation you need and deserve. When you have an experienced Richmond burn injury lawyer from Tronfeld West & Durrett as your advocate, you can focus all your energy on healing, knowing we will be protecting your rights and your future.
What Types of Accidents Can Cause a Burn Injury?
Burns can result from auto accidents that cause a fire, accidents resulting from property owner negligence, or can be the result of a work accident. Burn injuries can be the outcome of an electrical burn, an open flame burn, or a contact burn resulting from contact with hot steam or hot metal.
The response of the victim, bystanders, and emergency response personnel can all have an impact on the severity and extent of the burns. Immediately stopping contact with whatever is causing the burn is essential, including removing any burned or smoldering clothing. When accelerants are involved, the burning process can continue even once it appears the flames have been extinguished.
There are three degrees of burn severity, categorized as first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns only affect the top layer of the skin and should be covered with cool compresses or submerged in cool water until the pain subsides, then protected with a sterile, non-stick bandage. A second-degree burn affects both the top layer of skin and the layer of skin beneath it.
Like a first-degree burn, a second-degree burn should be loosely covered with a sterile bandage, however, the injured person should lie flat with feet elevated above heart level. A medical professional should be seen as quickly as possible to assess the severity of the burns and to prescribe antibiotics and pain medications. First-degree burns cause a reddening of the skin, while second-degree burns cause the skin to blister with some thickening of the skin.
A third-degree burn is extremely serious and emergency assistance should be sought. A third-degree burn should not be soaked in water; the main goal with third-degree burns is to prevent the injury victim from going into shock. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention and can result in a widespread thickness with a white, leathery appearance. Both second and third-degree burns can cause scarring and disfigurement.
There are also fourth-degree burns, although these burns are so severe they may result in death. Fourth-degree burns extend beyond the skin into tendons and bones. When a person is burned in an accident caused by the negligence of another, the negligent party should be held liable for these injuries.
The responsible party could be another driver who failed to follow the laws and rules of the road or who was driving recklessly. If a workplace accident caused burn injuries and the accident was due to clear safety violations, the business owner could be held responsible. In some cases, property owner negligence may have caused an unsafe condition that resulted in burn injuries; in this case, the property owner would be held liable.
How Are Burn Injuries Caused in an Accident?
If your burn injuries are the result of an auto accident, they could have been caused by contact with hot metal, hot water, steam escaping from a damaged radiator, contact with other heated elements of the vehicle, or an actual fire caused by an explosion or gas leak. Since automobile fuel systems are meant to be designed and constructed so fuel tanks withstand the impact of most collisions without spilling gasoline or diesel and causing a fire, the manufacturer of an automobile that catches on fire could also be liable.
There are also standards in place regarding the integrity of radiators and their containment of hot water as well as for exhaust and electrical systems in the automobile. These standards are meant to ensure the occupants are protected from burn injuries. Burn injuries in the workplace can be the result of fire, steam, hot liquids, or other hot objects, radiation exposure, chemical burns, or electrical burns.
How Can a Burn Injury Impact You Following Your Accident?
As noted, burn injuries can result in physical, emotional, and financial consequences. These consequences can include:
- Thinking about the accident that caused the burn injuries on a daily basis
- Significant changes in appearance due to scarring from the burns
- Embarrassment from the disfigurement caused by burn injuries
- Chronic pain, in cases of third-degree burns, even excruciating pain
- Pain that continues after the burn has healed
- Chronic itching
- The necessity of physical therapy exercises—and the difficulties associated with adhering to these exercises
- Physical limitations, including loss of mobility
- Loss of independence
- An inability to return to your career, school, or job
- The inability to care for children or other dependents
- A loss of enjoyment of life
- Depression, anxiety, and even despair
What Should You Do Following a Burn Injury Accident?
You should seek immediate medical assistance for any burn to assess the severity of the burn. You may believe your burn is not that severe, yet your doctor may determine it is more severe than you think. Never apply ice to a burn, and never use ointments, creams, lotions, or butter on a burn as this can cause more damage (Your care team may select a topical product for wound healing like silver sulfadiazine or bacitracin).
If your burn injuries are severe, you may be transferred to a burn center—usually when your burn injuries cover more than 10 percent of your total body surface area, when the burns are very deep, or when the burns are on your face, feet, or groin area. Large burns may require skin grafts, along with months or years of follow-up care and physical therapy.
Why You Should Hire a Richmond Burn Injury Lawyer Near You
Burn injuries can change lives forever, causing emotional trauma and requiring years and years of treatments and physical therapies. If you have sustained burn injuries, it is imperative that you have a strong Richmond burn injury lawyer from Tronfeld West & Durrett by your side to handle all the necessary legalities of your injury claim while you focus on healing. We will gather all the evidence, carefully assess the facts and circumstances surrounding your burn injuries, then calculate an equitable settlement. We will deal with the insurance company, refusing to back down from a fight while insisting on a settlement that will help you move forward with your life.
How a Tronfeld West & Durrett Richmond Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we zealously represent the best interests of each and every client. Injury victims have a narrow window of opportunity to seek recovery for their injuries; having one of our highly skilled attorneys by your side can make a significant difference in your outcome. Insurance companies often attempt to settle quickly before the full extent of your injuries is known. They may not know the length of time required to treat your injuries, or how the injuries will affect your work and your day-to-day life. At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we have the commitment and tenacity necessary to ensure you are not taken advantage of. Contact Tronfeld West & Durrett today.