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A serious burn injury can occur in many different ways:
A defective appliance in the home or work, exposure to scalding liquids or caustic chemicals at work, in an auto accident involving fire or explosion, or as a result of medical equipment that is used improperly or is unsafe.
Recovering from a serious burn injury often takes multiple surgeries and months of rehabilitation and therapy. Many serious burn injury victims face significant expenses and months away from work and find themselves struggling financially. Our personal injury lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge P.C., can help you get the compensation you need. Call us today at 256-677-4376.
At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., we understand how a serious burn injury can disrupt your life and put stress on you and your family. Every client we serve receives compassionate and personalized legal representation.
Having the right burn injury lawyers in Huntsville guiding you through a difficult period standing up for your interests can make all the difference in your recovery from a serious burn injury. Trust the proven experience and record of success of our attorneys. Let us put our more than 75 years of combined legal services to work for you.
Let us review the specifics of your accident and talk with you about how we can help. Call today to schedule an appointment.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Burn Injury Victims?
After a serious burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for:
- Doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy expenses
- Loss of income due to your injury
- Future lost income if you cannot return to work
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate the accident and identify all the potentially responsible parties who may owe you compensation and their insurance providers. We will substantiate your losses based on your medical expenses and past and anticipated future lost income.
What Are Common Ways Burn Injuries Occur?
An open flame or a hot object such as a stove may be the first thing that comes to mind when considering burn injuries. But here are a number of ways burn injuries occur.
Touching a hot object such as a stove or piece of machinery for an extended time or having hot substances splashed on the skin can cause a contact burn. Contact burns often produce 3rd-degree burns.
Injuries caused by exposure to open flames account for a significant portion of burn injuries to adults. Scalding liquids such as boiling water, hot grease, and other hot liquids also may cause a thermal burn. Scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries to young children and elderly adults. A motorist trapped in a car that explodes after a collision may suffer severe or life-threatening thermal burns from the explosion.
Chemical burns typically occur in manufacturing plants and industrial settings. Contact with industrial chemicals such as acids, alkalis, or flammable liquids such as paint thinners and gasoline may cause chemical burns and the damage may continue to spread for a period of time after exposure to the chemical. Victims of chemical burns, which also are known as caustic burns, often experience severe pain. Significant chemical burns often require transfer to a burn center.
Electrical burns may be caused by contact with machinery, defective household appliances, electrical switch boxes, downed power lines, and police stun guns. Electrical currents can cause abnormal heart rhythms, muscle contractions, cardiac arrest, loss of limbs, and extensive tissue damage.
If a medical technician improperly administers radiation when using a piece of diagnostic equipment or if a defective X-ray machine or imaging equipment delivers an incorrect dosage of radiation, the equipment can cause severe radiation burns. The injury may occur because the equipment has not been properly maintained and serviced or because the technician fails to follow the proper safety procedures. A person who suffers burns as a result of overexposure to radiation may be entitled to seek compensation from a health care provider or other responsible party. Minor skin irritation including reddening of the skin, blisters, and swelling may occur normally as a side effect of cancer treatment involving radiation therapy.
What is the Classification of Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries are described by the severity of skin damage and the destruction of underlying muscle tissue. Doctors assess the severity of a burn by the depth of the damage and the percentage of body surface that is affected.
The American Burn Association defines severe burns for people ages 10 to 40 as those involving 25 percent or more of the body surface or a burn involving the eyes, face, hands, feet, or genitals.
More severe burns that penetrate into deeper tissue require specialized emergency medical care, cosmetic surgery, and intensive long-term rehabilitation at a burn center such as the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital Burn Center or the University of South Alabama Burn Center in Mobile, which takes burn patients from throughout the state of Alabama.
Here is how burns are categorized:
First degree burns, also known as superficial burns, affect the outer layer of skin called the epidermis. Mild sunburn, which includes painful reddened skin, is a common type of 1st-degree burn. It usually does not cause long-term tissue damage.
Second-degree burns, which are also referred to as partial-thickness burns, cause damage to the epidermis as well as part of the underlying layer of tissue known as the dermis. The site of the burn is red, blistered, and swollen. Deep second degree burns can cause scarring.
Third-degree burns, also called full-thickness burns, involve damage to the skin and underlying tissue. The site of the burn may appear charred or waxy. A person who has suffered third-degree burns may have difficulty breathing. Treatment of full-thickness burns may require skin grafts because the layer of skin is destroyed. They may be permanently scarred or disfigured and require cosmetic surgery to repair scar damage and damage to joints affecting by scarring.
Third-degree burns may be fatal if they cover a large area of the body and aren’t treated promptly.
Fourth-degree burns extend deeper than third-degree burns and cause damage to bones, muscle, ligaments, and cause a loss of sensation in the damaged tissue because nerve endings are destroyed.
Serious burn injuries are complex wounds requiring intensive and specialized care. They often cause serious complications and require months of treatment and therapy in a burn center, rehabilitation center, or outpatient facility. Burn victims may suffer dangerously low body temperatures because the skin normally helps regulate body temperatures. Burn victims also are highly susceptible to serious infections because the skin has been burned away and no longer provides a barrier to the introduction of germs.
Infections that get into the bloodstream, known as sepsis, can spread rapidly and cause shock and organ failure and be life-threatening. Burn victims who inhaled smoke or hot air may have difficulty breathing. A burn injury victim may need skin grafts to replace scar tissue caused by deep burns or reconstructive plastic surgery to improve flexibility to damaged joints or repair disfiguring scarring.
Burn victims also may need the help of an experienced Alabama burn injury lawyer to seek compensation to cover medical bills. Severe burn injuries may prevent you from returning to work for months and significantly reduce your family’s income. You should not have to pay medical bills if your burn injury or your loved one’s burn injury was caused by someone’s else negligence.
A burn injury lawsuit can lead to an insurance settlement to compensate the victim of the injury to help pay for ongoing medical expenses, loss of income, and catastrophic injuries.
If defective machinery or equipment in the workplace caused your burn injury, you may have a right to make a personal injury claim against the equipment manufacturer in addition to receiving workers’ compensation through your employer. It is important to understand your legal options so you can make the best decision with your future in mind.
Contact Our Burn Injury Lawyers in Huntsville
Our personal injury lawyers, based in Huntsville, represent people all across Alabama who have been injured by someone else’s negligence including victims of burn victims. A serious burn injury may occur as a result of a car accident, an industrial or workplace accident, an electrocution accident, a defective product, or a wrongful death accident.
Our highly respected attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to take on a broad range of personal injury issues.
Let us review the specific facts of your burn injury accident-free of charge and discuss your legal rights to seek compensation from the at-fault party who caused your injuries.
We have taken many accident cases to trial, and we are proud of the results that we have achieved to help Alabama families recover from serious setbacks and move forward with their lives. Over the years, we have obtained settlements and verdicts totaling millions of dollars for our clients.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help.