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San Francisco Burn Injury Lawyer


According to the CDC, 1.1 million people are treated annually for burns in the United States. Of those, 50,000 people require hospitalization. Ten thousand people die every year from burn infections.

A severe burn injury can be one of the most serious injuries you can sustain. These types of injuries are not only painful, but they can also cause significant scar damage to your body. Severe burns often require hospitalization and extensive surgery that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Whether you were burned with scalding hot water in a hotel shower or you received a chemical burn from an unsafe product, if your burn injury was caused by the negligence by another person or a business, then you may be able to seek compensation through a legal claim.

At Rizio Lipinsky Heiting, we understand how traumatizing it can be to be the victim of a serious burn injury and want to help you heal wounds that are more than just skin deep. The experienced burn injury attorneys at Rizio Lipinsky Heiting in San Francisco may be able to help you.

Effects of a Severe Burn

Most of us have had a minor burn at one point in our life. Even a minor burn can be extremely painful and take time for healing. A severe burn can not only mar your body, but it can also affect vital organs that aren’t connected to the burn area.

The skin is not just a covering. It is the largest organ of the body, and it has many vital functions. It offers protection from infections and diseases; it helps regulate body temperature and contains nerve endings that give us sensation to touch. A severe burn injury can affect the skin’s ability to do all of these functions.

Here are some more effects of a severe burn:

  • Destroy hair follicles
  • Loss of limbs
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of mobility
  • Scarring
  • Reoccurring infections
  • Muscle or tissue damage that may affect every system of the body

Additionally, the traumatic experience of a burn can impact you mentally. Many burn victims face emotional problems, such as depression, humiliation, nightmares, and flashbacks to the event. If there was a fire where they lost a friend or loved one, there can be feelings of grief and blame to add to the physical and emotional impact.

Levels of Severity in Burns

There are three different levels of severity when it comes to burns.

  • First Degree Burns cause damage to the top outer layer of the skin (the epidermis)only. These types of burns cause minimal damage and result in redness and minor inflammation. Mild sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn. Healing time is usually one week and can be treated with aloe vera and cool water.
  • Second Degree Burns cause damage that goes beyond the outer layer of the skin. Typically, these burns cause blisters and extremely red skin and are painful. Healing time can take weeks, and the site of the burn should be properly bandaged to help eliminate the possibility of infection. Burn cream may also be applied to treat the area.
  • Third Degree Burns are the worst type of burn that you can sustain. The extensive damage permeates through every layer of the skin, with the potential of affecting bones and other vital organs. If the bones, muscles, or tendons are burned, then it may be referred to as a fourth-degree burn. These types of burns are characterized by a white or black dry wound with charring. Third-degree burns can cause permanent nerve damage, hypothermia, infection, and even death. Because of the extreme damage that third-degree burns can cause, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Common types of burn injuries

The most common type of burn is direct contact with flames. Direct contact with flames could be you being trapped in a house fire or an automobile accident that goes up in flames. There are several types of burn injuries, however.

Here are a few common types of burn injuries:

  • Scalding liquid burns from a faulty hot water heater or spills from liquids that have been heated to scalding temperatures
  • Defective product burns from an exploding pressure cooker or an e-cigarette
  • Radiation burns sustained during diagnostic medical imaging or radiotherapy, which can result in medical malpractice
  • Friction burns caused by sliding across the pavement in a motorcycle accident
  • Heat burns caused by tools or hot surfaces
  • Surgical fires in the operating room

Types of San Francisco Burn Injury Lawsuits

A burn injury can result in several different types of legal claims. It is important to understand what type of burn claim your lawsuit will fall under because there are different rules and procedures for each. An experienced burn injury attorney can review your claim and determine what type of burn injury case you have.

  • Negligence. If a person has breached a duty of care and the breach resulted in your injuries, then a personal injury claim may be appropriate. For example, if a drunk driver caused a car accident and you were trapped in your vehicle when it went up in flames, then you may have a claim for negligence against the drunk driver.
  • Premises liability. If a dangerous property defect caused your burns, then a premises liability claim may be appropriate. If you were burned in a hotel fire, and there were no working smoke alarms in your room, then the property owner breached a duty of care, making him liable.
  • Product liability. If a product explodes or otherwise catches on fire due to a defect in manufacturing and you were badly burned, then a product liability claim may be appropriate. Strict liability may replace having to prove negligence.
  • Personal injury. A burn that was sustained at work may give you the right to file either a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to speak to an experienced burn injury lawyer before making the decision
  • Wrongful death. When a loved one has died due to severe burns, you may be able to file for wrongful death damages. Damages from a wrongful death suit may include compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and mental anguish.

It is important to consult with a burn injury attorney who understands the complex legal issues associated with a burn injury. With the right suit, you may be able to recover damages for your severe burns.

If you have suffered a severe burn injury and feel that you may have a case, contact a burn injury lawyer at Rizio Lipinsky Heiting today. We are a well-respected firm and have the know-how to present your case to a judge and jury effectively.

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