Orange County Burn Injury Lawyer
Severe burns are some of the most painful and life-altering injuries Orange County residents can suffer. These injuries often require long-term hospitalization, skin grafts, extensive rehabilitation, and intensive psychological counseling to help victims cope with the mental anguish and depression associated with extreme trauma.
Burn injuries may result from chemical exposure, flammable liquids, car accidents, workplace accidents, defective products, wildfires, and much more. In many cases, these burns are entirely preventable and the fault of negligent individuals or entities. In cases such as these, it might be beneficial to contact a burn injury lawyer for advice and representation.
What Are the Categories and Types of Burns?
Burns are categorized into three main categories.
First-degree burns only involve the first layer of your skin. They cause the skin to become red and painful, but they won’t cause blisters to form. They will typically heal without medical intervention. Mild sunburns are common examples of first-degree burns.
Second-degree burns involve both the first layer of your skin and the second layer, or dermis, below it. They cause the skin to become bright red, swollen, shiny, and weepy. Blisters will form, and the affected area will be painful to the touch. Medical attention may be required. Peeling skin, scarring, skin color changes, and infections are possible.
Third-degree burns or “full-thickness burns,” permanently destroy the two full layers of your skin. These burns may appear black, white, brown, or yellow, and they might be painless due to severe nerve damage. Depending on the amount of affected skin, third-degree burns can be life-threatening.
There are several types of burns, including:
- Light burns, such as those caused by sunlight and ultraviolet light
- Thermal burns, such as those caused by fire, hot liquids and steam
- Chemical burns, such as those caused by acid, alkali and chemical explosions
- Radiation burns, which are caused by exposure to nuclear radiation
- Electrical burns, which are the result of electrocution
If you or you someone you know suffers a serious burn injury, medical experts say you should immediately:
- Stop, drop and roll to put out any flames
- Remove any burned clothing
- Remove all jewelry, belts, neckties or tight clothing around the burned area
- Seek immediate medical attention
How Common Are Burn Injuries in the United States?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.1 million people suffer burn injuries serious enough to require medical attention each year. Of those burn victims, 50,000 are admitted to the hospital, 20,000 suffer burns to 25% or more of their bodies, and around 4,500 die from their injuries. An additional 10,000 Americans die from burn-related infections every year.
The American Burn Association reports that the top sources of burn-related injuries in 2016 were:
- Fire or open flames
- Scalding from hot water or other liquids
- Contact with hot objects, such as pipes, equipment, and appliances
- Other sources
Meanwhile, California leads the nation in wildfires, meaning that the state’s residents are at elevated risk for burn injuries. In 2018, there were over 8,000 wildfires in California, which is four times the number reported in Arizona, the state with the second most annual wildfires. In November 2018, the Camp Fire in Butte County destroyed over 18,000 houses and killed 86 people. In 2019, insurance companies estimate that more than 2,000,000 California homes are at risk for wildfire damage.
What To Do After Suffering A Serious Burn Injury
If you suffer a serious burn injury, there are important steps you should take, including:
Document your injury. Take multiple photographs of your burns and write down everything that led up to the accident, including any individuals, products, equipment, or vehicles that were involved. If the injury happened at work, be sure to report the incident to your employer.
Get medical attention. Serious burns are a medical emergency and may require IV fluids, painkillers, antibiotics, wound debridement, and skin grafts. Even minor burns can require medical intervention if they cover a large area or are on your hands or face.
Contact a burn injury attorney as soon as possible. Legal professionals can assess your case and advise you on how to proceed. If your burns were the result of negligence, they can gather evidence supporting a legal claim against the responsible party.
How Can A Burn Injury Attorney Help Me?
Serious burn injuries can be physically and mentally devastating, life-changing, and extremely expensive. However, an Orange County burn injury lawyer could stand by your side, fight for your rights, and help you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Depending on the details of your case, an attorney might suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit, a premises or product liability suit, or a workers’ compensation claim. Also, families who have lost a loved one to burn injuries could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Possible damages paid out in a burn injury case include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and counseling costs
- Wages lost due to your injury
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of family income
If you are struggling with the lasting repercussions of a burn injury, you are not alone. A skilled burn injury attorney can help you determine the next steps in your case as you seek compensation for your damages. To find out how an attorney can help you, contact the lawyers at Rizio Lipinsky today to get a free consultation.