Riverside Burn Injury Lawyer
It is a disturbing truth; many burn injuries are caused by preventable accidents. Sadly, these accidents are often the result of reckless, negligent, or intentionally callous conduct. While the majority of burn injuries are survivable, they can leave victims struggling with physical, mental, and emotional challenges that can last a lifetime. That’s why it is essential that you reach out to a skilled Riverside burn injury attorney if you or a loved one has been badly burned. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you in identifying and proving liability and help you secure the compensation that you deserve.
Burn Injury Basics
Burns are damaging injuries that cause the death of skin and other tissue. While some can be relatively minor, others are life-threatening or even deadly. Survivors are often left to deal with life-changing impacts. While fire is perhaps the best-known source of burns, it’s far from the only potential cause. Burns can result from contact with a variety of things, including chemicals, electricity, flames, hot surfaces, excessive sun, extreme cold, radiation, and scalding liquids or gases. What spurs that damaging contact? Again, the possibilities are extensive. Simple kitchen accidents, workplace mishaps, car or plane crashes, chemical spills, fires, extreme weather events, defective products, and electrical shocks can all set the stage for burn injuries.
A Matter of Degree
Minor burns can be little more than an annoyance, but severe burns can trigger life-or-death situations. That’s why burns are often cataloged by their severity instead of their cause. The type of burn is described in degrees, and it immediately conveys the severity of the injury:
- First-degree burns present with pain, redness, and minor inflammation. Only the skin’s surface is damaged, and the injury tends to heal within ten days with simple home care. However, if an extensive area is burned, the damage is on the face or over a major joint, or there is any sign of infection, then it’s best to seek professional care.
- Second-degree burns produce pain, blisters, and thickening of the skin. The damage extends deeper into the skin. If the burn covers a sizeable area, is in a vulnerable location, or shows any sign of infection, it’s important to get emergency medical care.
- Third-degree burns extend through all the layers of the skin, damaging it and the nearby nerves. Without proper care, severe scarring and contracture will result. Third-degree burns require professional attention immediately. In fact, it is best to avoid any form of self-treatment for this severe injury.
- Fourth-degree burns are the most serious because they damage more than the skin. Here, even bones, fat, muscles, and tendons can be injured. Immediate and ongoing care by trained medical professionals is essential with this type of injury.
Burn Injuries by the Numbers
The American Burn Association reports that there are some 1.1 million burn injuries in the U.S. every year that require treatment. Breaking down the numbers on burn injuries produces a disconcerting picture:
- Some 45,000 burn injuries require hospitalization each year.
- Of those hospitalized, nearly 5,000 will die.
- More than 60% of the nation’s acute hospitalizations for burn injuries are admitted to just 128 burn centers. Other hospitals treat an average of fewer than three burn admissions annually.
- Males suffer 68% of the reported burn injuries.
- An encounter with fire is the most common cause of burn injury at 43%, but scalding is a close second at 34%.
- At least half of all burn injuries are the result of preventable accidents.
The Impacts of a Bad Burn
A serious burn can have significant consequences. In addition to extreme pain, there is the risk of dangerous infections, bone and joint issues, and scarring and disfigurement. Other physical concerns include nerve damage and limb loss, brain damage, mobility issues, and even permanent disability. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other psychological issues may also occur.
While the recovery process is different for everyone, it is often long, and most patients will struggle with pain, itching, and fatigue. Skin grafts and other surgeries are not uncommon as doctors work to clear away dead tissue and salvage the tissue that remains. Patients and caregivers must constantly guard against infection as the victim works to heal and regain their strength. Physical and occupational therapy may also be required to help patients build mobility and learn to function effectively. If cognitive issues or problems with speaking, swallowing, or communicating are present, speech therapy may be deemed necessary. For people with severe burns, the recovery process can involve years of surgeries, treatments, and ongoing therapies.
How a Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help Burn Victims
Burn injuries can leave you facing massive medical bills, the need for essential ongoing care, and years of lost work and income. Settling for less than you deserve can be crippling for a victim, but fire and burn litigation is complex, and insurance companies can be intimidating.
A skilled burn injury lawyer is an indispensable ally during this stressful period. These professionals have the knowledge and resources to gather evidence and build a convincing case on your behalf. They also have a clear understanding of the many forms of compensation available to victims. These often go beyond pain and suffering and payment of your medical bills. Depending on your situation, you may also deserve compensation for the trauma of a permanent injury, future medical expenses, lost wages, or the ability to earn future wages, and the spousal loss of consortium.
As one of California’s top personal injury firms, Rizio Lipinsky is committed to helping individuals harmed by the negligence of others secure the maximum compensation. If you’ve suffered a burn injury, don’t settle for less than your injuries demand. After reviewing the details of your case, we’ll advocate aggressively on your behalf. Discover how the services of a skilled burn injury attorney can benefit you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our Riverside office.