Common Complications of Burn Injuries

May 26, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Common Complications of Burn Injuries

Serious Burn Injuries Can Cause Additional Health Issues

Coming into contact with scalding or acidic substances, abrasive surfaces, or high-voltage cables can result in severe burn injuries. Unfortunately, many burn victims endure subsequent health complications, further compromising their ability to heal or work.  When an open flame is left unattended by a negligent property owner, a chemical mishandled by a reckless co-worker, or a worn electrical wire left unreplaced by a careless boat owner, the negligent party can be held liable in a burn injury lawsuit.

Dolman Law Group Can Help Burn Injury Victims Recover Compensation

In the midst of healing, the last thing you need is the additional stress of pursuing damages in a burn injury lawsuit. Dolman Law Group recognizes that the long-term consequences for the burn victim can be catastrophic, and we are prepared to craft a winning settlement strategy that properly compensates you for the financial, physical, and emotional stress you have suffered.  

Understanding the Basics of Burn Injuries

While there are a variety of sources, burn injuries are classified by their level of damage to your skin tissue, which protects your muscles, nerves, and organs from outside bacteria or trauma. Burn injuries range in severity from minor, surface-level burns that heal of their own accord within a few days to traumatic, disfiguring burns that require surgeries and months or years of treatment.  The CDC estimates that over 400,000 burn injuries required emergency room treatment in 2019 alone, with tens of thousands needing further treatment at one of the U.S.'s specialed burn centers. Depending on the degree and type of burn, the injury may even prove deadly due to the initial damage or complications like infection. 

Types of Burn Injuries:

Seek Prompt Assitance for Burns to Protect Your Health and Claim

Basic first-degree burns can typically be tended to at home, but more significant burn injuries need professional medical attention and should always be reported if they occur at the workplace. Not only does early medical intervention reduce the risk of undiagnosed or untreated complications, but it also jeopardizes the legitimacy of your burn injury lawsuit or workers' compensation claim.  Insurance carriers for negligent property owners or employers may try to suggest that you have embellished your injuries in order to prevent you from collecting the true value of your burn injury settlement. An experienced burn injury attorney will be able to refute any attempts to devalue your settlement and advise you on the future damages you are likely to incur as a result of your injury.

Burn Injuries May Produce Life-Threatening Infections

When a burn injury decimates layers of skin, the gaping wounds it leaves behind are highly susceptible to infection. When toxic bacteria enter the bloodstream via these open wounds, the circulatory system spreads the infection throughout the body. Burn injury victims can develop a reaction to the infection known as sepsis, which can cause organs to fail and the body to shut down.  Even if this infection is confined to one part of the body, the consequences can still be devastating. Burn injury survivors may need to undergo amputation to remove an infected limb or require hospitalization to treat pneumonia, an infection that takes root in the lungs. When young children or the elderly develop serious infections, it can prove deadly.

Burn Injuries Can Cause Serious Circulatory Issues

Burn victims can go into shock from low blood pressure as their body's inflammatory response prevents fluid retention and attempts to compensate for ruined blood vessels. A burn victim's body may also struggle to retain heat, leading to hypothermia, a condition where the body's temperature drops to dangerously low levels. The real threat is oxygen deprivation. Burn victims may already have compromised airways, making oxygen absorption and retention all the more paramount. When the body redirects oxygen and fluids from critical organs in an attempt to respond to a burn injury, organs may fail, leaving the victim to endure a transplant surgery and potentially a lifetime of anti-rejection medication.

Significant Burn Scarring Can Impact Mobility

When scar tissue forms to replace destroyed healthy tissue as a burn injury heals, survivors may notice that they have a more limited range of motion and a sensitivity to touch. The new tissue attached itself to muscle or bone and restricts movement. This can be treated and reduced to a degree, but it does represent an additional long-term condition that burn survivors deal with in addition to their pain.

Cosmetic Damages Resulting From Burns Can Impact Emotional Health

Even after a burn victim recovers physically, they may still be forced to reckon with the event that caused their injury every day when they look in the mirror. Scars often serve as a tangible reminder of trauma, and many burn victims find it difficult to reconcile with their altered appearance, especially when the scars are extensive or prominently located.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Burn Injury Claim?

Depending on where the burn accident occurred, you may be able to recover the full cost of medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensation for lost earning capacity and emotional distress.  Burn victims tend to incur a wide range of medical bills during the course of their treatment, which can impact a family's finances for years to come. In a burn injury lawsuit or workers' compensation claim, burn victims may be able to recuperate some of the following damages.
  • Lab Tests
  • Ambulance Rides
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital Stays 
  • Medication
  • Mobility Aids and Prosthetic Limbs
  • Home Healthcare Services
  • Physical or Occupational Therapy

Damages May Be Limited by the Type of Claim You Pursue

If you sustained chemical burns from a defective product that was negligently manufactured or designed, you should be eligible to recover the cost of damages in a product liability lawsuit if their failure to create a safe product was directly responsible for your burn injury.  Similarly, a drunk driver who knocks a motorcyclist off their bike would be responsible for medical bills related to their road rash, the wages they lost while seeking treatment, and pain and suffering Certain industries like food service and construction carry a higher risk of burn injuries, and they would need to first pursue a Florida workers' compensation claim through their employer. Workers' compensation claims are limited to compensations for medical bills and partial reimbursement for lost wages; the advantage is that they do not require any proof of fault.  A qualified burn injury attorney will be able to ascertain the appropriate claims and damages to seek.

How Can a Burn Injury Attorney Help Me?

Severe burn injuries can often entail months of excruciatingly painful recovery, surgeries, combatting the high risk of infection, and the emotional distress of being disfigured or scarred. This often results in tangible expenses like medical debt and lost wages, but burn injuries also come at a cost to self-esteem and peace of mind. However, insurance companies are trained to look for any opportunity to diminish the value of your settlement, regardless of your needs. When you chose your legal representation, you should select a firm that isn't intimated at the prospect of going to trial when insurance companies are unwilling to agree to a fair settlement. They should also be willing and able to provide evidence of consistent success both in negotiations and at trial. Dolman Law Group has helped many burn victims and their families recover fair settlements that acknowledge the true magnitude of a burn injury. We will work with you to develop an individualized plan to approach negotiations, field calls from debt collectors and insurance companies on your behalf, and support you through every step of your recovery.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Burn Injury Lawsuit

When you have been subjected to the painful and expensive process of recovering from a severe burn injury, you may be frustrated to discover that despite someone else's blatant negligence, their insurance carrier is only willing to offer a paltry settlement. The best way to protect your future is to seek out a seasoned Florida burn injury lawyer to hold negligent parties accountable by recovering compensatory damages.  At Dolman Law Group, we strive to build a solid foundation of trust with our clients based on respect and diligence. Our clients know they can depend on us for expert legal advice that considers their individual needs. Dolman Law Group offers a complimentary consultation to gain a true understanding of your situation and inform you of your legal options moving forward with a burn injury claim. Reach out to us any time at (833) 55-CRASH for auto accidents, or contact our offices at (727) 451-6900. You can also send us an email on our contact us page.  


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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