Not only do burns cause substantial pain and suffering in the victim, they can also cause scarring and other long-term impacts that can affect many areas of the victim's life. If you suffered burns due to the negligence of another party, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have offices on both Florida coasts, putting them in an ideal position to help burn injury victims across Florida handle their claims. Contact the Fort Lauderdale Burn Injury Lawyers of Dolman Law today at 833-552-7274.
The Impact of Burns
Burns often cause more pain than any other type of injury. The extent of the impact a burn has on the victim's life may depend on several factors.
Doctors usually grade burns by degree. The severity of the burn can determine the speed of the victim's recovery, how much damage the victim faces, and even the extent of scarring or other limitations left behind by that burn.
- First degree burns involve only the first layer of the skin. While these burns may cause significant redness and pain, the victim likely will not experience scarring. First degree burns usually heal with minimal complications. Victims may face more challenges in recovery if the burn occurs on the face or groin area.
- Second degree burns include both the top layer of skin and the layer beneath it. Second degree burns often include swelling as well as red or white skin. Usually, second degree burns include blisters, though a victim may have a second degree burn without substantial blistering. Victims with severe second degree burns often experience scarring, especially if they experience complications during recovery. Second degree burns have a higher risk of complication than first degree burns.
- Third degree burns reach the fat layer beneath the skin. The skin may have some blistering or appear black, white, or brown. Third degree burns may cause extreme pains, or the burn may go deep enough to damage nerves, causing numbness in the impacted area.
- Fourth degree burns involve muscle tissue and, in some cases, even bone. Victims often do not experience pain with fourth degree burns, since the damage often includes nerves and causes numbness. Fourth degree burns usually leave substantial scarring behind. The victim may have a long road to recovery and substantial scarring as a result of a fourth degree burn. Fourth degree burns may also permanently impact the victim's mobility or even lead to death.
Types of Burns
Burns can occur in multiple settings, for many different reasons. The type of burn can impact the burn's severity, as well as how the victim recovers.
- Heat burns occur when the victim faces exposure to high levels of heat or flame. An instant's exposure can cause severe burns to the victim. When most people think of burns, they think first of heat burns. Heat burns can result from hot water as well as direct heat sources. A stove tipping over or a hot water heater turned too high, for example, can result in serious hot water burns.
- Electrical burnscome from contact with an electrical current. Minor electrical burns may cause damage to the skin and surrounding tissue, much like a heat burn. Victims with electrical burns, however, may face greater complications: the electrical current can move through the body, causing more damage to internal tissues and even to internal organs. Some electrical burn victims note organ damage as a result of their burns. Electrical burns can occur in a household setting or on a construction site, where exposed wires can pose a danger to anyone who gets too close.
- Radiation burns occur due to exposure to radiation. Sometimes, radiation burns occur in a medical setting due to improperly calibrated equipment. Other times, radiation burns may occur due to exposure on a specific worksite.
- Chemical burns occur when the victim faces exposure to hazardous chemicals. Both high levels of acidity and high levels of alkalinity can cause chemical burns in the victim. Sometimes, chemical burns occur due to direct contact with a hazardous chemical, often one that was not stored or disposed of properly. Other chemicals can cause burns even without direct exposure.
- Cold burns, like heat burns, occur due to temperature extremes. In the case of cold burns, the victim may need prolonged contact with an extremely cold object to experience the full effects of the burn.
Complications in Burn Recovery
Victims with severe burns have a high likelihood of facing complications during the recovery process. These complications not only lengthen the victim's time to recovery, but they can also leave the victim struggling with increasing medical bills or limitations. Some burn complications can lead to greater scarring or a loss of mobility.
- Bacterial infection. The skin serves as a vital barrier that protects the body from the presence of harmful bacteria. Bacteria does not typically pass through the skin directly. A victim with severe burns, however, has lost that vital protection. Bacterial infection can cause increased swelling, pain, and scarring at the site of the injury. It may also raise the victim's fever or leave the victim struggling with ongoing complications. In some cases, bacterial infection can lead to death.
- Contractures. When a burn occurs near a joint, the skin may tighten, decreasing mobility in the affected area. Some victims with contractures can restore some mobility through physical therapy, but others may live with permanent limitations from those injuries.
- Failed skin grafts. In a skin graft, the doctor takes healthy skin tissue from another area of the body and grafts it onto the burn to decrease the victim's overall scarring and pain, as well as providing a healthy source of skin tissue for regrowth. In many cases, however, the skin graft fails, with the newly-implanted tissue dying. This may lead to increased scarring for the victim and the need for repeat procedures.
- Scarring. Many victims struggle with the scars left behind after a severe burn injury. Burns on the face can permanently alter the victim's appearance. Even with plastic surgery, the victim may never look the same as before the accident.
Seeking the Compensation You Deserve After a Fort Lauderdale Burn Injury
If you suffer serious burns in an accident in Fort Lauderdale due to another party's negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Many victims, however, have questions about the compensation they deserve and how to seek it after an accident.
How Much Compensation Do You Deserve for a Burn?
After a burn, you may have significant medical expenses—not to mention lost income due to the inability to work during your recovery. How much compensation should you receive?
A lawyer cannot provide you with a one-size-fits-all answer for how much you can recover after severe burns. Multiple factors can influence your final settlement or award.
- Who caused your burns? The party that caused your burns may have a significant on the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries. Many entities, including construction companies, drivers, businesses, and landlords who own property all carry insurance policies designed to protect them if a victim suffers an accident due to their negligence. Those insurance policies can impact the compensation you ultimately receive. Florida drivers, for example, may carry minimum bodily injury protection to protect others injured due to their actions behind the wheel. This may provide just $10,000 in protection for the victim. Commercial truck drivers or Uber and Lyft drivers, on the other hand, may carry much higher-limit policies, as do many construction companies and businesses. Consult an attorney to learn how much coverage the liable party's insurance might provide in the event of an accident, including burns.
- How expensive are your medical bills? Many burns require a long stay in the hospital, frequently in a special burn unit, to make as full a recovery as possible. These burn units have specialty equipment to aid in recovery, including a process that helps limit potential contaminants that could lead to infection in the victim. Unfortunately, these units often also prove expensive. Burn victims may also need to seek compensation for their other medical expenses, including skin grafts, skilled nursing care when they return home, and physical therapy to help restore normal movement in the impacted limb. In addition, many victims require psychological therapy to cope with the physical and emotional impacts of their burns, especially if they suffer significant scarring.
- How much work did you miss? Some people can return to work while still recovering from their burns. Others may need to remain out of work until they make a full recovery, either because their employer cannot work around their injuries or because their injuries prevent them from completing their normal job responsibilities. How much time you miss at work may depend on your specific profession and the full extent of your injuries. An attorney can help calculate your lost wages due to your injuries.
- How much suffering did you face? Burns cause severe physical pain and suffering. They may also, however, cause substantial emotional anguish. Many burn victims struggle with the appearance of scarred skin or the activities they cannot participate in during their recovery. Some victims also feel a sense of isolation during their recovery: they may struggle to get out of the house or to connect with friends, especially if they suffer a sense of shame related to scars. An attorney can help you better understand how pain and suffering factor into your personal injury claim.
Who Bears Liability for Your Injuries?
To file a burn injury claim, you must know what party bears liability for your injuries. In many cases, this may include multiple parties who share liability for an accident.
Common burn injuries include:
- Construction accident burns. Electrical burns and chemical burns often occur on construction sites. Electrical burns may result from live wires without proper labels or protection, while chemical burns may result from improper use, storage, or disposal of hazardous chemicals. In the case of a construction accident, the construction company, subcontractor, or premises owner may share liability for those injuries.
- Premises liability burns. Visitors to Fort Lauderdale properties want the assurance that their host has exercised an appropriate duty of care when they visit that location. If the owner of the property fails to take necessary precautions, leading to burns, the owner may bear liability for those injuries. A landlord who fails to properly repair a hot water heater, secure a stove, or moderate temperature in the hot water heater, for example, may bear liability for those injuries.
- Auto accident burns. In some severe accidents, cars burst into flames, leading to severe burns. In other cases, tanker trucks carrying hazardous chemicals may expose victims to those chemicals, resulting in chemical burns. Auto accidents may have multiple liable parties: the driver who caused the accident, the driver's employer, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or a mechanic who recently worked on a vehicle, for example.
- Medical malpractice burns. In a medical setting, the victim may experience radiation burns due to poorly-constructed or maintained equipment or due to user error. In some cases, medical malpractice can also lead to chemical burns, especially in the case of improperly-applied medications or creams.
To determine who bears liability for your burns, an attorney will assess who bore a duty of care to you at the time of the accident, how that party violated their duty of care, and how that violation led to your burns. An attorney can help investigate your accident to determine all parties that contributed to your injuries, which can ultimately increase the compensation you receive.
Did You Suffer Serious Burns in Fort Lauderdale Due to Someone Else's Negligence?
If you suffered serious burns due to the negligence of another party, having an attorney on your side can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, and Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or you can write to us using our online contact page for your free consultation.
Fort Lauderdale Office
150 E Davie Blvd Suite 201-2
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (754) 208-1130
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