Burn injuries are common in the United States. Most are minor and heal with basic first aid treatment. However, some inflict a far heavier toll. Fire and burns constitute leading causes of accidental death among adults and children in the United States. Individuals who survive severe burn injuries often live in debilitating pain and endure long-lasting physical and emotional trauma with wide-ranging effects on their everyday lives.
Victims of burn injuries caused by someone else’s wrongful actions deserve compensation to help them regain their health and move forward with their lives. A trusted burn injury attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Suffering a severe burn kind can throw your life into turmoil. You need intensive medical care, often requiring weeks of hospitalization at a burn center. Your injuries prevent you from going to work or school. Medical and other bills pile up while your income shrinks. You live in constant physical and emotional pain as burns heal and scar. Your relationships suffer. You struggle to enjoy life.
The compassionate personal injury lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, understand the challenges you face. We spend our careers fighting to make sure that victims of accidental, preventable injuries like yours receive compensation from the individuals, corporations, organizations, and others whose dangerous choices caused them harm.
Our mission for our clients is to secure them as much money as possible, and as soon as possible, to provide them with the financial support they need. Over our years of law practice, the attorneys of Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have secured tens of millions of dollars for injured clients, including clients who have suffered severe and debilitating burn injuries.
Our impressive track record of success does not guarantee results for our clients. It does, however, give them confidence in knowing that their lawyers possess the skills, resources, and know-how to get them the money they deserve.
Types of Burn Injuries We Handle
Most of the time, we tend to think of burns as caused by heat. However, exposure can damage and kill skin tissue in ways we categorize as burns.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our team of award-winning attorneys can help clients secure compensation for any burn type:
- Thermal burns consist of skin injuries caused by exposure to excessive heat, such as by touching a hot stove or open flame.
- Cold burns damage skin by freezing it. Frostbite is a type of cold burn. Cold burns can also happen if the skin comes in contact with extremely cold chemicals, such as freon, liquid nitrogen, or dry ice.
- Friction burns result from skin rubbing against a surface in such a way as to generate heat and abrasions. Road rash, carpet burns, and rope burns are all examples of friction burns.
- Radiation burns constitute damage to skin tissue from exposure to certain types of electromagnetic radiation. Sunburns, for example, are caused by ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to radioactive materials, or undergoing radiation-based medical treatments, can also cause radiation burns.
- Chemical burns, or caustic burns, occur when the eyes or the skin come into contact with a chemical irritant that damages tissue. Drain cleaners, gasoline, and other common chemical products can all cause chemical burns.
- Electrical burns happen when your body comes into contact with an electrical current. The current can damage external and internal tissue directly, and can also inflict a thermal burn when the electrical current is converted into thermal energy.
In other words, no matter what kind of burn a person suffers, we can help seek compensation for it if it results from someone else’s unreasonably dangerous conduct or decisions.
Preventable Causes of a Burn Injury
A host of incidents and accidents can lead to a person suffering a severe burn. Many causes of severe burns involve a mistake, moment of carelessness, or reckless act by someone other than the burn victim.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our job is to hold parties accountable when they make decisions or take actions that trigger or facilitate a chain of events leading to someone getting badly burned.
Our team has the resources and experience to seek compensation for burn injuries arising out of:
- Residential fires;
- Industrial and workplace fires;
- Spills of scalding hot liquids;
- Caustic chemical spills and splashes;
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Restaurant and commercial kitchen fires;
- Accidental contact with live electrical wires;
- Explosions and fires on oil rigs and at petrochemical storage facilities;
- Medical malpractice involving the misuse of radiation therapy; and
- Overheating and fires involving defective consumer products, such as toys or home appliances.
This is not a complete list, of course. The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA team can help clients secure compensation for burn injuries arising out of virtually any circumstance involving someone else’s wrongful actions.
Rating the Severity of Burn Injuries
Medical professionals rate burns by their degree of severity on a scale of one to four. All but first-degree burns can inflict harm sufficient to disrupt a person’s life and to require compensation from the party at fault for causing them.
A first-degree burn is considered a superficial wound, as it only affects the skin’s outermost layer, called the epidermis. It is the mildest form of burn injury and rarely requires medical treatment beyond basic first aid. However, sometimes a first-degree burn can cause sufficient pain, or may occur in connection with another medical condition, to require medical attention.
First-degree burns are often characterized by minor inflammation, pain, sensitivity to touch, and redness. They can usually be treated with cool water and aloe vera or similar ointments, and may heal in a week.
A second-degree burn causes damage to the epidermis and the layer of skin tissue beneath it, known as the dermis. It often appears moist or wet, develops blisters, and causes intense pain. A second-degree may require medical treatment beyond first aid, and can take weeks to heal. Second-degree burns also pose a potential risk for infection.
Third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and dermis and can damage the layer of fat beneath. The burned area may appear brown, black, or white instead of red, and can take on a leathery appearance.
Third-degree burns can also destroy pain-sensing nerves in the lower layers of the skin and the burned area may feel numb. They require immediate medical attention and, frequently, hospitalization in a burn unit, because they pose a high risk of infection and may need surgical treatment. Third-degree burns that heal commonly leave behind extensive scars.
Fourth-degree burns destroy both layers of skin and the fat beneath, and may damage muscles, tendons, nerves, and bones. They also destroy nerve endings. A fourth-degree burn is a life-threatening medical emergency. Without medical attention, the burn victim will likely die. Treatment for a fourth-degree burn virtually always requires hospitalization in a burn unit, extensive surgical intervention, and months of recovery time.
What Types of Complications Can Result From a Burn Injury?
Severe and sometimes life-threatening complications can result from any degree of burn injury. For example, a first-degree burn over a sufficiently large area of the body can endanger a person’s life, especially in young children or the elderly.
However, severe complications most commonly arise from higher-degree burns, and can include:
- Infection leading to sepsis, a severe and potentially life-threatening immune response;
- Heart rhythm disturbance, called arrhythmia, often caused by electrical burns;
- Severe dehydration leading to organ failure;
- Excess fluid and swelling in the tissues, known as edema;
- Disfiguring scars;
- Extremely low blood pressure, which can cause shock; and
- Damage to limbs and appendages so severe as to require amputation.
This is not a complete list, but it illustrates the sort of catastrophic complications a severe burn can cause, for which burn victims deserve compensation.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Burn Injury
The steps you take after suffering a burn injury can affect your health, wellbeing, finances, and legal rights. Following the tips below can help to put you in a favorable position for securing the compensation you deserve.
Seek Medical Help
Always err on the side of caution when it comes to seeking medical care for a burn. For anything but what you are 100 percent certain is a first-degree burn, seek immediate medical care from your primary care doctor, at an urgent care clinic, or a hospital emergency room. Do not wait for a burn injury to develop severe complications before seeking medical care. Infections and other health complications from burns can set in rapidly and leave you in a perilous state.
In addition to protecting your health, which is the top priority, seeking medical assistance ensures that you have medical records demonstrating a direct link between your burn injury and the accident or injury that caused it. That documentation can constitute important evidence for a lawyer to use when pursuing compensation on your behalf.
Take Pictures of Your Injury
Unpleasant as it may sound, creating visual records of your burn injury can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Your doctor may take images of your burns, but if not, then having images of the burn that reflect its severity and extent can serve as powerful evidence of what happened to you. Pictures can also document the progress healing of your burn, which illustrates the duration of and challenges you faced in your physical recovery.
Consider Keeping a Burn Injury Journal
Another way to document everything you have been through is to keep a journal that tracks how you feel while undergoing treatments, the extent of your pain and suffering, and how the injury has affected your life and your family’s life. Over time, memories of the incident and the challenges you faced as you healed can fade. Writing your thoughts down in a journal can ensure that you preserve details that may prove critical to seeking compensation.
Contact an Experienced Burn Injury Lawyer
If your burn injury results from someone else’s unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions, then chances are you have legal rights to receive compensation from that party. A burn injury lawyer can work with you to explore your options, and can take action to get you the money you deserve. The sooner you speak with an experienced burn injury attorney, the better your chances of a favorable financial outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions About Burn Injury Cases
Victims of a burn injury accident are often left with devastating harm, debilitating pain, and extensive physical and emotional scars that forever turn their life upside down. In addition, burn injuries often result in extensive medical expenses that these victims can ill afford to pay.
Victims of burn injuries come to us at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, with lots of questions about their rights and options for seeking compensation from the parties at fault for their burns. Below, we answer some of the most common of those questions. For answers to specific questions about a burn injury suffered by you or a loved one, contact our team today.
Do I have the right to sue someone for my burn injuries?
Possibly. Every case is different, so the most reliable way to know for sure what your rights are is to speak with an experienced burn injury attorney.
In general, to sue for compensation after you suffer burn injuries, your lawyer must prove that your burn injury resulted from another person’s intentional acts, reckless behavior, or negligence.
Typically, a lawyer must show that:
- Someone owed you a duty of care not to act in a way that put you at unreasonable risk of suffering a burn injury;
- That someone breached the duty of care owed to you by engaging in unreasonably dangerous conduct or by making unreasonably dangerous decisions;
- The breach of the duty of care caused your burn injury; and
- You suffered damages.
Lawyers for burn injury victims prove these facts by collecting evidence of how a burn injury happened, who was to blame for it, and the extent of the victim’s injuries and losses.
No one expects you to know for sure if a lawyer can prove these facts in your case. That is why the team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA encourages you to contact us today for a free consultation to begin exploring your rights and options.
Who can I hold financially responsible for my burn injury?
It depends entirely on the particular circumstances of the accident or incident that resulted in your burn.
Burns happen in a wide variety of ways—far too many to list here.
By way of illustration only, parties who may owe compensation for causing someone’s burn injury could include:
- The manufacturer of a defective consumer product that malfunctioned, caught fire, and burned the victim;
- The owner of a building that caught fire because of dangerous wiring the owner should have fixed, resulting in burn injuries to the people inside;
- A medical professional who accidentally burned a patient while administering radiation therapy; or
- A gas company that failed to maintain pipes and other infrastructure for carrying natural gas, leading to an explosion that burned multiple victims.
Clients who hire Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as their burn injury lawyers get a law firm committed to delving deep into the facts and circumstances of the accident or incident that caused their burns. We do not stop until we have identified all parties who may owe damages for the burn injuries and related trauma our clients have suffered.
What compensation can I receive for my burn injuries?
That, too, depends on the circumstances of how you suffered your burn injuries, which can dictate your options for seeking compensation.
In general, however, if you have the right to sue the party at fault for causing your burn injuries, then you may have the ability to obtain payment for:
Economic damages, consisting of the financial costs and losses you have suffered, such as:
- Medical expenses for past, current, and future medical treatment (such as doctor visits, surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, hospital stay, and prescription medications)
- Lost wages from missing work while recovering from burn injuries
- Lost earning capacity when a burn injury prevents you from returning to work in your previous capacity, or at all;
- Repairing or replacing personal property damaged in the accident that burned you;
- Services such as in-home nursing care, child care, grocery shoppers, and house cleaners, when a burn injury impairs your ability to perform those tasks yourself; and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses your burn injury caused you to incur.
Non-economic damages, which compensate you for all other types of harm you have suffered because of a burn injury, such as:
- Physical pain;
- Emotional anguish;
- Loss of companionship or consortium;
- Diminished enjoyment of life;
- Loss of a limb or bodily function; and
- Disfigurement and scarring.
In some cases, a court may also order punitive damages as punishment for someone’s extreme or outrageous behavior that resulted in you suffering a burn injury.
No lawyer can guarantee that you will receive compensation for your burn injury. You can give yourself the strongest chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve, however, by hiring a law firm, like Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, that possesses years of experience representing burn victims like you, and has a track record of success to show for it.
Will I need to bring in expert witnesses to prove my case?
Possibly, but that not something you need to worry about doing on your own when you have a skilled burn injury attorney working for you.
Sometimes, skilled attorneys hire experts to analyze the evidence in a burn injury case and to offer opinions that help prove liability and damages. Common experts in burn injury cases often include fire and arson investigators, forensic engineers, product safety specialists, and burn doctors.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we have access to an extensive network of experts who we can call upon to help us understand and prove our clients’ cases.
Are there any time limits to bringing a burn injury case?
Yes. A law called a statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time an individual has to file a claim after suffering a burn injury. If the victim does not begin a lawsuit within this allotted deadline, then the law bars the victim from filing the claim in the future.
The statute of limitations for a burn injury claim varies from state to state, and sometimes different time limits may apply depending on how a burn injury happened and/or who caused it. The amount of time you may have to take legal action seeking compensation for your burn injury could be as little as just a few months from the date of your injury, to several years.
Do not risk missing a critically important deadline in your burn injury claim. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today to learn about how much time you have to get started seeking the compensation you deserve.
How much money can I collect for my burn injury?
No two burn injuries are alike, and so, every burn injury accident case needs to be evaluated on its own to determine how much money the victim may recover from parties at-fault.
In general, the amount of money your burn injury lawyer may have the ability to secure for you as compensation can depend on factors such as:
- The degree of severity of burn that you suffered;
- The area of your body affected by the burn injury;
- Medical complications you face because of the burn injury;
- The extent of your pain and suffering resulting from the burn injury;
- Whether the burn injury left you with scars, and if so, on what part of your body;
- The impact the burn injury has had on your ability to work;
- The strength of the evidence proving who was at-fault for your burn injury;
- The strength of the evidence proving the damages you deserve to receive;
- The financial resources of the party at-fault for your burn injury.
As we said, no lawyer can guarantee that you will receive compensation for a burn injury. However, you can increase your odds of a favorable financial outcome by hiring a law firm with experience, skill, and a strong reputation in burn injury cases, like Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.
What are my rights if I suffered my burn injury at work?
Most individuals who suffer work-related burn injuries have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits to pay for their medical care and to replace some of the income they lose because of the injury. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers in every state must purchase for their employees, and which covers employees against most work-related injuries and illnesses, no matter who is at fault for causing them.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, represents injured workers in all stages of the process of securing workers’ compensation benefits.
In addition to receiving workers’ comp, a worker who suffered burn injuries on the job may also have the right to sue an at-fault party for damages. By and large, workers’ compensation laws prevent workers from suing the employers who purchased workers’ compensation insurance for them, even if those employers are at fault for causing worker injuries.
However, if a work-related burn injury happens because of the careless or reckless actions of a third party (someone other than an employer or co-worker), then the injured employee may have the option of suing that at-fault party for compensation over-and-above whatever the employee receives from workers’ comp.
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, examines the facts carefully in every case of workplace injury we handle, to make sure that we know the full range of options available to our clients for seeking the money they deserve.
The at-fault party’s insurance company offered me a settlement for my burn injury. Should I take it?
Accepting money from the insurance company representing the party who caused your burn injury may feel like a no-brainer, but it might not be in your best interest. We strongly encourage you to speak with an experienced burn injury attorney first, before agreeing to any settlement money an insurance company offers to compensate you for your burn injury. You can always reach us at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to discuss your options.
Why not take the money right away? Because insurance companies whose policyholders owe you damages for your burn injury want to resolve their financial liability to you for as little money as possible. One way they try to do that is to make a direct offer to you—before you have a lawyer—for far less money than you actually deserve. They hope that you will take it before you realize how much more you should receive.
Saying yes to a settlement offer that’s too small can have disastrous consequences for you and your family. You cannot take back a settlement once you agree to it, even if it turns out that you agreed to pennies-on-the-dollar of what you could have demanded with the help of an attorney.
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA urges you, in the strongest possible terms, not to make the tragic mistake of agreeing to an inadequate settlement offer. Instead, contact a skilled burn injury lawyer, like one of the members of our team, to learn what your case is really worth. In most cases, that lawyer can take over negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, and get you far more money than the insurance company initially offered.
What can your burn injury lawyers do for me?
Put simply: Our burn injury lawyer can work on your behalf to get you as much money as possible for compensation for your burn injuries.
How a burn injury lawyer does that depends on the facts of your case and your personal needs and priorities. What’s important is that you choose a law firm that possesses the breadth of experience, knowledge, and resources to tackle your case, no matter what complications or challenges arise.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our team can:
- Investigate a burn injury accident thoroughly, acting quickly and decisively to secure evidence critical to proving liability and damages;
- Dive into the details of a burn injury to determine who may owe damages to the burn victim, and how much money the victim should receive;
- Answer clients questions and provide them with updates on their cases in plain English, not legalese;
- Prepare and file the necessary documents to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim;
- Retain experts to analyze and support a burn injury case;
- Negotiate settlements with defense lawyers and insurance companies, when possible;
- Take a burn injury case to trial in front of a judge and jury.
Experienced Burn Injury Attorneys
Burn injuries exact a heavy toll on victims and their families. During a difficult time, they need a steady, guiding hand to help them secure the compensation they need.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is an award-winning law firm representing burn injury victims nationwide. We fight for the compensation our clients deserve, and have a track record of success to show for our efforts.
If a burn injury has disrupted your life or the life of a loved one, do not wait to get the legal help you need. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today for a free case consultation with a member of our team.