People who hear the word “burn” and “Sarasota” in the same sentence often picture a sunburn, for obvious reasons. Living in or visiting the Sunshine State comes with the potential downside of spending too much time in the sun without protection, resulting in a painful burn.
However, sunburns are far from the only types of burns that can afflict individuals in Sarasota. Severe burns caused by fire, electricity, chemicals, and other types of exposure, can leave victims with permanent damage to their bodies, and to suffer in long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial pain.
The experienced burn injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA represent Sarasota residents, workers, and visitors in legal actions seeking compensation from parties whose wrongful decisions or actions caused them to suffer a severe burn. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights.
About Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Burn Injury Lawyers
With offices on both Florida coasts, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA represent individuals who have suffered injuries and illnesses through no fault of their own. Our mission is to secure compensation for our clients from anyone—a person, company, organization, or government agency—whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions caused our clients harm.
Our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for injured clients over our years of law practice in a wide range of personal injury matters. Our past results do not guarantee future success, of course. However, they do give our clients the confidence of knowing that their legal team has the skill, experience, and resources to secure maximum compensation in even the most complicated cases against the most powerful and well-funded defendants.
Sarasota Burn Injury Causes
Severe burns that lead to legal claims for damages have many causes.
The most common include accidental, preventable exposure to:
- Hot liquid or steam;
- Hot objects;
- Electrical currents; and
- Caustic chemicals.
Burns are extremely painful injuries, no matter how they happen. Minor burns may heal on their own, but many others require immediate and extensive medical attention.
Without treatment (and sometimes even with it), burns can cause severe and life-threatening medical complications, including:
- Bacterial infections;
- Fluid loss;
- Low body temperature;
- Breathing problems;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Joint problems.
No matter how a burn occurs in Sarasota, the teams at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have the resources and know-how to investigate the facts and to identify the parties whose careless or reckless decisions make them legally liable for our clients' injuries and losses.
Degrees of Burns
Medical professionals classify burns into three categories: first, second, and third degree burns. Burn classification serves primarily to assess the immediate severity of a burn right after it has happened, and to determine the appropriate course of treatment. Any degree of burn, however, may cause significant difficulty for the burn victim, and may entitle the victim to compensation from the party at fault.
First Degree Burns
First degree burns damage the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. They are often caused by touching a hot surface. Victims tend to experience pain, redness, and swelling at the point of contact. Basic first aid can usually treat a first degree burn.
Some first degree burns may require medical attention—for instance, if the burn covers a significant portion of the victim's body, or the victim has underlying health conditions that make the burn potentially hazardous.
Second Degree Burns
Second degree burns affect both the outer layer of skin and the first inner layer (known as the dermis). Second degree burns are often caused by exposure to a hot surface, hot liquid, or an open flame, but may also result from other causes. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
Second degree burns usually require medical attention, and a doctor may prescribe medication to help ease the pain and to ward off infection. Hospitalization is possible. Second degree burns can heal over several weeks and may leave a scar.
Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns are the most serious burns. They affect all layers of skin, and potentially tissue and bones beneath it. They often cause white or blackened skin. Oddly enough, the pain with third degree burns is often less than the other two categories, because they destroy nerve endings. The lack of pain, however, should serve as a warning sign.
Third degree burns are life-threatening injuries that require immediate, emergency medical care and often lead to extended hospital stays in specialty burn units. They pose an extreme risk of infection. They will not heal on their own, and frequently require multiple surgeries to repair the wound. They cause severe scarring, and often lead to long-lasting health complications and disabilities.
Seeking Compensation for Sarasota Burn Injuries
Sarasota burn injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat. They inflict severe pain, potential disability, and emotional trauma. Victims of severe burns deserve compensation for these and other injuries.
Fortunately, Florida law gives them the right to seek that compensation in most cases by taking legal action. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we represent Sarasota burn victims in those lawsuits.
Every matter we handle for burn victims has unique facts and circumstances that affect the types and amounts of damages our client may have the right to seek.
In general, however, a lawsuit against the party at fault for a severe burn in Sarasota can often seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical costs associated with treating the burn and any longer-term health complications associated with it. This may include the cost of emergency care, hospitalization in a burn unit, skin-graft and other surgeries, long-term care stays, therapy and mental health care, medications, and medical equipment.
- Past and future non-medical costs related to living with a severe burn injury, such as the cost of modifying a home to accommodate a burn-related disability, or of hiring help with daily activities.
- Past and future lost income resulting from the burn victim missing work or suffering a disabling injury that prevents the victim from returning to work.
- The victim's pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life caused by the burn injury, including the emotional trauma associated with suffering the injury and living with permanent scarring.
- In some cases, punitive damages designed to punish the conduct of the party who caused the burn.
At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can never guarantee that our clients will recover compensation in all, or even any, of the categories of damages above. However, we can promise to put our firm's talents and resources to work in evaluating the scope of harm caused to our clients by a severe burn, to ensure that if we take legal action on their behalf, it will seek the maximum compensation available to them under Florida law.
The Dangers of Unsolicited Sarasota Burn Injury Settlement Offers
Soon after a Sarasota resident, worker, or visitor suffers, an insurance company representing a party at-fault for causing the burn may reach out directly to the victim to offer a quick cash settlement. It may seem like a kind and noble gesture, the sort of thing someone who owns their wrongful conduct should do. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.
Insurance companies offer quick, unsolicited cash settlements to burn injury victims when they know that the party they insure has potentially large legal liability for victims' injuries and losses. They hope to minimize their financial exposure as much as possible by temping the victim into a settlement that falls far short of what the victim actually needs. It's a lousy, unethical trick, but it's legal, and unfortunately, sometimes it works.
Agreeing to a settlement almost always means giving up the right to sue the liable party for further damages. It's a one-shot deal, in other words. Victims who agree to a quick settlement, only to find later that they needed far more money than they received, cannot get a do-over.
That is why we urge victims of any severe injury, especially a burn that may require months, if not years, of care, to say “no, thank you” to any unsolicited settlement offer from an insurance company.
Instead, we encourage them to contact a team of experienced burn injury attorneys, like the lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, to represent them in any negotiations with an insurance company. Our team's only job is to represent the interests of our clients. We have the skill and know-how to make sure an insurance company pays the maximum amount available under the law.
Steps to Take After a Severe Sarasota Burn Injury
The steps you take immediately after you have suffered a burn injury can affect your ability to recover compensation.
By taking the steps below, you may protect your Sarasota burn injury claim.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Your health takes top priority. Seeking medical attention and following your doctor's advice gives you the best possible chance of recovering from your burn injury. It also creates a detailed medical record of your injury that your lawyer may use in seeking compensation on your behalf, and it protects you against defense lawyers and insurance companies arguing that you did not take care of yourself.
- Take pictures. Taking pictures of the accident scene and your injuries can help your case. A depiction of your injuries moments after you were burned paints a picture of the pain you endured. Getting images of the entire accident scene may also help to preserve important information that may prove beneficial to a Sarasota burn injury claim.
- Call 911, if necessary. Having the police come to the scene may not be necessary. But if your burns are bad enough or they have happened in an accident where you have suffered injuries besides the burns, then calling 911 is a smart choice. When the police arrive, they will speak with you and anyone else involved in the accident, along with any witnesses. They will compile this information in a police report. While this report may not assign fault, it will help us show that someone else caused your injuries and should bear the burden of covering your medical expenses.
- Keep a journal. After you have suffered burn injuries, your focus will be on your health and well being. And that's exactly where it should be. But over time, you may struggle to remember all of the hurdles and obstacles you faced on your path to recovery. By writing in a journal every day, describing the pain you feel, the progress you have made, any setbacks you have faced, you can help to ensure that no detail goes missed. Your journal can paint a clear picture of what it took for you to recover, which can serve as helpful evidence for your lawyer to use.
- Contact our experienced burn injury lawyers right away. Your ability to recover maximum compensation for your burn injuries can depend on the legal representation you choose, and on how fast a lawyer begins advocating on your behalf. As time passes, evidence can go missing and memories can fade. Put your lawyer in the best possible position to succeed for you by getting started right away on protecting your rights.
Contact Our Experienced, Skilled Sarasota Burn Injury Attorneys Now
Sarasota burn victims face a terrifying and potentially painful future. They need skilled, compassionate, resourceful legal guidance to ensure that they secure the maximum possible compensation from anyone who caused them harm.
The lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have the qualities Sarasota burn victims need in their legal advisors. Our award-winning team has years of experience fighting for the rights of injured Floridians. We hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless, reckless, and intentionally harmful actions, so that our clients receive the financial support they need to regain their health and rebuild their lives.
We have offices on both Florida coasts. Contact us today online or at 833-552-7274 for a free, confidential, no-obligation case consultation about your legal rights after suffering a burn injury in Sarasota.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA - Sarasota Office
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