Getting Help For A Loved One With A Burn Injury
Few injuries can match the pain suffered by someone who has a burn injury. Burn injuries happen in car accidents, on the job accidents, product liability cases, and a host of other situations. If you or someone you know has sustained a burn injury, you should contact a Lakeland burn injury lawyer to get a free consultation about the case.
The Value of a Burn Injury Lawsuit
Burn injuries cause a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. The value of a burn injury case will depend on how the person was burned, the severity of the burns, the amount of medical bills attributable to medical care, and whether there is a collectible defendant.
Mortality in burn injury cases is often a function of the amount of the surface area of skin that was burned, however, even small burns may be fatal in children and the elderly. Even small burns, if they are severely deep, involve a significant amount of pain and suffering.
Three Degrees of Burns
When someone gets burned, it is not uncommon to find all three degrees of burns within the same wound. The depth of the burn can also increase if infection sets in. The three degrees of burns are described below:
• First Degree Burns
First degree burns are characterized by an absence of blisters, pain, and erythema (superficial capillary redness). They are often the equivalent of a sunburn. This is the least severe degree of burn and does not require hospitalization and may not even require medical treatment.
• Second Degree Burns
Second degree burns are often described as partial thickness burns of the skin and display red or blistering appearance. Second degree burns are often caused by contact with hot liquids or a small flash or explosion. Second degree burns should be treated but are often treatable on an outpatient basis.
• Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns are the most serious type of burn and involve damage through the entire thickness of the skin. They are characterized by a dark and leathery appearance and are often the result of fire, electrical burns, lightning strikes, or prolonged exposure to hot liquids or hot objects. Third degree burns, regardless of how small, should be professionally treated by a medical provider or emergency room.
When Does A Burn Injury Require Hospitalization?
You should seek medical treatment for any burn that you are concerned about. However, the following guidelines are helpful to determining when hospitalization is needed. If your injury involves any of the following, then you should seek immediate treatment:
• Burn surface area greater than 15% of the body for adults
• Burn surface area greater than 10% of the body for any child
• Any burn to an infant or the elderly
• Burns to the face, hands, feet, perineum, and any other sensitive body part
• Circumferential burns
• Burns to the lungs due to inhalation
• Burns associated with trauma or when you have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes
Scarring and Disfigurement
It goes without reminding that burn injury patients are often left with severe scarring or disfigurement after they have “healed.” Scar tissue is never as good as original, uninjured tissue. The same goes for grafted skin. Skin damaged by a severe burn injury is never the same and will often carry with it pain, limitation of movement, and/or a lack of feeling or sensation due to damaged nerve endings.
A Burn Injury Patient Needs Legal Help
When a burn injury occurs to someone, that person is often unable to do anything to preserve evidence for a lawsuit or to get to the bottom of any sort of investigation into why they were burned because they are first and foremost concerned with getting medical treatment. For severe burns, medical treatment takes months of painful recovery. This is where having a burn injury lawyer on your side helps.
Your burn injury lawyer will help you identify responsible parties, review investigative documents, and pursue avenues of legal and financial recovery that may be available. Oftentimes, the responsible parties will promise to take care of the injured person only to renege on that promise later once the full extent of the injury is revealed. At that point, the responsible party may turn over the defense of their claim to their liability insurance carrier. Having a burn injury lawyer make contact with the responsible party ensures that an insurance claim is opened early and implicates duties of good faith from the insurance company to their insured.
Get Help With Your Burn Injury Claim
If you have serious personal injury or wrongful death claim as a result of being burned, you should contact a personal injury attorney in Lakeland, Florida for a free consultation to determine the merits of your case.
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