All accidents are unfortunate, but fire and burn injury cases can be especially brutal. What’s worse, burn victims are often left with financial loss, emotional and psychological trauma, and physical scarring. Even though burns aren’t the most popular choice when it comes to accidents, these injuries are surprisingly common: data from the American Burn Association shows us that between 2011 and 2015, there were just under 500,000 fire-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country. Unfortunately, a lot of cases end in fatalities, as there is another fire-related death every three hours in the U.S., on average.
Burn victims may feel discouraged or defeated, but fortunately, elite fire and burn injury attorneys are standing by ready to help. Van Law Firm can get to the bottom of your claim and hold any and all responsible parties accountable for the whole of your damages. Call our office nearest you now to get started with a free consultation.
Common Examples of Fire and Burn Injury Claims
Oftentimes, when we imagine burn injuries, we think of massive structure fires and explosions raining sparks and smoke. Even though those cases do happen, the range of possible burn accidents is actually quite diverse. In reality, only a small percentage of burn accidents involve flames or active fires. Van Law Firm has handled a wide array of burn injury cases over the years, such as:
- Residential fires (homes, apartments, condos)
- Public fires (hotels, businesses)
- Work-related fires
- Chemical burns
- Scalds from steam or hot water
- Electrical burns
- Burns resulting from vehicle accidents
- Radiation burns
- Explosions and other freak accidents
Categorizing Burn Injuries–Three Degrees of Severity
Every case is different because injuries and their severity will vary, which in turn will affect the end settlement amount. Burn injuries are actually relatively simple to assess, in the sense that they are categorized by levels, or ‘degrees,’ from third to first–third being the least serious and first being the most. The three categories will have varying treatments and recovery times, but claimants can receive compensation for all three. They are defined by the following characteristics:
First (1st) degree burns: First degree burns are the least intensive kind and are generally somewhat mild. These burns only impact the surface layer of one’s skin, and usually serious treatment is not necessary. However, infections and other complications can exacerbate the burn injuries.
Second (2nd) degree burns: Second degree burns will affect all of the layers of skin tissue in and around the burn area. There will most likely be some form of treatment needed for a second degree burn to heal properly, including stitches or skin grafts.
Third (3rd) degree burns: These are the most severe types of burns, and they require intensive treatment. If a burn is categorized as third degree, that means the damage has gone beyond the skin tissue and has impacted muscles, tendons, and internal organs. While there certainly are a number of treatment options, most severe third-degree burns will leave victims with significant scarring and nerve damage.
The Process of Identifying the Parties Liable for Your Burn Injuries
Fire and burn injury cases are notoriously difficult in terms of identifying liable parties and proving fault, and for this reason all claimants should retain an experienced fire and burn injury attorney. Everything related to the case, including the facts of the accident, the resulting injuries, and any evidence, will have to be analyzed by professionals if claimants hope to recover compensation.
Circumstances will vary, but some of the most common parties found liable for burn injuries include:
- Property owners or landlords, if hazardous or negligent conditions on the property caused a tenant’s burn injury.
- Business owners, for the same reason.
- Companies or manufacturers, if they were responsible for manufacturing or distributing a harmful or defective product that caused your burn injury. Examples include faulty smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, household appliances, or building materials.
- Construction or repair companies, if it is discovered that their error caused your burn injuries. The most common examples are faulty electrical, gas, or water heating systems.
- An individual person, if he or she acted negligently or maliciously and caused you to suffer burn injuries.
- An insurance company, if they are refusing to pay for your burn injury claim–this could be your own insurer or the defendant’s.
Expert witnesses are extremely useful for determining fault in a fire and burn injury case. Fire origin experts do a great job in identifying the initial cause of the accident, and that is typically very influential in determining liability. Experts from the medical field can also be brought in to verify the type and severity of the burns in question. Fire and burn accident victims are eligible to receive all the standard forms of compensation–medical expenses, lost benefits, etc.–but experts can help claimants receive non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment.
Above all, fire and burn injury claimants should always remember that it’s important to start the claim process as quickly as possible, as the statute of limitations varies across states. If you wait too long before coming forward with your claim, you will be barred from receiving compensation, and you will be left to fend for yourself with painful injuries and rising costs. Most statutes of limitations are either two or three years, but you should always check your local laws if you are unsure.
Need a Trusted Fire and Burn Injury Attorney? Call Van Law Firm Today
When you need help recovering compensation for burn injuries that were caused by another’s negligence, don’t ruin your chances of success by trusting lawyers who don’t have the knowledge or resources to handle your case effectively. Instead, call the experienced fire and burn injury attorneys from Van Law Firm–we’ve helped countless burn injury victims get the treatment and compensation they deserve, and to us, each case is a top priority. Call our office nearest you now for more information.