Legal Help for Victims of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are one of the most excruciatingly painful and most dangerous types of injuries, as they can cause damage to more than just the skin. The skin is a highly important organ that is responsible for regulating body temperature and hydration, keeping out disease, as well as other functions. If the skin is severely damaged by a burn, victims can suffer major blood loss, dehydration, and serious infection. Burns also destroy sweat glands, hair follicles, and skin elasticity. Severe burns that result in scarring may even require expensive skin grafting surgeries.
Suffering a burn or fire injury can be very traumatic. When the physical and emotional hardships are compounded with long-term medical costs, however, it can become unbearable. No victim can make a proper recovery under such circumstances. At Cullan & Cullan LLC, our Omaha burn injury lawyers, who are also physicians, have a thorough understanding of burn injuries and the devastation they can cause.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Burn Injury Case?
The extensive and long-lasting effects of a burn injury allow a claimant to sue for many damages, including but not limited to:
- Present and future medical bills
- Plastic surgery
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Present and future medication
- Loss of income
- Loss of ability to earn a living
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Most people don't have the money or assets to provide sufficient damages for your injury. Even many insurance policies do not provide the amount of coverage needed to compensate for a burn injury. This is why an investigation into the cause of the injury is so important. Having multiple defendants can allow you to recover more.
In almost all cases, a variety of expert witnesses will be needed to determine the cause of the accident, what contributed to your injury, what types of treatment you will need in the future, etc. This is why you should start by hiring a qualified attorney.
Types and Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries may be caused by a number of substances, though fire or heat from a fire is the most common. Burns may be categorized as fire/flame, electrical, chemical, radiation, or scalding and their severity are determined by "degrees:"
- 1st-degree burns damage the epidermis layer or top layer of skin;
- 2nd-degree burns damage the dermis lawyer or second layer of skin; and
- 3rd-degree burns, the most severe, damage the subcutaneous layer or third layer of skin.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries may result from a number of situations, in a number of places, including at work, at home, on the street, at a store, as well as other locations. Oftentimes, however, burn injuries are caused by preventable accidents at home or at work.
Some causes of burn injuries include:
- Electric shock;
- Contact with noxious chemicals;
- House fire;
- Cooking fire;
- Motor-vehicle fire;
- Exposure to radiation;
- Excessive heat exposure;
- Excessive sun exposure;
- Industrial explosion;
- Workplace fire;
- Contact with hot liquids; and
- Defective heat or fire producing products.
Nebraska has a comparative negligence doctrine, meaning you can sue another party even if you were partly at fault as long as you can prove the other party contributed to your injury. This is true in burn injury cases and all other types of injury claims.
Consequences of a Burn Injury
Because burns expose the sensitive layers of the skin to foreign substances, the effects of such injuries are unpredictable. Even exposure to air can cause further injury or illness. A severe enough burn may even lead to amputation.
Approximately 45,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries and about 450,000 receive medical treatment annually.
Serious non-physical consequences, such as emotional trauma, may also occur. Severe burns also tend to cause unsightly scars. Extensive scarring can create a range of social and emotional issues, including shyness and withdrawal from society. This may make it more difficult to lead a normal life. Furthermore, serious burn injuries can require multiple surgeries and/or other medical treatments that can create undue financial burdens for the victim and their family.
ABA Burn Injury Statistics
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), an estimated 3,500 people die from burn injuries every year in the U.S. Furthermore, approximately 45,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries and about 450,000 receive medical treatment annually.
Recovering after a Burn Injury in Omaha
Our Nebraska burn injury lawyers have obtained several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured clients and are committed to holding at-parties accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury as the result of another's negligence or wrongdoing, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call us today to get answers to your burn injury questions and learn more about your legal rights and options at (402) 882-7080.