Burn injuries can be painful, expensive & devastating. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers are here to help.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, with more than 1,000 nerve endings per square inch. Consequently, burns are one of the most painful (and visible) types of personal injuries one can suffer.
Severe burns often lead to long hospital stays, painful surgeries, and sometimes even years of physical therapy — not to mention the pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and emotional distress that victims often experience as a result.
According to the American Burn Association, about 480,000 people seek medical care for burn injuries every year. Of these, about 30,000 require specialized care in burn centers. In fact, statistics show that over 60 percent of all acute hospitalizations in the U.S. relate to burns and scalds.
While the debilitating effects of a burn injury are painfully obvious to victims, you’ll find that insurance companies routinely downplay the severity of your situation in an attempt to lower the true value of your claim. Filing a personal injury claim and recovering compensation is not a simple task, especially when the value of your damages can be contested.
Not only do you deserve to be compensated for 100 percent of your lost wages and medical bills (past and future), you deserve compensation for any pain and suffering you experienced, scarring or disfigurement, emotional distress, and much more. At Montgomery Law, our experienced burn injury attorneys can help make sure you get every penny you deserve on a no-win no-fee basis.
Types of Burns
While some burns are minor injuries that can be treated at home, others can cause lasting damage to your skin and require long-term medical care. Doctors have grouped burns into four general categories (or degrees):
- First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the epidermis. These types of burns usually result in redness and irritation, but do not break the skin or cause blistering.
- Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and dermis. Skin is usually swollen, bright red, and may even look wet or shiny. Blisters are common, and the entire area is painful to touch.
- Third-degree burns destroy two entire layers of skin. Instead of a red color, skin may appear black, yellow, brown, or white. There is little pain with third-degree burns because nerve endings have been damaged.
- Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and deepest burns, destroying every layer of skin and, sometimes, even muscles, tendons, or bone. As such, they are considered potentially life-threatening.
Burns can also be classified as minor, moderate, or major depending on their overall size. Minor burns are described as covering less than 10 percent of an adult’s body, while moderate burns may cover roughly ten-to-twenty percent. Major (or severe) burns are categorized as those which cover more than 20 percent of an adult’s body, or more than 10 percent in children.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
The most common types of burn injuries are thermal (heat-related), such as those caused by hot surfaces, fire, steam, or scalding liquid. However, victims can also suffer from chemical burns, electrical burns, or even friction burns.
Burns resulting from negligence can also occur in a number of situations such as workplace accidents, car wrecks, structure fires — and can even be caused by defective equipment or intentional acts. In order to recover compensation for your injuries though, you must be able to prove negligence on behalf of another person or company.
If your burn was caused by malfunctioning equipment or faulty machinery (e.g., a scalding oil burn caused by a defective or inherently unsafe deep fryer), you may actually have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
If you suffer a burn injury at work, your legal options may hinge upon whether or not your employer subscribes to a state-run workers’ compensation insurance program. If they do, you might actually be barred from filing a negligence claim against the company. Work injury cases are unique in Texas, and it’s vital that you speak to an attorney about your options before making any decisions regarding your potential claim.
Winning Your Case
As is the case in all personal injury cases, you, as the plaintiff, have the burden of proof. You must be able to prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries to win your case, and you must be able to demonstrate the value of your damages in order to recover compensation.
Most defendants won’t willingly admit fault, but that’s to be expected. At Montgomery Law, we fight denials like this every day. We know how to prove the elements necessary to win your case, and we don’t back down from a fight. Our job is to advocate on your behalf and look out for your best interests through the entire process.
Demonstrating liability can be complex, but proving the value of your claim can be a far greater challenge without the help of an attorney. With minor injuries, it is far easier to convince a jury that you should receive nominal compensation for your pain and suffering. In fact, most jurors have suffered from minor injuries in their lives and can reflect upon firsthand knowledge to determine what they believe to be fair compensation.
However, with more serious injuries—particularly burns—many people do not have the ability to fully-grasp or understand the level of pain that a burn victim experiences, not to mention the psychological affects that a disfiguring injury can have on someone for the rest of their life.
In some cases, your attorney may even seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant’s negligent and/or reckless behavior. It’s important to note, though, that Texas law permits victims to seek punitive damages only in cases that involve malice, fraud, or gross negligence.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Retaining the services of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney in any personal injury case can help ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. A good attorney can help the jury understand the seriousness and scope of your injuries, but also gives you a very good chance at reaching a fair settlement offer early in the claims process.
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury, contact us today for a free consultation. At Montgomery Law, we’re here to work for you — and we’ll do so on a no-win no-fee basis. We know how important it is to have someone you can trust in your corner, and we’re always available 24 hours a day to answer your questions.
Call us today at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) for a free consultation.
Montgomery Law is a Dallas-based personal injury law firm focused on getting clients the justice and compensation they deserve.
Call us toll-free at 1-833-720-6090 to discuss your case today for no cost.