A burn injury can change a person’s life forever. Personal injury cases can provide a way to recover compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to compensation for monetary losses.
Our Missouri burn injury attorneys at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers handle all aspects of burn injury claims. We diligently fight to hold the party responsible for your burn injury financially liable for your damages.
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Types of Burn Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1.1 million people seek medical attention for burn injuries each year. Roughly 50,000 people are hospitalized for burn injuries yearly. One of the leading causes of injury or death in the United States is burns.
The types of burn injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Flash burns caused by exposure to flames from an explosion
- Radiation burns from prolonged exposure to radiation
- Thermal burns caused by hot liquids, steam, hot objects, or fire
- Chemical burns from exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals
- Electrical burns are caused when a person comes in contact with electrical wiring or electricity
- Frostbite or cold burns caused by exposure to extreme cold
Immediate medical attention for burn injuries can help reduce the risk of permanent disability and life-threatening conditions. Regardless of the type or severity of the burn, see a doctor as soon as possible.
What Are the Degrees of Burn Injuries?
The degree of burns describes how much damage the burn caused to the skin, underlying tissues, and bones. Typically, first-degree burns are the least serious, and the severity intensifies as the degree increases.
The classification of burn injuries includes:
First Degree Burns
These are the least severe burn injuries. First-degree burns only affect the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), making it painful, dry, and red. Mild sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn.
Second Degree Burns
Second-degree burns injure a portion of the dermis. The area will be red, painful, and swollen. Second-degree burns cause blistering of the skin.
Third Degree Burns
This type of burn destroys the outer and lower layers of skin. Sometimes, a third-degree burn can enter the subcutaneous tissue under the dermis. The burn site appears charred, blackened, or white.
Fourth Degree Burns
These burns go through both layers of the skin and the underlying tissue to enter the deeper soft tissues. Some sources state that fourth degree burns damage the muscle and bones. Other sources describe burn injuries that destroy muscle as fifth degree burns and burns that destroy bone as sixth-degree burns.
Long-Term Effects and Consequences of Burn Injuries
First and second-degree burns often heal without causing any severe, long-term impairments. However, second-degree burns can cause scarring.
Third-degree burns damage the nerves underneath the layers of skin. Treatment for third-degree burns often includes skin grafting.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns can cause life-threatening conditions that result in death. If the person survives, they often have permanent impairments and disabilities.
Depending on the severity and type of burn injury, burn injury victims could suffer:
- Joint damage
- Organ damage
- Chronic pain
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Psychological trauma, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- Permanent nerve damage
- Systemic shock (insufficient blood flow to bodily organs and cells)
- Fluid loss (hypovolemia)
- Sepsis and septic shock
Severe burns can be fatal. The emotional and physical consequences of a burn can be debilitating. Treatments for burns can be painful and include:
- Physical therapy
- Skin grafting
- Occupational therapy
- Pain management
- Cosmetic reconstruction
- Trauma counseling
- Treatment for infections and secondary conditions
In addition to scarring and disfigurement, burn injuries can cause loss of mobility and physical function. A person might suffer from nightmares and flashbacks of the event.
If you sustain a burn injury, seek immediate medical care. Then, when you are stable, call our Missouri burn injury lawyers to discuss filing a personal injury claim for damages.
What Causes Burn Injuries in Missouri?
Burn injuries can occur because of accidents and other incidents. A person could suffer a burn injury because of the following:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Boating accidents
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Defective or damaged electrical wiring
- Welding accidents
The lost income, medical bills, and other damages caused by burn injuries are substantial. Burn victims and their families can receive compensation for damages if the burn injury was caused by negligence, intentional torts, or other wrongdoing. Our Missouri burn injury attorneys investigate the cause of your burn and identify each party responsible for your damages.
How Much Is a Burn Injury Worth?
The type and severity of your burn impact how much your case is worth. Other factors that can impact how much money you receive for a burn injury claim include the following:
- The total of lost wages, medical expenses, and other economic damages
- Whether you sustained a permanent impairment or disability
- The cost of long-term care for burn injuries
- The severity of scarring and disfigurement
- The emotional trauma you experienced because of the accident and injury
- The extent of how the injury impacts your daily activities
Other factors could impact how much a burn injury is worth. Our lawyers at Bradley Law analyze your case to determine your damages to calculate the maximum value for your case. Then, we aggressively pursue all parties responsible for your injury for the maximum compensation available for your claim.
Can I Recover Compensation for a Burn Injury if I Am Partly to Blame for the Injury?
Missouri has pure comparative fault laws for cases involving shared fault. You can recover compensation for damages if you are partly at fault for your burn injury. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For instance, suppose your damages equal $750,000. However, the jury finds you are 10% at fault for the injury. Therefore, you would receive $675,000, which equals the total damages less 10% for fault.
How Long Do I Have to File a Burn Injury Claim in Missouri?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in Missouri is five years after the injury date. However, there could be an exception in your case that shortens or lengthens that deadline. Therefore, we recommend consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after an injury or accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Missouri Personal Injury Attorneys
Burn injuries can cause severe trauma and life-altering impairments. Call our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation with experienced Missouri burn injury lawyers to discuss your case. We want to help you recover the compensation you deserve for a burn injury.