Fredericksburg Burn Injury Attorney
Fires, devastating as they are, constitute just one potential source of burn injuries. People can suffer burn injuries in chemical explosions or activities that abrade (“burn”) their skin, such as accidents on pavement or a treadmill’s textured rubber padding.
If you or a loved one suffered burn injuries or died from burns in Fredericksburg or the surrounding area, the experienced lawyers at Emroch & Kilduff can help. Our commitment to our clients is evident in our results. Several years ago, for example, we won a $1.5 million pretrial settlement in the case of a young girl burned in a natural gas explosion.
While we cannot predict the outcome of a particular case, we always do our utmost to see justice done for our clients. Contact our Fredericksburg burn injury lawyers for a free initial consultation.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are widespread throughout the country. Someone suffers an injury in a fire every 23 minutes nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from fires occur every two hours, on average.
Burn injuries, however, can arise from many events, including:
- Fires in homes, apartments, and other buildings.
- Fires outdoors, such as campfires.
- Fires in vehicle accidents.
- Lack of proper safety equipment when working with chemicals.
- Lack of proper safety equipment when working with electricity.
- Defective products that explode or spark.
- Scalding water from cooking or from pipes carrying hot water.
- Nuclear power plant accidents.
- Electrical cord fires.
- Improperly administered radiation treatment.
Responsibility for Burn Injuries
As you can see from the above list, burn injuries can occur in private homes, schools, cars, companies, worksites, recreational areas, stores, and more.
It is very natural for injured people to wonder if they can receive compensation for their injuries. You might face mounting medical bills or cannot work to feed your family.
Compensation for injuries is possible only if another party, whether an individual or organization, was negligent. Negligence is a violation of the duty of care the responsible party owed you.
Let’s say, for example, that your child is playing in a neighbor’s yard and falls into a fire pit. Ostensibly the fire is no longer burning, but the embers and ashes are still hot enough to burn. Your neighbor is arguably negligent, as the duty of care involves protecting known visitors from harm on their property.
What if you work in a company and a chemical explosion occurs in the warehouse next door, burning you and many of your fellow employees? The company that owns and runs the warehouse may have been negligent, as chemicals shouldn’t blow up when stored properly. They may have violated their duty of care.
Negligent parties are financially responsible for compensating victims directly harmed by their negligence.
Types of Compensation in Fredericksburg Burn Injury Cases
Under Virginia law, burn victims can seek compensation either by approaching the at-fault party’s insurance company or filing a Fredericksburg burn injury lawsuit.
Victims can seek the following types of compensation for damages specific to their case:
- Medical bills – For emergency treatment, diagnostic tests, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, assistive devices (cane, crutch), and more.
- Wages lost from work – If the incident, treatment, or recovery necessitate the victim taking time off from work.
- Lifetime earnings – If the injury is serious enough that the victim can no longer work in their previous occupation.
- Personal property – For personal property damaged.
- Pain and suffering – For physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
What if your loved one died as a result of a burn injury? According to Virginia law, if the deceased could have brought a Fredericksburg burn injury lawsuit had they lived, certain family members are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
Although nothing can compensate you for a loved one’s death, wrongful death lawsuits are designed to acknowledge that both the deceased and their family members are owed something due to the other party’s negligence.
Family members can receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses incurred to treat the injury.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Compensation, such as income, services, and assistance the deceased provided.
- Mental anguish caused by a lack of companionship, comfort, and advice the deceased provided.
Types of Burns
The most common type of burn is from fires. We provide a brief overview of several different burn types below.
Thermal burns result from heat sources that burn or cause your skin to heat up. Thermal burns can char and kill your skin.
Thermal burns stem from:
- Very hot (scalding) liquids;
- Steam; and
- Coming into contact with hot surfaces, such as metal.
Electrical burns stem from contact with large amounts of electricity, such as coming into contact with an electrical socket or a vehicle’s electricity source.
Some chemicals cause burns if used or combined improperly. While many chemical burns occur in occupations or companies, household chemicals can also cause chemical burns.
Friction burns stem from contact between skin and another surface. A common type of friction burn is a rope burn, which people often suffer if they slide down a rope. A vehicle accident that results in direct contact with the roadway can cause road rash, a type of friction burn.
Radiation burns result from exposure to radiation. A sunburn is a common type of radiation burn. Radiation treatment or nuclear plant accidents can also cause radiation burns.
Degrees of Burns
Some burn injuries are relatively minor and resolve quickly. Others, however, are extremely serious and may require months or even years of treatment and rehabilitative therapy.
Burns are classified according to degree, as follows:
- A first-degree burn affects only the first layer of skin. A mild sunburn is an example. While painful, a first-degree burn just reddens the outer layer of your skin and generally resolves easily.
- A second-degree burn, sometimes termed a partial thickness burn, affects the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and the lower layer (the dermis). Victims may experience redness, swelling, and blistering. These burns may become infected.
- A third-degree burn, sometimes termed a full-thickness burn, burns the tissue under the dermis. In these cases, victims may experience whiteness on the skin, numbness, or charred skin. Third-degree burns can require surgery, including skin grafts. This degree of burn may require years of treatment and permanently scar or disfigure the victim.
All burns may become infected, which can greatly increase the need for medical care. Severe burns can affect the muscles, nerves, and even bone beneath the skin. In addition, the circumstances surrounding a burn injury are often traumatic. Victims can suffer psychologically from PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Call an Experienced Fredericksburg Burn Injury Attorney
At Emroch & Kilduff, we tenaciously pursue compensation for our burn injury clients. The first consultation is always free. Contact us or dial (804) 358-1568 today to discuss your case with our Fredericksburg personal injury attorneys.
Why Choose Emroch & Kilduff?
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Emroch & Kilduff
10460 Hilltop Plaza Way
Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553
Phone: (540) 898-2882
Toll-free: (877) 445-1508