A burn injury can cause relentless, and debilitating, pain. Burn victims are often left with chronic long-term discomfort, organ damage, and sometimes stress-related disorders. Read on to learn more about burn injuries and personal injury law from our Richmond injury accident lawyers.
Almost every aspect of daily living can be impacted by pain. Pain from a burn injury is complex and frequently requires ongoing multidisciplinary assessments by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and physical therapists. Thirty years ago people with burns covering 20 percent of their body almost always died. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, the National Institutes of Health now reports people with extensive burns over 90 percent of the body can survive.
Survival and returning to a “normal” life are two different things, however. It is not uncommon for burn victims to be left with permanent impairments such as:
- Sleep disturbance
- Inability to function to capacity at work
- Chronic pain
At Emroch & Kilduff, our experienced legal team cannot heal your burns - but we can help a jury understand that you, or a family member, live in constant pain because of a severe burn. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services for burn victims.
The Skin Is the Largest Organ in the Body
We have about 19 million skin cells in every square inch of our body, and each and every inch contains approximately 1,000 nerve endings. Even a relatively minor first-degree burn can damage sweat glands and blood vessels. Not all burns are only skin deep. Second and third-degree burns frequently affect the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, renal function, and compromise our sensory abilities. Intractable pain can prevent a person from enjoying quality time with family and friends, or participating in activities that once gave their life purpose and meaning.
Burn Injuries Are Extensive
Categorized by the degree of severity, a burn can cause damage and impair the function of:
- Internal organs
Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns are so severe that they penetrate fat and muscles, and often reach to the bone. In many cases amputation is necessary for these burns because the damage cannot be fixed.
Burns Can Stem From Multiple Causes
Burn victims in Virginia often require lengthy hospital stays, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and the need for pain management specialists, making recovering from damaged skin and the surrounding tissue one of the most expensive areas in healthcare today. According to recent information from the American Burn Association, 43 percent of burns are caused by flames, with scalding injuries following at 34 percent. Chemical and electrical burns can both also result in devastating injuries, as can damage from flammable liquids and gases.
Some of the most prevalent causes of burns are:
- Defective products
- Automobile accidents
- Faulty wiring
- Construction accidents
- Dangerous materials
- Medical malpractice
- Cooking accidents
- Extremely hot liquids
The attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, have community and national ties to a network of knowledgeable experts. They have proven to be valuable in helping our clients pursue fair and just compensation for burn injuries resulting from car accidents, defective products, and workplace injuries, among others. If you or a family member is suffering from a catastrophic burn injury, you need an aggressive advocate. Schedule a consultation today.
Burn Injury Complications
Burns injuries weaken the body and cause long-term emotional damage. Physical treatments for burns are painful and can leave victims susceptible to such complications as:
- Psychological difficulties
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Organ failure
The Importance of Legal Representation and Documentation
The road to recovery following a burn injury is challenging and strewn with long-term health complications. Families, through no fault of their own, find themselves suddenly faced with physical, emotional and financial ramifications that potentially can last a lifetime. When it comes to being compensated for a catastrophic injury having the right documentation is as important as having the right lawyer.
When you have the firm of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, on your side, you can be assured that your lawyers will work hard to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our services for clients frequently include:
- Researching and investigating all possible sources of compensation, including insurance companies and defendants’ personal assets;
- Locating and preserving evidence, including photographs or videos taken at the scene of an accident that caused a burn injury;
- Obtaining and reviewing witness statements and police reports;
- Studying medical treatment records and physician’s reports ;
- Locating and coordinating with qualified medical, financial, and other experts;
- Acting as a liaison between your personal insurance carrier(s) and the at-fault person’s insurance carrier.
Richmond Burn Injury FAQ
It’s natural to have questions if you’ve suffered burns and are thinking of contacting a lawyer. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about burn injuries.
Under what circumstances does someone owe me for a burn injury?
If someone else caused your burn injury, the person (or entity) who caused the injury may very well owe you for your losses resulting from the injury.
Fault. A person that either caused a fire or caused you to feel the effects of a fire or explosion is at fault. A thoughtless person picking up a heavy pan of boiling water and then dropping it so that the hot water goes all over your leg can cause a burn injury. So can a rough-housing neighbor who playfully shoves your child and causes them to fall into a bonfire.
Burn injuries are not always caused by people, though. An exploding hot water heater, a vaping product that catches on fire in your pants pocket, or a chemical explosion at work can all cause severe burn injuries. These burns can be the fault of a product manufacturer, a store that sold the product, or an employer’s improper safety procedures.
Negligence. Negligence is a breach of the duty of care a prudent person owes you. If your neighbors host a bonfire and invite you, they have a duty of care toward you. Their premises should be reasonably safe. If they know of any potential dangers on their property, they need to warn you. A roaring fire clearly poses some dangers. A person who causes someone else to fall into it, playfully or not, has violated their duty of care—which is to keep an invited neighbor reasonably safe, not exposing them to harm.
Similarly, a product manufacturer has a duty of care to the public to manufacture safe products. Hot water heaters should not explode, vaping products shouldn’t burst into flames, and chemicals shouldn’t explode when used or stored properly. If these products do explode or burst into flames, the company may have violated their duty of care toward the public.
Negligent entities may be liable (financially responsible) for the injuries and other harm caused by their negligence. That’s why a negligent party, whether a person or company, owes you for injuries and harm you suffered due to a burn injury they caused.
How much in compensatory damages can I receive for my burn injury?
Compensation burn injury victims receive depends very much on how badly they were injured and how long the injuries will impact their lives.
Below are the standard types of compensation burn injury victims often receive for burn injury claims:
- Medical bills. Treatment for burn injuries can be very expensive. Medical bills aren’t confined just to doctor’s appointments, either. You can receive compensation for hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, diagnostic tests such as x-rays, physical therapy, rehabilitative equipment, and more.
- Wages lost from work. If you need to take time off work for treatment, recuperation, or the injury-causing event itself, that’s compensable as well. If the burns are severe enough that you can’t work at your former job, you can seek a related form of compensation called “lifetime value of earnings.” This is the amount you could have expected to earn over your lifetime had the burn injuries not occurred.
- Pain and suffering. All burn injury victims are entitled to seek damages for physical pain and suffering, as well as emotional and mental pain and suffering. Figuring out what the at-fault party owes you for pain and suffering is a more complicated calculation than medical bills or lost wages. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the more compensation you will receive. Keeping a journal of how you are feeling and how your injuries have affected your life following your accident can help your attorney prove how the injuries have affected your well-being and support your claim for pain and suffering damages.
What are the most frequent causes of burn injuries in Richmond?
The most frequent causes of burn injuries are:
- Household fires, in houses and apartment buildings.
- Car accidents.
- Inadequate safety equipment when working with chemicals.
- Inadequate safety equipment with installing electrical outlets or working with electricity.
- Defective products.
- Scalding water in the home, from cooking or from hot water pipes.\
- Fire related injuries in businesses such as hotels, bars, and retail establishments.
- Defective electrical cords.
- Radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced burn injury lawyer at Emroch & Kilduff for a free consultation. Our professionals can answer your questions and tell you if you have a viable claim for damages.
How do I prove negligence after a burn injury?
Product manufacturers, employers, automobile drivers, landlords, property owners, and medical professionals are among those who can be held accountable for personal injuries, including burns. In Virginia, proving that someone else’s negligence caused a burn injury requires diligence and legal knowledge. Full financial recovery demands the tenacity and determination from an experienced personal injury litigator.
Help Is Available From Emroch & Kilduff’s Burn Injury Attorneys
The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources, information, and help to anyone affected by a burn injury. There is an active online community for providing valuable peer support, and the organization sponsors the nation’s first scholarship grant for burn victims to defray the cost of a two or four-year college, a technical or vocational school, or a graduate program.
Call Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, if You Suffered Burn Injuries in Richmond.
If you suffer from burn injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, or a defective product, contact Emroch & Kilduff, LLP. Since 1970 the personal injury attorneys at Emroch & Kilduff have handled burn injury cases for residents in Richmond and the surrounding areas. We fight aggressively to preserve, protect and defend the rights of each and every client. Call (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.