Burn Injury Attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama
Burn injuries are an especially gruesome, painful, and potentially disfiguring injury type. Occurring as the result of a number of different accidents and varied in their source, there are approximately half a million hospital admissions and visits to emergency room departments related to burn injuries every year in the United States, according to the American Burn Association. The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to burns as a “global public health problem.”
Nearly everyone is familiar with the sensation of being burned, perhaps by water that is too hot, or touching a stove or pan that hasn’t cooled yet. These burns are minor, and are quickly forgotten about. For those who have suffered serious burn injuries, however, the future may be less clear, and life may be permanently changed. At the law offices of Burge & Burge, P.C., our experienced burn injury lawyers recognize how tragic severe burn injuries can be, and are ready to help you seek compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
Causes and Types of Burn Injuries
Most burn injuries are thermal, which means that they occur as a result of the victim coming in contact with a source of heat, such as an open flame, hot stove, etc.In addition to thermal burns, there are also:
- Electrical burns, which are caused when the body encounters an electrical current;
- Friction burns, which occur when the skin is scraped or rubbed repeatedly against another surface;
- Radiation burns, which occur when a person is exposed to radiation, including during cancer treatment therapy; and
- Chemical burns, which are the result of an individual being exposed to or encountering certain chemicals, including battery acid, chlorine, and bleach.
Burns can happen at home, on the job, because of a motor vehicle accident, and even while in nature (i.e. a campfire gets out of control, a person is struck by lightning, etc.). While some burns, including burns occurring because of natural phenomena, are unpredictable and unpreventable, most burn injuries can be avoided. For example, a workplace electrical burn injury may be the result of improper wiring or a lack of thorough worker training, or a home burn injury from a fire may have never occurred but for the lack of properly functioning smoke detectors.
Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified according to degree, with first-degree burns being the least severe, second-degree burns being moderately severe, and third-degree burns being the most severe. Some medical professionals also recognize fourth-degree burns, which are so serious that they are often fatal.
A first-degree burn injury is one that only affects the outermost layer of skin called the epidermis. While these burns hurt, they usually heal within a few days or a week, and don’t leave permanent scarring or harm.
Second-degree burns, on the other hand, require medical intervention as these burns affect both the epidermis the dermis (the first two layers of skin). Second-degree burns may lead to blistering, are extremely painful, and can leave permanent scarring.
Third-degree burns are particularly tragic, as these burns reach below the skin to the layer of fat, even burning nerve endings in many cases, making these burns much more severe, but often less painful than second-degree burns. Third-degree burns are often associated with other complications, such as difficulty breathing and damage to the lungs due to smoke inhalation.
The Effects of a Burn Injury
A burn injury is extremely serious, and can have lasting effects on a patient’s life. One of the most psychologically challenging parts of such an experience is that it can be very disfiguring. In addition to serious scarring, which may require multiple plastic surgeries to improve, a person who has suffered a serious burn injury may also be at risk of infection and sepsis, low blood volume, dangerously low body temperature, respiratory complications, and bone and joint problems. If a burn is very serious, it may mean that a limb must be amputated.
In addition to being physically painful, these injuries are often expensive to treat. The individual may not be able to work or earn an income, even after treatment has been completed. Burn injuries can also lead to psychological harm and complications, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Recovering Compensation for Economic and Noneconomic Injury
If you have suffered a serious burn injury, there is no amount of money in the world that can change what happened and truly set things right again. While true justice can never be served, pursuing compensation for your economic and non-economic losses and holding the responsible party liable for your damages can provide a sense of closure, and offer much-needed financial relief.
If your injuries were caused by a defective product or the negligence of another party, such as a landlord’s failure to maintain working smoke detectors, you can file a legal action against this party for damages. If you were injured at work, you may be able to bring forth a workers’ compensation claim and file a third-party liability claim. You have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and all other losses you have suffered.
To recover damages in these cases, you need an injury lawyer to help you prove that another party was at fault for your injuries, or in some cases, that multiple parties were at fault. Alabama is currently one of the states that applies the contributory negligence standard to personal injury cases. This means that if the injured party is found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident or event (even 1%), they can be barred from recovering damages. This is why the experience of the legal team representing your case is so important.
Our Attorneys Will Work Hard for You
Filing an injury claim on your own can be difficult, especially if you are still in the process of recovering from your burns. When you work with our aggressive personal injury lawyers at the offices of Burge & Burge, P.C., we will manage all elements of your claim on your behalf, so you can focus on the more important things, like making a full recovery. Our legal team has more than 50 years of combined experienced, knows how to thoroughly investigate burn injury cases, has the resources necessary to hire experts to build your case and testify on your behalf, and we are skilled negotiators and litigators who aren’t intimidated by the idea of going to court.
We want you to receive every penny you deserve if you have suffered a serious burn injury. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our law office, please call our personal injury law office at 205-251-9000 today. You can also visit our office in person today!