Burn injuries are among the most painful and most expensive injuries a person can suffer. A minor burn only needs limited first aid and will typically heal in a few days or weeks. Unfortunately, individuals who suffer severe burns aren’t as lucky. Victims of severe burns may face one or more corrective surgeries and skin grafts, depending on the cause of the burn and how much of the body it covers. Severe burns can also come with such excruciating pain that doctors must put burn victims in comas to give them relief until some healing occurs.
If you suffered burn injuries as a result of another party’s carelessness, negligence, or intentional harm, Kentucky law entitles you to seek compensation for damages related to your burns in civil court. Severe injuries often create economic stress for victims and their families. You shouldn’t have to cope with this financial burden if another party caused your injuries.
The experienced and compassionate burn injury lawyers at Flora Templeton Stuart can assist you in the aftermath of your burn injury and help you hold the party that caused you harm accountable. We help burn victims in Bowling Green and throughout Kentucky.
Contact Flora Templeton Stuart today for a free consultation at (888) 782-9090.
According to the American Burn Association, each year more than 485,000 people suffer burn injuries that require medical treatment. Among these burn victims, 40,000 must be hospitalized, 75 percent in burn centers. Knowing the broad source of a burn is crucial for a burn victim to receive the proper treatment. In severe cases, burn victims cannot communicate the source of their burns and must rely on a family member, friend, co-worker, or witness to inform the attending physician.
For example, a severe sunburn needs different treatment than a chemical burn, and an electrocution burn needs a different type of treatment than do burns from radiation exposure. Broadly speaking, a burn victim can experience thermal burns, radiation burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns. Below you can find examples of each.
This type of burn comes from external heat sources that increase the skin’s temperature and cause cells to die. Two common examples of thermal burns are scalds from hot water or injuries from flames of a fire. Many different situations might result in a scald. Restaurant employees and patrons are at risk for scalds from hot coffee, tea, and soups. Cooking meals at home can also lead to a hot liquid scald. Finally, young children can suffer a hot water scald from a shower or bath.
Fires can be intentional or accidental, but those nearby risk burns in either case. Electrical shorts can throw sparks that ignite fires, traffic accidents can result in a fire, and lit cigarettes that haven’t been properly extinguished can also lead to fires. A person might also suffer a thermal burn from unattended campfires and controlled burns. The presence of flammable liquids can increase the intensity of a fire and might even cause an explosion. Burn victims who live through a wildfire, a building fire, or severe car crash fire sometimes suffer catastrophic or fatal burns.
The sun and cancer treatments are the two most common sources of radiation burns, but people can also suffer radiation burns from tanning beds. Severe sunburns can occur as a result of child neglect and elder neglect. Radiation as a form of cancer treatment shrinks tumors when the treatment works, but the wrong dosage can cause severe injury or fatality. Doctors also order diagnostic imaging tests, including x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, putting patients at risk for radiation exposure, which can cause damage to the skin and tissue inside and outside of the body.
Corrosive chemicals, like acids, alkalies, strong detergents, and solvents, can cause painful chemical burns when they come into contact with a person’s skin. In severe cases, chemicals can eat through a person’s skin and reach their skeletal system. Bleach, chlorine, and battery acid are examples of common products that can lead to severe burns. Those who work in chemical plants or regularly come in contact with corrosive chemicals for their job risk dangerous and severe burns, especially if the burn covers a large portion of the body.
Electric currents create many types of dangerous situations that can lead to severe burns. Poor electrical work and old electrical systems with open circuits, unprotected outlets, and loose wires create hazards for anyone around.
The National Institute of Health reports four types of electrical burn injuries:
Doctors, nurses, surgeons, and others who help burn victims use specific categories to evaluate burn injuries. Historically, burns have been categorized by degree: first, second, third, etc. In the context of a personal injury claim, the more severe the burn that you have suffered, the more you can seek for damages if you take legal action against the at-fault party.
Below you will find specific descriptions of each degree of burn:
Kentucky law permits you to bring a lawsuit against the party that caused your burn injuries, if you take action within the state’s one-year statute of limitations period (for most personal injury claims). If you reach an agreeable settlement with the defense or the court rules in your favor, you might recover some of the following damages and losses related to your burn injuries:
Severe burns are one of the most costly injuries that an individual can experience. Burn victims must get immediate medical treatment, which often includes transportation via ambulance to the hospital, an emergency room visit, and hospitalization. Doctors may have to perform a battery of tests and request imaging to evaluate the extent of the burn, especially with catastrophic burns.
Excruciatingly painful burns require doctors to put victims into a medically-induced coma until they begin to heal and the pain can be managed while awake. Burn victims might spend days, weeks, or even months in a burn unit, drastically adding to their medical treatment costs. Other potential costs include one or more surgeries and skin grafts. Burn victims who have lived through a catastrophic burn might develop permanent conditions that require ongoing care for the rest of their lives.
Full care may even require placement in a long-term care facility, typically not covered under any type of health insurance, which can bankrupt victims and their families.
Burn victims might have to miss weeks or months of work as a result of treatment and hospitalization for their burn injuries. Catastrophic burns can permanently prevent a burn victim from returning to work or seeking any gainful employment. Depending on the extent of the injury, a burn injury claim can include current and future lost wages in a personal injury lawsuit. In both cases, you can also recover the value of any paid time off that you used as a result of your burn injury.
In many personal injury claims, victims seek damages for non-economic losses, which compensate them for things like physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium with a spouse. One rarely-awarded non-economic loss or damage is scarring and disfigurement.
Although rare, burn victims are more likely than other injured individuals to receive compensation for scarring and disfigurement. Severe burns can leave permanent scars and cause permanent disfigurement. In the most extreme cases, cosmetic surgery will not restore an individual’s skin to the way it looked before the burn injury. The location of the burn and how much of the body it covers affects the value of a burn injury claim.
For example, a court will not consider a small scar on the leg from a severe burn as serious as the same scar on someone’s cheek. Similarly, if a burn covers an entire arm or leg, it will be worth more. Attorneys and courts typically consider the amount of embarrassment or humiliation a burn victim might experience from his or her scars. Lawyers and courts often assign more value to more visible scars, which generally lead to more humiliating feelings for burn victims.
Burn victims face excruciating physical pain and massive financial costs in the aftermath of their injuries. You shouldn’t have to cope with the additional economic stress of your injury when another party’s negligence or careless actions caused your burns. You deserve compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses that you’ve experienced because of your burn injury. Flora Templeton Stuart understands the challenges that you are facing after a severe burn injury, and is here to advocate for you and hold those who caused you harm accountable for their actions.
The compassionate legal team at Flora Templeton Stuart understands the financial pressure that comes with a serious injury, so we take cases on contingency. Thus, you do not have to pay attorney fees upfront. Instead, we collect attorney fees from any compensation that you receive related to your burn injury, including insurance settlements or payment for court-ordered damages if a court rules in your favor.
With over four decades of experience, Ms. Stuart and her skilled legal team can handle the details of your claim, investigate the events that led to your burn injuries, and handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. This allows you to focus your time and energy on recovering from your injury and returning to a normal routine.
If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries because of another party’s negligence, contact Flora Templeton Stuart online or at (888) 782-9090 for a free consultation and to discuss your burn injury, the events that led up to it, and how we can assist you as you move forward. We represent burn victims throughout Kentucky.
Flora Templeton Stuart
607 E 10Th AVE
Bowling Green, KY 42101