Suffer a burn injury in California? We can help. Call our burn injury lawyers today to set up a free consultation about your case.
Below are some steps we recommend you take following your accident:
- Get immediate medical treatment
- Take photographs and or video of the accident scene, property damage, and the injuries sustained
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident
- Report accident to your insurance company
- Do not give any recorded statements to or sign any papers from the insurance company. This includes email!
- Monitor/document your injuries: take photographs of your burns and scars every couple of weeks, and keep notes on how you are feeling.
- Contact one of our lawyers skilled in burn cases for a free initial consultation.
Most of us are familiar with the concept of first degree, second degree and third degree burns. There is also a fourth degree, the most serious of all burn injuries and often fatal. The level of severity is ranked from least to worst:
- First degree burn: This occurs when only the upper level of skin, the epidermis, is damaged. Sunburn is a common example, and these types of injuries generally heal quite quickly with no scarring.
- Second degree burn: These burns destroy the epidermis and go deeper into the second layer of skin, the dermis. They often result in scarring and/or changes in skin tone. Serious cases may require skin grafts.
- Third degree burn: In this case, the burn destroys the epidermis and the dermis as well as tissue underneath the two layers of skin, including the nerve endings. Again, the skin tone may vary widely on and around the area of the injury, and significant scarring may result. These burns almost always require skin grafts and can even be fatal.
- Fourth degree burn: These burns go all the way down to the bone. They are often fatal, and if not, the burned limbs must be amputated.
Injuries causing severe burns can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone. Some of the most common causes of burn injuries are:
- Scalding: These occur when hot liquid, usually water, comes in contact with the skin. Even bath water can be hot enough to scald, and scalding is the leading cause of fatalities for children in the home.
- Contact burns: If you’ve ever touched a red-hot electric stove burner, you know what a contact burn is. The longer the contact, the more severe the burn.
- Electrical burns: When the skin is exposed to electric current, it burns. The severity of the burn depends on the length of contact and the strength of the electrical circuit.
- Ultraviolet burns: Sunburns are caused by ultraviolet rays. Tanning beds use ultraviolet rays and when improperly maintained, they can cause serious second degree burns.
- Chemical burns: Caustic chemicals are everywhere, from cleaning solutions in the home to powerful solvents in the workplace. They are very dangerous because the burn often continues until the chemical is neutralized.
- Inhalation burns: When caustic chemicals become airborne, they can be breathed into the lungs, causing serious and lifelong damage.
Scars are permanent–they don’t go away. The most common scarring injuries are caused by burns and their medical treatment, lacerations such as jagged wounds and cuts caused by broken glass, and facial injuries that can be permanently disfiguring. The different types of scars are:
- Keloid scar: These develop when thick scar tissue spreads beyond the original wound. They start out red or pink and are raised and bumpy, but eventually turn to a tan color.
- Hypertrophic scar: These are similar to keloid scars, but they don’t expand beyond the area of the wound.
- Contractures: These scars are often the result of skin grafts. When scarred skin is repaired, the graft may not be as elastic as the original skin, limiting mobility.
Where can I obtain more information about filing a Sacramento personal injury claim and what my case may be worth?
Given the complexity of such cases, we urge you to contact one of our personal injury experts for additional information and advice. You may also find answers to the questions below by visiting our General FAQs page:
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a burn and or scar injury?
- The insurance company is offering a settlement. Do I still need an attorney?
- What can I get compensated for after a burning and/or scarring accident?
- What is the value of my personal injury case?
Remember, there is never a charge for a consultation, and all of our cases are taken on contingency, which means if we don’t win, you don’t pay.
- Extensive review of Long-Term Treatment and Care Issues for Burn Survivors and links to other resources: www.burn-recovery.org
- Wikipedia lists most of the burn treatment centers in the United States, including 15 facilities in California. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_burn_centers_in_the_United_States
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.