Burns may result from motor vehicle accidents, fires, or chemical explosions that might sometimes be the result of the negligence of others. If you sustained serious burn injuries due to the careless behavior of another, you may benefit from consulting an Alexandria burn injury lawyer to get legal advice.
A well-practiced catastrophic injury attorney could help you bring burn injury claims for compensation against any individuals or entities whose negligence caused the accident that led to your injuries. Compensation through this type of lawsuit may enable you to get the medical treatment that you need and support yourself during periods in which you are unable to work.
Recovery a Person May be Entitled to
Burn injuries could be severe, debilitating, and require months, if not years, of painful treatment. Skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and other medical treatments for burns may leave injured persons recovering for a long period of time. In some cases, these injuries may never fully heal and may result in permanent disfigurement and disability, or even death.
When individuals suffer burns over a large part of their body or when burns are so severe that they cause a permanent impairment, they may need to seek compensation from those responsible for their injuries. An experienced Alexandria burn injury lawyer could help determine whether a burn injury claim is compensable.
Under Louisiana Civil Code § 3492, individuals who have suffered burn injuries may file claims for compensation no later than one year following the date of the accident that caused their injuries. Failing to meet this deadline, which is referred to as a prescriptive period, may result in individuals being unable to bring any legal claims against the parties who are responsible for the accident.
For a free legal consultation with a burn injury lawyer serving Alexandria, call (318) 333-3476
Types of Injuries
Doctors typically classify burns as being first through third degree, starting with the most minor and ending with the most severe. Some doctors also look at the depth of the burns and the total covered body area in further categorizing these burns.
Different kinds of burns may result from the various types of accidents that lead to them. A scalding burn might occur if a pot of boiling water on a stove overturns or if a child is immersed in bath water that is too hot. Chemical burns may arise from handling bleach, fertilizer, and drain cleaner.
Other types of burns may include electrical burns, which could result from damaged electric cords and contact with downed power lines. Burns also may originate from contact with sources of heat or flame, such as stoves and fireplaces.
Alexandria Burn Injury Lawyer Near Me (318) 333-3476
Determining the Value Claims
There are a variety of factors that might impact the value of a burn injury claim. The severity of a burn injury may determine the extent of the necessary treatment and recovery time, which could have a direct effect on the total value of a claim. Other factors that might affect the value of a burn injury claim for compensation may include:
- Whether the burns caused permanent scarring and disfigurement
- The level of mental and emotional trauma suffered by injury victims due to the accident
- Whether the injured party was at fault in any way for the accident that led to their injuries
Louisiana law follows a pure comparative fault system, which allows plaintiffs to seek damages from other responsible parties, even if they are partially at fault. Claimants, in this case, may only be able to recover damages to the extent that the other parties are liable for the accident. Any award is reduced by the percentage of fault that they have for the accident.
Rapides Parish Burn Injury Lawyer
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries were responsible for 486,000 emergency hospital visits in 2016, according to the American Burn Association. With 40,000 hospital admissions and 5,000 burn-related deaths on an annual basis, burns are both common and dangerous – and if they were caused by another person’s carelessness or recklessness, they could serve as the foundation of a Rapides Parish burn injury lawsuit.
Burn injuries are typically broken down into categories by severity and source.
Depth and Total Body Surface Area
When assessing the gravity of a burn, medical professionals look at the depth of the injury and how much of the victim’s body was affected.
First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer. Second-degree burns reach the dermis, or lower skin layer, and can cause damage to nerves, hair follicles, blood vessels, connective tissues, and sweat glands. Third-degree burns are the most dangerous, as they can penetrate skin, fat, muscles, bones, and tendons. They often result in open wounds that can easily become infected.
Burns affecting less than ten percent of the total body surface area of adults or less than five percent for children and seniors are considered minor burns. Burns impacting between ten and 20 percent for adults and between five and ten percent for children and seniors are deemed moderate. Major burns are those covering more than 20 percent of adults and more than ten percent of children and seniors.
Thermal burns occur when an external source of heat, such as a flame, hot surface, or steam, comes into contact with the body. Thermal burns often cause blisters and may leave the skin looking either white or charred. They also can destroy skin, nerve endings, tissue, muscles, bones, and tendons.
Chemical, or caustic, burns can happen when acids, bases, or other irritants make contact with someone’s skin, eyes, or lungs. Chemical burns may lead to vision loss, charred skin, numbness and pain, headaches, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
Electrical burns can be deceiving – they may not look severe on the outside, but they can cause serious internal damage. Contact with live wires can leave a mark on the skin, and the currents running through the body can cause cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, seizures, and tissue and nerve destruction.
Recoverable Damages for Burn Victims
A Rapides Parish burn injury attorney could help burn victims recover different categories of damages, where appropriate.
- Economic, or special, damages cover plaintiffs for economic losses, such as current and future medical expenses, home care, current and future lost earnings, and therapy
- Non-economic, or general, damages compensate victims for non-economic losses that could include pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of consortium and enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant for misconduct and are available in very limited circumstances, such as motor vehicle accidents caused by intoxication
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Talking to an Alexandria Burn Injury Attorney
Burn injuries may be catastrophic in nature, depending on their severity and extent. They could result in permanent impairment and require ongoing medical treatment. If you suffered serious burn injuries in an accident caused by the wrongful actions of another, then an Alexandria burn injury lawyer may help you.
The cost of medical treatment can add up quickly. In some cases, your burn injuries may render you unable to return to your former job or career, leaving you without a source of income. A burn injury attorney can help you seek compensation for these financial losses.