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A burn injury can be excruciatingly painful and typically involves a long recovery time. Severe burns may require multiple surgeries and result in permanent disfigurement. Burn injuries can occur in a wide variety of situations, and tragically, these injuries are often the result of someone else’s mistakes or deliberate actions.
The victim of a burn injury may endure a long hospital stay and not be able to go to work, suffering financial loss along with physical and emotional anguish. Fortunately, there is compensation available for those whose injuries occurred in an accident that was someone else’s fault.
Did you suffer burn injuries in an accident in or near Lake Charles? If so, you may have a personal injury claim that could provide a settlement to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. To learn if this is an option for you, reach out to the knowledgeable Lake Charles personal injury lawyers at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, so we can discuss your situation. Call 337-800-8800 today.
Benefits of Having a Burn Injury Lawyer
The attorneys at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC have a long history of achieving favorable results for Lake Charles clients who have been victims of burns through no fault of their own. When you hire us, you can focus on your own healing while we fight on your behalf and take care of all the responsibilities related to your burn injury claim. Here is what we will do for you:
- Explain the civil justice system to you and answer all your questions about the legal process.
- Investigate the incident that caused your burn injury and identify who should be held responsible for your damages.
- Devise an effective strategy for your case and provide pertinent evidence for the strongest case possible.
- Scrutinize the details of your injuries and expenses to make a thorough assessment of your total damages.
- Handle all administrative tasks.
- Negotiate a fair settlement for you or, if necessary, represent you in court.
Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC wants to help you get through this trying time and receive the compensation you deserve.
Causes and Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries harm the body’s tissues and can be caused by heat, chemicals, sunlight, radiation, or electricity. Following are descriptions of the different ways a person can be burned:
- Thermal burns are the most common type and are caused by coming in contact with high heat from flames, liquids, metals, or steam.
- Electrical burns occur from high voltage electricity and may cause damage to internal tissues that can be even worse than burns to the skin.
- Chemical burns come from the skin being exposed to substances containing strong chemicals.
- Radiation burns result from overexposure to ultraviolet light, radiation therapy, high-frequency microwaves or radio waves, or nuclear energy.
Although not technically a burn, inhalation injuries are the result of harm to the lungs and respiratory system. They can come from breathing in very hot air or toxic substances, such as chemicals, smoke, gases, or pollutants.
For medical purposes, burns are grouped into four different categories, called “degrees,” according to how deeply the injury penetrates the skin. The range goes from the least to most severe, as follows:
First-degree burns impact only the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and cause pain, redness, and swelling. These may be referred to as “superficial” burns.
Second-degree burns harm both the epidermis and part of the next layer (dermis). These burns cause pain, swelling, redness, and blisters.
Third-degree burns fully breach the epidermis and dermis. Instead of red, the wound will have a discolored, leathery appearance. Because nerve endings are damaged, there will also be numbness.
Fourth-degree burns destroy all layers of the skin and harm muscles, tendons, and even bone. This level of burn is potentially life-threatening.
Along with the swelling, blistering, and discoloration that burns can cause, they may also lead to other complications. The higher degree the burn is, the more likely it is to cause:
- Chronic pain
- Skin loss
- Soft tissue damage
- Bone damage
- Nerve damage
Compensation Options for Burn Injuries
When burn injuries are attributable to a preventable accident, there is likely someone who acted carelessly. A skilled attorney can investigate and seek input from qualified experts to determine who is liable and pursue a claim against them on your behalf.
Any place where hot or flammable objects are found has the potential to cause burns, but these are some of the most common scenarios:
- Vehicle accidents – When negligent drivers of any kind of personal or commercial vehicle cause collisions, victims can be burned from the fires, explosions, or hot surfaces that ensue.
- Unsafe property – Property owners are obligated to maintain safe buildings for their patrons or tenants. When hazards like faulty wiring, lack of smoke alarms or fire exist, or when hot liquid spills, or improper use or storage of chemicals cause someone to be burned, property owners can be held responsible.
- Defective products – Manufacturers of toys, vehicles, tools, and every other type of goods are required to produce safe products without harmful defects. Sometimes they fail to protect their consumers who then suffer burn injuries.
A settlement for a burn injury claim is compensation for what is known as “damages.” Damages are the losses a person undergoes from being injured, and they are put into two categories. Economic damages are specific dollar amounts based on financial expenses. Non-economic damages reflect the loss someone suffers that doesn’t come with a bill and must be carefully calculated. The sum for damages in any given case will vary because no two cases are the same.
When the lawyers at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC file burn injury claims for our Lake Charles clients, we expect they will receive compensation for:
- All medical bills and ongoing care costs
- Lost wages, benefits, and earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
The following factors are taken into consideration when determining how much compensation will be paid out:
- Cost of initial and ongoing medical treatment and care, including any future surgeries
- How much time was missed from work
- Impact of the burn injuries on future employment opportunities
- Mental anguish endured by the victim
- Disfigurement of the victim
- Effect the burns have on the victim’s overall quality of life
FAQs About Burn Injury Claims
You may never have given any thought to the injury claim process until you or a family member sustained a burn injury, so feeling uncertain about what to do is understandable. We want to make sure you don’t make any decisions based on misconceptions or incorrect information, so we encourage you to contact us to discuss your situation. Until then, here are brief answers to a few of the questions we frequently hear from people in your situation:
How do I know if I have a feasible burn injury claim?
If your burn injury is severe, and you believe that it happened because another person fell short of their duty to act reasonably, it is worth looking into filing a claim. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. When you meet with an experienced lawyer at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, they can analyze all aspects of the incident and offer advice about whether you should pursue a claim to receive compensation.
Will I run out of time to file my claim if I hesitate?
Each state has a statute of limitations that determines how long a person has to file a claim or lawsuit. The purpose of the limit is to keep legal actions within a scope of time that the evidence will remain viable. In Louisiana, personal injury claims must be filed within one year from the day the loss took place, but there is an exception to this for children. When a child is injured, the one-year statute of limitations doesn’t start until their 18th birthday, no matter what age they were on the day of the incident that caused their injury.
How will I afford a lawyer?
Many people have the false impression that they won’t be able to pay an attorney to help them with a personal injury claim. The truth is that our firm will not require you to pay any upfront costs to handle your claim. We don’t get paid unless and until you receive compensation for your injury. Our fee will come out of the amount you are awarded, so you won’t be paying our fees out of your pocket.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Burn injuries bring physical and psychological scars that can last the rest of your life. The burn injury lawyers at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC want to be sure your rights are defended and you get compensated for your suffering. We know you are going through a very difficult time, and you can rely on us to treat you with care and compassion while we put our legal knowledge and skills to work for you. Please call us today at 337-800-8800 to set up a free consultation and learn what we can offer you.