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Burn Injury Attorney

Ignite Your Legal Battle: Burn Injury Advocates Here

Imagine feeling the intense pain of a burn injury. Sadly, many in California face this ordeal due to accidents or negligence. In these tough times, a skilled burn injury attorney can be a beacon of hope. 

Whether the injury is from a fire, chemical spill, or electrical accident, legal support is crucial. It’s about more than just money. It’s about getting life back on track after such a traumatic event.

Quick Summary

  • A burn injury occurs when your skin is damaged by heat, chemicals, or electricity. It can range from mild, like a small sunburn, to severe, requiring medical attention.
  • Burns are classified by their cause, like fire, chemicals, or electricity.
  • Burn injuries can happen in everyday accidents like house fires, defective products, car crashes, electrical mishaps, construction, and industrial accidents.
  • Burn injury treatment depends on the severity. First-degree burns are minor and affect the outer skin layer, while second-degree burns are more serious, causing blisters and redness. Third and fourth-degree burns are severe, affecting all skin layers and requiring surgery.
  • Burn injuries can lead to various complications, including infection, breathing issues, scarring, fragile skin, bone and joint problems, and psychological issues. 
  • If you suffer a burn injury, the person responsible could include the one who caused the accident, the company that made a faulty product, or the owner of the place where the burn occurred. 
  • You have two years to file a personal injury claim for a burn injury caused by someone else. If the claim involves a government entity, you must give notice to the government within six months for certain types of claims, using the correct form and sending it to the Department of General Services.
  • To prove negligence in a burn injury claim, you must prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. 
  • If you have a burn injury claim, you may receive compensation for your losses. This includes economic damages like medical bills, as well as non-economic damages such as emotional distress.

What is a Burn Injury?

A burn happens when heat, radiation, electricity, chemicals, or friction injure the skin or other body tissues. It can be mild, like a small sunburn, or very serious, needing a doctor’s care. Burns can hurt a lot and sometimes leave scars. It’s important to treat them right away to help them heal and prevent more damage.

What Are the Different Types of Burns?

There are many types of burn injuries, and each one can affect your body in different ways and require different treatments. If you believe your injury could have been prevented, you should be able to seek compensation.

 

  • Scalding. Hot liquids and gasses can create scalding burns. Products like pans filled with hot water or cooking appliances can easily scald you.
  • Electrical Burns. These kinds of burns can result from any type of exposure to electricity, such as touching an exposed outlet or power line. Lightning can also cause this type of burn. In addition to skin damage, you may also suffer organ damage because of the electrical current running through your body.
  • Heat Burns. Fire sources of all kinds, such as fireplaces, barbeques, and even auto crashes, can cause heat-related burns.
  • Chemical Burns. Chemical solutions, such as those that can be found at some workplaces or in the cleaning products you have at home, can cause chemical burns under certain circumstances.

What Are the Severity of Burn Degrees?

Doctors classified burns into three categories or “degrees” of severity, from less severe first-degree burns to very serious fourth-degree burns. Here’s a brief look at the main types of burn injuries:

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are mild and only affect the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. They typically cause redness and some pain that goes away with time.

Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns are more severe and affect both the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and the layer beneath it (the dermis). You could get a second-degree burn from accidentally spilling boiling water on yourself or touching a hot clothes iron. Besides pain and redness, most second-degree burns cause blisters and swelling.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are very serious. They go through the epidermis and dermis skin layers, damaging the tissue underneath. The skin may turn white or blackened and charred, and it may feel numb if nerves are damaged. 

Fourth-Degree Burns

There are also fourth-degree burns, which are even more serious than third-degree burns. These burns include all the symptoms of a third-degree burn and go beyond the skin, affecting tendons and bones. They are usually caused by exposure to extreme conditions, like a nuclear explosion or volcanic eruption.

 

The severity of a burn is not determined by its cause. For instance, scalding can cause burns of all three degrees, depending on the temperature of the liquid and how long it touches the skin. Chemical and electrical burns need immediate medical attention because they can harm the inside of the body, even if the skin damage seems minor.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries?

Burn injuries can occur in many common accidents, such as:

What Are the Possible Complications of Burn Injuries?

Burns doesn’t always heal fast or in the same way. While each person may have a different result, many burn injuries can lead to common complications. These complications can include:

  • Infection. This includes skin infections from bacteria and sepsis when the infection spreads to the bloodstream. Serious infections can lead to organ failure, especially in patients who are already compromised.
  • Breathing Problems. Inhaling smoke or hot air can damage the lungs and make breathing difficult, requiring respiratory therapy.
  • Scars. Burns can cause the skin to scar and contract, often needing surgery to replace or graft the skin. Skin graft surgeries can fail, leading to more problems and costs.
  • Fragile Skin. The skin may not fully recover from burn damage, becoming thinner and more easily damaged for the rest of the patient’s life.
  • Bone and Joint Problems. Scarred and contracted skin can affect tendons and ligaments, causing ongoing difficulties with joint movement, even if these tissues were not directly damaged by the burn.
  • Psychological Damage. Burn patients may experience mental and emotional issues due to the accident that caused their injuries.

Who Can Be Held Liable for My Burn Injuries?

If you get a burn injury, you might wonder who is responsible. Here are some possibilities:

  • The Person Who Caused the Accident. If someone was careless and caused the burn, they might be responsible. For example, if a cook leaves a hot pan out and you get burned, they could be at fault.
  • The Company That Made a Product. Sometimes, a product, like a heater or a hair straightener, can cause a burn if it’s not made right. In this case, the company that made it might be responsible.
  • The Owner of the Place Where You Got Burned. If you’re in a place like a restaurant or a store and get burned because they didn’t keep it safe, the owner might be responsible.

What is California’s Statute of Limitations for Burn Injury Claims?

Section 335.1 of the California Code of Civil Procedure sets the time limit for filing personal injury claims in California, including those for burn injuries. This section says you must file a claim within two years if you were injured or someone died because of someone else’s actions.

Special rules are in place if the person or entity you’re suing is a government agency. California, like most states, requires you to notify the government before filing a lawsuit. This notice must be given well before the two-year deadline. If you don’t give this notice, you can’t sue the government, even if you’re still within the two-year limit.

Section 911.2 of the California Government Code says you must notify the government within six months if you’re filing a claim for personal injury, wrongful death, or damage to personal property or crops. 

How Can I Prove Negligence in My Burn Injury Claim?

If you’re hurt in a burn accident and think someone else is at fault, your claim might be based on negligence. Here’s what you need to show:

  • Duty. The person or company that caused your injury was responsible for keeping you safe. For example, a restaurant must make sure its kitchen is safe for customers.
  • Breach of Duty. The person or company didn’t do their job to keep you safe. Maybe the restaurant didn’t fix the broken stove that caused the fire.
  • Cause. The person or company’s actions led to your burn injury. If the fire from the broken stove burned you, that’s a direct cause.
  • Damage. You have real injuries or losses because of the burn. This could be medical bills, lost pay from missing work, or pain and suffering.

What Compensation Can I Get From My Burn Injury Claim?

If you have a burn injury claim, you might be able to get money to help you with your losses. Here’s what you could get:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the financial losses you suffer because of the burn injury. They include:

  • Medical Bills. Costs for doctor visits, hospital stays, treatments, and medications.
  • Lost Wages. Money you didn’t earn because you couldn’t work due to your injury.
  • Property Damage. Costs to repair or replace any property damaged in the accident.
  • Future Medical Expenses. Estimated costs for ongoing medical care related to your injury.
  • Lost Earning Capacity. Money you won’t be able to earn in the future because of your injury.

These damages are meant to cover your out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses. They are usually easy to calculate with bills, receipts, and pay stubs.

Non-Economic Damages:

Non-economic damages are compensation for losses that aren’t about money. They include:

  • Pain and Suffering. Money for the physical pain and emotional stress from your burn.
  • Emotional Distress. Money for anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues from the injury.
  • Loss of Enjoyment. Money if you can’t do things you used to enjoy because of your burn.
  • Loss of Consortium. Money for the impact on your relationship with your spouse or partner.
  • Disfigurement. Money if your burn left scars or changed how you look.

These damages are harder to put a price on than economic damages. They’re about how the injury has changed your life and well-being.

Why Do I Need a Burn Injury Attorney in California?

If you’re hurt in a burn accident, having a burn injury lawyer in California can be helpful. Here’s why:

  • A lawyer knows the rules about burn injury cases. They can guide you on what to do.
  • There’s a lot of paperwork in these cases. A California burn injury lawyer can handle it all for you.
  • Insurance companies can be tough to deal with. A lawyer can speak for you and fight for your rights.
  • A burn injury attorney in California can help figure out how much money you should get for your injury.
  • If your case goes to court, a lawyer can represent you and argue for your side.

Speak With Our Los Angeles Burn Injury Attorney

Your burn injury has already caused you enough suffering. You shouldn’t have to worry about your recovery and your financial future, too. Let Haffner Law worry about that for you. We have the tools, knowledge, and experience to make sure you are fully and fairly compensated for every damage you’ve suffered as a result of your burn.

 

To schedule a free case review with our trusted Los Angeles burn injury lawyer, give us a call. If you would prefer to contact us online, you may reach out via the contact form at the bottom of the page. We can also represent you in Bad Faith Claims and Disability Claims.

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