Few injuries are more serious and traumatic than severe burns. Victims of burn injuries often face chronic pain, loss of mobility and function, and permanent disfigurement.
The burn injury attorneys at Colombo Law have extensive experience representing clients who have suffered burns in a wide range of personal injury claims. Our lawyers can pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for burn injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence.
Please call Colombo Law at (614) 362-7000 today for a free case review. Our Columbus burn injury lawyers serve clients throughout Ohio.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries?
There are multiple types of burn injuries. Common causes of burns include:
- Thermal Burns: A thermal burn occurs when skin and tissue are exposed to a heat source or heated substance. The most obvious example is a fire or explosion, but thermal burns can also be caused by contact with a hot surface, scalding liquids, etc.
- Electrical Burns: Electrocution wreaks havoc on the body. In addition to the internal injuries from an electric shock, exposure to electrical current can also lead to a burn injury.
- Friction Burns: A friction burn is essentially an abrasion where either the victim or the object with which the skin comes into contact (such as asphalt, carpeting, an object in motion, etc.) is moving at such a rate of speed that the skin becomes burned.
- Chemical Burns: Many different substances can cause burn injuries, from household products to chemicals used for construction and industrial applications. When these substances come into contact with the skin, the damage can be catastrophic.
- Radiation Burns: The most obvious form of radiation burn is a sunburn from the sun’s UV rays. However, burns from other radioactive sources can have devastating consequences.
Many different accidents and incidents can lead to serious burns. A Columbus burn injury lawyer at Colombo Law can help if you or a member of your family suffered burns as a result of the following:
Burn Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Any type of accident involving a motor vehicle can lead to burns. These include:
Burns can be caused by gasoline and other fuel that catches fire, exposure to chemicals in airbags and other parts of the vehicle, and/or contact with hot metal components. Some of the most devastating burn injury cases we see originate from tanker truck crashes where the tank is breached and hazardous liquids spill onto the roadway and/or ignite and explode.
Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who make contact with the road in an accident may also suffer road rash. Road rash injuries are similar to burns in that they can both involve significant damage to the skin, as well as the fact that treatment for these injuries is fairly similar.
Burn Injuries in Workplace Accidents
It is an unfortunate reality that workers in a variety of different industries face the risk of serious burns every day they are on the job. From restaurant employees to natural gas workers, some places of employment are just an accident waiting to happen.
Your legal options after a burn at work may include workers’ compensation, a third-party liability claim, or both. A work injury lawyer can evaluate the evidence and advise you what compensation may be available for a burn injury related to your work.
Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Products that malfunction or have a faulty design can overheat, start fires, and even explode. When a product fails and causes burn injuries, consumers have the right to seek compensation from the manufacturer.
Colombo Law acted on behalf of a family whose son was severely burned due to the defective design of a bottle of flame gel.
For the vast majority of victims, product liability claims are not about the money. Rather, most defective product claims are an effort to hold manufacturers responsible so their products don’t harm anybody else.
What Are the Different Types of Burn Injuries?
Medical professionals classify the type of burn injury by the degree of damage to the skin and underlying tissue. The degrees of burn injury are:
The least severe form of burn injury, first-degree burns only affect the outermost layer of skin (known as the epidermis). First-degree burns leave the skin red, tender, and painful.
A second-degree burn penetrates the epidermis into the top layers of the dermis (the first interior layer of the skin). The skin remains red and painful and takes on a blistered appearance. Swelling in and around the burn may also occur.
Also known as full-thickness burns, a third-degree burn damages the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue that represents the bottom layer of skin. Third-degree burns may be white, brown, or black in appearance. In spite of the extensive damage, victims might not feel pain from a third-degree burn injury because nerve endings in the skin have been destroyed.
Read More: What Is a Third-Degree Burn?
Fourth-degree burns are the most extreme form of burn injury. Damage is not confined to the layers of skin, extending to muscle tissue and bone.
Severe burn injuries (i.e., third-degree burns and fourth-degree burns, as well as second-degree burns that cover a significant area of the body) should be evaluated and treated promptly. A Columbus burn injury lawyer can work with your doctors and obtain your medical records to build a strong case on your behalf against the party responsible.
Can I Sue for a Burn Injury?
Ohio law allows the victims of personal injury to bring claims against the party or parties responsible for harm caused by negligence or wrongdoing. If you can prove that someone else is responsible for the accident that caused you or a loved one to suffer burn injuries, you may have a viable claim.
Multiple parties can be held accountable for burn injuries, including:
- Careless drivers who cause auto accidents that result in burns
- Trucking companies and other commercial carriers whose negligence leads to accidents involving tanker trucks and other heavy vehicles
- Owners of dangerous premises where a fire or other accident occurs
- Designers, manufacturers, and suppliers of defective products
- Third parties (and, in rare circumstances, employers) whose negligence leads to a fire, explosion, chemical spill, electrocution, or other workplace accident
Colombo Law has the skill and experience to identify all liable parties and build a strong burn injury claim on your behalf. Although most personal injury claims are resolved through settlements, the complexity and substantial damages associated with burn injuries make it important to work with a law firm that can file a lawsuit and take your case to trial if necessary.
At Colombo Law, we handle every case with the expectation that it will go to trial. Our comprehensive preparations enable us to advocate effectively for clients in settlement negotiations. If the case does go to court, our trial attorneys are ready to win.
What Damages Can I Claim for a Burn Injury?
The effects of a burn injury can impact all areas of your life. Recovery from severe burns is lengthy and grueling. Significant medical interventions (such as skin grafts) are often required, as is extensive physical therapy.
Burn victims may be unable to return to the job they had before the accident, as well as the activities they loved. The emotional and psychological effects can be just as extreme as the physical ramifications, frequently leading to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Colombo Law can investigate the cause of the accident that led to your burns. If the evidence shows that the negligence of another party was a factor, a Columbus burn injury lawyer can seek compensation for all of the damages you and your family have sustained.
You may be entitled to compensation for the following damages if you suffer a burn injury through no fault of your own:
Economic Damages for Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are expensive. The substantial cost of medical care for severe burns is exacerbated by the limitations on the ability to make a living that many burn victims experience.
Economic damages that may be recovered in a burn injury claim include:
- Current medical expenses
- The cost of future medical care and home-based treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Medical-related travel
- Out-of-pocket costs for medications and other products to prevent infection, manage pain, etc.
- A specially designed bed and/or mattress
- Modifications to your home and vehicle
Our Columbus burn injury lawyers can help you account for all of the costs you currently face and will likely face in the future as a result of the burns.
Non-Economic Damages for Burn Injuries
Compensation can also be recovered for the mental and emotional toll of a serious burn injury. Non-economic damages in a burn injury claim may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Shame and embarrassment associated with permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Inconvenience and humiliation associated with disability from a burn injury
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Damages may also be recovered for the loss of support and services you provided to your family before the accident.
Burn Injuries and Wrongful Death
Tragically, it is not uncommon for victims to die as a result of severe burn injuries. If you and your family are grieving the loss of a loved one in a fire or other type of accident, Colombo Law can pursue compensation on your behalf through a wrongful death claim.
Potential damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Loss of expected support from the decedent’s income
- Loss of household services
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of prospective inheritance
- Surviving loved ones’ mental anguish
The estate and/or surviving relatives may also be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, conscious pain and suffering, and other losses incurred prior to the victim’s death.
Why Do I Need a Burn Injury Lawyer?
If you or a member of your family was burned in an accident, you have bigger things to worry about than complex legal issues. Recovery should be your focus, not trying to build a case.
A Columbus burn injury lawyer can take on the burdens of your claim so you can prioritize getting better. Our attorneys handle all aspects of your burn injury claim, including:
- Collecting evidence of what caused the accident and your burn injuries
- Determining who is liable for your burn injury and any losses you have sustained
- Assessing the available insurance coverage held by the liable party or parties
- Evaluating damages in your burn injury case
- Consulting expert witnesses to support your claim
Experience is essential in any type of burn injury claim. The lawyer you choose needs to be well-versed in how these injuries are treated, what complications may be involved, and the long-term outlook for burn injury victims.
Your attorney should also have in-depth knowledge of your legal options after a burn injury accident. For example, the recourse available to someone who suffered burns in an auto accident is different from that of somebody burned by a defective product, both of which are also distinct from a claim or claims after a workplace accident.
Severe burns are considered catastrophic injuries. They are painful, debilitating, and can change the way you live and work. If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury and someone else is at fault, Colombo Law can help.
Colombo Law has represented people of many different ages and walks of life who suffered severe burns due to someone else’s negligence. We have had the honor of recovering fair compensation on behalf of people burned in accidents involving defective products, natural gas well site explosions, and more.
Please call Colombo Law at (614) 362-7000 today for a free case review. Our burn injury lawyers serve clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio.