Burn Injury Lawyer in Baton Rouge
While our state’s capital city has no shortage of activities and entertainment for visitors and residents alike, there is also no shortage of ways in which injuries can happen. One of the most painful injury types to experience, both from a physical standpoint and a psychological one, is a burn injury. In addition to the pain and likelihood of scarring, a burn injury also poses a high risk of complications.
If you experienced a burn injury in Baton Rouge because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you could pursue compensation with the help of the Bat0n Rouge burn injury lawyers. Read on for more information about this type of injury and the legal process of a burn injury lawsuit. For answers to specific questions about your case, schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Baton Rouge burn injury lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. Contact the Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers for your free consultation.
Why Do Burn Injuries Take Place in Baton Rouge?
A burn injury damages skin and other tissues with extreme heat, cold, caustic chemicals, or a rough surface. In more severe burns, the damage often extends beyond the layers of skin and into fat, muscle tissue, or even bone. This type of injury places an individual at high risk of contracting an infection or suffering other complications, such as significant scarring and loss of mobility from scarring on jointed areas.
Far too often, these injuries occur because of negligence or carelessness of premises or business owners, drivers, or manufacturers of defective products.
Types of Burn Injuries
An individual can sustain many types of burns:
- Thermal burns: Hot surfaces, open flames, or steam cause thermal burns.
- Frostbite: Just as extreme heat can damage layers of skin and underlying tissue, so can extreme cold.
- Friction burns: Friction burns occur when your skin makes contact with a rough surface, such as carpeting in your home or the roadway in a motorcycle accident. Friction burns due to a motorcycle or bicycle accident are often called road rash.
- Chemical burns: If your skin makes contact with a strong acid, solvent, or detergent, it can create damage.
- Electrical burns: Coming into contact with an electrical current from a wire, outlet, or electrical cord can also result in burns to your skin.
- Radiation burns: Radiation burns are often the result of exposure to the sun. However, medical procedures such as radiation therapy can also cause this type of burn, as can exposure to radiation through tanning beds.
Burn Injury Severity Levels
Health care professionals measure the depth (severity) of a burn in degrees:
- First-degree burn: This is the mildest form of burn that one can receive, impacting only the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. Often referred to as superficial burns, first-degree burns rarely get infected or leave a scar. This level of burn presents with redness and generally heals on its own within 3-5 days.
- Second-degree burn: A second-degree burn is commonly referred to as a partial thickness burn. These burns affect both the epidermis and the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. Second-degree burns are generally painful, and symptoms include swelling, redness, and blistering. These burns may not heal on their own and may get infected.
- Third-degree burn: A third-degree burn causes damage to the epidermis, the dermis, and deeper tissues. Also known as full-thickness burns, third-degree burns present with skin that can appear charred, black, white, or deep red. Due to damage to the nerve endings resulting from the injury, third-degree burns are often numb to light touch. These burns may not heal properly on their own, requiring skin grafting procedures to alleviate scarring, loss of mobility, and other complications.
- Fourth-degree burns: Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn to experience, destroying skin and fat as well as muscles and even bone.
How Burns Are Treated
More severe burns, those over large portions of the body, or burns in sensitive areas such as the face, groin, palms, or feet require expensive medical treatment.
A hospital emergency department, ICU, or specialized burn treatment center might provide medical treatment for burns, which could include:
- Water-based treatments, such as ultrasound mist therapy, stimulate and cleanse damaged tissue.
- Intravenous (IV) fluids prevent dehydration. Victims commonly lose body fluids from a burn, and—if left unchecked—dehydration can result in organ failure.
- Pain and anxiety medications. Burns are incredibly painful, particularly when you need to change the dressing on the wound. Pain and anxiety medications may keep the patient calm while changing dressings.
- Burn creams or ointments. Hospital emergency departments may use medical-grade burn creams to prevent infections and lessen scarring.
- IV antibiotics and, in some cases, tetanus shots prevent serious complications caused by infections.
Once the wound begins to heal, doctors may evaluate the injured individual for skin graft surgery. Skin grafting takes healthy skin from a discreet area of the injured individual’s body, from a donor, or synthetic skin to replace scarred skin. The graph gives a more even appearance and assisting with mobility in jointed areas where scarring has caused uncomfortable skin tightening. Some patients might need physical therapy and rehabilitation.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Baton Rouge Burn Injuries
Nearly half a million individuals receive medical treatment for burns in the U.S. each year. Of these, around 40,000 will require hospitalizations. The majority of these hospitalizations will take place at burn treatment centers. If you suffered a burn due to someone else’s actions and required medical treatment, you might have questions about how to obtain compensation to cover the expense of your treatment as well as the impacts your injury has had on your life. Here are answers to some of our Baton Rouge burn injury clients’ most frequently ask questions.
What’s the purpose of a Baton Rouge burn injury lawsuit?
A burn injury lawsuit seeks to prove who was liable (legally responsible) for the accident that caused your injury and show the expenses and quality-of-life impacts from the injury. Claimants only have one year after the accident to file a burn injury lawsuit.
How do I prove who was responsible for my Baton Rouge burn injury?
In burn injury cases, plaintiffs prove liability by establishing:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care depends on the accident that caused your injury and the at-fault party’s role in it. However, generally speaking, the duty of care refers to a reasonable person’s actions in similar circumstances.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that violated the duty of care.
- This breach resulted in the accident that caused you to sustain a burn injury and resultant impacts and expenses.
What are damages, and which damages am I eligible to receive for my Baton Rouge burn injury?
The legal term “damage” refers to a payment to compensate for harm. The law allows injury victims to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages pay for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the injury.
Common examples of the type of expenses included in an economic damage claim are:
- Medical treatment, both treatments you have already received, and the cost of treatments you will likely incur due to your injury in the future.
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity, if your burn injury results in a permanent disability that renders you unable to work or earn what you did before the accident
- Property damage, such as your car that was damaged in a motor vehicle accident that caused your injury
Non-economic damages pay for your injury’s impacts on your quality of life.
Common examples in a non-economic damage claim are:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
How much is the average burn injury case worth in Baton Rouge?
Because burn injury cases are valued based on each case’s unique aspects, there is no “average” value to this type of case.
Several factors can affect the value of your case, including:
- How much insurance the at-fault party has. Insurance pays nearly all burn injury compensation. While it is possible to sue an uninsured individual and even obtain a judgment on your behalf, collecting your award will be difficult as most people cannot afford to pay someone else’s medical expenses out-of-pocket.
- The clarity of liability. If you were partially to blame for the accident that caused your burn injury, you could still pursue compensation from other at-fault parties.
- Your age and overall health at the time of the accident. Age is a factor as it impacts certain damage categories such as lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Overall health is a factor, as pre-existing conditions give the at-fault party’s insurance provider cause to argue that pain and suffering stem from those conditions and not their insured’s actions.
- Your patience. Often, insurance companies wait until the last possible moment to make a fair settlement offer, even after the trial has begun in some cases. Your patience with the process allows your attorney to continue fighting for you to receive fair compensation for the expenses and loss of quality of life that your injury caused.
Are Baton Rouge burn injury settlements taxable?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, settlements or awards received in compensation for burn injury are not income and not taxable. One exception: Punitive damages, which punish the defendant and discourage future recklessness rather than compensate for harm.
I can’t afford an attorney. Can I pursue compensation for my Baton Rouge burn injury on my own?
Our burn injury attorneys ensure that anyone injured in a Baton Rouge accident can receive our assistance, regardless of financial status.
- A free consultation, when we will make time for you to learn more about your case, answer your legal questions, and provide information about our services and your options.
- A contingent-fee payment arrangement. You do not have to pay for your lawyer’s services unless we bring a successful outcome to your case. Even then, we only accept a percentage of what we help you recover.
Let the experienced Baton Rouge burn injury attorneys at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys help you understand the process of obtaining compensation for your injury. Contact us online or dial (225) 888-8888 to speak with us right now.