BURN RELATED INJURIES - COMMON CAUSES -
, LEVELS OF SEVERITY
Tryk Law - Accident Injury Attorneys of Fresno Handles Burn Injury Cases
The body is a complex thing and this page aims to aid our current and potential clients with the information necessary to educate themselves about the injuries already diagnosed by treating physicians - Important Note - Our medical information by no means offers you medical advice. IMPORTANT NOTE - We are lawyers not doctors. We love the study of medicine as it is fascinating. Most importantly, we must know the medical side of your case and anatomy of your injuries to effectively represent you in your California Personal Injury Case. We gladly defer to your medical professional in this regard and they are always your first and best source for medical information.
Burn Injuries in California
Americans suffer an astronomical 1.1 million burn injuries each year that require medical treatment. Most burn injuries do not result in lawsuits either because the injured person is responsible for their own injuries or because the burns are not significant enough to warrant a lawsuit. The first office I worked at, we thought we had one of the biggest cases to come along because the victim suffered third degree burns all over his body. By the time he was able to speak after his injuries, it was determined that he had candles lit inside his room and stored his motorcycle gasoline just a few feet from he lit candles. We didn’t pursue the case but you cannot help but be sympathetic toward a burn victim. There are 40,000 hospitalizations each year from burn injuries and many of these accidents are the result of a negligent person or corporation.
Burn injuries are often exacerbated by other negligence that makes the victim’s injuries much worse. Accurate assessment of burn depth on admission is important in making decisions about dressings and surgery. However, the burn wound is a dynamic living environment that will alter depending on both intrinsic factors (such as release of inflammatory mediators, bacterial proliferation) and extrinsic factors (such as dehydration, systemic hypotension, cooling). It is therefore important to review the wound at regular intervals until healing.
Flame injury showing all burn depths
Treatment of Burn Injuries
Optimum treatment of the wound reduces morbidity and, in larger injuries, mortality. It also shortens the time for healing and return to normal function and reduces the need for secondary reconstruction.
When epithelialization is delayed beyond three weeks, the incidence of hypertrophic scarring rises. Hypertrophic scars occur in 60% of burnt children aged under 5 years. Early grafting of those burns that have not healed at three weeks has been shown to improve the result, but because of delays in the referral process, all injuries, which show no sign of healing by 10 days, should be referred for assessment.
By definition these affect only the epidermis and are typified by sunburn. Blistering may occur but is not common. Supportive therapy is usually all that is required, with regular analgesia and intravenous fluids for extensive injuries. Healing occurs rapidly, within a week, by regeneration from undamaged keratinocytes within skin adnexa.
Superficial Partial Thickness Burns
These affect the upper dermis and the epidermis. Blistering is common. The exposed superficial nerves make these injuries painful.
Healing is expected within two weeks by regeneration of epidermis from keratinocytes within sweat glands and hair follicles. The rate of regeneration depends on the density of these skin adnexa: thin hairless skin (inner arm, eyelids, etc.) heals more slowly than thick or hairy skin (back, scalp, and face). Progression to a deeper burn is unlikely but can occur if the wound dries.
Average Burn Injury Verdicts Nationwide
The median recovery in burn injury lawsuits, according to Jury Verdict Research, is $366,313. But the data also reflects that in the most serious burn injury cases involving negligence, juries appreciate the sometimes unspeakable suffering caused by burn injuries. In the most serious cases where the victim suffered third degree burns on over sixty percent of their bodies, the median verdict rises to $7,750,000.00.
Another Jury Verdict Research study indicated that the most successful burn injury cases are usually product liability claims. Here are the other types of claims and the median recoveries for such claims.
- Premises Liability: $223,893
- Medical Malpractice: $150,000
- Business Negligence: $318,000
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
There are many causes for burn injuries that end up resulting in a lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement and these include the following:
- Building Fires;
- Chemical Spills & Exposure;
- Defective Products (including product liability claims involving HVAC and defective fireplaces);
- Car Accidents;
- Electrical Accidents;
- Lighters & Matches;
- Excessive Radiation (medical malpractice typically);
- Automobile Accidents;
- Flammable Liquids.
A burn injury that over gets overlooked is the trauma that follows breathing of gases during a fire. Ingestion of toxic substances and burns are an awful combination. Carbon monoxide poisoning in burn victims can often go undetected by health care providers treating burns until it is too late. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the cause of the majority of burn injuries.
What to Do If You Have a Significant Burn Injury from Negligence
We handle burn cases from car accidents, explosions, home fires, electrocutions, and liquid burn cases. Pain and suffering is a phrase lawyers throw around pretty loosely in personal injury cases. But serious burn victims truly know pain and suffering. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love has experienced a serious burn injury, call 888-655-1358
or get a free on-line consultation.