Burn injuries can be one of the most difficult physical, emotional, psychological, and social traumas of one’s lifetime. They are not as rare as one may think; it can be caused by electricity, steam, fire, hot liquids, chemicals, gases, and radiation. Burns can cause swelling, blistering, infections, scarring and, in severe cases, shock and even death. Moreover, cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation for burn injuries are often staggeringly high.
Regardless of how your burn injury occurred, if you suffered it as a result of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Contact a Los Angeles burn injury attorney at Citywide Law Group today to discuss your case. We offer a free consultation.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
The biggest problems in collecting damages for burn injuries is:
- Understanding the extent of your injuries, and
- How the extent of your injuries impacts the compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies and their lawyers are trained to downplay your injuries and push you into a low settlement.
On the other hand, Citywide Law Group has a team of experts that will accurately assess the extent of the burn injuries. Once we know the extent of the damage, then we can give you an accurate assessment of what the long-term consequences of your injuries will be.
Having this information allows us to better negotiate with the insurance companies to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Remember, burn injuries can cause physical pain and debilitation for life. Let us fight for you to make sure you receive a fair settlement.
Statute of Limitations in Burn Injury Cases
California has a two-year statute of limitations in a personal injury claim. The clock begins to run upon the date of the injury or when a person discovers that an injury has occurred. If you fail to file suit within this two-year period, the court will not hear your case and your right to compensation will be lost.
If you are suing a government agency, you first have a file a special claim (an “administrative claim”) with the government office or agency before you file in court. The administrative claim must be filed within 6 months of the date of the injury. There are a few exceptions. Once the government agency has rejected a claim a plaintiff has two years from the date of the injury to file a suit in civil court.
Sometimes, the statute of limitations is tolled (paused) for a period of time, then begins to run again once the reason for the tolling ends. Tolling may happen when the defendant is a minor, is out of state or in prison, or is mentally incapacitated. For example, if a teenager sustains a burn injury on her 17th birthday, she has three years to file a claim for that injury.
What Types of Damages Are Available Suffering After a Burn Injury?
A burn victim has the right to recover both economic and non-economic compensation for serious burn injuries that were caused by negligence or recklessness. Damages can be recovered only for actual harm caused to a victim. These damages can be classified into two major categories, economic and non-economic.
- Examples of economic damages: Medical expenses, ongoing medical care (rehabilitation), lost wages, future lost income, and other damages
- Examples of non-economic damages: Past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, emotional distress
If you lost a loved one to a burn injury, medical costs, funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, loss of companionship, and other damages may be recoverable.
Types of Burn Injuries
First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin.
Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath. It can be categorized as partial or full thickness.
- Partial thickness
- Blisters can be present
- Involves the entire epidermis and upper layers of the dermis
- Wound will be pink, red in color, painful and wet appearing
- Would will blanch when pressure is applied
- Should heal in several weeks without grafting; scarring is usually minimal
- Full thickness
- Can be red or white in appearance, but will appear dry
- Involves the destruction of the entire epidermis and most of the dermis
- Sensation can be present but diminished
- Blanching is sluggish or absent
- Will most likely need excision and skin grafting to heal completely
Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath.
- Areas can appear black and white and will be dry,
- Can appear leathery, and
- There may be no pain due to nerve damage.
Fourth-degree burns damage all the lawyers of the skin and extend into muscles and bones.
Contact a Los Angeles Burn Injury Attorney
Recovering from a burn injury can be a very difficult experience for both the burn victim and her family. Our attorneys will fight aggressively for your rights from the first consultation until the satisfactory conclusion of your case, including settlement negotiations, courtroom proceedings, and appeals. We will provide professional and compassionate advocacy, ensuring that we obtain the fair and full compensation you deserve.