A severe burn is one of the most painful types of injuries that an individual can sustain. It may lead to surgery, hospitalization, extensive rehabilitation, and perhaps even disfiguring scarring. Burns requiring medical treatment can be caused by fire, scalding liquids, steam, hot metals, electricity, radiation, and chemicals.
If you or a loved has been badly burned and you would like to learn more about your legal rights and options, consider contacting a New Port Richey burn injury lawyer. If another’s negligence led to your burns, then a catastrophic injury attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation.
Burn Injury Classifications
The severity of a burn largely depends on how deep into the body the damage is. Most medical professionals classify burns as follows:
A first-degree, or superficial, burn only damages the outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis. Mild sunburn is an example.
A second-degree, or partial-thickness, burn is one that damages the epidermis and the layer of skin directly, known as the dermis. Reddening, blistering, and swelling are common symptoms.
Third-degree burns, also called full-thickness burns, cause damage beyond the skin by affecting body fat and certain other subcutaneous structures.
Fourth-degree burns are the most destructive as they affect both layers of skin, underlying fatty tissue, and possibly muscle and bone. A fourth-degree burn may cause permanent tissue and organ damage, and may even require to amputation.
Types of Compensation Available to Burn Victims
A burn victim may be able to impose legal liability on another party for the injuries they have sustained. To do so, they may need representation by a New Port Richey burn injury attorney. If liability can be established, the victim could be awarded monetary damages for:
It is not uncommon for the victim of a serious burn to have significant medical expenses. Medical bills can stem from surgical operations, hospitalizations, follow-up appointments, and rehabilitation. A burn victim could also develop a secondary illness requiring expensive treatment, such as a respiratory illness.
Depending on the severity of the burn, a victim may have to temporarily leave their job or even depart the workforce altogether. Any wages or salary that a burn victim is unable to earn are fully compensable under Florida law. This category also encompasses a loss or reduction in a burn victim’s ability to earn money in the future.
Property damage is often incidental to a serious burn injury – such as a car being totaled in a motor vehicle accident. A burn victim can and should be compensated for any property damage that has occurred. A seasoned personal injury attorney could seek out expert appraisers to evaluate how much the property damage might be worth.
This category is sometimes the largest component of a personal injury damage award. An example of a “non-economic loss” in a burn injury case is pain and suffering – which is, essentially, the long-term physical and emotional stress caused by the injury. In Florida, there is no limit, or “cap,” on the size of a pain and suffering award in a burn or other type of personal injury case.
Speak with a New Port Richey Burn Injury Attorney Today
The consequences of a serious burn can remain with you for the remainder of your life. If someone else caused your injury – for example, by causing a car accident or not taking proper safety measures at work – you should be able to obtain compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Contact a New Port burn injury lawyer to see if you have a case.