Burn injuries are incredibly painful and have the potential to cause permanent damage and medical complications. A person who suffers any burn injury due to the negligence of another party should speak with an attorney to understand their legal options and possible financial recovery.
After a burn injury due to negligence, call Clifford Law Offices in Chicago. We are a nationally recognized law firm with more than 30 years of experience helping our clients recover from damages, including burn injuries. We have won more than $4 billion on behalf of our clients since 1984.
Types of Burns
There are four major sources of burn injuries, including:
- Thermal burns. These injuries result from direct exposure to hot substances, surfaces, and liquids. Many people suffer minor burns from cooking mishaps every day, while others may sustain them in house fires, explosions, or direct contact with open flames.
- Chemical burns. Many corrosive and toxic chemicals can cause severe burn injuries. They can also cause internal injuries from inhalation of corrosive particles, resulting in respiratory damage or asphyxiation.
- Electrical burns. Exposure to any high-voltage electrical current may cause severe burns as well as nerve damage and cardiac complications.
- Radiation burns. One of the most commonly seen types of radiation burn is sunburn, which happens due to overexposure to direct sunlight. Some types of radiation exposure can lead to the hastened development of certain types of cancers.
Medical professionals typically diagnose burn injuries based on the size and depth of the injury. A first-degree burn may only affect a small portion of the body and only damage the outermost layer of skin. Some first-degree burns may not require emergency medical treatment, but any that extend over more than 10% of the surface area of the body or affect sensitive areas like the face or genitals require medical attention. A second-degree burn penetrates more deeply and affects more layers of the skin. These injuries may appear as red, swollen, or blistered and generally require medical attention.
Third-degree burns destroy the skin and may appear charred, white, or blackened. A third-degree burn may be relatively painless, as these burns typically destroy the skin’s nerve endings very quickly. Fourth-degree burns are some of the most severe and generally result in an open wound; the burn destroys the skin layers and exposes the underlying muscles, fat, or bone.
Damages Available in Burn Injury Lawsuits
The plaintiff in a burn injury lawsuit can secure several types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses. The plaintiff can claim immediate and future medical costs for emergency care, skin grafting procedures, physical therapy, and any other long-term medical costs resulting from a defendant’s negligence.
- Lost income. If a burn injury prevents the victim from returning to work for an extended time, he or she can claim the income lost during that time as damages in the burn injury lawsuit. If a severe burn injury prevents the victim from working at all in the future, he or she can sue for lost earning potential.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s behavior also damaged or destroyed the plaintiff’s personal property, he or she can claim the costs of repairing or replacing that property as damages in the lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering. Burns are typically very painful but may also result in a diminished range of motion, disfigurement, and significant psychological harm. The plaintiff can receive compensation for non-economic damages like physical pain and psychological distress following a burn injury.
- Punitive damages. The jury in a burn injury lawsuit may award punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior exceeds the scope of typical negligence or if the plaintiff suffered burn injuries from an intentional tort such as arson.
Legal Help After a Burn Injury
The attorneys at the Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, IL, have more than 30 years of experience handling civil claims for our clients in a variety of practice areas. Over the years, we have helped our clients secure millions in compensation for their civil damages, and we can put our skills, experience, and resources to work in your burn injury lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.