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Suffering a burn can be a life-changing occurrence, with long-lasting consequences. Burn accident victims are frequently left with disfiguring scars, reduced ability to use their limbs, and profound emotional trauma. When you suffered severe burns due to defective products or someone else's negligence, you are left both with pain, financial loss, and a sense of injustice. However, you are fully entitled to see justice served - so get in touch with an experienced Fort Lauderdale burn accident lawyer at VG Law to examine your case.

Types and Degrees of Burns

According to Stanford Health Care, burns can be caused by in four different ways:

  • heat burns - when the human body is exposed to high temperature and/or comes in direct contact with fire, a hot object or hot water
  • chemical burns - when strong acids, solvents, alkali or detergents come in contact with the skin
  • electrical burns - due to direct contact between the exposed skin and sources of both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC)
  • radiation burns - caused by exposure to radioactive materials, including long exposure to X-rays.

Depending on the type and duration of the exposure, a burn can penetrate one or several layers of skin. Thus, they are categorized as:

  • first-degree burns: this is the least dangerous type of burn, affecting the outermost layer of skin. The most frequent example of this kind is a sunburn. The skin will redden and become tender and painful to the touch, but there are no blisters and no long term consequences
  • second-degree burns: in this case, the first two layers of the skin (the epidermis and the dermis) are affected. Common symptoms include blisters, shiny and swollen skin, pain and tenderness to the touch. Depending on how severely the dermis is affected, second-degree burns are further categorized as superficial second-degree burns (moderate burns) and deep partial thickness burns
  • third-degree burns: also called full thickness burns, they affect both layers of the skin completely. The appearance of this kind of burn is black, yellow or brown and there is no pain, because the nerve endings are destroyed
  • fourth-degree burns: this is the most severe type of burn, with potential fatal consequences. It destroys all the layers of the skin, the muscle, tendons and bones. Fourth-degree burn victims generally require skin grafts and are left with permanent scarring.
Burn injury attorney near me

Short and Long Term Consequences of Burns

Burn injury victims do not suffer just in the moment of the accident and during recovery. While the first dangers of a severe burn are infection and scarring as the burn heals, a burn will leave a lifelong negative impact on the person.

Some of the most serious long term consequences of various types of burns are:

  • permanent nerve damage leading to loss of sensation in the affected areas
  • diminished body image perception leading to reduced quality of life and loss of consortium
  • risk of developing further medical conditions, including cancer (according to a recent research study)
  • chronic pain.

Thus, even if you believe that you suffered minor burns in an accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. And if you believe someone else was responsible for your accident, you should contact a Fort Lauderdale burn injury attorney to help you prepare a personal injury claim and obtain fair compensation from the fault party.

The Most Frequent Causes of Burn Accidents

Now, what kind of accidents leading to various types of burns may be imputable to someone else? These are some of the most common causes identified by personal injury lawyers in cases for which they negotiated claim compensations:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Passenger cars, trucks or motorcycles can catch fire after a violent collision. In many cases the occupants of the vehicles are trapped inside or underneath it and unable to move away and limit the exposure to flames.

In the case of truck accidents, victims can also suffer chemical exposure to the various substances transported in the truck, which spill all over the roadway.

Premises Liability

When you rent an apartment or are on the premises of public or private property for legitimate reasons, the property owner has a duty of care towards you. They should ensure that their buildings/facilities are in good condition and safe to use by other persons. However, many people suffer burn accidents on someone else's property due to:

  • apartment building fires
  • faulty wiring
  • leaking gas pipes.

Failure to maintain all the wiring and plumbing in a building represents breach of duty and the property owner owes you financial compensation for your physical pain, mental anguish and expensive surgeries you may have to undergo, including plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery.

Workplace Accidents

Your employer owes you a duty of care. Your workplace should be a safe place, with all the tools, equipment and machinery properly maintained and in good condition. However, many accidents happen at work, leaving employees in extreme pain and requiring skin grafting. Most of these occurrences are:

  • industrial accidents in workplaces where employees handle chemical substances
  • construction site accidents
  • workshop/car repair facilities accidents.

In many of these cases, you have the right to sue your employer for negligence and obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your economic and non-economic damages.

Products Liability

Florida Burn Injury Lawyer

A defective or dangerous product may explode or catch fire, causing the user severe burns. It may be a design flaw or manufacturing error, but in both cases, the product manufacturer is liable for your pain and suffering.

Types of Damages You Are Entitled to Receive

When you file a compensation claim for burn injuries, you may include two types of damages: economic and non-economics. Also, in certain situations, at the end of a personal injury trial, the judge may award punitive damages.

Economic or financial damages will compensate you for the actual expenses and financial losses you incurred as a result of the burn accident. These include:

  • hospital bills and medical treatment (including surgeries to replace body tissue)
  • ongoing medical care
  • lifelong care if you are left with disabilities
  • costs of assistive devices and home modifications
  • loss of income
  • loss of future earnings if you are unable to return to work.

Non-economic damages compensate you for:

Punitive damages represent an additional compensation that you may request during a court legal action (burn accident lawsuit). In order to be eligible for this compensation, according to the Florida Statutes, you must prove with "clear and convincing evidence" that the negligent party acted with intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

How to Know If You Have a Case

In some cases, burn victims believe that they may not get financial compensation because they may be partly at fault for their accident. Even if it is so, the Florida Statutes specify clearly that personal injury victims may file a compensation claim even if they are more than 50% at fault for the occurrence. Their award will be reduced by the proportion of responsibility they have.

Burn injury attorney near me

Thus, if you were 60% at fault and your attorney evaluates your fair compensation at $100,000, you are still eligible to collect $40,000.

At VG Law you will find a team of experienced Fort Lauderdale burn accident lawyers who combine knowledge of law with innovative negotiating techniques to obtain results for our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to wonder whether you afford to hire us. We will collect our fees out of the settlement amount we negotiate for you.

Call us now for a free case evaluation: 833-HELP-365!

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