Eau Claire Burn Injury Lawyers
If you believe that someone else was responsible for causing your burn injuries, you may seek compensation from the responsible party. A burn injury attorney can help you protect your rights after a burn accident.
The team of Eau Claire burn injury attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers wants to help you move forward after your accident and unexpected injuries. If you hire us to represent you in your burn injury claim, we will work alongside you to fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.
Our goal is for each one of our clients to reach a positive resolution in their case that justly compensates them for the losses and damages they have sustained through no fault of their own.
Accidental Burn Injuries
Nearly 500,000 people seek medical treatment for burn injuries each year, and almost 30,000 of those burn victims require specialized treatment at an accredited burn center. Many of these burn injuries occur as the result of a preventable accident. Preventable burn injury accidents can be the basis for a personal injury claim or a civil lawsuit.
Burns are some of the most painful and traumatic injuries an individual can experience. Burn injury survivors are often left with severe physical as well as deep emotional scars. In many circumstances, a burn accident could have been avoided. It is unfortunate and tragic that someone else’s negligent actions can have such a lasting and damaging effect on the life of an innocent burn victim.
Burns happen as the result of a wide range of accidents. Accidents that involve machines, vehicles, chemicals, or other volatile materials can easily lead to an explosion or an eruption of flames after an impact.
Examples of common burn accidents include:
- Building or forest fires;
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Workplace accidents;
- Chemical explosions or leaks;
- Accidents at Home;
- Pyrotechnic accidents; and
- Defective products.
When many people think of a burn, they think of fire or open flame. While a majority of burns occur because of contact with fire or flame, there are other circumstances in which an individual can suffer a burn injury in an accident.
The possible types of burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns - This is the most common burn injury most people are familiar with. This type of burn is caused by contact or exposure of an individual’s skin to a heat source such as a flame or heating element. Hot liquids, a hot oven, a fireplace, a fire pit, steam, etc. can cause thermal burns.
- Friction burns - Road rash from a motorcycle accident is one example of a serious friction burn. A friction burn is caused when a person’s skin scrapes against another object or surface such as pavement, causing layers of tissue to be damaged and exposed.
- Electrical burns - When a person’s skin or body comes in contact with electricity they can suffer an electrical burn. While there are natural causes of these burns such as lightning, accidental electrical burns often occur from faulty appliances, extension cords, or defective outlets.
- Chemical burns - If a person’s body comes in contact with a corrosive substance or material, they can suffer a chemical burn. Chemical burns can spread quickly across the body and damage a victim’s skin cells in an instant. It is also possible for an individual to suffer internal chemical burns if they swallow the corrosive substance or it otherwise enters the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Chemical burns often occur in work-related incidents or can happen in cases of mistaken application or use of a hazardous product.
- Radiation burns - Exposure to radioactive materials or high concentrations of radioactivity during medical imaging or procedures can cause radiation burn injuries. The severity of these injuries depends on how long and how intense the exposure was. Radiation burns usually happen in work-related accidents involving radioactive materials or in instances of medical malpractice during cancer treatments.
- Ice burns - An ice burn or cold burn is commonly called frostbite. It can happen when a person’s skin is exposed to freezing temperatures for extended periods or just an instant of contact with an extremely cold substance or object. Cold burns can happen in accidents that involve dry ice or nitrous oxide, an ingredient commonly used in trendy ice cream concoctions.
Burn Injury Severity
Burn injuries are classified based on the severity of pain and damage they cause using a system of degrees. First-degree burns are relatively minor, while fourth-degree burns are the most severe and can result in death.
First-degree burns affect just the top layer of skin. The skin is usually reddened and painful to the touch. These burns will usually heal on their own and do not generally require medical care or treatment.
Second-degree burns blister the top several layers of skin and cause significant pain on and near the burned area. The burn may swell and have a red and slick or shiny appearance. It is best to seek medical care for these burns to avoid the possibility of infection.
This type of burn results in damage to all layers of the skin as well as underlying tissue. Sometimes these burns damage nerves, which means they are not always painful, even though they are quite severe. The burn victim’s skin can appear black, white, or even yellow. These types of burns require emergency medical care and significant medical intervention; recovery can take a long time. Once the burns heal, significant scarring can be expected.
This type of burn goes deep into the victim’s body and can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. These burns are life-threatening and generally require surgery, skin grafts, and other major interventions to help the victim survive. Burn victims with this magnitude of injury usually face long-term hospitalization and a drawn-out recovery. Fourth-degree burns leave major scars and often result in disfigurement.
Financial Recovery for Burn Injuries
The amount of compensation a burn accident victim ultimately recovers depends on the unique circumstances of their case, including the severity of their burn injuries. For the most severe burns, victims can face months and years of recovery and may never return to the life they once had. All burns that expose the tissue underneath the skin are highly susceptible to infection. Potentially deadly secondary infections can cause additional complications for victims of burn accidents.
Burn accident victims often accrue enormous medical expenses as they recover from severe injuries. A severe burn victim can require long-term hospitalization, followed by long-term physical therapy, and sometimes-additional surgeries and other medical interventions in the future.
Beyond the financial costs of their injuries, burn victims face impacts on their lives they could have never expected or prepared for.
Victims of severe burn accidents usually face lifelong trauma that affects their emotional and mental wellbeing. It can be a difficult and painful process for burn victims to adapt to the changes in their appearance after an accident as well as the limitations created by their injuries.
Under the law, you may be entitled to compensation for all of your losses that have arisen from a burn accident injury. If another party’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be able to hold that party liable for your damages and losses.
Damages in a burn accident case can include:
- Medical costs - The medical expenses for burn injuries can be astronomical. Under the law, the at-fault party may be responsible for all of your medical costs related to the treatment and rehabilitation of your injuries and any subsequent complications.
- Lost wages - With extended hospital stays and recovery, a burn victim often loses many hours of work and potential wages.
- Future expenses - Necessary medical care for a burn victim can continue far into the future. Severe burns can cause complications that require ongoing medical interventions. In some cases, burn victims may never return to work or continue in their former careers. Under the law, a victim may seek compensation for future expenses related to their injury for medical care and the expected impact on their future income.
- Pain and suffering - Pain and suffering is a very personal experience, and the law allows a victim to seek monetary compensation for those losses against the responsible parties. The compensation a victim ultimately recovers for pain and suffering depends on the severity of their injuries and the documented impact the injury has had on their life.
- Lost quality of life - The law allows a burn victim to seek financial compensation for the accident’s impact on their ability to enjoy and live their life.
- Wrongful death - The loss of a loved one in a burn accident can be devastating and traumatic. Family members may be eligible for compensation for the unexpected loss of a loved one including funeral and burial expenses as well as medical expenses for their care before their passing.
Our Eau Claire Burn Injury Lawyers Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, it is in your best interests to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Burn injury claims are complicated and require the dedication of a knowledgeable attorney with experience representing burn victims. The effect of burn injuries on your life can be extensive. A lawyer will evaluate your case and help you gather evidence to support your claim for the compensation you deserve.
The at-fault party and their insurance company will almost always fight to compensate you with as little money as possible or try to deny your claim altogether. An attorney can help. The law sets a deadline on how long you have to seek compensation, so contact an attorney about your situation as soon as possible. Contact us or dial (715) 226-6149 for your free case evaluation at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to discuss your burn injuries and the options that may be available to you under the law.