Burn injuries are some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer. Treatment of severe burns can be quite expensive and can cause serious financial hardship for the victim and their family.
Burns can also have a lasting impact on the victim both physically and emotionally. In many cases, they’ll carry the scars with them for a lifetime.
If you were burned in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be wondering if you should hire a lawyer to represent you. Here, we’ll discuss the situations in which an experienced lawyer could help you secure fair compensation for your burn injuries and help you get the justice you’re owed.
When Your Burn Injury Was Caused By Someone Else’s Negligence
In Kentucky, people who sustain injuries due to someone else’s negligence may be entitled to seek burn injury compensation for their injuries from the party at fault. Negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances at the time.
To succeed with your personal injury claim, you must show that the other person or party owed you a duty of care and failed to meet that duty. You have to also show that their actions or inaction caused your burn injuries, and that your life has been impacted by their negligence.
An experienced burn injury attorney can help gather the evidence necessary to prove your claims, and they will help you seek the fair compensation that you’re owed. This entails evaluating the impact the accident has had on your life, and what the impact your burn injuries will have on your life in the future.
Your lawyer will then seek the maximum compensation possible, which will help ensure that you get the best possible care and treatment, and do not struggle financially as you seek to rebuild your life and move on from the accident.
When Your Burn Injury Happened at Work
A burn injury can happen anywhere, but there are certain types of industries and jobs where workers are at a higher risk of sustaining a burn injury than others. Examples include:
- Oil, gas, and chemical plants
Young male workers suffer a higher rate of on-the-job burn injuries than other groups of workers, a study reported in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters found. It also reported that contributory factors for burn injuries are inexperienced workers, inadequate safety training, the employer’s failure to enforce safety rules and regulations, and the employee’s failure to follow safety protocols.
In Kentucky, workers who are burned in on-the-job accidents will usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An employee who suffers a burn injury at work is entitled to recover workers’ comp benefits without having to prove negligence on the part of their employer. The amount and type of benefits that the worker can recover will be based on the nature of the burn injury suffered by the employee.
In general, workers’ comp benefits will pay for medical treatment and a portion of your wages during your recovery. If you’re unable to return to your previous position due to your burn injuries, you could be eligible for long-term benefits, depending on the specifics of your situation.
When Your Burn Injury Has Left You Disabled
A severe burn injury may leave you unable to work. If you are unable to work due to a burn injury, you may also be entitled to collect disability benefits.
Social Security will provide disability benefits to people who have a disability and are unable to pursue any type of employment. You cannot collect Social Security disability benefits unless you can show that your disability has is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
There are different Social Security programs for which you may be eligible. The attorneys at Morgan, Collins Yeast & Salyer can assist with your Social Security disability application based on your burn injury.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
There are many ways that a person can be burned in an accident. Some common causes of burn injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents – When a crash causes one or more vehicles to be engulfed in flames, burn injuries can be severe, even life-threatening. Even without fire, hot surfaces, steam, chemicals, and other hazards can cause burns.
- Defective products – If a defective product causes a burn injury, the product manufacturer could be held liable for your injuries.
- Maritime accidents – Burn injuries can occur when there is an engine fire on a boat or other water vessel. Contact with other hot surfaces, steam, or chemicals can also cause burns.
- Construction accidents – Construction workers are at risk from burns caused by electrocution, explosion, open flames, exposure to chemicals, welding activities, and other dangerous conditions on work sites.
Types of Burn Injuries
People mainly associated burn injuries with fire. However, there are different types of burns that can cause serious injuries, including:
- Thermal burn injuries – These occur when your skin comes into contact with a hot substance or surface.
- Friction burn injuries – This can happen when your skin rubs across a hard surface. These types of burns are commonly caused by motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents.
- Radiation – Burn injuries can also be caused by radiation. People who work in the medical field are at risk for a radiation burn, as are people who work in the nuclear energy industry.
- Chemical burn injuries – Occur when the skin comes into contact with harmful chemical agents, such as acids and other industrial chemicals.
- Electrical burns – If someone comes into contact with an electrical current, it can result in an electrical burn. These burns are common to workers in the construction industry.
The severity of Burn Injuries
There are four degrees of burn injuries. The degrees are assigned based on severity, and include:
- First-Degree Burns – The least serious type of burn is a first-degree burn. A first-degree burn only affects the outer layer of the skin. A sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn.
- Second-Degree Burns – Damages the layer underneath the skin’s outer layer, also known as the dermis. This type of burn typically causes blisters and can be very painful.
- Third-Degree Burns – Are also known as “full-thickness burn.” These burns destroy nerve endings and, as a result, are not painful.
- Fourth-Degree Burns – These are the most serious and life-threatening burns. Fourth-degree burns damage the skin, muscles, and bone.
Treatment for Burn Injuries
Minor burns can be treated at home. Major burns require more extensive treatment.
Severe burn injuries are usually treated in a hospital. Burn wounds may be treated with prescription ointments and other medications to promote healing and to prevent infection.
People with very serious burns may be hospitalized for an extended period of time. They may be put on a ventilator and require a feeding tube. They also ultimately have to undergo a skin graft to replace the scarred and burned tissue.
Many burn victims also have to undergo a period of rehabilitation, either in an out-patient or in-patient rehabilitation facility.
Compensation from a Burn Injury lawsuit
Whether you were injured at work, or by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your burn injury. Victims of burn accidents could be entitled to the following compensation:
- Past medical treatment
- Future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss and enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
How a Burn Injury Attorney Can Help
If you suffered from a burn injury, you can count on the trial attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer to have the Kentucky Courage to help you recover what is owed to you in burn injury settlements.
We have seen firsthand how devastating burn injuries can be, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you seek the compensation you need for treatment and recovery. Our goal is to help you get back on your feet, and to hold the responsible party fully accountable for their actions.
Call our experienced Kentucky burn injury attorneys to discuss your case during a free consultation today.