Burn injury attorneys Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas represent St. Petersburg residents who have suffered from burn accidents due to someone else’s negligence. The American Burn Association estimates that 486,000 people receive medical treatment each year for burn injuries. The injuries cause devastating physical and psychological damage, and the victims deserve compensation if another person was at fault.
As burn injury attorneys, we’re here to provide legal assistance and support for anyone who has suffered, regardless of the burn’s severity.
Types of Burn Injuries:
Due to the damage inflicted to the nerves in our skin, burns injuries are considered to be some of the most painful injuries anyone can suffer from. In more advanced stage burns, the victim will most likely have to undergo painful treatments such as skin grafts or cosmetic surgery.
Any burn has value in a burn accident claim. Our burn injury attorneys handle cases in any one of the four following categories:
First-degree burns are the most common form of burn. The majority of people will have experienced it at some point in their life. Often caused by touching a hot object or hot liquid, they only affect the skin’s surface, known as the ‘epidermis.’
They typically cause the skin to turn red and slightly swollen, but with no blistering. The pain is considered moderate and usually lasts 2-3 days. First-degree burns normally heal without medical treatment and don’t cause long-term tissue damage. In most cases, the burns can be self-treated with over-the-counter skin creams and lotions. The pain can be reduced with ibuprofen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Just because it’s only a first degree, doesn’t mean you don’t have a claim. Contact St. Petersburg burn injury attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today for a free consultation.
Second-degree burns inflict significant damage to both the top layer of skin and the second layer, which is known as the ‘dermis.’ In these cases, the skin will seem wet and turn a pale pink with small blistering appearing shortly after the accident. If the burn is large or is on a delicate part of the body, then immediate medical help is required.
Second-degree burns are considered extremely painful and often take up to 3 weeks to heal. They don’t usually require skin grafting and there is only minimal scarring. It’s essential to keep the area sterilized, bandaged, protected and monitored due to the risk of infection. The most common causes are accidents with boiling liquids or contact with hot materials.
If you’ve suffered from a second-degree burn due to someone else’s negligence, contact burn injury attorneys McQuaid & Douglas today for a free consultation.
Third-degree burns are severe and cause deep tissue damage. They often require surgical repair and skin grafting. They damage every layer of skin, including the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. They can also inflict damage on nerve endings, blood vessels, muscle tissue and in some cases, bones. In third degree burns, the skin turns a blotchy red, swollen and later blisters. It can be extremely painful or even painless due to nerve damage.
Third-degree burns are commonly caused by accidents involving fire, explosions, boiling liquids, toxic chemicals, hot materials or electric sources. Third degree burns almost always require immediate professional medical attention, as there is a risk the body will lose critical fluids. Most victims will require hospitalization in a burns unit.
If a third-degree burn is a full thickness burn, the damaged skin may appear, leathery, charred (black) or white. Swelling will also occur, with yellowing or browning developing later.
Third-degree burns often have lifelong consequences and potentially dangerous infections. The healing process requires intense care and is slow. Due to scarring, victims often require skin grafting. In some cases, the victim may struggle with regular body movements and need reconstruction surgery.
Third-degree burns can be very serious and carry long-term pain and suffering. It is highly advised to contact a burn injury attorney to get compensation that you deserve.
Fourth-degree burns are extremely rare, with electrical accidents being the common cause. The burns cause damage to the skin (full thickness), underlying tissue, tendons, bones and muscles.
Due to the severity of the injuries, all victims will require lengthy hospitalizations in a burns unit. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a fourth-degree burn, it is highly advised to contact a burn injury attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Burn Accidents:
Apartment Complex Fires
If you suffered a burn injury from a fire in your apartment building, you might have the right to compensation. A burn injury attorney may be able to find the building owner negligible for the following:
- Unsafe products and materials such as flammable cladding, furniture, bedding or defective heaters, faucets and any other burn hazard.
- Failure to install fire safety equipment such as smoke detectors, fire alarms or properly working sprinklers.
- Failure to safely install gas lines or electric wiring.
- Poorly maintained or installed LP or natural gas systems.
- Failure to give clear warning or instructions to any burn hazards.
- Failure to comply with local, state or federal safety codes.
Over 171,000 highway vehicle fires occur in the United States every year, resulting in 345 deaths and 1,300 injuries. The cause of the fire can be difficult to identify but are commonly due to:
- Car Crashes can break fuel tanks open, causing a ferocious fuel-fed fire. In these cases, another driver or the manufacturer may be at fault.
- Leaking Fuel Tanks can randomly explode, causing serious injuries in and outside of a vehicle. Passengers can become trapped, leading to horrific burns or fatal injuries.
- Auto Part Defects such as exhaust leaks, part overheating, faulty wiring, seat heater malfunctions, cigarette lighter accident, or other malfunctions are common causes of significant car fires.
- Smoking is a careless act that many drivers think will have no consequence. In reality, hot cigarettes can meet flammable materials in traffic leading to a large fire.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a vehicle fire, contact burn injury attorneys McQuaid & Douglas for a free consultation.
Airbags are designed to protect you during the impact of an auto accident. However, their deployment is fast and powerful and may cause burns.
- The combustion may cause burns to your eyes, face, neck, chest, hands or arms.
- Chemical burns may occur as airbags are often filled with chemicals such as sodium hydroxide.
- Inhaling hot gasses may cause injuries.
Airbag burns are more common than one might think. Speak with a burn injury attorney to help shine a guiding light on the next steps.
Hot Water or Hot Liquid Burns
Hot water burns are often different from fire burns. They scald the skin and are usually found on the mouth, face, neck, chest or hands. Manufacturers, co-workers or employees or landlords may be to blame. Typical causes include:
- Spills while drinking hot water or hot liquids.
- Accidents while cooking or making hot drinks.
- Explosions, such as a water heater or pump.
- Manufacturing accidents, when using hot liquids.
If you’ve been the victim of a liquid burn you should speak with a burn injury attorney as soon as possible.
Burns Caused by the Negligence of Others
Sometimes burns are caused due to the fault of an employee of a service you’re using. You expect those carrying out the service you’re paying for to act with responsibility and care, but sometimes poor training or careless behavior can have severe consequences. For example:
- Hairdressers using dangerous water temperatures, or misusing hot straighteners or hair dryers.
- Doctors accidentally using hot medical equipment around you, causing an injury.
- Stone Masseurs who have misjudged the temperature of their hot stones or lotions.
- Health Spa owners failing to maintain a safe water temperature.
- Laser treatment workers who were responsible for an avoidable laser burn.
- Waiters dropping hot food or liquids on you, while serving you.
- Hotel owners failing to regulate safe radiator temperatures.
Any product from an oven to a laptop charger may be defective and potentially cause a burn injury.
- Poor product design
- Toxic chemicals leaked or were involved during manufacturing.
- Failure to display a clear warning of the product’s dangers.
Types of Compensation That a St. Petersburg Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help Recover:
In the case of a burn accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to bring a claim against the responsible party. You may also be able to claim compensation from your insurance company, depending on the terms of the policy.
If there is evidence that another person, business, or party was responsible for your burn injury, they will pay all of your medical bills. These include surgeries, doctors’ charges, medication, medical equipment, ambulance fees and long-term rehabilitation care.
Loss of Income
If you’ve missed work, or your ability to work has been affected due to your injuries, then you may be able to recover the losses plus any earnings that will be lost in the future.
Pain and Suffering
The effects on your mental health, as well as the suffering caused to you and your family deserves to be taken seriously. Compensation can be claimed due to the pain and suffering you endured during and after the burn accident.
Disfigurement, Scarring and Disability
Severe burn accidents tend to have long-lasting damage. Scarring and visual disfigurement can affect self-esteem and your future, but you will be able to claim compensation for your suffering in this area. Burns victims who suffer disability or restrict movement due to their injuries can earn significant compensation.
If you were in a fire that damaged your property or belongings, then you will likely be able to earn compensation with the assistance of a burn injury attorney for the costs of repairs and replacement items.
- The American Burn Association estimates that 486,000 people receive medical treatment each year for burn injuries.
- There are 40,000 burn injury related hospitalizations per year, including 30,000 in burn centers.
- The survival rate when cared for at a burn center is: 96.8%
Burn Center Admission Causes:
- 43% Fire and Flame
- 34% Scalding
- 9% Contact with hot material
- 4% Electrical
- 3% Chemical
- 7% Other
More burn statistics and facts can be found here: https://ameriburn.org/who-we-are/media/burn-incidence-fact-sheet/