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Orange County Burn Injury Lawyer

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Everyone has suffered at least a mild burn at some point in their lives, whether from a wayward campfire ember or a grease splatter while cooking. Burns are common in the United States, with approximately 486,000 people needing medical care for burns every year. Unfortunately, fire-related deaths are also common, and the CDC found that one fire-related death happened every 169 minutes in 2012.

If you or a loved one have suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, speak with an Orange County burn injury attorney at the law firm of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo today. We can review your legal options during a free consultation.

Causes of Burn Injuries

Burns are caused by electricity, heat, chemicals, radiation, or friction. Many burn injuries occur as a result of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, defective products, and many more. They are a type of skin injury that are rated by how deep the burn went, how much damage was caused to the skin, and how much damage was caused to the surrounding area, such as the underlying tissues. Although exposed parts of the body are at the most risk of being burned, internal injuries such as nerve damage are possible too. Whether your burn injuries were the result of an auto accident, product liability accident, or any action due to the negligence of another, our law firm can fight for justice and fair compensation.

How Do Burn Injuries Happen?

Burns happen in a number of ways. While most of us associate burns with flames, that’s not the only way they occur. The American Burn Association estimates:

  • 44% of burn center admissions are due to fires
  • 33% are the result of scalding
  • 9% are from direct contact with a heat source or hot surface
  • 4% of all burn injuries are electrical burns
  • 3% are chemical burns
  • 7% happen from miscellaneous sources

In many burn injury cases, especially concerning electrical burns, thermal burns, or chemical burns, the accident may have been caused by someone else’s negligence. Electrical and chemical burns are a common hazard in many occupations, which is why OSHA enforces safety regulations. Sadly, it’s not uncommon to see workplace injuries occur as a result of company negligence. If a company doesn’t have thorough safety standards in place, it will almost certainly be held liable for any accidents that result.

What Are the Different Degrees of Burn Injuries?

Burns are classified according to their severity. In general, we can see burns classified in ranges from first- to fourth-degree.

  • First-degree – This level of burn will affect only the outer skin and result in relatively minor pain, mild irritation, and redness of the skin.
  • Second-degree – These burns will affect both the outer layer of skin as well as the under layer of skin, called the dermis. A second-degree burn will cause swollen and red skin that will likely blister. These burns could leave a permanent change in the color of a person’s skin.
  • Third-degree – These burns are referred to as “full-thickness” burns. A third-degree burn will destroy two full layers of skin, and the skin may appear black, brown, yellow, or white. This can destroy nerve endings in the affected area. A third-degree burn can lead to significant scarring and disfigurement.
  • Fourth-degree – This type of burn is the deepest and most life-threatening. A fourth-degree burn destroys every layer of skin in the affected area and can also damage bones, muscles, and tendons. These burns can leave scarring, disfigurement, and deformities.

Proving Negligence for a Burn Injury

In a personal injury case, your attorney’s job is to prove the other party’s negligence. There are many situations where a burn injury can be a result of negligence, such as:

  • Someone threw a flammable substance onto a bonfire and made it burn out of control.
  • Your laptop battery, which was known to have issues, caught fire and burned you.
  • A live wire was exposed in your workplace and caused an electrical fire.
  • You work in an industrial facility and a spill caused you to suffer chemical burns.
  • Long-term exposure to radiation, such as in a hospital setting, caused radiation burns.
  • Your apartment complex caught fire because of faulty or old wiring.
  • A defective product, such as a hoverboard, spontaneously bursts into flames.

There are a number of ways a burn accident can be caused by a negligent party. Our Orange County burn injury lawyers will examine the facts to determine if you have a possible case.

What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover?

Depending on the severity of your burn injuries, you may be able to claim a significant amount of damages. Especially if there is property damage, costs may be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Damages can include:

  • Medical expenses, like doctor’s visits and treatment. This is an economic damage.
  • Lost wages now and in the future, which is also an economic damage.
  • Property damage is also an economic damage.
  • Pain and suffering, both mental and physical (e.g. emotional trauma). This is a non-economic damage and must be calculated using a specialized formula.
  • Wrongful death and punitive damages in severe cases. These are also non-economic damages that are awarded when the other party acted negligently.

Find out which types of damages you may be eligible to recover during a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

The Rule of 9s

Medical professionals have come up with a technique to uniformly describe how much area of the human body has been covered by 2nd or 3rd-degree burns. Called the Rule of 9s, it quickly predicts the total body surface area (TBSA) that has been burned by splitting the adult human body into eleven sections which they consider each to be roughly 9%. The last remaining 1% refers to genital burn injuries. The eleven sections are: head, right arm and hand, left arm and hand, chest and neck, abdomen, upper back, lower back, right thigh burn, left thigh, right lower leg, calf and foot and left lower leg, calf and foot.

What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Burn Injuries?

Serious burn injuries can have lasting implications on a victim. Not only are burn injury victims subjected to excruciating pain immediately following the burn and during the recovery process, but they will also experience prolonged recovery periods and will likely have to deal with permanent scarring and disfigurement as well as significant emotional and psychological trauma.

The immediate consequences of a burn injury are the pain and suffering as well as the consequences of being hospitalized. This could include extended periods of time away from work as well as major out-of-pocket expenses for a victim and their family (i.e. travel to and from medical facilities, costs of medical equipment, etc.).

The long-term consequences involve the often excruciating healing process, which can include multiple surgical procedures as well as painful physical therapy and rehabilitation. Lastly, burns are the types of injuries that leave reminders. For burns that occur in visible areas of the body, such as the face, arms, hands, legs, and feet, the effect is twofold. First, victims have to see the constant reminder of a traumatic and painful experience. Second, victims will have to deal with the stigma that comes with the public judging somebody who may not look “normal.” This can come with unfortunate bias from employers and coworkers.

Why Should I Hire a Burn Injury Attorney?

Burn injury cases can become incredibly complex, particularly because they often deal with tremendous medical expenses. You can be sure that insurance carriers and at-fault parties will do what they can to avoid paying large settlements in these cases. However, when you work with a Las Vegas burn injury attorney, you will have an advocate by your side who has the resources and legal expertise to take on any adversary. An attorney can:

  • Obtain all evidence needed to prove liability for the case.
  • Work with trusted medical professionals to ensure their client’s well-being and help calculate the total medical costs.
  • Work with mental health experts to properly communicate the emotional and psychological pain and suffering their client has endured.
  • Negotiate with every party involved to ensure that their client receives a fair settlement.
  • Fully prepare to take the case to trial if the other parties involved refused to offer a fair settlement.

Treatments for Burn Injuries

If you have a burn injury, regardless of where it is, be sure to contact a medical professional. Treatments differ depending on the degree of the burn and the affected area. It is a general rule not to break any blisters that are a result of your burn injury, no matter how tempting it may be. Treatments for severe burns will also include making sure to solve any dehydration or infection issues. For the most serious injuries, treatments may also include the removal of dead skin (debridement), skin grafts, or cosmetic surgery. Massage, physical therapy, and acupuncture are some alternative treatments that are now done to help with the overall recovery process. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys can recover fair compensation to cover your medical bills and more.

Our Orange County Burn Injury Attorneys Can Help You Today

If you or a loved one have received serious burns due to negligent behavior, the team at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo is in your corner. We have worked with burn victims in Orange County since 1979 and know how to achieve results. Set up a free initial consultation with one of our burn injury attorneys by filling out our online contact form or call us at (714) 783-2205.

We represent burn injury victims across all of Southern California, including Santa Ana, Sacramento, Riverside, and San Bernardino.