When you or a loved one have sustained burn injuries due to the negligence of another person, you should seek the help of a burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia. Not only can these injuries cause temporary pain, but they can also have much longer-lasting injuries as well that are not only physical but also psychological.
A burn injury can happen from many different things including a product that was not manufactured properly, a chemical burn, a hazardous area that was not clearly marked, or even at a friend’s bonfire. Unfortunately, burn injuries can turn deadly quickly, and if you don’t get the help you need, you may be facing serious infections or even death if you do not seek medical help.
Our Pennsylvania burn injury lawyers from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt knows how scary it is to sustain a burn injury, and we are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. For more information or to set up an appointment or call our office today.
Are there different types of burn injuries?
A burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA knows that there are many common types of burn injuries. Below, you will find a list of the five most common types, how they typically occur, and what the recovery looks like.
These kinds of burns are fairly common and are usually the result of coming into contact with a flame or with fire. A thermal burn can range from mild to severe, and the damage that it does will depend on how long your skin was in contact with the heat. Prolonged contact with fire or a flame can cause fourth-degree burns, the most severe type of burn.
When a person comes into contact with live electricity, it passes through the body at a very quick pace. When this happens, it can cause serious damage. In some cases, the injuries are not as obvious on the outside of the body, but there is extreme damage done to organs or your nervous system. In many cases, the victim may have a heart attack or brain damage.
Hot Liquid Burns
Many people experience hot liquid burns, and this can be the result of extremely hot water from a bath, shower, cooking, or steam. They can end up being mild to life-threatening.
Especially for those who work with industrial chemicals or household cleaning products, chemical burns can happen. The acids in different products can destroy skin cells and the damage done can be seen almost immediately.
When someone works around radiation, they may experience a radiation burn. It is also a type of burn that can happen as a result of medical treatments that use radiation, like chemotherapy.
The Severity of Burns
While there are different types of burns, there are also different severities of burns as well.
You may often hear about the different degrees that people may suffer. These classify the extent of the burns to the depths of their skin. Superficial burns to the outer layer of the skin are known as first-degree burns. A third-degree burn effects all layers of the skin. When an individual has fourth-degree burns, the damage extends to the underlying muscle or bone.
Burns are also graded by the total body surface area where skin is infected. When more than 30% of the skin’s surface area is damaged, inflammation causes additional issues in survival and recovery. Most burns involve less than 10% of the Total Body Surface Area, also known as the TBSA.
This type of burn only affects the top layer of your skin. When you get a first-degree burn, you can usually tell because the affected area is probably inflamed and red. It may even begin to blister slightly, but it usually heals in about a week with medicine, cold water, and aloe vera.
A second-degree burn is more serious, and the damage done will extend further than the first layer of skin. You can typically tell you have a second-degree burn because the skin is extremely red and blistered. This type of burn will likely take weeks to heal.
A third-degree burn is the most serious, and the burn not only extends into layers of your skin but will affect your organs and your bones. You will typically notice your skin has charred with this type of burn and there is usually serious nerve damage and even the chance of death if you do not seek care immediately.
How are people injured by burns?
About 43% of those that suffer burns result from a fire or flame. These injuries may result from many different sources, including matches, fireworks, campfire, house fire or forest fire. Smoking and heating devices are the largest causes of house fires.
Scalding is the second most common type of case of burns. These burns result from contact with hot liquid or moisture such as boiling water, hot coffee or steam.
About 9% of burns result from contact with a hot object such as the electric or gas cook-top on a stove.
A small percentage of people are burned due to electricity, chemical exposure or radiation. However, chemical burns are the cause of as many as 30% of burn deaths. More than 25,000 chemicals can result in burns, either through contact with the skin or ingestion. Electrical burns typically involve electrical cords, electrical outlets, lightning strikes or contact with electricity outdoors through wires, fences, or other avenues.
Treating Burn Injuries
Burn injuries often need months, or even years, to heal. In serious cases, burns will cause scars and sometimes a limb, eyesight, hearing, taste, or hair. It is also common for a burn injury victim, particularly those who suffer from third or fourth-degree burns, to be at risk for:
- Heavy scarring
- Organ failure
Treating burns not only takes time but is also very costly. As a PA burn injury attorney, we will help to recover monetary compensation for:
- Hospital care
- Reconstructive surgery
- Skin grafting
- Physical therapy
- Future medical care
- In-home care
- Lost wages/lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Burns are Extremely Painful
Burns are often immensely painful, and can lead to serious infections and disfigurement. It isn’t uncommon for victims to require years of continued treatment and surgeries, in which medical bills can pile high. Burns can even cause victims temporary or permanent disabilities, where their lives may change forever. Our PA burn injury lawyers will do whatever is within their legal power to see that victims of burn accidents obtain the sense of justice and retribution they are looking for from the at-fault party. We can help during this very difficult time.
Commonly Asked Questions About Burn Injuries
Do I need a burn injury lawyer from Philadelphia, PA to help me recover my damages?
If you live in Philadelphia, PA and have suffered a serious burn injury through no fault of your own, contact a lawyer from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt who can help you get compensation for your damages from the responsible party. The more serious your injury, the more you may benefit from the legal services of a seasoned burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA to fight on your behalf.
Without a lawyer representing you, the at-fault party’s insurance company is more likely to deny a claim or else offer a settlement that is completely unfair. They may also refuse to act in good faith by negotiating with you about the amount of compensation due to you by their customer. These are common tactics that our burn injury lawyer has seen occur many times to victims in Philadelphia, PA.
How does a burn injury lawyer calculate damages for Philadelphia, PA victims?
Every accident is different because there are so many potential variables involved: the party who caused the accident, the circumstances of the accident, the number of victims affected, the nature and severity of the victim’s injuries, etc.
When our seasoned Philadelphia, PA burn injury lawyer accepts a case, the calculation of damages can be straightforward or simple. The most difficult cases are those in which the victim’s injury is serious enough that their physician anticipates future treatment or surgery, and that the injury will be long term or permanent. This is because cases like that bring up many questions.
- Will the injury prevent the individual from returning to their job? If so, our burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA may take into account the amount of wages the person will no longer be able to earn.
- Is the individual emotionally distraught, suffering emotional trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, pain and suffering, or other condition? If so, our burn injury lawyer is knowledgeable about court approved valuations in Philadelphia, PA for emotional damages and will include this assessment as part of your claim.
- What damages has the individual already suffered? For instance, have they undergone skin grafts to address their burn injury? What medications have they already purchased? Have they undergone initial physical rehabilitation for their burn injury? These costs in addition to other damages such as hospital charges, ambulance transportation to the hospital, and other damages will be considered by our burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA.
How Common Are Burn Injuries in Pennsylvania?
Approximately 450,000 individuals in the United States require medical treatment each year for burns. Nearly 50,000 of them are hospitalized. Across the country there are more than 100 self-designated burn care facilities and about 25,000 of those in hospitals end up in a burn center.
The survival rate for burns is high, with more than 95% of those injured surviving their injuries. Unfortunately, about 3,500 die every year from fires and burns here in America. Around the world, about 300,000 die from burns every year.
What can a burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA do for me?
In addition to compiling all the necessary documentation and evidence for your case, our burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can file your claim with the appropriate insurance company or companies to begin the process of recovering your damages.
Our burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA will negotiate on your behalf to obtain the maximum possible settlement from the at fault party’s insurance company.
If necessary, we will take your claim to court and pursue a lawsuit against the at fault party’s insurance company if they refuse to negotiate in good faith.
Getting Compensation for Your Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are not only traumatic, but they can be incredibly expensive when it comes to medical treatment. These injuries are not only painful, but third-degree burns can impact your life and your ability to keep working.
Get Help With a Burn Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA
If you are the victim of a burn injury because someone else was acting negligently or carelessly, you should seek the help of a caring burn injury lawyer Philadelphia, PA residents rely on from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt as soon as possible so we can help you on your road to recovery and get you the compensation you are owed.
Could I File Legal Action if My Child Has Suffered Severe Sunburn?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding sunscreen and how it should be used. As a result, parents may understandably wonder if they have a cause of legal action if their child suffered a severe sunburn as a result of defective sunscreen or a caregiver’s failure to apply sunscreen properly. No two sunscreen cases are exactly alike, which is why it is important to connect with an experienced Philadelphia, Pennsylvania burn injury lawyer at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt if you believe you may have grounds for a legal claim. In general, if a sunscreen manufacturer or caregiver failed in their legal duty to protect your child from harm, you may be able to hold the party responsible for your child’s injury accountable in court.
Common Sunscreen Myths
It is important to understand a few things about sunscreen before filing a severe sunburn lawsuit. Again, no two cases are exactly alike, so don’t hesitate to ask an experienced Philadelphia, PA burn injury lawyer any questions you have about these myths and/or how they may impact your ability to recover compensation as a result of your child’s injuries.
- Sunscreen is not always necessary to use. Often times, individuals think that sunscreen should only be applied when the sun is out and their entire body is exposed. However, ultraviolet rays are still detrimental to any area of exposed skin, and they can reach you even if the sun is behind clouds. Your face and forearms are the most common areas that are left vulnerable in the sun’s rays, which could increase your potential risk of obtaining sun damage. You should consider covering your exposed skin with some form of sunscreen and wear a hat to ensure protection is thorough. If your child’s caregiver should have taken reasonable precautions in regards to sunscreen and his/her failure to do so resulted in severe burns, your Philadelphia, PA burn injury lawyer can help you to explore your legal options.
- Dark skinned individuals do not need sunscreen. Individuals who have dark skin are at risk for skin damage and sunburn as well. While individuals with dark skin have more melanin in their bodies (which is a common combatant of sunburn) are less prone to sunburn, they should stay safe by using a full coverage sunscreen.
- Makeup with SPF protection is enough to cover you. Although many foundations and concealers do provide a little bit of SPF protection from sun rays, it is not a good replacement for sunscreen as a whole. Makeup should always be seen as an additional protective layer, not as the only protective layer. If you do not want to mess up your make up by using a cream sunscreen, try using a spray on one.
- Sunscreen works better than covering up. Although it can be quite tempting for you to think that applying sunscreen will work better than just covering up, this is not a true case. Sunscreen will not make you invincible to the sun’s harsh rays, and individuals who believe that it will tend to get skin damage and sunburns more often than those who do not. Covering up your skin will always be a better sun protector than just wearing sunscreen. If you wear a large sun hat or clothing that covers up most of your exposed skin, it will protect your skin a lot better than any SPF sunscreen.
- Sunscreen is always waterproof. Unless labeled as waterproof, many sunscreens are actually not waterproof. Typically, even if the sunscreen is labeled as waterproof,or even sweat resistant, it is an overstatement. No product will be completely effective in the water, even if advertised as such. You will need to reapply the sunscreen (even if it is water resistant) after you go into water or shower. You must also allow the sunscreen to sit on your body for at least ten minutes before you enter the water for it to work at its best potential.
- Sunscreen will never expire. Although many individuals believe this to be true, sunscreen expires naturally over time, and will leave your skin unprotected if used. If a manufacturer failed to properly label an expiration date or failed to properly calculate its expiration and your child was burned as a result, a Philadelphia, PA burn injury lawyer can help you to hold that business accountable for your child’s harm.