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Burn Injury

Burns are an extremely painful, disfiguring, and often life-threatening injury. The most common causes of burns are fires, which can occur at home, in a vehicle, at a business, and outside. Fires in the U.S. in 2016 caused 3,390 deaths and 14,650 injuries. One person in the U.S., not including firefighters, died from a fire every two hours 35 minutes and one person was injured every 34 minutes, according to the National Fire Protection Association. If these statistics included injuries and fatalities resulting from other types of burns, including electric shock or scalding water, then the rates would be even higher. Many fires and burn injuries arise because of accidents. However, a large portion of these incidents are the result of someone’s negligence. When you are injured or have lost a relative because of how someone else acted or failed to act, then you may have a claim for compensation. You should speak with a San Francisco burn injury lawyer at Willoughby Brod, LLP.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

When you think of burn injuries, your mind may automatically go to fires. However, burns can arise from a large number of situations. You or a loved one may have suffered burn injuries by being exposed to:

  • Fire (Structures, Vehicles, Outsides)
  • Electricity
  • Hot liquid or steam
  • Hot objects
  • Radiation
  • Sunlight/ultraviolet light (Tanning Beds)
  • Chemicals

At Willoughby Brod, LLP, we handle burn injury cases that arise from any of these situations. We do not limit our practice to typical fires. Whether you were harmed by a defective tanning bed, exposed to harsh chemicals at work, or injured in a car crash, we are here to represent you. We have seen firsthand how traumatic burn injuries can be in all types of accidents, and we understand you are likely dealing with other injuries, as well. We take a comprehensive view of your case, work with your medical team and experts to fully document your injuries, and will fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible. To learn more about how we can help, contact a burn injury lawyer in San Francisco today.

Degrees of Burns

There are six degrees of burns. The most minor, first degree burns, do not typically require professional medical attention. The most significant, fifth and six degree burns, are fatal.

  • First Degree: First degree burns cause redness of the skin and pain in the burnt area. The area can swell and become sensitive to touch. The most common causes are sun exposure and coming into contact with hot water or a hot object, like a pan on the stove. You can usually treat first degree burns at home.
  • Second Degree: These burns affect a deeper layer of skin than first degree burns, and they usually cause blisters on the surface of the skin in addition to redness, swelling, and sensitivity. Common causes are exposure to flames, boiling liquids, and certain chemicals. Second degree burns should be treated by a physician to reduce the risk of an infection.
  • Third Degree: Third degree burns are not fatal, yet they are extremely painful and disfiguring. The skin may turn a white or brown color. This level of burns affects the three layers of the skin. Common causes include exposure to fire, electric shock, and certain chemicals. Third degree burns require hospitalization to treat, and they typically require numerous procedures to improve the appearance of scarring.
  • Fourth Degree: Fourth degree burns go deeper than the layers of skin and damage tissue underneath, including muscle, tendons, and ligaments. The skin in the affected area may turn black. This serious injury requires hospitalization, and there is a high fatality rate.
  • Fifth Degree: Fifth degree burns cause damage to skin, soft tissue, and internal organs. This level of burns can reach and damage bone in the affected area. This injury is almost always fatal.
  • Sixth Degree: Six degree burns are extensive, reach the bone, and are always fatal.

Whatever degree of burns you or a loved one suffered, an experienced and compassionate burn injury attorney for San Francisco is here to help.

Pursuing Compensation for a Burn Injury

If you were burned in an accident caused by someone else, or your loved one suffered burns and passed away from another person’s negligence, you need to contact a lawyer right away. For your own injuries, you may pursue compensation through a personal injury claim, including:

  • Your past, current, and future medical costs
  • Wages you lost during treatment and recovery
  • Your reduced earning capacity due to new limitations
  • The value of the disfigurement
  • The value of your physical limitations
  • Your physical pain
  • Your mental suffering and anguish
  • Your reduced quality of life

Burn injuries can lead to high-value cases. Your medical treatments can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and your needs may extend beyond your health insurance policy’s limits. An attorney from Willoughby Brod, LLP will work with your doctors and medical experts to appropriately calculate your potential future medical expenses. We will also work with an economic expert to calculate the income you lost during this experience and will miss out on in the future, particularly if your burn injuries caused a disability.

A San Francisco burn injury attorney will advise you on placing a value to your non-economic damages, such as your pain and suffering. This can be challenging, however, we have years of experience calculating damages in injury cases. We can explain the various methods insurers and courts may use, and we will go over the factors that may increase and decrease the potential value of your damages.

To learn more about filing a burn injury claim in court and how to value your claim, call Willoughby Brod, LLP today.

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