Los Angeles Burn Injury Lawyer
The pain and suffering caused by burn injuries can be excruciating. In many cases, they can also result in scarring, disfigurement, paralysis in the burned area, and even death. Burn victims may need multiple surgeries, skin grafts, hospitalizations, and ongoing care, and be unable to work, creating financial challenges for their families.
If you have suffered severe burn injuries or lost someone you love because another party was negligent, you shouldn’t have to deal with the future alone. In California, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses, so reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
The experienced Los Angeles burn injury lawyers at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP can help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. We’ll fight hard for your rights and assume the legal burden so you can focus on your recovery, your loved ones, and moving forward with your life.
Burn Injuries Explained
Damage to tissue can occur when you’re exposed to heat, electricity, chemicals, or even radiation. A burn injury is the result of such damage. A burn injury can be relatively minor, perhaps only affecting the skin, or really severe, potentially damaging muscle tissue and bone. The severity typically depends on what type of burn you’ve sustained and the size of the injured area.
Types of Burn Injuries
There are five main types of burn injuries. Each one may cause painful, debilitating outcomes.
- Thermal Burns: Thermal burn injuries occur when you come into contact with a hot object or element such as fire, hot liquid, or steam.
- Electrical Burns: Unprotected exposure to electricity or an electrical current can singe your tissue and even result in electrocution.
- Chemical Burns: Chemical burns occur when you come into contact with and are exposed to harmful chemicals, such as highly-acidic liquids or solvents.
- Cold Burns: Cold burns, also known as frostbite, can cause as much damage as heat or chemical burns.
- Radiation Burns: Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can be vulnerable to radiation burns, which occur when the body is exposed to high doses for a prolonged period of time. People who work with or near sources of radiation are also at risk for this type of burn injury.
While these burns can occur by accident, in some cases they arise due to negligence. If this happens to you, a Los Angeles burn injury lawyer can pursue monetary compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial effects of the accident.
Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are graded from one to six. The first degree is the least dangerous, while the sixth degree can result in a fatal injury.
- First-Degree Burns: First-degree burns are surface burns, meaning that they only affect the outer layer of skin. Symptoms include redness or pain at the site of the injury.
- Second-Degree Burns: A second-degree burn affects both the outer and inner layers of skin, which may appear shiny or wet, and may feel hot to the touch. Blisters are often seen at the site of an injury.
- Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burns don’t just affect the skin, but also the fat beneath the surface. Also known as full-thickness burns, this injury causes nerve damage. As a result, you may not feel any physical pain or discomfort at the burn site. A third-degree burn typically requires skin grafts to heal.
- Fourth-Degree Burns: A fourth-degree burn can cause significant damage to the tendons, nerves, and muscles underneath the skin. There are often long-term or collateral consequences to fourth-degree burns, such as infection and joint problems. Burns of the fourth degree may require amputation.
- Fifth-Degree Burns: Burns of the fifth degree can damage both tissue and bone. The skin may appear charred or white, and the bone is likely to be exposed. Fifth-degree burns can cause permanent internal damage, including organ failure. An amputation may be necessary to prevent an infection from spreading.
- Sixth-Degree Burns: Burns of the sixth degree is usually the result of extended exposure to high temperatures. Burns of this magnitude may also be sustained if you’re in a car crash or injured in an explosion. Due to their severity, these catastrophic injuries can be fatal for a burn victim.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Los Angeles
According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries are one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the U.S. Approximately 486,000 fire or burn injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments between 2011 and 2015 and one civilian fire-related death occurs every two hours and 35 minutes.
In Los Angeles, the most common causes of accidental burn injuries include:
- A motor vehicle accident
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Unsafe premises
Victims of burn injury often have to endure years of treatment, rehabilitation, and operations. In addition, severe injuries can cause psychological and emotional damage. Some burn cases lead to temporary and even permanent disability, leaving the victim struggling to cover their medical care costs and regular needs. A Los Angeles burn injury attorney can take the legal steps needed to ensure that you get the compensation you need for your current and future losses.
Who’s Liable For Your Burn Injury in California?
Under California law, anyone responsible for the accident that caused your burn injury can be liable for resulting damages. Depending on the circumstances that led up to the accident, a liable party could be:
- Motor vehicle operators and/or their employers
- Building owners
- Property managers
- Transit companies
- Government agencies
- Construction contractors
- Defective product manufacturers and sellers
Your Los Angeles burn injury lawyer at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP can identify the negligent party or parties by gathering evidence, interviewing eyewitnesses and experts, examining police and fire reports, and more. If the defendant or their insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we can present your case to a judge or jury.
Damages Available in a Los Angeles Burn Injury Lawsuit
If someone else’s carelessness or negligence has left you with devastating injuries, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Some are economic damages, meaning that they can be quantified with invoices, receipts, and canceled checks. Noneconomic damages are those that are more difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Examples of compensable damages for burn-related injuries include:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing medical treatment costs
- Lost income or loss of wages
- Temporary and/or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and severe scarring
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
For years, Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP has been fighting for burn injury victims in Los Angeles. Over time, we’ve developed relationships with top injury experts in the area. When we take on your case, they can help us understand your injuries and, ultimately, what your case is worth. This knowledge can help your personal injury attorney fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Burn Injury?
If the burn is localized, you can minimize the pain by running cool water over it (don’t use cold water or ice) and using a cool compress. Keep the burned area open to the air while you wait for treatment by a medical professional- don’t wrap it in bandages or use ointments, as you want the injury to cool as quickly as possible.
For burns that are especially severe or life-threatening, call 911, even if you’re not in pain. This lack of feeling can be attributed to extensive nerve damage and without prompt treatment, an infection can set in. While you’re waiting for the ambulance to arrive, ask witnesses to take pictures of your burns, the accident site, and any important evidence, such as a defective product.
What If I Was Burned at Work?
OSHA requires that employers follow its rules, maintain equipment, provide adequate training and protective equipment, and implement procedures that minimize the hazards posed by some jobs and locations, but this doesn’t always happen. In fact, occupational burns – chemical, electrical, or thermal – account for 20 to 25% of all serious burn injuries in the United States.
If you’ve been injured on the job, workers’ compensation will likely cover your medical care expenses and lost wages, but it won’t compensate you for scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, or loss of earning potential. If your workplace accident can be traced to a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective tool or a contractor, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them to collect these damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Burn Injury Claim?
In California, you have up to two years after your burn injury to file a claim. If the at-fault party was a government worker or agency, the statute of limitations is shortened to six months and there are certain procedures that must be followed during the filing of the claim.
A Los Angeles burn injury attorney at our law firm can make sure that your claim is filed within the appropriate deadline so that your legal right to pursue compensation is preserved. We will also keep you informed at every stage of your case, so you always know where it stands.
Get a Los Angeles Burn Injury Lawyer is Here to Listen
If you or someone you love has suffered a disfiguring and life-changing burn injury, the compassionate and experienced lawyers at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP will take over the stressful aspects of obtaining financial compensation, such as dealing with the insurance company or companies and collecting the evidence needed to pursue your burn injury claim. Since we work on a contingency-fee-basis, you will not have to pay us unless we win your case. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Los Angeles burn injury attorney, contact us today.