Survivors of serious burn injuries will face lengthy and difficult recoveries. They may also face large medical bills and financial losses from the inability to work for a living. Many burn injury victims are left disabled and can never again hold a job.
In Atlanta and across Georgia, the personal injury attorneys of James M. Poe, P.C., can protect the rights of burn injury victims and their families. To learn how we can put our experience with handling these unique and challenging cases to work for you, contact us today. We can provide a free consultation about your case and help you to understand the legal options available to you.
Types of Burn Injuries
Most burn injuries are caused by open flame or contact with a hot object, scalding liquid or steam. These are known as thermal contact burns. Burn injuries can also be caused by electricity, chemicals, radiation (including that produced by medical equipment) or friction.
The extent of past and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering damages that are sought in a burn injury lawsuit will largely depend on the extent of the burn injury.
A burn is usually described as either:
- First-degree burn – Affecting only the outer layer of skin and causing pain, redness and swelling
- Second-degree burn – Affecting the outer and underlying layers of skin and causing pain, redness, swelling and blistering
- Third-degree burn – Extending below the skin into deeper tissue and causing white or blackened, charred skin as well as nerve damage.
Some medical texts refer to fourth-degree burns when the damage extends to muscle, tendons and bones. This is a potentially fatal burn. The victim’s skin is likely to be blackened or charred, but the victim may experience no pain because of extensive damage to nerves.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Burn Injuries?
The American Burn Association reports that an estimated 450,000 burn injuries occur every year that result in medical treatment. Third- or fourth-degree burns or any burn that covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint will require emergency medical care.
Among the many potential causes or sources of burn injuries are:
- Defective appliances such as space heaters, stoves, ovens, washing machines, dryers, water heaters, air conditioners and fans
- Hazardous chemicals
- Car accidents that result in fires or gas tank explosions
- Defective or improperly programmed medical equipment
- Electrical failure or malfunction
In many cases, a fire and resulting burn injuries are the result of negligence. Parties who could be held liable in a burn injury legal claim include:
- Drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents due to their careless or reckless driving
- Property owners and landlords who allow fire hazards to exist on their premises or fail to provide proper fire safety equipment such as smoke detectors, extinguishers and fire escapes
- Manufacturers who expose consumers to defective automobiles, household appliances or other dangerous products or who fail to warn of fire hazards.
Children often suffer burns from scalding liquids like spilled food or hot bath water because they are not properly supervised. Water heaters may be improperly adjusted or plumbing improperly piped. A child care provider in a home or a day care center who has been negligent in their supervision of a child might be held liable as well.
Contact Our Atlanta Burn Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one of yours has suffered a serious burn injury in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia, it is important to investigate how and why it happened. The father-and-son legal team of James M. Poe, P.C., can help you to determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation and take the steps needed to pursue just relief for you and your family. Please contact us today to discuss your case.
Sources / More Information
• Burns, Mayo Clinic
• Burns, MedLine Plus
• Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States, American Burn Association
• Fire Causes, National Fire Protection Association