When a burn injury victim has a legal cause of action for negligent injury, it will be important to understand the costs of the medical treatment that the injury will require.
On top of the primary medical attention for the burn, there may be additional expenses incurred to address complications such as infections and mental health issues that may arise. A burn victim may enter a new life that bears little resemblance to the one he or she led before.
The Atlanta burn injury lawyers at James M. Poe, P.C., law firm is dedicated to assisting burn injury victims across Georgia. We understand the long-lasting consequences of severe burns for victims and their families. We strive to obtain just compensation for their losses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.
A Closer Look at Burn Treatment
A third- or fourth-degree burn typically requires emergency medical care followed by hospitalization and surgery – preferably in a dedicated burn care center.
In addition to pain medication and antibiotics, primary treatment may include:
- Debridement (surgical removal of loose, dead, debris-ridden or contaminated tissue)
- Multiple skin grafts to replace scar tissue with healthy skin
- Cosmetic (plastic) surgery to repair scarring and disfigurement.
Depending on the site of the burn, a patient may also require:
- Breathing assistance – The patient’s throat may swell shut if he or she has been burned in the face or neck areas. A tube may need to be threaded down the patient’s windpipe.
- Decompression – If a burn scab (eschar) encircles a limb, it may tighten and cut off the blood circulation. An eschar around the chest may make it difficult to breathe. The remedy is to cut the eschar in several places to relieve pressure.
A burn victim may also require a feeding tube, which is threaded through the nose and into the stomach. This may be necessary to enable the victim to eat or to provide extra nutrition for a heightened metabolism that is needed to heal the badly wounded body.
Complications from Burn Injuries
There are many potential complications that can arise from deep or widespread burns, including:
- Infections – Pneumonia and sepsis and organ failure can result from infection
- Respiratory problems – Smoke inhalation may damage the lungs
- Cataracts – Many vision problems may stem from a burn injury
- Hypothermia – A dangerously low body temperature may be experienced by burn victims who have suffered significant skin loss
- Low blood volume – This may be caused by damage to the circulatory system.
These complications may require extensive physical and occupational therapy and multiple surgical procedures.
A recovering burn victim may also experience chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological complications.
Compensation Planning for the Severe Burn Victim
Part of a proper claim for compensation after a negligent burn injury is a careful calculation of the full costs of treating the injury. This is more than adding up medical bills. It includes developing a forward-looking plan for treating the badly injured burn victim as well as determining other past, present and future expenses and losses.
To develop compensation demands in severe burn injury cases, the father-and-son legal team of James M. Poe, P.C., works with medical experts and life care-planning professionals to develop a comprehensive plan for the patient’s ongoing care.
This plan may include costs for:
- Post-acute medical care and medication
- Future reconstructive surgeries and accompanying therapy
- Pressure garments (to prevent and control buildup of scarring), splints, prosthetics and orthotics
- Home health care and/or personal assistance
- Assistive and adaptive devices (walkers, wheelchairs, bed and home renovations)
- Transportation adaptation or assistance
- Psychological therapy
- Social, educational and vocational rehabilitation.
Among other losses to be calculated and demanded in a claim is lost income. This calculation should include the value of lost salary or wages, commissions, bonuses, fringe benefits and/or other perks. Potential career advancement prior to the accident should also be considered.
Contact Our Atlanta Burn Injury Attorneys
It is important to take a forward-looking approach to seeking compensation for a severe burn injury. This includes determining the likely costs of a full recovery and life afterward. The James M. Poe, P.C., law firm of Atlanta will help you to calculate and seek the compensation you are due if you have been seriously injured by burns in an accident. Contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation.
Sources / More Information
• Burns, Mayo Clinic