Burns can be crippling, physically and mentally. They are notoriously slow to heal and could require multiple invasive surgical interventions. Scarring is often extensive, and depending on the body part that was burned, function could be permanently compromised.
When burns are the result of another’s negligence, a compassionate local attorney could help the injured party seek financial compensation. If you or a loved one suffered burns caused by another’s reckless or careless conduct, a Maryland Heights burn injury lawyer could explain your options and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Burns are complex injuries. The severity of the burn and the likelihood of it causing permanent damage depend on the depth of penetration, the extent (size) of the burn, and its location on the body. A hardworking lawyer in the area could ensure a burn victim is properly compensated for the full extent of their injury.
Minor burns, or first-degree burns, affect only the outer layer of skin. Sunburns and minor thermal burns, such as from momentarily touching a hot surface, are typically first-degree burns.
Second-degree burns penetrate the outermost layer of skin and damage the layer below. Blisters form, the skin seeps, and skin at the burn site might be permanently discolored. Severe sunburns could cause second-degree burns.
Burns that penetrate all layers of skin are classified as third-degree burns. These burns could take several weeks to heal and lead to permanent scarring, which could impair functioning depending on the location. Treatment typically includes skin grafts. These burns can also cause shock and lead to infection.
Fourth-degree burns destroy all layers of skin and impact underlying tissues, specifically fat. A person who suffers a fourth-degree burn is at risk of shock, infection, organ damage, amputation, and death. Treatment requires extensive medical and surgical intervention. Fifth-degree burns penetrate to muscle, and sixth-degree burns extend into bone. These burns, when not fatal, cause significant permanent damage.
Many burns result from preventable accidents. For example, house fires could be due to a defective electrical appliance, faulty wiring, or a poorly maintained boiler, among other causes.
Industrial accidents, explosions, motor vehicle accidents, and electrocutions also can cause severe burn injuries. In each case, one or more parties’ negligence might have contributed to the accident that led to the burn.
An experienced burn injury attorney in Maryland Heights could look into the circumstances of a specific accident to identify instances of potential negligence. They could then pursue damages from one or more negligent parties on behalf of the burned party.
Sometimes a plaintiff’s behavior is also negligent, and ultimately was a factor in the accident that caused their burns. Missouri Revised Statute §537.765 makes each negligent party responsible for the results of their actions.
In Missouri, a plaintiff could seek damages from other negligent parties, even when the plaintiff bears the majority of fault for an accident. During pre-trial settlement negotiations, other parties could attempt to blame the plaintiff for their injuries. A strong legal advocate could push back against this assertion and insist on a fair appraisal of the parties’ respective fault.
If a case goes to trial, the judge will apportion fault among the parties. If a negligent plaintiff receives damages, the judge must reduce the award by an amount that mirrors their share of the blame.
It is impossible to overstate the physical and emotional toll of severe burns. When you are recovering from a burn injury or supporting a loved one as they heal from burns, you need to give that effort your full attention.
Call on a compassionate Maryland Heights burn injury lawyer to lead you through the process of seeking compensation. Call today to schedule a case review.