Houston Burn Injury Lawyer

While most people will scald themselves at some point or suffer a minor burn, severe burns are a different category of injury entirely. Each year, about 1.1 million burn injuries across the country are serious enough to warrant medical attention and about 50,000 of these require a hospital stay. Serious burn injuries can impact muscle, tendons, and tissue under the skin, that can not only lead to disfiguring scarring but also mobility challenges and other life-changing, permanent injuries.

It’s time to get serious about burns. If you have suffered a burn that will impact your life for months or years and you suspect your burns were caused by someone’s negligence, contact a Houston burn injury lawyer at Johnson Garcia Law. Our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience and we have worked closely with burn survivors to seek justice and compensation for them. Burn injuries are painful and devastating; if your injuries were caused by negligence you shouldn’t have to go through the recovery process alone. Contact the burn lawyers at Johnson Garcia for a free consultation.

How Do Burn Injuries Commonly Occur?

Most burns are caused by heat from hot liquids, steam, hot surfaces, and fire. However, burns can also happen from sun exposure, exposure to specific types of chemicals, electricity, and radiation. There are many situations that can cause burn injuries:

  • Workplace accidents. On the job, workers can be exposed to corrosive chemicals, electrical burns, or dangerous conditions that can cause fires and injury.
  • Car collisions. Car crashes can cause burn injuries if car components overheat or a fire starts in one of the vehicles. In situations where another driver caused the crash or a car manufacturer designed a car that posed a risk of overheating or fire, the injured parties may have a claim.
  • Defective products. Each year consumers are injured by overheating laptops and electronics, shorting appliances, and even exploding e-cigarettes and other devices. If any product you use caused an explosion, fire, or overheating event which led to injuries, you may have a claim.
  • Premises defects and liability issues. The owners of apartment buildings, condos, stores, and public spaces have an obligation to ensure their premises are safe for visitors. If they are negligent by not having operating fire alarms or by having outdated electrical equipment or if property owners are negligent in other ways, those who sustain burns because of this recklessness may have a premises liability claim.

In situations where your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence, it may be valuable to speak with a Houston burn injury lawyer. Even if you’re not sure about whether negligence played a role in your injury, a consultation with an experienced attorney can help you determine whether you may have a claim which can help you seek compensation for the costs of medical care and other losses.

What Kind of Damage Can They Cause?

Burns range from mild injuries which heal on their own to potentially fatal medical emergencies. The level of damage is measured by degrees, so burns can include three stages:

  • First-degree burns. These are the mildest form of injury because only the very top layers of skin are affected. The skin may turn red and there may be some mild discomfort, but there is no blistering. First-degree burns usually heal on their own within a few days.
  • Second-degree burns. These burns affect multiple layers of skin. Usually, patients experience pain, swelling, redness, and blistering at the affected site. While these burns may heal on their own, they carry a higher risk of infection and may require medical care.
  • Third-degree burns. These burns affect multiple layers of skin as well as the fat under the skin, sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings. These burns do not cause pain at the site of the burn, because the nerve endings have been damaged, but nearby nerve endings can still produce pain. The skin may look leathery, red, white, or black. Third-degree burns are generally considered an emergency and require prompt medical evaluation and treatment.

Doctors also evaluate the severity of burns by looking at the location and extent of the injury. First- or second-degree burns that cover a small portion of the body are generally considered minor. Second-degree burns that cover a larger portion of the body or affect the genitals, feet, hands, or face may be considered severe or moderate. If you’re unsure whether you need medical attention for your burns, it is best to get an evaluation from a healthcare provider.

What’s The Recovery Like?

Recovery depends on the severity of the burn. For minor first- and second-degree burns which cover a small area of the body, it is important to keep the affected area clean and covered with a lightly wrapped bandage. Antibiotic cream or prescription cream from a doctor can help manage pain.

Even with minor burns, it is important to keep a close eye on symptoms and to see a doctor if a fever develops, if the appearance of the burn changes, or if there are any signs of infection. If scarring or tightening starts to affect the movement of muscles or joints, it’s also important to visit a medical professional. In some cases, a doctor may recommend elevating the affected area, too. For many first-and second-degree burns recovery time ranges from a few days to a few weeks.

The treatment for severe and third-degree burns is more intensive and may require life-saving measures. Someone with third-degree burns may need to be hospitalized, given fluids by IV, and be monitored to prevent shock, infection, and dehydration. More intensive pain management may be needed, and this may require IV doses of pain medication at first, too.

Many severe burns are treated with skin grafts, which involve taking undamaged skin from another part of the patient’s body to apply to the affected burn area. The area where the healthy skin is removed will then heal. In cases where a burn covers a large portion of the body and there is not enough healthy tissue for a skin graft, skin tissue may come from synthetic sources or donors.

Third-degree burns may also require consultations with specialists and ongoing treatment and monitoring. This is because these burns have risks of serious and even life-threatening complications, including:

  • Infection, which can lead to sepsis, which can be life-threatening or may lead to amputation
  • Organ failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Scarring
  • Excess fluid resulting in swelling in the tissues
  • Severe low blood pressure and resulting shock
  • Heart rhythm disturbances (most commonly caused by electric burns)
  • Severe dehydration

Whether complications develop or not, recovery from third-degree burns is complex. Patients may need occupational therapy or physical therapy to address motion challenges and to improve function and range of motion. It is also not unusual for patients to develop depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or related medical conditions when recovering from severe burns, which is why a multidisciplinary approach to recovery may be recommended.

How Can a Lawsuit Help Victims of Burn Injuries in Their Recovery?

If you have suffered a serious burn, it can be useful to speak with a burn injury lawyer. Texas law may allow you to seek compensation if your injuries were caused by someone’s negligence. Seeking compensation means you may be able to seek a cash settlement that helps you to pay for occupational and physical therapy, your hospital stay, pain medication, lost time at work, and the many other costs you may incur.

Given that the average burn-related hospital stay costs twice the average of a non-burn injury stay and that severe burns with complications can cost over $1.6 million on average or even over $10 million to treat, speaking with a Houston burn injury lawyer may be important. These costs – which are only the medical costs and do not even cover incidental costs or lost income – can be catastrophic for many burn injury survivors. A lawsuit lets you seek to recover some of these expenses so you do not need to pay them yourself. Pursuing a successful lawsuit also allows you to seek compensation so you can pay for quality care which can improve your chances of recovery.

What’s The Process Like for Seeking Legal Recovery for Burn Injuries?

If you have suffered a burn injury, your first step will likely be to consult with a burn injury lawyer. When you work with an attorney, he or she will take care of all the steps of filing a claim. This will generally involve:

  • Determining liable parties in your case
  • Filing a complaint to let all liable parties know of your claim
  • Allowing the parties to respond to the complaint
  • Going through the discovery process, during which evidence in your case is pursued and shared with all parties
  • Negotiating with the parties about any settlement offers
  • Going to trial if a settlement cannot be reached

If a settlement is reached at any point, your claim may not need to go to trial. Your attorney can help you review any settlement offers made and can also keep you apprised of the status of your claim. He or she will act in your best interests, working to get the fairest compensation possible.

How Can an Experienced Attorney at a Firm Like Johnson Garcia Law Help?

If you need a burn injury lawyer, Houston-based law firm Johnson Garcia is here to help. Our founders successfully worked for large, multinational corporations before dedicating themselves to representing those in need. Today, Johnson Garcia has many enthusiastic clients and a track record of success in securing settlements and court wins on behalf of people who have been injured.

If you have suffered a serious burn injury, a free consultation at Johnson Garcia may help you address your questions and explore the possibility of a lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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