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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.