Guide By – Los Angeles Burn Injury Attorney
The Los Angeles burn injury attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm is ready to use the firm’s expertise, skills, resources, and zealous advocacy to obtain the requisite compensation for burn victims. Multiple situations may lead to burn injuries requiring the help of a top Los Angeles burn injury lawyer. You or a loved one may have suffered a burn injury after a car accident resulted in a fire. A construction accident may result in severe burns during an explosion, fire, exposure to scalding water or a harmful chemical substance, or an electrical current.
Other types of incidents may lead to burn injuries. For example, a restaurant or a coffee shop patron may get burnt with a hot soup or beverage. Any accident involving an exposure to fire, heat, friction, chemicals, or radiation may cause a burn. Regardless of the cause, burn injuries are devastating, and they wreak havoc on victims’ lives. Burns are excruciatingly painful, disfiguring, and take a long time to heal. Some burn injuries require multiple plastic, reconstructive, and skin grafting surgeries. A compassionate and skillful lawyer at this firm is always ready to fight for justice on behalf of burn victims.
Burn Injury Statistics
Based on the statistical data from the American Burn Association, in the United States:
- Each year, burn injuries cause approximately 3,400 deaths.
- Every 2 hours and 40 minutes, one civilian dies due to a fire.
- Every hour, fires cause approximately 2 civilian burn injuries.
Causes of Burns
Most burns are preventable. Typically, burns occur due to someone’s negligence or failure to comply with safety standards, procedures and regulations. While the number of potential burn-causing scenarios is infinite, the most common causes of burns are as follows:
- Car Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
Other Causes of Burn Injuries
- Medical Malpractice (e.g. laser hair removal)
- Defective products
- Slip & Fall Accidents (and other Unsafe Premises incidents)
Based on the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), young children are more likely than adults to sustain scalding burn injuries due to hot liquids. If a residential water heater is set to an unsafely high temperature, it may lead to a child getting burnt with scalding hot water in the bathroom or in the kitchen. Water temperatures that exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit may instantly lead to severe scalding burns or even death. Therefore, for safety reasons, the industry standard is to set water heater thermostats to 120 degrees Fahrenheit maximum. In residential rental properties, the failure to set the thermostat to an appropriate temperature frequently leads to scalding burns.
Classification of Burns
Based on the degree of skin damage, burns are divided into four types called “degrees”:
- First-degree burns: This type of burns is considered relatively mild. First-degree burns cause pain and redness of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin).
- Second-degree burns: These burns are medically called “partial thickness burns” since they involve both the epidermis and the dermis (the lower layer of skin). Victims of second-degree burns experience swelling, blistering, redness, and pain.
- Third-degree burns: These burns are referred to as “full thickness burns”. They affect the dermis area of the skin and, in some cases, may involve deeper layers of tissue such as the hypodermis. The skin in the area of a third-degree burn appears charred and discolored (blackened or white). These burns may destroy nerves, which causes numbness.
- Fourth-degree burns: This is the most severe type of a burn injury, because it extends deep into the muscles, tendons, and bones. With this type of burns, the hypodermis may be end up being completely burned. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of skin, which is in close proximity to the muscles. If hypodermis is destroyed, it may lead to compartment syndrome and further damage to the nerve endings and muscles. Excessive and severe fourth-degree burns may even cause death.
Types of Burns (burn-causing mechanisms)
Commonly, burns are caused when the skin is exposed to the following:
- Fire and flames
- Hot metal, glass, or melting plastic (thermal burns)
- Hot liquid or steam (e.g. scalding burns caused by boiling water)
- Chemicals such as strong acids, paint thinners, gasoline, or lye (chemical burns)
- Dragging of skin along asphalt or other abrasive surfaces (friction burns)
- Electrical currents (electrical burns)
- Gamma Radiation (e.g. X-rays)
- Ultraviolet radiation (e.g. sunlight, tanning beds)
- Laser (e.g. hair removal procedures)
Symptoms of a Burn Injury
Some burn symptoms show up immediately, and others may be delayed. Also, symptoms depend on the degree of a burn. These are the typical burn injury symptoms:
- Peeling skin
- Inflammation of skin
- Infected skin
- Exposed tissue or bone
- Temperature changes (warm skin)
- Skin discoloration (red, green, white, or charred / black skin that appears to be dying)
- Pain (the level of pain is not an indication of burn severity, because the most serious burns can be painless)
- Shock (pale and clammy skin, bluish lips and fingernails, weakness, and decreased alertness.)
Consequences of Burn Injuries
When someone suffers a burn injury, the first priority in stabilizing the patient is to address the shock and prevent excessive blood loss. In addition, since bacteria can find their way into the bloodstream through the broken skin, steps must be taken to prevent an infection (e.g. antibiotic medications and ointments). Pain must be promptly managed as well, because uncontrolled pain may cause death.
The long-term consequences of burn injuries change victims’ lives forever. If someone survives a serious burn, the road to recovery is long, slow and arduous. The recovery process frequently involves physical therapy as well as many plastic, reconstructive, and skin grafting procedures. In complicated cases, burns can cause nerve or tissue damage, impair the body’s sweating mechanisms, and otherwise negatively impact other body functions. Burns can also cause scars and disfigurement. Additionally, burns may diminish a victim’s earning capacity (i.e. the ability to earn a living), especially if the person’s appearance was a necessary attribute in their profession (e.g. actors and TV reporters).
However, most burn injuries are not limited to just the skin. Depending on the location and the degree of the burns, these injuries can deal a devastating blow to the victim’s psychological wellbeing. The psychological trauma, in turn, may cause low self-esteem and depression requiring long-term counseling sessions and psychological therapy.
The Los Angeles burn injury attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm is ready to work diligently to achieve a financial compensation for the pain and suffering, and economic damages (past and future medical expenses, loss of income and earning capacity, and other damages depending on the case) sustained as a result of someone’s negligence. These firm advocates zealously for the rights of burn victims. This firm is the burn injury lawyer Los Angeles residents can rely on to achieve the justice you they are entitled to.
What Damages Can be Recovered in Burn Injury Cases?
Victims of burn injuries can claim the following two main types of damages: Non-Economic and Economic damages. In some situations, those who have suffered a burn injury may potentially seek Punitive Damages. For cases involving future care, the Los Angeles burn injury attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm retains top expert physicians, life care planners, and economists to evaluate clients’ needs and present the best case on their behalf. A detailed discussion of the recoverable damages is included on the Personal Injury Damages page of this website.
Take Action! Promptly Contact a Los Angeles Burn Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you believe someone’s carelessness caused your or your loved one’s burn injury, please call or fill out an electronic contact form today to request a free consultation. Cherepinskiy Law Firm, as the Los Angeles burn injury lawyer, will work in a tireless and compassionate manner in a personal injury or a wrongful death case to make sure you are compensated for your injuries and losses.
This firm fights for clients throughout California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, as well as Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Resources from Organizations:
American Burn Association (burn survivor resources): https://ameriburn.org/public-resources/burn-survivor-resources/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (burn triage and treatment): https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/burns.htm
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (guideline for understanding burn injuries): https://msktc.org/burn/factsheets/Understanding_Burn_Injury
American Psychological Association (guideline regarding emotional recovery from disaster): http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx