Patients may be able to get full compensation for pain and suffering caused by burns.
Burns are injuries that are caused when a person’s skin has been in contact with heat, steam, electricity, radiation, chemicals and even sunlight.
- Most burns are injuries to the person’s skin
- However, very severe burns can affect bones and even internal organs
The most common types of burns are caused by an open flame, hot surfaces, or boiling liquid. Most of these burns are superficial and considered first degree burns, even though they can be quite painful. They usually heal by themselves without a doctor’s care, and do not leave scars.
Second degree burns (or partial thickness) burns affect the lower layers of the skin. The symptoms are more intense than first degree burns and may include blistering and a mottled look to the skin. Despite their intense pain, second degree burns also heal well with little scarring if the patient receives good care.
In third degree (or full thickness) burns, all of the skin layers are involved. The skin actually has a cooked appearance, with the skin looking charred or white. Interestingly, there may be no pain with third degree burns at first because of the destruction of nerve tissue. Patients sometimes need skin grafts with this type of burn, and the burns leave dense scars as they heal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 1.1 million people need medical assistance for their burns. About 50,000 people need to be hospitalized because of their burns and 20,000 have severe burns that affect over one quarter of their body surface. About 4500 people a year die from their burns.
Burn injuries that are caused by another party could make a person eligible for compensation. They may work in an area where their employer did not take required precautions to prevent burns. A laboratory where the proper safety procedures were ignored could have subjected a worker to a severe burn caused by chemicals or heat. Another person could have suffered third degree burns in the shower because a nursing home or other facility may not have equipped showers with scald protection. In other cases, a child could have suffered burns from a firecracker or from falling into an unattended fire pit. A house fire could have been started because the electrical system was installed incorrectly. There are nearly countless ways someone else’s negligence could have led to another person suffering burns.
Besides the pain of the burn itself, other sources of the patient’s anxiety could be huge medical expenses if they’ve had to receive treatment at a burn center and then undergo rehabilitation. They may have been unable to go to work at a job that won’t compensate for time off. Fortunately, our law firm is here to help if the reason for the injury was another party’s malfeasance.
Toxic Substance Exposure
Exposure to toxic substances can result in long-term or fatal illnesses like COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. Workers who are exposed either purposely or unwittingly to toxic substances may be able to file workers’ compensation claims and recoup financial losses that stem from their injuries and illnesses.
Depending on the type of job you have, you could be exposed to any number of harmful substances including:
- Biological agents like bacteria and fungi
When you breathe in these agents, you are at a higher risk of developing respiratory illnesses that can shorten both your career and your life. You are covered under worker’s compensation laws and could file either a claim against the insurer or a case in court to pursue lost wages, medical expense reimbursement, and other compensation.
If you feel you have a workers’ compensation case, it is important that you hire an attorney experienced in this legal specialty to represent you and assist you in the process. Many states limit the time for which you must seek medical care and file a claim against your employer.