Over one million burn injuries require medical attention each year in the United States, according to the CDC. Burn victims suffer chronic pain, scarring, and disfigurement, not to mention intense psychological trauma from their experiences. If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury because of someone else’s irresponsible actions, the civil court system can hold that party accountable.
You need Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. We represent burn injury victims in these suburban Maryland counties and other locations:
- Prince George’s County
- Montgomery County
- Calvert County
- Charles County
- St. Mary’s County
The Different Degrees Of A Burn Injury
Understanding the different degrees of burn injuries can help you or your loved one know what sort of medical treatment is in store. There are three degrees of burns:
First-degree. A first-degree burn will damage the top layer of the skin, causing redness, swelling, blistering, sensitivity, and mild to moderate pain. These burns are usually treated with first aid and home care.
Second-degree. Second-degree burns injure the first two skin layers. Common signs of a second-degree burn are deep reddening, blisters, and intense pain. A second-degree burn can cause scarring and may require a skin graft. Medical attention is necessary.
Third-degree. A third-degree burn penetrates all layers of skin and destroys tissue. Permanent scarring and dry, leathery skin are common. Surprisingly, these burns are often painless, although surrounding first- and second-degree burns can cause pain. Skin grafts are required, and infection is a major risk.
Seek immediate medical attention for a second- or third-degree burn. Failure to do so could cause significant, even life-threatening complications.
Common Causes Of Burn Injuries
Burns can result from exposure to a number of different substances and items. Among the most common causes of burn injuries are:
- Home, office, and business fires
- Defective or damaged consumer products
- Appliance, gas grill, and water heater explosions and fires
- Scalding from water and other excessively hot liquids
- Hot glass, metal, and other objects
- Chemical burns from acids
- Electric shock from exposed wiring
Health Complications From Burn Injuries
Hospitalization is usually required to treat a burn, and the recovery will be painful. Skin grafts and reconstructive surgery are typically needed, and these may leave permanent scars. But the real threat for many victims comes from infection and sepsis. These problems may require additional hospitalization and can lead to death if not properly treated. Even after the victim leaves the hospital, treatment continues with plastic surgery, physical therapy, and follow-up medical appointments.
Although the physical injury from a burn is readily identifiable, not everyone considers the psychological impact. Burns often occur in serious and sometimes near-death incidents like fires and explosions. The victim may suffer mental and emotional trauma as a result and require psychiatric treatment to cope with the intense circumstances surrounding the burn. These psychological effects can stay with the victim for the rest of their life.
The Financial Costs Of Burn Injuries
Burn victims incur significant medical expenses following their injury. Hospitalization, plastic surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and prescription drugs are costly. Follow-up appointments may be necessary, especially if complications like sepsis develop.
After a burn injury, the victim will lose time from work during recovery. It will also be necessary to take off work for surgeries, skin grafts, and other procedures. Even routine doctor appointments to make sure recovery is progressing will require time away from the job.
Many burn victims will never recover the ability to work at the same level of productivity as before, especially if their work is physical. The injury can, therefore, have consequences for the victim’s career prospects and long-term earnings. Over the course of the victim’s working life, this lost income adds up to a significant amount of money.
The financial compensation that a burn victim deserves has to take these, and other, future expenses and losses into account. That’s why having a knowledgeable Maryland burn injury attorney is so important.
What Should I Do After A Burn Injury?
After getting the medical attention you need, speak with an experienced burn injury lawyer. Your lawyer’s job is to determine whether your injuries were the result of someone’s negligence. Negligence means someone breached a duty of care that was owed to you, which thereby caused the burn injury and resulted in damages.
These are some examples of how negligence can cause burn injuries:
- Selling a defective toy that burns a child’s skin
- Leaving electrical wiring exposed in a home, office, or business
- Blocking a fire exit during a fire at a bar
- Negligent supervision at a daycare, allowing a child to be scalded by hot water
- Causing an automobile accident that results in a fire
Regardless of the exact circumstances in your case, your lawyer will gather the evidence that proves the responsible party’s negligence. Another thing your attorney will do is determine if more than one party is at fault for your burn. For example, if you were burned because of a defective consumer product, there could be several companies – from the retailer back to the manufacturer – who might be liable.
Finally, your Maryland burn injury attorney will help assign a reasonable dollar amount to your case. This is important because once your case settles or goes to trial, you won’t get to demand more money later. Our network of expert witnesses and other professionals can help Maryland burn injury victims get the compensation they deserve.
Contact Our Maryland Burn Injury Attorneys
Not all personal injury attorneys are experienced with the specific issues that arise in burn cases. But at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, we’ve helped countless burn victims get the compensation they need to get on the path toward recovery. When our firm retains a client, we fight from start to finish to achieve the outcome they deserve. Contact us today to begin your case.