Burn injuries are often painful experiences that require weeks of physical rehabilitation. The mental health effects of burns can be lifelong. According to one researcher, in the United States, about 41% of burn injuries are from flames, 31% from scalding, 3.5% from chemical burns, and 3.6% from electrical burns. Thermal burns can come from severe heat, but they may also come from severe cold, such as frostbite [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7224101/].
A serious burn can be a catastrophic injury that requires extensive medical intervention and skin grafts. Even a less serious burn can impact your quality of life, restricting your movement, causing pain, and preventing you from engaging in life as you once did.
Burn injuries lawyers can make the road to recovery a bit easier by safeguarding your legal rights and working with you to pursue fair compensation.
What Does a Burn Injury Lawyer Do?
Burn damage can come from many different causes. Often the event that led to the burn accident becomes a legal issue. It might be possible to sue if the burns were because of another person’s negligence. Examples of possible negligence include:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
A burn injuries lawyer uses investigation and evidence-gathering to help determine what happened. Working on behalf of burn injury victims, they assess who might be at fault. Then they can file a lawsuit, insurance claim, or other legal mechanism to seek the compensation you are entitled to receive.
6 Signs You Need To Hire a Burn Injury Lawyer
As a burn injury victim, you need to devote your time and energy to healing. A burn injury lawyer can provide the help and guidance you need, particularly if you encounter roadblocks in getting financial support.
Severe Burn Injuries
If you have severe burn injuries, a burn attorney can provide legal support to access the right medical treatment and to seek coverage of your medical costs. Even if your burns heal, you might experience long-term physical, mental, and emotional side effects from the accident.
The severity of a burn injury is determined by the extent of the burn and how deeply it goes into the body, as follows [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7224101/]:
- First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin
- Second-degree burns affect deeper skin layers and may require surgery to heal
- Third-degree burns go through all layers of skin
- Fourth-degree burns go through the skin to the underlying muscles or bone
Burn victims require immediate medical attention, especially if they experience severe burns. It can take many weeks to heal from severe burns, and even if a person does heal physically, there might be noticeable scarring and long-lasting consequences on mental health.
The course of your recovery from severe burns might be unpredictable, even if you are working with excellent doctors. A burn accident attorney can help you retain your legal rights to seek compensation from those who caused your injuries.
Liability Is Being Questioned
Sometimes a person with a burn injury has a conflict with the individual who might be responsible. A person with electrical burns from a defective household appliance, for example, might get resistance from the product manufacturer. In these cases, it’s particularly important to work with a burn injuries attorney. They can make it clear to the company that you are serious about asserting your legal rights, including going to trial if necessary.
Delayed or Long-Term Health Complications
Even the best doctors can underestimate the depth and severity of a burn injury. It might take a few weeks to determine whether a burn has penetrated the deeper layer of skin [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430795/]. Many people also experience long-term mental health complications of burn injuries, such as [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430795/]:
- Psychological trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lower body image
Therefore, your medical needs might change over the course of your recovery. A burn victim lawyer's responsibility is to preserve your legal right to pursue fair compensation. That includes not settling an insurance claim or burn injury lawsuit before knowing the full extent of your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
Insurance Company Disputes
Insurance coverage can provide welcome relief after a serious accident or injury. However, sometimes insurance companies makes it difficult to pursue the compensation you deserve. Some examples of disputes you might have after a burn injury include:
- Denial of your claim for medical compensation
- Denial of your claim for income replacement or disability
- Insurer saying your benefits are “maxed out”
- Insurer saying certain treatments are not covered
- Insurer asking for additional medical opinions or more documentation
If you experience any roadblocks to obtaining an insurance payout, a burn injury lawyer can step in as your advocate. That might include speaking to the insurer for you or gathering additional documentation about your medical, psychological, and support needs.
Loss of Income and Wages
Rehabilitation and healing take time after a burn injury. You might lose income or wages because of time away from work. A burn injury lawyer can assist with this, whether it is helping you with your insurance claim or including your income loss as part of a burn injury lawsuit.
Emotional Distress, Physical Pain, and Suffering
Serious burns can be considered a catastrophic injury. Although there’s no legal definition of catastrophic injury, it might help to think of it as a life-changing injury. You might be able to live a full and meaningful life after the injury, but you will probably need support to do so.
Financial compensation cannot undo the damage from severe burns. However, compensation for your experience of emotional distress, physical pain, and suffering can help you access the support you need to move forward. If you are living with a catastrophic burn injury, your best chance of getting fair compensation is working with a burn injury attorney.
Consult an Experienced Burn Injury Attorney
A burn injury attorney can answer the questions you have about your case, from typical 2nd degree burn compensation to resources for medical treatment in Pennsylvania. The burn injury attorneys at McEldrew Purtell are dedicated to helping people who have experienced harm. While you heal, we go to work. For a free consultation, contact us today.