At Cuthbert Law Offices, our burn injury lawyers handle all kinds of burn-related accidents. Many of you might immediately think of the famous 1992 McDonald’s coffee case when you think of burn injury lawsuits. (Liebeck vs. McDonalds). However, burn injury accidents come in all shapes and sizes.
THE VARIOUS TYPES OF BURN INJURIES
They include adults and children burned or killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents (often involving tractor-trailer trucks) defective products, gas explosions, natural gas explosions, malfunctioning furnaces and boilers, house fires, chemical contact, nuclear radiation, scalding liquids, contact with high-voltage electric lines and other scenarios involving negligence.
THE 5TH LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATHS
Burn injuries are often more devastating and more frequent than you might expect. They are the fifth leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States. The National Institutes for Health (NIH) notes that approximately 4,500 burn fatalities occur annually in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that approximately 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention every year, approximately 50,000 burn injuries require hospitalization, and approximately 20,000 are major burns that involve at least 25 percent of the total body surface. In addition to the 4,500 people who die from their burn injuries, approximately 10,000 die every year from burn-related infections.
Severe burn injuries are different from all other types of injuries . . . both in treatment and recovery. At Cuthbert Law Offices, we know this from experience. Burn injuries can be physically devastating, often requiring lengthy hospital stays, followed by intensive rehabilitation. For example, burn injury victims can suffer from secondary infections at both the burn site itself and the skin graft site, requiring additional in-patient hospitalization and antibiotic therapy, as well as long-term physical, occupational, and vocational therapy. In cases of severe burn injuries, victims may require treatment in specialized burn care centers where they can be attended to by medical professionals around the clock for days, weeks, and, in some cases, years.
Burn injuries are classified as superficial, partial thickness, and full thickness, depending on how deeply the tissue is affected:
- Superficial—First-degree burns are superficial burns to the first layer of skin (epidermis) that cause redness, swelling, and minor pain, such as a sunburn. They usually heal on their own and do not cause permanent damage.
- Partial Thickness—Second-degree burns cause damage to two layers of the skin, from the epidermis to the dermis. Second-degree burns usually don’t require surgery but scarring may result. Some victims opt for skin grafting if they have suffered extensive injuries. Second-degree burns can cause pain, sensitivity, redness, and blisters.
- Full Thickness—Third-degree burns are extremely serious. All layers of skin are affected, as well as underlying tissue, producing a brown or black leathery appearance. They require surgical skin grafting or transplantation. Skin grafting is usually required.
- Fourth-Degree (Previously Unclassified) burns extend into the muscle beneath the skin (as classified by the Journal of the American Medical Association).
Burn injuries also present another, often unseen, challenge. Many burn injury victims suffer a broad range of psychological injuries. Burn victims report many emotional problems resulting from their burns and treatment, including chronic pain-induced depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), facial and body-wide scarring and disfigurement, night terrors, and other sleep disorders.
WE KNOW THE EXPERTS & WE KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU
At Cuthbert Law Offices, our burn injury lawyers have ready access to experts as to the cause and origin of burn injuries as well as experts skilled in assessing the economic consequences of a burn injury (including pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, past medical care, and future medical care).
Our offices are located in both Richmond and Petersburg, giving us easy access to the Evans-Haynes Burn Center at VCU Medical Center as well as to the homes of people living in the cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, and South Hill and the counties of Hanover, Chesterfield, Henrico, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Nottoway, Mecklenburg, Sussex, and Surry.
When selecting a personal injury lawyer in connection with a claim involving serious burn injuries, choosing an experienced burn injury attorney matters. At Cuthbert Law Offices, we understand and appreciate the unique needs of burn victims and their families. We recognize that burn victims often require the long-term care of medical experts to treat their physical and emotional trauma.