Severe burns could change a person’s life forever. Injuries could lead to disfigurement, significant nerve damage, and even death. Individuals who survive a burned face increased health risks from infections and other medical issues. The financial burden that goes along with these injuries can also be significant. Thankfully, a compassionate catastrophic injury attorney could help you seek the recovery of monetary damages from the responsible party.
An Altoona burn injury lawyer could review the facts of your case and guide you on the strength of your claim. In the right circumstances, you may have a viable injury claim against the person that caused your burns. Schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options with an attorney.
Types of Burn Injuries
While the word ‘burn” brings to mind an injury caused by extreme heat, the reality is that burn injuries can result from a multitude of factors, including chemicals and electricity. Regardless of the cause, an Altoona attorney with experience handling burn lawsuits might be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
The most common types of burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns: Injuries caused by contact with hot objects
- Friction burns: Injuries caused by the skin making contact with the ground or other objects
- Cold burns: Injuries caused by contact with extremely cold objects
- Radiation burns: Injuries caused by invisible radiation, including sunburns
- Chemical burns: Injuries caused by contact with abrasive substances
- Electrical burns: Injuries caused by electrical currents passing through the body
The Four Degrees of Burn Injuries
In addition to the cause of a burn, these injuries also fall into different categories based on their severity. These categories are known as degrees, with first-degree burns carrying the least severe consequences and fourth-degree burns being the most severe.
First-degree burns are the least severe type of burn injury. Also known as superficial burns, these injuries involve redness and swelling and rarely last more than a few days.
Second-degree burns are far more painful than first-degree burns. These burns impact the outer layer of skin as well as several layers underneath and cause redness, pain, and blisters.
Third-degree burns are severe injuries that must be treated immediately. The symptoms include charred or blackened skin and damage every layer of skin. These injuries often destroy the nerves at the burn site.
Fourth-degree burns are the most dangerous. These burns destroy not only the skin but also the muscle and bone underneath. Some of these burns can result in death.
What is the Impact of a Severe Burn?
A severe burn can mean not only severe pain. If the skin has been damaged, a person may have an open wound that could lead to other types of complications such as an infection. There could be scarring, disfigurement, and even with healing, there may be a permanent mark on the body where the burn occurred. That can have psychological implications in terms of self-esteem if it is on prominent areas of the body such as the head, face, hands, and forearms.
There can also be post-traumatic stress arising from the burn incident if a person came into contact with a live wire, scalding hot water, or a fire. The person may psychologically continue to relive that incident up to the present day.
There can also be financial challenges, such as a person unable to work in their same capacity. That can significantly alter their long-term financial situation in terms of how they are going to pay their bills and make ends meet. With extensive medical treatments required for recovery, this could result in serious financial burdens.
Can a Person Seek Compensation If They Share Fault?
While a plaintiff may have the right to seek compensation from a defendant that caused their burn injury, special rules apply when the plaintiff was partially at fault. Under 42 Pa. C.S.§ 7102, Pennsylvania has adopted a legal standard known as the modified comparative negligence rule.
Under this rule, a plaintiff may still recover damages if they are partially at fault, so long as their negligence does not surpass that of the defendant’s.
The statute also provides that a plaintiff’s degree of fault will diminish their recovery in proportion to their percentage of fault. In other words, if a plaintiff is 20 percent responsible for the accident, they can recover 80 percent of their available damages. An experienced burn injury lawyer in Altoona could help an injured victim recover the compensation they deserve.
How an Altoona Burn Injury Attorney Could Help
An Altoona burn injury lawyer could be your advocate during your pursuit of damages related to your burn injury. Compassionate legal counsel could work to ease the burden brought on by your burn injuries. To get started with your burn injury case, contact us for a consultation with an Altoona personal injury lawyer familiar with burn injuries at Marcus & Mack.