Serious burn injuries are known to be excruciating and often fatal. Although the vast majority of burn victims treated in burn centers will survive, a great many survivors will suffer not only terrible physical and emotional scarring but long-term disability as well. While burn injuries may be accidents that occur because of the victim’s own carelessness or error in judgment, many are due to the negligence, recklessness, or even malice of others.
If you have suffered a traumatic burn injury in Northwest Florida due to the fault of another, you are entitled to significant monetary compensation. The highly skilled personal injury law firm of Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A. is well-prepared to help you obtain every dollar you deserve. During our extensive, long-term experience we have developed smart strategies that result in successful outcomes and we have the track record to prove it.
Types of Burn Injuries
According to the American Burn Association, there are four basic types of burns:
- Thermal burns due to external heat sources
- Electrical burns
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
The severity of the injury depends on the duration of contact and the tissue level affected in the burn victim. Beyond burning various layers of the skin, serious burns can result in infection, coagulation, hyperthermia, and necrosis (death of tissue).
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns commonly occur in the home due to smoking, cooking, or accidentally touching hot devices, such as irons or glue guns. Injuries involving the negligence of another take many diverse forms and occur just about anywhere. These include:
- Defective devices, appliances, medical equipment or tanning beds
- Improperly labeled sources of hot liquid or steam
- Explosions in the home, workplace, or in a public location
- Downed power lines or defective wiring
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals or other corrosive substances (e.g. household cleaning products, weedkillers, battery acid, pool chlorinators, fertilizers)
- Vehicular accidents that result in extreme heat, fires or explosions
- Improperly controlled bonfires or barbecue grills
- Illegal fireworks
It is important to remember that burn injuries can be the fault of another even if they occur in your own home.
How Staples, Ellis + Associates Can Help
If you have been hurt, for example, because a drain cleaner did not come with proper directions or warnings or because a spark from your neighbor’s illegal fireworks went into your eye, Staples, Ellis + Associates will investigate your case thoroughly, collect any pertinent data (medical, marketing, and otherwise) and interview any witnesses.
Burn injuries also commonly occur in the workplace, at construction sites or in traffic accidents. Whether you have been harmed by a negligent employer, a remiss manufacturer, an impaired or reckless driver, our accomplished attorneys will provide you with compassion and support as well as excellent legal representation. It also pays to remember that if your burn injury is the result of arson, we may well be able to sue the perpetrator in a civil case even as that individual is being criminally prosecuted.
Once we determine that you have a viable burn injury case, we will first attempt to negotiate an appropriate settlement. If the party who caused your injury or that party’s insurer is not accommodating, however, we are fully prepared to litigate your case in a court of law.
The Nature of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can have long-lasting, even deadly, consequences. These injuries, because they damage skin, and sometimes the tissue beneath it, leave the body unprotected and prone to infection. Burn victims are also susceptible to dehydration and smoke inhalation. Severe burns may result in the need for prolonged hospitalization, skin grafts, multiple surgeries, heavy scarring and disfigurement. All of this translates into financial loss as well as physical and emotional pain.
Degrees of Burn Injuries According to the National Institute of Health
Burns are medically divided into four categories according to the severity of damage to the skin, muscles, tissues, bones, and internal organs:
- First-degree burns are superficial, involving only the epidermis or first layer of skin. Though painful, causing redness and minor inflammation, first-degree burns are not, by themselves, reasons for personal injury lawsuits.
- Second-degree burns are more serious, reaching the lower level of the skin, the dermis, resulting in skin blisters and taking much longer than first-degree burns to heal. In some cases, second-degree require skin grafts.
- Third-degree burns are very severe, requiring not only skin grafts, but often reconstructive surgery, and other ongoing procedures and treatments. The damage and/or destroy hair follicles, sweat glands, and some nerves, as well as underlying tissues.
- Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns penetrate increasingly deeply and all are life-threatening. Fourth-degree burns damage fat; fifth-degree burns destroy muscle; sixth-degree burns damage bone. If victims survive these traumatic burns, they will likely suffer severe scarring, permanent motor disability, or amputation.
Damages You Deserve for Serious Burn Injuries
At Staples, Ellis + Associates, we understand the deep psychological trauma that results from catastrophic burn injuries. We are also intimately aware of the huge economic toll such injuries are likely to take on your family. For these reasons, we take our responsibility as your burn injury attorneys very seriously. We know that you are depending on us to bring you the resources to restart your life. We will, therefore, work with passion and determination to obtain:
Economic damages to cover your extensive medical costs, therapy (including physical, occupational, and psychotherapy), lost income (present and future), rehabilitative and nursing care, and property damage
Non-economic damages to provide you with some measure of compensation for your pain and suffering, disfigurement and/or permanent disability
If your burn injury was the result of especially egregious behavior on the part of the defendant, for example if that person was an arsonist or impaired driver, we may also be able to recoup punitive damages, money awarded to punish the individual who hurt you and to discourage anyone else from contemplating such awful misconduct.
Contact Our Pensacola Burn Injury Lawyer
We realize whatever damages we win for you, they will never fully compensate you for your personal suffering and that of your family. Nonetheless, we want you to know that we are dedicated to getting you a sum substantial enough to get you back on your feet, and to restore your feeling of stability and justice. Remember — the sooner you contact us, the sooner we will begin fighting tirelessly for your cause.
The Burn Injury Attorneys at Staples, Ellis & Associates serves clients in Pensacola County, Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, Walton County, and throughout Northwest Florida.