Burns are among the most physically and psychologically devastating injuries a person can experience, and severe burns are often fatal. Survivors of these injuries often face lengthy hospitalizations, surgeries, painful recoveries, scarring, and sometimes permanent loss of function.
If you have suffered burns in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover damages. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney could offer sound advice about your legal rights. Consult with a Lancaster burn injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to put yourself in the strongest position to walk away with a fair settlement.
The medical severity and significance of a burn depends on how deeply it penetrates the skin and how much damage it does to the underlying structures. In addition to skin damage, burns evoke an intense inflammatory response. Shock and infection are frequent complications of burn injuries that could lead to death.
The long-term prognosis for burn injuries depends on both the severity of the burn and the portion of the body affected. A small, very severe burn might have less of an impact on a person’s future quality of life than a less severe burn that covers more of the body.
First-degree burns typically affect only the outermost layer of skin and heal quickly without medical intervention. Second-degree burns penetrate several layers of skin and cause blistering. Deep second-degree burns can take several weeks to heal, might require skin grafts, and could leave scars.
Third-degree burns involve all the layers of skin and could affect underlying structures. Healing requires skin grafts. The skin often contracts as it heals, making close medical supervision important to preserve and regain maximum possible functioning.
Fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns involve destruction of the skin down to the bone. These burns, when not fatal, might leave the victim with severe scarring and permanent disability in the affected area.
The party whose negligence led to the accident that caused the person’s burn will typically be held liable in a claim for damages. In some accidents, there could be more than one liable party.
House fires cause many burn injuries, and defective wiring often causes this occurrence. Depending on the circumstances, an electrician, a landlord, a product manufacturer or even a local government could have some liability for a house or apartment fire.
Burns sustained in motor vehicle accidents could be due to another driver’s negligence, but also might be the fault of the manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its components. Similarly, there could be many potential causes of an industrial accident. Regardless of the circumstances of a burn injury, a knowledgeable attorney in Lancaster could pinpoint all examples of potential negligence and attempt to hold each negligent party accountable.
It is not unusual for an injured person’s own behavior to have contributed to the accident that caused their burn. 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated § 7102 permits a negligent plaintiff to collect damages from other parties who bear greater responsibility for an accident. However, a court will reduce their damages by the percentage of their degree of fault.
Insurers and defense lawyers could use this law to limit the amount of compensation to settle a burn victim’s claim, as they could assert that the injured person bears most of the fault for the accident. A skilled burn injury lawyer at McDonald at Law could push back against these attempts, demand a reasonable settlement, and insist that the injured individual bear no more than their fair share of the responsibility.
If you have suffered severe burns in an accident, state law allows you two years to bring a personal injury claim. It is critical to seek legal advice long before this limit expires, even if you intend to avoid court. As long as a claim is a possibility, negligent parties and their insurers are more likely to engage in good-faith negotiations and offer a reasonable settlement. An award-winning Lancaster burn accident lawyer could oversee the investigation of your accident and handle your case, ensuring you do not accept less than you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.