Many kinds of accidents that occur in Columbia, SC, can cause burns. These wounds are usually excruciating and leave scars — external and internal reminders of the accident that caused them.
The shock, pain and horror often leave the sufferer unsure of what they need to do, especially if someone else caused the accident. Fortunately, the Columbia burn injury lawyers at Shealey Law Firm are waiting to help. Contact our catastrophic injury attorneys in Columbia to begin your case today.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
Direct contact with and close proximity to fire or toxic substances can cause burns. There are four categories of burns: chemical, electrical, radiation and thermal. Many sources can be responsible for burn injuries, both directly and indirectly, such as:
- Car, truck, motorcycle and other vehicle accidents
- Apartment or house fires, recreational fires
- Dangerous or defective products
- Electrical or chemical fires, exposure and explosions
Blocked exits and poor evacuation plans contribute to the likelihood of sustaining burns in a fire. Many times, other people’s actions or inactions cause or contribute to these wounds. In those cases, the responsible party may be liable to compensate you for damages.
Your Columbia burn injury attorneys from Shealey Law Firm can assist you with your insurance claim and possible lawsuit.
What Are the Degrees of Burn Injuries?
Medical personnel classify burns by how many layers of skin the wound penetrates. Burns can progress after an accident, worsening over time.
- First-degree: Considered superficial, these burns affect only the outer skin layer and typically don’t produce long-lasting effects.
- Second-degree: These burns affect part of the second skin layer in addition to the outer layer, usually creating blisters, redness, swelling and pain.
- Third-degree: The burn destroys the two top skin layers and can damage the deepest layer. Wounds can appear charred and blackened or white.
- Fourth-degree: Destroying all layers of skin, these burns go deeper and potentially involve bone and muscles. Wounds destroy nerve endings, producing numbness.
While some burns affect only small areas, others involve a large portion of the body. Physicians consider the size of the burned area, the burn degree and other factors to develop treatment plans.
What Are Treatment Options for Serious Burns?
Medical professionals consider the patient’s age, health condition, burn degree, location and percentage of affected body area to determine treatment options. Burn victims may require treatment at burn centers if they have:
- Third- or fourth-degree burns
- Existing health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes
- At least 10% of their body surface area affected
- Chemical or electrical burns, or additional inhalation injuries
- Burns in specific body areas, such as feet, face, groin or hands
These types of burns require in-depth and extensive treatments that many healthcare facilities are unable to provide.
Depending on the burn’s severity and other factors, treatment options include:
- Cold water
- Ointments, creams and dressings
- Antibiotics, pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications
- Debriding affected areas and intravenous fluids
- Skin graft surgery
Most burns are highly susceptible to infection, requiring close monitoring. Some severely burned patients need induced sedation, breathing assistance and IV nutrition.
Many burns leave visible scars, but the wounds are often internal as well, leaving patients with anxiety and emotional scars. These victims often need mental health therapy and medications to cope with their trauma.
How Can Our Columbia Burn Injury Lawyers Help?
If someone else caused or contributed to causing the accident that burned you, you deserve compensation for your damages. Unfortunately, liable insurance companies typically don’t offer reasonable settlement amounts. Many people are unaware that they can negotiate to obtain higher compensation, but your attorney from Shealey Law Firm will fight to protect your rights.
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may have grounds to file motor vehicle or premises liability claims. You might also qualify to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one died from their burns.
To hold someone else liable, we must first conduct a thorough investigation. We will search for evidence proving that another party’s negligence caused your injuries:
- Someone owed you a duty of care (acting with reasonable care to prevent accidents).
- That party breached their duty of care.
- The breach resulted in an accident.
- The accident directly caused your injuries.
After we find this proof, your Shealey Law Firm attorney will negotiate with liable insurance companies to obtain maximum compensation for you. We will attempt to avoid a trial, but we won’t hesitate to file a legal case if your claim’s circumstances warrant it.
How Much Is a Burn Injury Settlement Worth?
Every accident is different, and each person’s injuries and losses vary significantly. Your settlement amount considers your financial losses, the severity of your physical and internal wounds and the intent of the responsible party. We will assess your case and give you an approximate value during your free consultation.
Burns produce specific financial losses, and economic damages reimburse you for qualifying expenses, such as:
- Medical treatments (current and future)
- Lost wages
- Replacement services
- Property damage
Compensation amounts match your expenses exactly, so keep bills and receipts.
These damages compensate for wounds other than the physical burns, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement and disability
- Losing the ability to enjoy life
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
The severity of these injuries and how significantly they impact your life affects compensation amounts. Insurance companies rarely pay these damages willingly, but a competent Columbia burn injury attorney from Shealey Law Firm will seek all eligible compensation on your behalf.
In rare cases, the guilty party exhibits willfully malicious or negligent behaviors. Punitive damages serve as further punishment. Few victims qualify for these damages.
Reach Out to Our Columbia Burn Injury Attorneys
The Columbia burn injury lawyers at Shealey Law Firm have extensive experience focused on personal injury law, in-depth knowledge of local laws and legal procedures, strong negotiating skills and an unwavering determination to protect their clients’ rights. We have a proven track record handling a multitude of personal injury cases, earning us five stars on Google reviews.
Requesting a case evaluation doesn’t cost anything and can potentially dramatically increase the compensation you receive. Contact us 24/7 by calling 803-590-3917 or submitting our online case consultation request form.