One of the most devastating things a human can experience is a burn injury, which is why a compassionate West Virginia burn injury attorney at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC is here to help in the event you or a loved one sustains a horrific burn injury caused by the negligence of another. According to the World Health Organization, burn injuries occur when the skin or other tissue is damaged.
Common Burn Injury Sources
Causes of burn injuries include:
- Chemical contact
- Defective products
- Fume ignitions
- Flammable liquids
- Gas explosions
- Scalding hot liquids
- Respiratory damage from smoke inhalation
- Other reactions and reasons
Burn injuries result from a myriad of causes, including fires, explosions, and contact with dangerous chemicals. If you were harmed in a burn injury that was caused by another’s negligence, you may seek compensation by hiring a seasoned Charleston personal injury lawyer and filing a claim. If a loved relative lost their life in a burn injury accident, you may seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Tiano O’Dell, PLLC is a premier plaintiff’s rights law firm located in Charleston and has helped thousands of clients obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries throughout West Virginia. A free case consultation is available to discuss your case.
Burn Injury Statistics
The American Burn Association compiles burn injury data from various sources, including U.S. Vital Statistics. The following figures are worth noting:
- An estimated 485,000 burn injuries required hospital emergency room treatment (hospital outpatient clinics, urgent care centers and private doctor’s offices) in 2016.
- An estimated 2,745 deaths resulted from residential fires.
- An estimated 530 deaths resulted from other causes, including:
- Car accidents
- Aircraft crashes
- Contact with electricity, hot liquids, chemicals/hot liquids and other substances
- The odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames, or smoke is 1 in 1442.
Terminology & Types of Burns
- Chemical burns: may take time to manifest; deep tissue damage may develop over time.
- Electrical burns: faulty home wiring cause thousands of fires each year, hundreds of deaths, and thousands of injuries.
- Thermal burns: the most common of burn injuries, thermal burns include sun burns, fire burns, and steam burns.
- Scalds: burns that are caused when hot water or steam makes contact with the skin.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries may be mild, moderate, severe, or fatal. Approximately 75% of the patients who die from serious burn injuries die from infections. Many burn injury patients die from pneumonia
Other dangers include:
- Pulmonary failure
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Bacterial infection
Treatment by Burn Severity
- First degree burns are the least serious and usually heal in a week or less
- Superficial second degree burns may result in local infections, blisters, and may heal in two to three weeks
- Deep partial thickness second degree burns are serious and often results in scarring, contractures, and often requires skin grafts. Extensive scarring is normal and expected. Healing takes place over a prolonged period of time.
- Third degree burns are extremely dangerous and extends completely through the skin. Amputation may be required for those limbs that have been significantly burned.
- Fourth degree burns are the most serious and extends into the muscle and bone. The skin actually becomes black and charred. Amputation and gangrene is not uncommon. Fourth degree burns are often fatal.
Treating Severe Burn Injuries
Burn victims who have access to the correct treatment immediately following the burn incident have the best chance for survival:
- First aid requires intravenous administration of fluids into the body
- The patient’s breathing passages must be assessed and if there are blockages, they must be cleared
- Protecting the burned skin with sterile gauze and bandages is essential
- Complications may include shock, infection, organ dysfunction, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress
- Depending on the severity of the burn, long term hospitalization may be required
- Skin grafts, amputations and excisions are frequent with more serious burns
- Long term treatment includes physical rehabilitation, prosthetic limbs, physical therapy, psychological counseling, vocational rehabilitation and the possibility of future, extensive skin grafts
- Secondary infections are common; the burn victim will normally require numerous medications for life
If you experienced burn injuries that were caused by another’s negligent actions, you may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and more. If you were harmed in an industrial accident or if a defective product caused burn injuries, compensation may be available from the responsible parties.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Burn Injuries?
If you sustained burn injuries in an accident that was caused by another’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct, it is essential to obtain effective and aggressive legal representation from an experienced and savvy burn injury attorney in West Virginia. Tiano O’Dell, PLLC may utilize the professional services of forensics scientists, investigators, and engineers to conduct a thorough investigation of the events that caused your burn injuries. This evidence may be used in pretrial negotiations with insurance providers.
If a satisfactory settlement is not offered by the insurance company or other responsible party, our attorneys will not hesitate to take your case to trial for a verdict. As Top 100 Trial Lawyers, West Virginia burn injury lawyers Tony O’Dell and William Tiano have the courtroom expertise to present your case in the most convincing manner possible.
Skin Grafts for Burn Victims
Burn injury victims commonly require extensive and ongoing skin grafting procedures. Skin grafting is the process of replacing damaged burn tissue with healthy tissue; healthy skin tissue is taken from other parts of the burn victim’s body. For example, damaged arm skin tissue may be replaced with healthy tissue from the victim’s leg. Skin grafts may serve two purposes:
- Functional skin grafts – replacing tissue to restore normal bodily function
- Cosmetic skin grafts – for cosmetic enhancement such as facial disfigurement
Skin grafts are extremely painful. Multiple skin grafts are often required in burn victims. Skin grafting is an extremely costly procedure that often requires long term hospitalization. Some burn victims require a lifetime of skin graft procedures. Children often require repeated skin graft procedures because of their continual growth.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
In addition to expensive medical treatment, burn victims endure severe physical and emotional pain. If your burn injury was caused by another person’s negligence, you may seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Typically, compensation is sought for:
- Medical expenses – includes hospitalization, treatment, therapy, medication
- Lost income – starting from the time of the accident and projected until recovery
- Pain and suffering – burn victims usually experience incomprehensible pain and suffering
- Other compensation
If you were injured in a burn accident, it is essential to obtain qualified and aggressive legal representation from highly experienced and successful West Virginia personal injury attorneys. Tiano O’Dell, PLLC is recognized as West Virginia Super Lawyers and Top 100 Trial Lawyers, distinctions that have been earned for dedicated and exceptional client service. They have recovered significant sums for thousands of clients in Charleston and throughout West Virginia. In most cases, settlements are agreed upon and a trial is not necessary. However, when the insurance company does not agree to a fair and generous settlement, we will not hesitate to take the case to court for a trial before a jury; juries tend to be most sympathetic to burn victims.
Free Case Evaluation with a West Virginia Burn Injury Attorney
The attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC have two primary goals: to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries and to hold the wrongdoer accountable for his or her actions. Our Charleston-based law firm has earned the distinguished Super Lawyer rating for superior client service and professional achievement. We offer a complimentary case evaluation that will give you the opportunity to ask questions about your case. There are no fees involved unless we win your case. To schedule your free consultation with a Charleston personal injury lawyer, call our office at (304) 720-6700.