Did you suffer a burn injury in an incident that was someone else’s fault? Recovering from a burn injury can require intensive medical treatment and long-term wound care and rehabilitation. It also may cause serious financial difficulties due to piling medical expenses, especially if you cannot work while recovering or due to permanent disabilities you’ve suffered.
If your burn injury was caused by somebody else’s negligence, contact D. Michael Mullori, Jr., Attorney at Law for a free initial claim evaluation. A Prince William County burn injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Since 1999, attorney Mike Mullori has dedicated his career to fighting for the interests of accident victims in Virginia. With a singular focus on personal injury law, Mike has developed the knowledge and experience to take on insurance companies and at-fault parties to demand accountability and justice for his clients. Mike purposely limits his caseload so he can devote the time, energy, and resources each client deserves. He will work hard to obtain the best possible outcome for you, whether through a negotiated settlement or by taking your case to trial if necessary.
When you’ve sustained a burn injury due to another party’s fault, you may have the right to pursue compensation and justice from those liable for your injuries and losses. Reach out to Mike to find out how a Prince William County burn injury lawyer can help you.
What Are the Types and Degrees of Burns?
Burn injury types are classified based on the source or cause of the burn. The basic types of burn injuries include:
- Thermal Burns – Thermal burns occur after exposure to a heat source such as a fire, explosion, hot water, or contact with a hot metal surface.
- Friction Burns – Friction burns occur when the skin rubs against a rough surface, as in a carpet burn or road rash.
- Chemical Burns – A chemical burn occurs when the skin contacts a caustic or acidic substance that triggers a chemical reaction that generates heat or destroys skin tissue.
- Electrical Burns – Contact with live electrical wires or power lines can burn the skin and internal tissues as the electrical current runs through the body.
- Radiation Burns – Radiation burns can occur from exposure to radioactive materials, X-rays, or ultraviolet radiation. Sunburns are the most common examples of radiation burns.
Doctors categorize the severity of a burn injury by degree, with the severity of the injury increasing with each degree:
- First-Degree Burns – These burns damage only the first layer of skin (epidermis). The injury will cause the skin to turn pink or red and may cause warmth, tenderness, or pain around the burn.
- Second-Degree Burns – These burns reach the second layer of skin (dermis). The injury site will turn red and may develop blisters, although more severe cases may cause the skin to turn yellow or white.
- Third-Degree Burns – These burns damage the full thickness of the skin and reach down to fat tissues beneath the skin. The burn site may appear white, black, or brown, with the skin taking a leathery appearance. Third-degree burns often don’t involve pain due to the destruction of nerve cells.
Many doctors also recognize higher degrees of burn injuries, including fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns that involve the total destruction of skin tissues to exposure underlying muscles, ligaments/tendons, and bone.
What Are the Medical Costs for Burn Victims?
A burn injury victim’s medical expenses will depend on the degree of burn they have suffered. While first-degree and many second-degree burns only require first-aid and at-home treatment, more severe burn injuries will require longer medical care. Burn victims may require frequent wound dressings to protect the burn site as the skin heals.
Other medical treatments may include:
- Pain and anti-anxiety medications to relieve discomfort caused by burn injuries
- Water-based treatments, such as ultrasound mist therapy, which help clear away dead tissue and stimulate healing
- Burn creams and ointments, which help keep skin moist and stimulate healing; some creams include medication to treat or prevent infections
- IV antibiotics or antivirals to treat infections that have already set in
Severe burn injuries may require surgical treatment. Common surgical procedures performed on burn victims include:
- Skin grafts, which take healthy skin from elsewhere on the body to replace deeply burned tissue, or as a temporary solution, donor skin from another person or pig skin
- Tracheotomy to insert a breathing tube if the windpipe has swollen shut
- Insertion of feeding tubes if a burn victim cannot eat or drink
- Surgical incisions to relieve pressure caused by contracting scar tissue
- Plastic surgery to increase the flexibility of scar tissue or improve the appearance of scars
Burn injuries that cover significant parts of the body, especially joints, may also require physical and occupational therapy to help burn victims stretch the skin to keep it flexible and maintain range of motion.
Who Is Liable for a Burn Injury in Virginia?
Determining the identity of the party or parties responsible for your injuries and losses will depend on the nature of the accident or incident that caused your burn injury. For example, if you suffer burns in a fire after a motor vehicle accident, you might hold the driver or drivers at fault for the crash liable for your burn injury. You may also hold the at-fault driver’s employer liable for your injury if the accident occurred during the driver’s employment, such as in a trucking accident.
If you suffer burns due to a hazardous property condition, such as a fire, explosion, or steam burst, you might hold the property owner or occupant liable for your injury. Or if you get burned by defective equipment or machinery at work, you may have a claim against the equipment manufacturer.
Can I Get Compensation for My Burn Injury?
If you’ve suffered a burn injury in an accident, you may have a claim to burn injury compensation. A burn injury lawyer in Prince William County can fight for money for your:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, specialist wound care, and physical/occupational therapy
- Long-term care for permanent disabilities you suffer, including home health services, assistance around the house, medical/mobility equipment, or installation of disability accommodations
- Loss of wages/income if you need to miss work while recovering from your injuries
- Ongoing and future losses of earning potential if you have a lower income or become permanently disabled from working
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma or distress
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life due to disabilities or visible scarring/disfigurement