Thousands of people nationwide suffer burn injuries in car accidents each year. A report from the National Fire Protection Association found that there were 212,500 vehicle fires in a recent year, leading to 560 deaths and 1,500 injuries. A car accident that pins the occupants inside a vehicle or causes loss of consciousness presents a serious risk of burn injury.
Burn injuries can cause disfigurement and scarring. A person who has serious burn injuries may require multiple surgeries and treatment in a specialized burn unit. People who are burn victims may face a lengthy recovery and have significant medical expenses.
If you have suffered injuries from a car accident in Las Vegas caused by another driver, the team at Sam & Ash, LLP wants to help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys have recovered more than $400 million for our clients to date. That gives us experience you can trust to handle complex burn injury claims. Because one of our partners began her career defending insurance companies, we know how insurers approach burn injury cases and how hard it can be for accident victims to recover just compensation without the help of a skilled lawyer.
At Sam & Ash, LLP, we want What’s Right for you. That means fair and full compensation for all that you’ve suffered. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you during a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Do Burn Injuries Occur During Car Crashes?
There are many different ways someone can sustain a burn injury in a car accident, including:
- The vehicle catches fire – If the gasoline tank is punctured in a collision and the car catches fire, anyone trapped inside or in the vicinity could suffer injuries from the flames and smoke inhalation.
- Contact with hot metal – The metal frame of a vehicle involved in an accident can become hot because of nearby flames. Someone who touches the hot metal could suffer contact burns or other injuries. These kinds of burn injuries are more likely if a car’s body is mangled in a crash.
- A damaged radiator – The steam from a damaged radiator is superheated and can cause severe scalds if a crash victim is exposed to the steam.
- Damaged electrical components – If a car’s electrical system is damaged in an accident, touching any of the wires or certain electrical devices could lead to a severe electric shock, which can cause burn injuries.
- Contact with a hot road surface – If someone is ejected from a vehicle in an accident or is involved in a rollover accident during the warmer months in Las Vegas, the accident victim may suffer a burn injury from contact with the hot road surface.
What Causes a Fire in a Car Accident?
The most common causes of vehicles fires after a crash are:
- Overheated engines – Car engines get hot with normal operating temperatures of 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In a crash, any gasoline or oil leaking onto the hot engine can ignite.
- Poorly designed fuel tanks – Cars should be designed to minimize the chance that the fuel tank is damaged or leaks after a crash. Newer vehicles are subject to stricter design standards, making vehicle fires less common than they used to be. Unfortunately, they can still happen. Older vehicles are much more likely to have leaky or faulty fuel tanks that can cause a fire.
- Flammable liquids—If a crash involves a tanker truck transporting hazardous liquids, the liquids may spill and erupt into flames and cause burn injuries.
- Improper maintenance – Failing to properly maintain a car can cause parts like seals, engine components, and electrical systems to fail in the event of a collision. One of the most common causes of vehicle fires after a crash is faulty electrical wiring. A stray spark can ignite leaking fuel.
- Batteries – The batteries used on modern electric vehicles have been known to ignite under certain conditions, causing intense fires that can take several hours and thousands of gallons of water to extinguish. Traditional lead-acid batteries can also cause caustic chemical burns.
Types of Damages in Burn Injury Lawsuits
Burn injuries often cause severe damage to victims’ bodies. The pain and disfigurement from a burn injury can lead to psychological trauma for crash victims. Severe burn injuries may prevent an individual from ever working again.
It’s important for burn injury victims to explore the financial resources available to them because of the high cost of burn treatment. You should not be burdened with medical debt if someone else was responsible for your burn injuries. A personal injury claim may be one of the options available to provide compensation for medical bills and other expenses.
An experienced Las Vegas car accident attorney can help you seek money for:
- Your medical bills, including the cost of future medical care
- Your lost wages and diminished ability to earn a living in the future
- Your diminished quality of life after the accident
- Your physical pain and suffering, including any disfigurement resulting from your injuries
- Your emotional distress
- Your damaged personal property
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Car Crashes
Some common causes of burn injuries from car accidents include:
- Thermal contact burns – A thermal contact burn is caused by touching something hot that damages the skin. In a car accident, this can happen if someone touches hot metal or a hot road surface.
- Electrical burns – Electrical burns are the result of an electric current passing through the body. Coming into contact with faulty wiring or damaged electrical components after a car accident can cause shocks and electrical burns.
- Scald burns – A scaled burn occurs when hot liquids touch the skin. Hot oil and other liquids found in the engine of a car can cause scald burns if someone touches them after a crash.
Who Is Responsible for Crash-related Burn Injuries?
Every accident is different. It’s impossible to say who is at fault without specific knowledge of the incident in question. One or more of the drivers involved in the accident is likely to be at least partially at fault.
Auto manufacturers are also frequently held responsible for crash-related burn injuries involving defective designs or defective parts. Many car fires are caused by faulty fuel systems or other mechanical components. If the manufacturer allowed the car to be sold with some kind of defect, it could be held liable for any burn injuries stemming from the crash.
Types of Burn Injuries from Car Accidents
Most burn injuries require immediate medical treatment to minimize the damage. Minor burns can be treated at home in some cases. The four categories of burn injuries are:
- First-degree burns – A first-degree burn affects the outermost layers of the skin. Symptoms of a first-degree burn include swelling and inflammation, reddened skin, and dry peeling. First-degree burns may be treated at home. But you’ll want to see a doctor if you’ve suffered a burn on your head, face, chest, hands, feet, groin, or another sensitive area.
- Second-degree burns – Second-degree burns extend beyond the top layers of the skin and do more damage than first-degree burns. Second-degree burns often cause blisters and leave the skin looking deep red. A burst blister can cause an open wound, potentially leading to an infection. Because second-degree burns extend deeper than first-degree burns, more tissue is damaged. You should generally see a doctor if you’ve suffered a second-degree burn, especially if you were burned in a sensitive area.
- Third-degree burns – Third-degree burns extend through all the layers of the skin, causing severe damage to any affected tissue. Third-degree burns can be excruciatingly painful. in some cases, nerve damage is so severe that victims can’t feel any pain. A third-degree burn often leaves the victim’s skin looking black or brown. It may take on a waxy appearance, char, or look like rough leather. Third-degree burns can be fatal, so seek medical attention immediately if you sustain one.
- Fourth-degree burns – The damage from a fourth-degree burn extends to the underlying muscle, bone, and connective tissue. A fourth-degree burn will require extensive treatment in a specialized burn treatment unit.
How Can a Burn Injury Lawyer Help Burn Victims in Las Vegas?
If you’ve suffered a burn injury after a Las Vegas car accident, Sam & Ash can help you by:
- Investigating the accident and determining who may be liable for your injuries
- Collecting your medical records and other evidence to build a strong case for compensation
- Helping you find the right doctors to treat your injuries
- Filing your claim in a timely fashion
- Dealing with insurance companies and handling settlement negotiations
- Bringing your case to trial, should that prove necessary
Schedule a Free Consultation with Burn Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas
Our compassionate personal injury lawyers are ready to listen to your story and get to work on your case after you have suffered burn injuries from a car crash and another driver caused the accident. Contact Sam & Ash, LLP today for a free initial consultation with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.