Have you suffered a severe burn injury in Orange County, California? If someone else was to blame for the accident, they could owe you significant compensation for the harm they caused you. Compensation could range from financial losses like medical bills and diminished income to personal ones like pain and suffering and reduced quality of life.
However, getting this compensation may be difficult, especially if the at-fault party or their insurer tries to dispute their liability and shirk their responsibility to you. That’s where an experienced Orange County burn injury attorney from Sam & Ash Injury Law can help.
We believe you deserve What’s Right. That means a lawyer who values you as an individual, not just a case number. A lawyer who knows how insurance companies think and how to use that against them. A lawyer who will aggressively pursue the full recovery you need to rebuild your life. Our commitment to high-quality legal representation has helped us secure over $400 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. So let us put our commitment to work for you.
Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today to discuss your case for free with a compassionate burn injury lawyer in Orange County.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burns are classified based on the extent to which they deeply and severely penetrate the surface of the skin.
- First-degree burns are considered superficial burns since they only affect the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. While the burn is often painful, dry, and red, it does not blister and is usually treatable without medical attention. An example of a first-degree burn is a mild sunburn. Long-term tissue damage from a first-degree burn is rare. These types of burns typically heal within a few days. If they do not after this passage of time, then you should seek medical care.
- Second-degree burns cause the skin to blister and turn red. These burns affect the epidermis and the dermis, the layer of thick tissue beneath the epidermis. Second-degree burns usually take a few weeks to heal and may require medical treatment.
- Third-degree burns are the most serious classification of burn. All layers of the skin – the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis – are damaged. Third-degree burns can also damage the muscles, tendons, and bones under the skin. Burns to muscles, tendons, and bones are sometimes called fourth-degree burns, although this is not a medically recognized distinction. The effects of a third-degree burn can include the loss of feeling in the burned area since the nerve endings in the skin are destroyed. These burn injuries often result from direct exposure to flames or corrosive chemicals.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Many different thermal, chemical, and electrical sources can cause a burn injury, as can friction. Some of the most common causes of burn injuries include:
- Contact burns result from touching a hot object. Severe burns may result from prolonged exposure and heat transfer from this object to the skin. For example, a defective product lacking a proper safety guard can cause these burns.
- Scalding is caused when the skin comes into contact with hot liquid or vapor such as steam. Children and older adults are especially vulnerable to these types of injuries. Infants, toddlers, and elderly adults have thinner dermal layers than other adults, leaving them at greater risk of deeper burn injuries at lower temperatures or shorter exposure times. Hot water can burn the skin at temperatures significantly lower than boiling. It only takes six seconds of exposure to water at 140 degrees to cause a burn injury severe enough to require surgery. Defective water heaters or inattention while bathing a nursing home resident or a baby could cause scalding burns.
- Chemical burns result from acids, alkalis, detergents, or solvents coming into contact with the skin, eyes, or lungs, potentially damaging organs. For example, an accident using paint thinner, gasoline, or pesticides could result in a chemical burn.
- Electrical burns are caused by high-energy electrical currents which can run through the body and damage internal organs. Dangerous conditions on someone else’s property or defective products could cause electrical burns, for example.
- Inhalation burns refer to smoke inhalation injuries. Over 3,000 fire and smoke inhalation deaths occur each year, according to the American Burn Association.
What To Do After a Serious Burn Injury
After any burn injury, you must seek medical attention immediately. Protect your health by taking the following steps:
- Hold the burn under cool but not cold water.
- Do not apply ice, cream, lotion, or butter to the burn injury.
- Keep the area around the burn injury clean.
- Seek medical treatment. If the injury is severe, call 911.
Serious burns require specialized treatment, which may be expensive well into the future. The American Burn Association recommends that burn patients who meet the following criteria seek treatment at a specialized burn center:
- Partial-thickness burns over 10% or more of the total body surface area
- Full-thickness burns
- Burns of the face, hands, feet, groin, or genital area
- Burns extending entirely around a portion of the body
- Burns accompanied by an inhalation injury affecting the airway or the lungs
If you suspect someone else is to blame for your burn injury, you should start collecting evidence to support your claim once you have received sufficient medical attention. If you suspect that a defective product caused your injury, keep the product in a safe place as potential evidence in support of your personal injury claim.
Talk to an experienced Orange County burn injury lawyer as soon as possible. Sam & Ash Injury Law offers free consultations so you can discuss your matter risk-free at no cost. We are ready to evaluate your case and advise you of your options.
Liability After a Burn Injury
Liability for a burn injury depends on how and where the accident occurred. Another person’s negligence may cause a burn injury – their failure to behave reasonably carefully. A defective product may also cause a burn injury.
If you suffer a burn injury away from home, the owner or manager of the premises where the injury occurred may be to blame. California law requires business owners and managers to keep their premises reasonably safe from hazards. If they fail to meet this duty and cause an injury, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against them to demand compensation for your losses.
If you suffered a burn injury due to a defective product, you are not required to prove negligence to recover compensation. However, any party designing, manufacturing, or selling a defective product may be held strictly liable for any injuries the product causes. Strict liability means you could recover compensation even if the party were not negligent.