Severe burns are often life-changing injuries. Healing from deep or extensive burns could involve multiple surgeries and painful medical interventions over months or even years. The physical and psychological scars can be devastating.
When another party’s conduct was a factor in the situation that led to the burn, the negligent party might be legally liable for your damages. Consult a Summerlin burn injury lawyer at Shook & Stone to learn about your legal options. Our compassionate catastrophic injury attorneys serve accident victims in Rhodes Ranch, Sovana, Sun City, and surrounding areas.
Burns Are Medically Complex Injuries
Burns damage skin tissue. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it is the protective container for the body’s internal structures. The skin is a barrier to pathogens and is critical in regulating body temperature, preventing moisture loss, and collecting sensory information.
The deeper a burn penetrates the skin, the more severe the injury. The National Institute of Health’s burn fact sheet explains that a first-degree burn damages the outermost layer of skin, a third-degree burn penetrates all skin layers, and a sixth-degree burn destroys tissue all the way to the bone. Fifth and sixth-degree burns are usually fatal.
How the Body Reacts to Burns
When part of the body is damaged, the injured cells release chemicals that cause fluids to leak into the damaged area. When the wounded area is large—as is often the case with burns—this inflammatory response can leave the rest of the body starved for blood and oxygen, potentially causing damage to organs like the heart, kidneys, and brain.
The rush of blood to the damaged skin could send the injured person into shock, which can be fatal. The mass of blood in the damaged tissues can cause edema, making the burns more difficult to treat. Infection is a serious risk in all burn cases because burned skin provides an entry point for bacteria.
Medical Care for Burns
Third-degree and more severe burns require extensive medical care, which usually includes one or more skin grafts. Some burns require multiple skin grafts, and amputation is sometimes necessary if the severity of the injury impedes function or if the tissue becomes infected.
Plastic surgery might be advised to limit or correct scarring. Burn injuries are deeply traumatic, and psychological support is critical to recovery. A proactive Summerlin burn accident attorney could review medical records and talk with the injured person and their family to ensure their legal claim seeks compensation for all the consequences of the injury.
Burns Frequently Result from Negligence
A person seeking damages for burn injuries must prove that another party’s failure to use reasonable care—the legal term for this is negligence—contributed to the incident that caused the burn. After investigating the circumstances, a skilled burn injury lawyer in Summerlin could identify parties that might be liable for the injured person’s damages.
For example, when someone suffers injuries in a building fire, the building’s owner could be liable if they failed to have functional smoke alarms, an effective sprinkler system, or if means of escape were not clearly marked and free of obstructions. When a person suffers burns in a car fire or while using a defective product, the manufacturer might be liable. Power companies and local governments are potentially responsible for burns from downed power lines or wildfires.
Workplace accidents often cause burns, especially to employees in the hospitality, construction, and manufacturing industries. Injured employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which will pay for their medical treatment and provide a partial wage during their recovery. Although a worker cannot sue their employer, if another party’s negligence was a factor in the accident, the worker could sue the third party.
Potential Damages for Burn Injuries
Damages are compensation an injured person (plaintiff) seeks from a party whose negligence caused their injury (defendant). An injured person can always seek compensatory damages. In some cases, a judge might also award punitive damages.
Compensatory damages cover out-of-pocket losses like:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Incidental costs
- Future medical expenses
- Reduced earning capacity
Compensatory damages also cover the non-economic impacts of an injury, such as pain, scarring, disability, and humiliation.
Nevada Revised Statutes § 42.005 allows an injured person to seek punitive damages if a defendant’s conduct merits punishment. If a defendant intentionally harmed the plaintiff or behaved with indifference about the results of their actions, the court might award punitive damages. A dedicated Summerlin burn injury attorney could evaluate the evidence in a specific case and pursue punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct warrants punishment.
Seek Compensation After a Burn Injury With a Summerlin Attorney
The physical effects of a burn could take years to heal, and the psychological wounds might linger even longer. When another party’s careless or reckless conduct led to your burn, you deserve compensation.
Injured people in Rhodes Ranch, Sovana, Sun City, and the surrounding area could work with a Summerlin burn injury lawyer to pursue damages from the negligent parties. Schedule your free consultation with one of our committed attorneys at Shook & Stone today.