Burns are among the most painful, disfiguring, and risky injuries a person could suffer. Burn accidents leave victims with agonizing, chronic, and sometimes fatal injuries. Skin graft surgeries and other invasive medical treatments are often necessary to treat severe burns. Burn victims may face a heightened infection risk. Many burns leave scars that last a lifetime.
Butler Kahn is dedicated to helping burn injury victims pursue justice and compensation after these catastrophic accidents. As demonstrated by the testimonials and results from our past cases, you can trust we’ll not only provide the legal skills you need to seek the full compensation you may be owed, but we’ll also serve you with the care, respect, and personalized attention you deserve.
Georgia trusts Butler Kahn. If you would like to discuss your situation and your potential burn injury claim with an attorney, we would be happy to speak with you. It costs you nothing to talk with us and there are no strings attached when you contact us for a free consultation.
Types of Fire and Burn Injury Lawsuits
While not every fire, explosion, or other burn-related accident is someone else’s fault, many of these accidents are caused by negligent and careless individuals and companies. Some of the most common types of burn and fire injury lawsuits and claims against other parties include:
- Burn injuries on dangerous property. Fires, explosions, and other types of accidents that lead to burn injuries often happen on unreasonably dangerous properties, such as apartment buildings, hotels, rental homes, restaurants, nightclubs, and stores.
The owners and managers of these properties are responsible for making sure their property is safe for all legal visitors. This includes making sure the building meets relevant building codes and properly installing safe electrical wiring, a sturdy fire escape, fireproof doors, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms. They must also regularly inspect and maintain this equipment to make sure it’s in good working order.
Some of the most common causes of burn accidents include negligent landlords, defective fire extinguishers, code violations, faulty smoke detectors, poor construction, locked fire exits, and lack of safety procedures. Burns can also result from scalding water or pipes if a property manager or owner turns the water heater up too high.
- Burn injuries at work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over 700 workers were killed in fires, explosions, or exposure to harmful chemicals and substances in a single recent year. Tens of thousands more people suffered nonfatal injuries, such as burns from these types of workplace accidents.
Depending on the type of workplace, on-the-job injuries can result from a range of dangerous situations, such as electrical accidents, explosions, office fires, and chemical exposure. Some types of situations that often cause these accidents include failure to provide proper protective equipment, lack of warning signs, poor equipment or building maintenance, worker fatigue, and improper training.
- Burn injuries in vehicle accidents. Car accidents, truck collisions, motorcycle crashes, boating incidents, and other types of motor vehicle accidents often leave victims with painful and life-threatening burn injuries. Some examples of circumstances that can lead to these injuries include when a tanker truck explodes in a traffic accident or when a car catches on fire.
- Burn injuries from dangerous or defective products. When companies don’t design or manufacture products correctly or don’t adequately warn consumers about risks related to their products, they can cause all sorts of harm, including devastating burn injuries. For example, a defective electrical cord could spark catastrophic house fires, a dangerous skin product could leave consumers with excruciating chemical burns, or a defectively designed car could cause a tragic explosion.
People can also suffer serious injuries if the fire safety equipment that’s meant to protect them is defective. For example, if a smoke alarm doesn’t go off, a fire extinguisher fails, or a fire escape ladder falls apart when someone needs it the most, these defective products could kill or severely injure victims.
Compensation for a Burn Injury in Georgia
The type of compensation you might be eligible to receive for your burn injury depends on multiple factors, such as what caused the accident, where it happened, the severity of your injuries, and the amount of insurance that the liable party has.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, then you typically can’t sue your employer for compensation in tort. However, you will likely be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. Some of the workers’ comp benefits typically available to employees in Georgia who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses include:
- Replacement of up to two-thirds of your average weekly earnings while you’re recovering from a temporary disability
- Lump-sum payment for serious permanent disabilities, such as amputation or blindness
- Coverage for medical treatment that your authorized physician prescribes to help you recover from your workplace injury
- Specialized medical devices or equipment
- Reimbursement for the miles you have to drive to and from doctor appointments
- Compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as death benefits for surviving family members if an employee dies in a workplace burn accident
Victims of non-workplace burns may be able to file an injury claim or lawsuit to pursue compensation for the harm they suffered in the accident. Some of the types of damages that may be available to these victims include compensation for:
- Disfigurement or permanent scarring
- Medical expenses, such as ambulance transportation, skin grafts, other surgeries, anesthesia, hospitalization, pain medicine, specialist consultations, or other treatments
- Rehabilitation or therapies
- Pain and suffering
- Nursing services or in-home care
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost ability to perform household tasks, such as yard work, childcare, or cleaning
- Psychological counseling
- Mental anguish
- Replacement for wages lost while recovering from injuries
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Inability to work in the future or lost the ability to earn a comparable income
- Future medical care, such as follow-up visits, prescriptions, plastic surgery, or other surgeries
- Specialized medical devices and equipment
- Loss of companionship
If a person dies because of a burn injury, their surviving family members might be eligible to file a wrongful death suit. While no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, compensation from this type of lawsuit can help survivors cover some of the damages caused by this tragedy, such as loss of the victim’s income, funeral, and burial expenses, and loss of consortium.
Burn victims might also be awarded punitive damages if the at-fault party caused the accident through egregious wrongdoing, such as willful misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, or malice.
Under the state’s Statute of Limitations, burn victims typically have only two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. After this deadline passes, victims usually can’t seek any compensation for their injuries.
How a Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help
When you hire a burn injury lawyer, they can handle all the details of your claim, so you can focus on recovering. A skilled burn injury lawyer can help you pursue full compensation to cover both your current and future costs.
Burn injuries often leave victims with astronomical expenses that might impact them for the rest of their lives. If the victim doesn’t fight for maximum compensation, they might have to pay for these costs out of their own pocket.
Insurance companies want to pay victims as little as possible. They might contact you soon after the accident to try to talk you into a low settlement offer or to try to get you to say something they can twist and use against you.
An experienced burn injury attorney can help protect your legal rights by speaking with insurance adjusters on your behalf. They can negotiate to help you seek the maximum compensation you’re owed. If the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement, then your attorney can fight for your rights in court.
Your attorney can handle every step along the way related to your burn injury claim or lawsuit. They can gather all the evidence needed to support your case, plus they can fill out and submit any paperwork required by insurers, your employer, or the courts. Your lawyer will stand by your side throughout this process, connect you to the resources you need for your injuries, and pursue the best possible results for your case.
Types of Burn Injury
When people think of burn injuries, they often think of thermal burns, where an open flame, steam, or hot surface comes in contact with a person’s skin. However, there are multiple other types of burn injuries, such as:
- Electrical or flash burns
- Friction burns
- Radiation burns
- Chemical burns
What to Expect With a Burn Injury and Recovery
Some of the most serious types of burn injuries can leave a victim with permanent scarring on their skin, or even damage other parts of their body, like their bones and organs. The impacts that burn injury victims suffer and the amount of time it takes them to recover typically depends on the severity of the burn.
- First-degree – These are minor burns that typically affect only the first layer of skin. First-degree burns are painful, but they usually heal on their own or with basic first aid at home.
- Second-degree – These burns are more serious than first-degree burns, as they impact multiple layers of a person’s skin and they usually require attention from a medical professional. People with second-degree burns that damage their secondary layers of skin might need a skin graft or other medical treatments in order to recover from the injury.
- Third-degree – These types of burns affect all lawyers of a person’s skin and require emergency medical treatment. Victims of third-degree burns might suffer permanent or long-term damage because of the injury.
- Fourth degree – These are the most serious type of burn injuries. A fourth-degree burn usually means that either all layers of the person’s skin suffered injury or that the burn damaged their ligaments or tendons in addition to reaching through all layers of their skin. These types of burns are often fatal or leave victims with permanent injuries and require extensive rehabilitation and surgeries.
Talk to a Burn Injury Attorney
The burn injury attorneys at Butler Kahn are ready to discuss your burn injury whenever you are ready. We can review your situation and advise you about your best legal options. It costs nothing to speak with us, and your free consultation comes with no further obligations on your part.