About 450,000 patients receive hospital and emergency room treatment for burns each year. Of these burn injuries, about 3,400 burns result in death. In fact, burns and fires are the third-leading cause of death at home.
Fire injuries occur about every 30 minutes, too. Fatal burn and fire injuries cost about $3 billion each year as a result. Hospitalization for these injuries accounts for about $1 billion in hospital injury costs.
Did you or a loved one recently sustain a serious burn injury? Consider contacting a burn injury lawyer right away.
With a lawyer’s help, you can fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Otherwise, you might have to pay for your medical bills out of pocket. You’ll need to consider your time off work and lost wages, too.
Don’t let the expenses stack up. Instead, here are eight signs you need to contact a lawyer right away.
Discover how to handle burn injury cases with help from an experienced lawyer. Read on to learn more!
1. When You’re Not Sure What to Do
After sustaining a serious injury, it’s normal not to know how to proceed. Consider consulting a burn injury lawyer. They can help you evaluate your legal options.
With their help, you can develop a plan. For example, you might consider pursuing a burn injury case. Consulting a lawyer will help you explore your legal options moving forward.
Before you hire a lawyer for your burn injury case, it’s important to vet your options.
First, check the Martindale-Hubbel directory. You can also check your local bar association website. Make a list of personal injury lawyers in your area.
Look for a personal injury lawyer who specializes in burn injury cases. Learn more about their track record, too. How many similar cases have they handled over the years?
Consider how many cases they’ve won versus lost as well. Choose someone with a strong track record and relevant experience.
Make sure their experience with burn injury cases is relevant to your situation, too. Different burn injuries might involve:
- Industrial accidents
- Scalding food, water, and pipes
- Electrical accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Defective products
- Recreational fires (at a hotel, mall, business, etc.)
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Lack of fire extinguishers
- Workplace injuries
- Apartment building fires
- Inadequate or defective fire exits
Their prior experience with similar cases could strengthen your lawsuit. Finding a lawyer with relevant experience will help you feel confident in their abilities, too.
2. If Your Injuries Are Severe
Burn injuries are a global public health problem. In fact, burn injuries account for about 180,000 deaths every year. If your injuries are severe, consider contacting a lawyer right away.
Remember, you might find yourself out of work while you heal from your injuries.
Burn injuries are classified as first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree burns. Fourth-degree burns are usually fatal.
Call 911 and seek emergency medical assistance if you:
- Have burns that appear white, charred, or leathery
- Suffered a third-degree burn
- Are suffering extreme pain
- Suffered severe burns to the feet, hands, face, or genitals
Seek help for victims that are young children or elderly adults, too.
Make sure to visit a doctor immediately after you sustain injuries. A doctor’s official report can benefit your case. You can prove someone else’s negligence caused your burns.
Keep track of your appointments and medical bills. Get a record of your treatments, medications, and specialists you visit, too. Keeping track of your expenses will help prove your losses.
Track your symptoms, too. Schedule follow-up appointments as well.
Regular appointments will ensure there isn’t a gap in treatment. You might have an easier time proving the extent of your injuries.
If there’s a gap in treatment, however, the insurance company might argue your injuries aren’t as severe as you initially claimed.
Otherwise, learn what to do in case of a burn injury before you’re in an accident. First, run the affected area under cold water. Consult a doctor if you need to use antibiotics or medication to reduce pain and scarring.
3. When Liability Isn’t Clear
Do you know who or what caused your burn injuries? If liability isn’t clear for your burn injury case, consult a lawyer.
An experienced burn injury lawyer will know how to gather evidence that’s relevant to your case. With their help, you can pinpoint the guilty party. You can prove someone else’s negligence caused your burn injuries.
Don’t forget to find a lawyer with experience handling burn injury cases that are similar to yours. They might already know what evidence they need to gather for your case.
If you can’t prove negligence, however, you might struggle to build a strong enough case.
4. If You Haven’t Received Compensation
If you were injured, you might find yourself entitled to:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Economic damages have a hard dollar value attached to them. They’re usually easy to determine. Economic damage can include property damages, past and future treatment costs, and lost wages.
Non-economic damages include long-lasting consequences that are a result of your injuries.
These can include loss of companionship, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering, or lost quality of life. These damages are sometimes more difficult to calculate, though.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for egregious conduct. You can fight for punitive damages if the negligent party was intentionally reckless.
The insurance company will want to pay you as little as possible for your claim. They might delay paying off your claim, too.
If you’re struggling to negotiate with an insurance company, contact a burn injury lawyer. They can handle these negotiations for you. With their help, you can fight for the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Otherwise, you might leave money on the table.
Don’t make the mistake of accepting the first offer you receive from the insurance company. Instead, talk to the lawyer about your losses. For example, you can discuss your medical bills and lost wages.
Remember, non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. An experienced lawyer will know how to prove the full extent of your losses. With their help, you can maximize your claim.
5. When You’re Feeling Stressed
It’s normal to feel stressed out after suffering from serious injuries. You shouldn’t have to worry about filing a personal injury claim, too. Don’t take on the stress of handling a burn injury case alone.
Instead, work with an experienced burn injury lawyer. They’ll help you navigate the process moving forward. Otherwise, you might put even more stress on your shoulders.
Taking on unnecessary stress could impact the recovery process.
If you’re unfamiliar with personal injury claims, the entire process can feel daunting. Paperwork errors or delays could impact your ability to fight for compensation. The statute of limitations might lapse, too.
If you wait too long to file your claim, you might miss your chance to fight for compensation.
Hiring an experienced lawyer will ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes along the way.
Do you have a child who recently sustained a burn injury? Consider contacting a child burn injury lawyer. Unintentional injury is a leading cause of death among children under age 14.
About 75% of all scalding burns in children are preventable. About 65% of children under the age of 4 suffer from scald burns. Another 20% suffer from contact burns.
Look for an experienced lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis. These lawyers will only accept payment if they win your lawsuit. They might feel more inclined to fight harder as a result.
6. If You Were Partially at Fault
In some cases, your negligence can make you appear partially at fault for the accident. The insurance company might refuse to pay your claim as a result.
If you think you were partially at fault, consult a burn injury lawyer. Walk them through what happened.
Remember, they’ll help you determine your legal options. With their help, you’ll have an easier time making an informed decision.
They can help protect your best interests moving forward, too.
7. When Expenses Are Stacking Up
Remember, your burn injury could leave you out of work for some time. You might need a plan to pay for your medical bills and other expenses. If your expenses are starting to add up, consult a lawyer.
Otherwise, the insurance company might delay paying off your claim. You might struggle to cover your expenses as a result.
Your lawyer can speed up the process to ensure you receive compensation.
You can learn more about when to find a personal injury lawyer for burn injuries here.
8. If You Want to Sue
If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, contact a burn injury lawyer. Explain what happened. Then, tell them you want to file a personal injury claim.
You can gather the necessary evidence to build your burn injury case and receive compensation.
Make Your Case: 8 Signs You Should Call a Burn Injury Lawyer ASAP
Don’t wait too long to explore your legal options. Instead, consider these eight signs to call a burn injury lawyer right away. If these situations sound familiar, consider building a burn injury case.
With their experience and expertise, you can fight for the compensation you need to cover your losses.
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