Burn Injuries

Burns are one of the most physically painful and at times psychologically damaging types of injuries a person can suffer from. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common household injuries in the nation, especially among children. In 2016, it was reported by the American burn Association that 486,000 people suffered from burns which required medical treatment. Although most burn incidents result in minimal injury, in some cases a burn can inflict severe skin damage and ultimately result in those affected skin cells dying.

The trauma associated with a burn injury can be life-changing and the medical care needed to treat your burn could be costly. Often severe burn injuries such as first or second-degree burns carry a high risk of complications including infection, blood loss, and shock—which can result in death. These type of burns normally require costly medical treatments to minimize suffering such as surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and even lifelong assisted care.

If you or a loved one have suffered from a burn injury, we highly recommend you consult the experienced Washing burn injury attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers.

Burn Injury Attorney in Bellingham, Washington

The stress and trauma from a burn injury isn’t only taxing on your wallet, but also your emotional and mental health. If you’re suffering from a burn due to negligence, then it’s within your best interest to contact PNW Trial Lawyers. Our Washington fire injury attorneys have extensive experience litigating for burn victims and doing whatever possible to help them recover a maximized settlement. Begin the healing process and hire the catastrophic injury attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers to help you.

Call us now at (360) 483-5201 to set up your first consultation free of charge. PNW Trial Lawyers has offices in Bellingham, but we service clients throughout the greater Whatcom County area and nearby counties including Skagit County and Snohomish County.

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Where Do Most Burn Injuries Occur?

When hearing the term “burn injury” most associate it with a fire. Although fire is a common reason for burn injuries, there are many other possible causes. Contact with hot materials such as metal or glass can cause serious burns as well as smoke, chemicals, and even electrical currents. Most, if not all, burn injuries are caused by some type of negligence whether it stems from an individual, product, or entity.

Some other common causes for burn injuries include the following:

  • Structural Fires – Property managers and landlords must make it a priority to ensure their buildings are structural sound by following fire safety regulations. Allowing unsafe conditions that could put tenants, patrons, employees, or anyone at risk could result in a burn injury. For example, failing to install smoke alarms could cause a resident to become trapped in a fire and suffer from a burn injury.
  • Work Accidents – Workers who are continuously exposed to fire, chemicals, electricity, molten materials, and other hot tools are at high risk of a burn. Employers should ensure their employees are safe and upkeep work conditions to avoid possible accidents that could result in a burn injury. For example, if a restaurant chef employee doesn’t have the proper safety materials, then they could be severely burned by cooking with instruments such as a deep fryer.
  • Defective Products – Products should be designed to ensure consumers are safe when using and storing it. Defective products such as electronics or vehicles can yield serious burn injuries requiring serious medical care. Lithium-ion batteries, for instance, in smartphones and electronic cigarettes have been reported to explode and cause life-altering burn injuries on people’s faces.
  • Auto Accidents – One of the most common causes for burn injuries other than fires are automobile accidents. Car accidents can sometimes be so deadly a fire erupts in one or both of the vehicles. Crash survivors can then file injury claims against the at-fault driver so they can recover from the accident.

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What Are the Three Types of Burn Injuries?

Burns are categorized by severity into degrees. The deeper the burn is the higher the degree is with third-degree burns being the most serious. No matter what type of burn you have, if you are suffering because of another’s negligence you are entitled to compensation. For that reason, we highly encourage you to seek out a burn accident attorney in Washington quickly.

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. Although it’s considered the least serious, this type of burn can result in pain, redness, and swelling. It can look similar to a sunburn without any blistering. Most first-degree burns are vibrantly red, painful to the touch, and dry.

Common causes for a first degree burn include:

  • Scalds
  • Electricity
  • Sunburns

Second-Degree Burns

Burns that affect the epidermis and the underlying layer of skin known as the dermis are classified as second-degree burns. This type of burn is often blistered, tender, swollen, red, and can be an open wound. These burns are much more serious and can take up to three weeks to recover in some cases.

Common causes for a second-degree burn include:

  • Electricity
  • Chemicals
  • Flames
  • Scalds
  • Contact with a hot object

Third-Degree Burns

Often referred to as a full thickness burn, a third-degree burn is the most serious type you can receive. A third-degree burn happens when both the epidermis and the dermis have been completely destroyed by heat. This type of burn can result in dry leathery skin, swelling, severe pain, lack of feeling due to destroyed nerves, and black, white, brown or yellow skin.

The following are some common causes for a third-degree burn:

  • Chemicals
  • Electricity
  • Explosions
  • Contact with a hot object
  • Flames
  • Scalds

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How Much Compensation Can You Get from a Burn Injury?

The stress and expense of handling a severe burn can be a serious strain on your life. Thankfully, the state of Washington recognizes that suffering and allows victims to file for damages against the person or entity whose negligence caused their injury. Whether the burn is from a motor vehicle accident, premise liability incident, workplace accident, or defective product, if the incident stemmed from negligence you could be entitled to compensation.

The state of Washington allows you to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within three years of the date of the incident. It also has no cap in place on compensation in personal injury lawsuits. Some possible damages you may recover if you seek compensation include:

  • Both current and future medical expenses
  • Cost of in-home care
  • Cost of rehabilitative or handicapped services
  • Lost wages from the past or future
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

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How Can Burn Injuries Be Prevented?

A burn injury can sneak up on you if you’re living or working in unsafe conditions. However, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid future possible burn injuries. A few preventative tips you can do to prevent future burns includes:

  • Replace smoke detectors
  • Place a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen
  • Check and discard electrical cords that have exposed wires
  • Clean out any dryer lint
  • Keep chemicals out of reach and use gloves when using them
  • Lock up matches and lighters from children
  • Measure bath water temperature before getting in
  • Turn pot handles back to the stove
  • Keep water heater under 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wear sunscreen during the day and avoid peak sunlight
  • Install electrical outlet covers

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Additional Resources

Burn Injury Guide – Visit the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, which is a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering anyone suffering with burns. Access the site to uncover resources for basic burn injury information such as what types of physical and emotional recovery can happen after a severe burn.

NIH | Burn Information and Statistics – Visit the website of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGM) which is a basic research organization dedicated to increasing our understanding of biological processes and laying the foundation for advances in medical sciences. Read their article to learn what causes a burn, the differences between the types of burns, burn treatment, resources for victims, and more.

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Fire Accident Lawyer in Whatcom County, WA

A severe burn can end in mental anguish, lifelong pain, and even disfigurement. Not to mention the rising medical expenses required just to treat it. If you’ve been burned because of another’s negligence, then we urge you to seek the compensation you deserve with PNW Trial Lawyers. Our Washington burn victim lawyers help our clients focus on their recovery while we dedicate our time and energy to doing whatever possible to secure the compensation they need.

Set up your first consultation free of charge by calling (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers serves clients in Bellingham and throughout the greater area including Anacortes, Everett, and Mt. Vernon.

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