Santa Ana Burn Injury Attorneys
Burn injuries cause more than just serious pain and suffering for their victims. They may also cause significant, long-term disfigurement that may leave you unable to participate in activities that once brought you joy. Worse, they may leave you ashamed or embarrassed about your appearance, reluctant to go out in public, or to visit friends and family due to your injuries. If you suffered serious burns in an accident, you deserve compensation for your injuries—and working with the right lawyer can help. Do you need legal assistance following a burn accident? Contact Aitken * Aitken * Cohn today at (714) 434-1424 to schedule your free consultation.
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn: Your Experienced Santa Ana Burn Injury Attorneys
Serious burn injuries may leave you desperate for help. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we have extensive experience in a wide range of personal injury cases—and we will bring that experience to the table when helping you deal with your accident and the resulting legal struggle. While our past results cannot guarantee specific results in your case, many of our clients find reassurance in the compensation past clients have received, as well as our extensive collection of honors and recognition from the local community.
- After a serious rear-end collision, our clients were awarded a total of more than $1,500,000 for their injuries. We obtained the maximum settlement amount of the insurance policy for more than one victim of the accident.
- After a three-car collision, seniors who were t-boned in a vehicular accident received $530,000 in compensation.
- When a retractable gym wall caused fractures in a girl’s arm, she and her family received $350,000 in compensation.
The compensation you receive for your injuries may depend on a variety of factors: the severity of your burns, where and how you suffered those burns, and who contributed to your injuries. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, however, we bring our compassionate, experienced team of attorneys to bear on all of our clients’ cases. We may work to achieve a settlement with the insurance company or take your case to court and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
Types of Burns
Burns vary significantly in severity based on how much of the body the burn damaged and how deep the burn went. Typically, burns fall into four categories:
- First degree burns damage only the outer layer of the skin. These burns often turn the skin red and feel very painful, but they do not include serious blisters. First degree burns include sunburns, which generally cause fairly minor damage. Most of the time, first degree burns heal quickly and do not leave lasting scars or other damage behind them.
- Second degree burns damage both the outer layer of the skin and the underlying dermis. Second degree burns usually include blisters. The skin may appear red, shiny, or wet. Superficial second degree burns include only part of the dermis and will usually heal without scarring. A deep partial thickness burn, still a second degree burn, incorporates more of the dermis and may include more serious scarring.
- Third degree burns destroy two full layers of skin and may lead to severe scarring. Rather than appearing red or pink, skin may look black, brown, white, or yellow. Often, third degree burns cause less pain than other types of burns because the burn destroys nerves along with other tissue. Third degree burns frequently leave heavy scarring.
- Fourth degree burns include all of the layers of skin and may include bone, muscle, and tendons. These burns often cause life-threatening damage and complications, leaving victims suffering long-term.
In some cases, burns may increase in severity or spread, especially in the case of chemical burns or continued exposure to the burn source. Complications, including infection, can worsen the initial burn and impede recovery. Some patients who experience second and third degree burns may also experience life-threatening complications as they heal.
How Do Burns Occur?
Burns may occur due to a variety of sources, including:
- Electrical burns, which occur due to contact with an electrical source.
- Chemical burns, which occur due to exposure to a chemical source. Chemical burns often come along with further symptoms, including inhalation symptoms or vision problems, depending on how the injury and exposure occurred.
- Burns from heat sources, which include open flame as well as scalding liquids or hot metal.
- Friction burns may occur alongside abrasions, when rapid friction creates excessive heat as well as abrasive damage. These injuries may, for example, occur during a motorcycle accident, when the rider picks up road rash.
Burn Injuries: Who Bears Responsibility?
Responsibility for your burn injury may depend on a variety of factors. Often, burn injuries occur due to some type of breach of care. In a car accident, the individual responsible for the accident may also bear responsibility for the burn damage. Working with a lawyer can help you better establish responsibility for your burn; however, there are several key questions to ask:
- What type of burn did you receive? Was your burn a thermal burn, a chemical burn, an electrical burn, or a friction burn?
- Did negligence or deliberate malice lead to your burn? For example, if a restaurant worker left hot grease sitting out without a warning, leading to your burns, the restaurant and the worker may bear responsibility. If your burns occurred due to an accident with a driver who gave in to road rage or who drove aggressively, that driver may bear liability.
- Were appropriate safety precautions taken to avoid burns? In the case of electrical burns, this might mean covering or appropriately labeling live wires. Workers should store chemicals properly and use the right tools to help avoid chemical burns.
To establish responsibility, you need to know who had a duty of care to you at the time of the accident and who violated that duty of care, leading to your burns and causing your injuries.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Burn Injury?
After a burn injury, you will need to establish the severity of your injuries and the extent of the insurance policy. Who bears liability for your burn injury may also impact the compensation you can receive. However, many burn victims seek compensation based on common considerations.
- Medical expenses. After a serious burn, you may have a long hospital stay. You may need extensive treatment for your burns, including regular cleaning and examination of the healing. You may also need physical therapy to restore range of motion in affected limbs. Your medical expenses may include plastic surgery to minimize scarring.
- Lost time at work. Many burn victims find it difficult to return to work until the burns have healed. Victims may need to avoid exposing the burns to heat or to dirty conditions. Burn victims may need pain medications to help control their pain, which may limit the tasks they can complete each day. Even if you return to work soon after the injury, you may miss time due to physical therapy and doctor’s appointments. If you suffered serious burn injuries, you may seek compensation for the time you lost at work during your injury.
- Pain and suffering. Burns often cause excruciating pain, especially severe second degree burns. Victims may also suffer significantly due to the impact of scarring. Burns often prevent victims from engaging in the activities they once enjoyed for a long period of time, both while they are healing and after healing ends.
- Lost earning potential. In some cases, trauma after a burn may prevent victims from returning to their previous job. Scarring may limit range of motion, while pain may make a highly physical job very difficult for victims. In other cases, especially jobs that rely on the victim’s body, scarring may prevent the victim from working in their previous capacity altogether. If a burn victim can no longer work or cannot return to their previous job, they may seek compensation for lost earning potential.
How Do Insurance Companies and Liable Parties Try to Avoid Paying for Burn Victims’ Injuries?
Many insurance companies fail to provide the compensation burn victims deserve after their injuries. Several common tactics may help decrease the compensation you receive for your injuries.
- Insurance companies may attempt to deny their client’s fault in your injury. They may attempt to shift liability to another party or prove that you caused your own burns. In the case of a car accident, for example, the insurance company may attempt to prove that you, not the other driver, caused the accident. If you suffered burns at work, your company may try to prove that your own negligence or disregard for the rules led to your burns.
- Insurance companies may attempt to minimize your pain and suffering. They may attempt to prove, for example, that you could have returned to work sooner than you did, or that you didn’t suffer as much pain as you claim. They may try to prove that you could have returned to your normal activities or that your burns do not prevent you from working.
- You may receive a low settlement offer soon after your accident. Immediately after your burn, you may have no idea how much your medical expenses will cost or how much work you will need to miss. Even your doctor may not give you an accurate picture of how long you can expect your recovery to take. In these early days, when you are confused and worried about how you will handle things following the accident, the insurance company may step in and issue a low offer. Many burn victims accept those initial settlements immediately, without thinking about the full extent of their injuries or their future needs. As a result, they may miss out on the full compensation they deserve.
If you see these tactics coming into play in your burn injury case, make sure you work with a lawyer who will help you avoid missing out on crucial compensation. Your lawyer can help negotiate with insurance companies and let them know that you will continue to pursue compensation. In many cases, simply having a lawyer will increase your odds of an insurance company dealing with you fairly. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after your burn can help prevent insurance companies from trying these common tactics to avoid paying and help you get the compensation you deserve more easily.
Get Legal Help After You Suffer Burn Injuries in Santa Ana
If you need a Santa Ana burn injury attorney, paying the lawyer’s fees should not be your first worry. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, we start with a free initial consultation to learn more about your injuries and who bears liability. In many cases, we take our clients on a contingent fee basis: our fee comes out of your settlement, so we do not get paid until you do. For many of our clients, this simple change makes legal help after a burn injury obtainable, rather than something that feels completely out of reach.
Instead of worrying about the potential cost of a lawyer, consider the cost if you choose not to work with one. Failure to work with a lawyer may lead to a longer fight to get compensation in your hands, leaving you scrambling to pay your bills. You may ultimately receive more compensation working with a lawyer than trying to handle things on your own, even after paying your legal fees. Not only that, a lawyer can prevent you from making critical mistakes, from posting the wrong thing on social media to admitting responsibility for your own burns, that could destroy your claims.
If you suffered serious burns in an accident, do not try to handle the legal system on your own. Instead, contact Aitken * Aitken * Cohn today at (714) 434-1424 or email us. We can provide valuable legal advice that will help you make critical decisions throughout the process, whether you need to know whether you have received a reasonable settlement offer for your injuries or you need to go to court to fight for the compensation you deserve.