Burn Injury Lawyers in Pensacola
Burns are among the most excruciating injuries anyone can suffer. Severe burns often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, causing injury victims to miss a lot of work and endure untold pain and suffering. This type of injury is hard on families too, as they frequently have trouble paying the bills and may be forced to step into a caregiving role while their loved one is trying to recover. If you or someone close to you has suffered a burn injury and it resulted from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. To ensure that you fully understand your rights and legal options, it is best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the injury.
At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we have over 60 years of combined experience representing victims of burn injuries and other types of personal injuries in the Florida Panhandle. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we put our extensive experience to work to provide the skilled and personalized representation our clients need and deserve. We have a successful track record recovering full compensation in even the most complex cases, and we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients are in the best possible position to obtain a favorable result.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
According to the American Burn Association, approximately half a million individuals are treated for burn injuries in the U.S. each year. About 40,000 of those treated have to be hospitalized, and around 3,000 victims do not survive their injury. There are a number of reasons why burn injuries occur, some of the most common causes include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Defective Product Accidents
- Electrical Accidents
- Household and Apartment Fires
- Gas Explosions
- Scalding Injuries
- Chemical Accidents
These incidents can result in one of several types of burns, such as:
- Thermal Burns: The most common type of burn injury, thermal burns happen when the victim comes in contact with something hot, such as a flame, stovetop, cooking pan, hot liquid, or hot steam. A thermal burn can happen for a number of reasons and in almost any setting.
- Electrical Burns: Commonly referred to as electrocution, electrical burns happen because of an electrical shock that runs through the body. Because our internal systems are not resistant to electricity, a major jolt or shock can cause internal injuries. If the shock is powerful enough, it can also set fire to the victim’s clothing and cause thermal burns as well.
- Chemical Burns: These burns happen when the body comes in contact with a toxic substance such as acid, bleach, or something stronger. Chemical burns are common in workplaces, especially those in which employees frequently work with hazardous chemicals. Some examples may include factories, medical facilities, construction jobsites, and farms.
- Friction Burns: When two surfaces rub together to generate heat, it causes friction. If the surface of the skin scrapes or rubs repeatedly against another surface, it can cause a friction burn. Common surfaces that may cause friction burns include hard carpets, rugs, and ropes.
- Radiation Burns: This type of burn happens because of intense radiation over the skin for an extended period of time. The most common type of radiation burn is sunburn. Radiation burns can also happen in tanning beds or during cancer radiation treatment.
- Laser Burns: In Florida, cosmetic surgery is a booming industry. And laser hair removal is one of the most common types of treatment. Unfortunately, many in this industry are not properly trained, and some of the removal equipment is not approved by the FDA. When laser hair removal therapy goes wrong, it can cause laser burn injuries to the areas of the body being treated.
Classifications of Burn Injuries
There are varying degrees of severity in which burn injuries are classified:
- First-Degree Burns: This is the mildest type of burn injury. A first-degree burn affects just the top layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. It is often possible to treat this type of burn with home remedies and without the need for medical treatment. First-degree burns usually heal on their own in about a week.
- Second-Degree Burns: This burn is more severe because it penetrates two layers of skin, the top layer (epidermis), and the layer underneath it (dermis). Second degree burns often require some medical treatment, such as a skin transplant or replacement, to cover the area that was burned and allow the body to heal.
- Third-Degree Burns: These burns penetrate into the third layer of skin, frequently causing the skin to appear black, brown, white, or leathery. Third-degree burns also frequently cause swelling, numbness, and severe pain in the areas of the body that are affected. This type of burn typically requires immediate and intensive medical treatment, and there is often an extended rehabilitation period required for the victim to get back to normal (or as close to normal as can be expected depending on the specific injury).
Damages Available in Florida Burn Injury Cases
When a victim suffers a burn injury and another party is responsible, the victim is entitled to compensation. Damages are divided into three general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are damages that are quantifiable, such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages for time missed from work, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial costs (in cases in which the burn injury resulted in a wrongful death).
- Non-Economic Damages: These are damages that you cannot assign a dollar figure to. Examples include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases in which the reckless actions or omissions by the responsible party were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter them (and others) from similar behavior in the future.
Speak with a Compassionate Florida Burn Injuries Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we understand that the physical, emotional, and financial pain burn injury victims and their families have to endure is incomprehensible, and we do everything possible to make the legal process smooth and stress-free. We work closely with our clients, providing strong legal counsel and moral support during this difficult time.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a burn injury, contact us today at 850-500-1111 for a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. You may also send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.