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Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident resulting in severe burns? If so, you may be entitled to benefits, medical care, and financial compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of burn injury lawyers in St. Louis. Call Miller & Hine today at (314) 413-2053, or contact us online. It costs you nothing to talk to us and receive an initial consultation.
In addition, we handle burn injury and other personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you pay no fee until we win compensation for you.
What Are the Common Causes of Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries can occur in many ways, with results ranging from mild burns with minimal scarring to life-altering burns that cause disfigurement and disability. Common causes of burn injury claims in Missouri include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Apartment and house fires
- Household accidents
- Hot liquids/steam
All burns are painful and 2nd-4th degree burns require extensive medical treatment. Burns from electrocution are often internal, sometimes causing organ damage. External burns cause scarring and disfigurement, and in severe cases can result in the loss of fingers, toes, or limbs. Severe burns can cause physical disability and mental trauma.
Common Types of Burn Injuries
Thermal burn injuries are the most common type of burn injury and make up about 86% of burns treated at burn centers in the U.S. Thermal burns are any burns caused by direct heat, such as from flames, scalding liquids, or hot surfaces.
Other types of burns in injury claims arc also common such as:
- Electrocution or arc burns
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
- Friction burns
- Cold burns (frostbite)
Burn injuries of any of the above types cause damage that ranges from significant to severe, all of which would require immediate medical attention. Our team of St. Louis burn injury lawyers can help. We have a long track record of obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts for personal injury victims in St. Louis.
Four Degrees of Burn Injuries
Care and treatment for burns depend on the degree of the burn—measured by the burn’s depth—as well as how large the total body surface area burned. Minor burns are those that cover 15% or less of an adult’s body or less than 10% of the body surface of a child. Major burns are those covering up to 35% of an adult’s body or 30% of a child’s body. When an adult or child sustains burns covering more than 35% or 30% of their body, the burns are critical and considered life-threatening injuries.
Medical providers also classify burn injuries by degrees under the following guidelines:
- First-degree burns: superficial burns that affect only the top layer of the skin (epidermis)
- Second-degree burns: burns that penetrate to the second layer of the skin (dermis) either superficially, forming blisters and sometimes scarring, or deeper second-degree burns penetrating the deep dermis and leaving more extensive scarring—sometimes requiring skin grafts
- Third-degree burns: full-thickness burns that penetrate all skin layers and extend into the underlying tissue, requiring extensive treatment for recovery and infection prevention, as well as skin grafts
- Fourth-degree burns: burns that penetrate through the skin, fat, muscle, tendons, and into bones with life-threatening consequences to the injured victim
The recovery time for burn injuries depends on the severity and depth of the burns as well as the amount of body area burned. Some burn victims may suffer burns of varying degrees on different parts of their bodies.
The Recovery Process for Burn Injuries
Burn wounds are among the most complex injuries to heal, requiring various treatment measures depending on the depth of the burns. First and second-degree burns require wound care such as antibiotic ointment and dressings, with frequent reapplication as well as controlling drainage. Deeper second-degree burns may require debridement—the removal of dead tissue.
Treating third-degree burns requires fluid replacement, antibiotics to prevent infection, debridement, and replacement of dead, burned tissue with grafts of healthy skin. The recovery process requires moisturizing damaged skin, closing gaping wounds, replacing damaged skin with grafts, preventing the reopening of wounds, correcting scarring, and sometimes physical therapy to improve skin suppleness and restore range of motion.
Often, burn victims also suffer damage to the respiratory system caused by smoke and heat.
Burn Injury Claims are Unique
Burn injury claims are unique in that they can sometimes have more than one liable party. For example, suppose you suffered a burn injury on the job and that someone other than your employer or a coworker, such as a subcontractor or vendor was to blame. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, you might also be able to obtain third-party compensation from the at-fault party.
Our attorneys handle all types of burn injury claims and can help you recover the compensation you deserve. After thoroughly reviewing your claim, our burn injury lawyers will identify all liable parties and make them accountable for your pain and suffering, medical costs, and other expenses.
Proving Liability in a St. Louis Burn Injury Case
When someone suffers painful, disfiguring, and sometimes debilitating injuries due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing, the victim deserves compensation. It often requires a skilled personal injury attorney to prove the negligent party liable for damages. Proving liability requires demonstrating the following:
- That the party at fault owed a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent injuries, such as a tanker driver’s duty to follow traffic laws or an apartment building owner’s duty to install and maintain smoke detectors and other fire prevention measures
- That the at-fault party breached this duty of care through an act of negligence, reckless behavior, or purposeful wrongdoing
- That the breach of duty directly caused the burn injury
- That the burn victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages from the injury
The civil courts offer redress for burn victims through an injury claim to recover economic damages plus compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Damages in burn injury claims often include significant amounts of compensation for non-economic damages due to the disfigurement, scarring, and emotional trauma associated with burns.
What Damages St. Louis Burn Injuries Can Recover
Treating burn injuries requires some of the most intense medical interventions and therapies, from the initial emergency medical treatment to supporting healing, preventing infection, and correcting damage. Correcting the damage caused by serious burns often involves skin grafts, plastic surgery, and other corrective measures, such as physical therapy to stretch damaged tissue to regain range of motion. The typical course of treatment for burns is costly, and treating serious burns is exorbitantly expensive as well as excruciating for the victim. A successful burn injury claim in St. Louis could recover damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses for further necessary treatment for healing damage and improving appearance
- Lost wages
- Future income loss
- Diminished earning capacity if the burns cause disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Disfigurement, loss of limb, PTSD, and trauma
When burn injuries are catastrophic or life-altering, the victim deserves justice and compensation. Even second-degree burns often cause scarring, pain, time away from work and emotional trauma. Though financial compensation cannot undo the burn injuries, it can open doors to the best medical care and help alleviate the financial stressors associated with expensive medical treatment.
How Long Do You Have to File a St. Louis Burn Injury Claim?
Like all states, Missouri places a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, including burn injuries. These time limits serve to preserve the integrity of evidence and eyewitness testimony as well as freeing defendants from the indefinite threat of lawsuits. Missouri’s statute of limitations for burn injuries and other personal injuries is 5 years—a more generous time limit than in most states.
When minors suffer burn injuries, they have 5 years from the day they turn 18 to file a claim for damages.
What Type of Lawyer Do I Need for My St. Louis Burn Injury Case?
If you or someone you care about has suffered a burn injury in St. Louis, you need a personal injury lawyer who:
- Has experience handling burn injury cases in Missouri
- Has access to the best experts needed to testify on your behalf
- Is prepared to take your case to trial if the liable insurance companies will not pay you what you deserve
You only get one shot at recovering all the compensation you are entitled to receive. Give it your best by hiring the right burn injury attorney to assist you with your claim.
How a St. Louis Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help
Burn injuries are devastating to victims and their families. In addition to the emotional and physical damages, burn victims often require extensive and expensive hospital stays and rehabilitation.
Do not let anyone push you into settling before you know the full extent of your loss. Our legal firm will see to it that you receive top dollar.
Insurance companies know we fight for our clients, and we are not like other lawyers who take the easy way and will accept any settlement offer. That is why insurance companies offer our clients the top settlements.
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury in St. Louis, put our 50+ years of combined experience to work for you. Call Miller & Hine today at (314) 413-2053, or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis burn injury lawyer.
We handle personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay us no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.