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Burn Injury Lawyers
Experiencing a burn injury can be an agonizing and traumatic ordeal. Victims could face multiple surgeries, long hospital stays, and prolonged rehabilitation therapies. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a fire-related incident, you could be entitled to compensation from the responsible party, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Wage loss
- Awards for pain and suffering
Burn injury claims can be complex. However, you do not have to face an insurance company or lawsuit on your own. Morgan & Morgan is here to help burn injury victims. Our committed Owensboro, KY burn injury lawyers can walk you through your legal options and hold the responsible party to account. Contact us now to find out for free how we could help you get justice and compensation.
Types of Burn Injuries
Figures from the American Burns Association (ABA) show that around 486,000 Americans seek medical treatment for burn injuries annually. Most fire injuries happen at work or in the home. Common causes for burns include:
- Coming into contact with fire and flames
- Hot water or steam scalding
- Electrical burns
- Chemical burns
- Burns from radiation
Burn Injury Classifications
Burn injuries can cause redness, swelling, blistering, and pain. In general, there are three main classifications for burn injuries:
- First-degree burns – minor burns damaging only the outer layer of skin.
- Second-degree burns – moderate burns that damage the outer and second skin layer.
- Third-degree burns – severe burns that can damage several skin layers, including muscles and bone.
Where Do Most Burn Injuries Occur in Owensboro?
Burn injuries can occur almost anywhere in Kentucky, including in your own home. According to the US Fire Administration, most fire fatalities in the state occur in residential buildings and other structures, followed by vehicles and outdoors.
Houses and Apartments
Fires in apartment buildings and houses can occur for a multitude of reasons, including:
- Cooking accidents
- Defective electrical wiring
- Faulty electric appliances
Landlords may be responsible if they neglect property maintenance or fail to adhere to Kentucky fire safety laws and regulations. Rented homes should have fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and other fire safety provisions.
Although fires can potentially happen in all work environments, burn injuries can be more common in the manufacturing, construction, and hospitality industries. Owensboro workers who suffer a burn injury are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if a third-party, such as a property owner or another contractor, carelessly caused your burn injuries, you could file a personal injury lawsuit and receive additional compensation.
Fires and burn injuries can happen in all types of commercial property, such as hotels, restaurants, malls, medical centers, and others. Property and business owners must make reasonable efforts to keep guests and visitors safe. Failing to do so could mean that they are liable for damages if someone comes to harm.
Occasionally, serious car accidents can lead to fires and burn injuries. If another caused your accident, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit and seek damages.
Defective products such as electric appliances can cause burn injuries due to overheating or exploding. If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury from a faulty electric device or another product, the manufacturer or part manufacturer might be liable for your damages.
Victims Could Have Legal Recourse
Landlords, employers, and business owners are responsible for ensuring that their premises are reasonably safe. If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of another, our attorneys could help you pursue compensation.
The Long-Term Effects of Burn Injuries
While minor burn injuries can heal independently, major burns can cause long-term, lifelong, and expensive health issues. Some of the long-term consequences of burn injuries include:
In a severe burn injury, underlying tissues and nerve endings can get damaged and destroyed, leading to temporary or permanent nerve damage. Symptoms of nerve damage include:
- Burning sensations
- Shooting pains in the affected area
- Sensitivity to touch
Victims with a severe burn injury may experience a complete loss of sensation in the area impacted due to the nerves being permanently destroyed.
Permanent disfigurement and scarring can be common with significant burn injuries. Burn scars may become raised and discolored. Patients with permanent disfigurement can experience considerable emotional distress, especially when the face is affected.
Loss of limbs
When the deeper layers of skin and tissue are destroyed in severe burn injuries, limb amputations may become necessary to save the victim’s life.
Loss of Function
Deep burns can significantly damage muscles and bones. As a result, victims may lose function or mobility in the affected body area.
Since burn injuries damage the skin’s protective layer, patients are at an increased risk of developing infections at the injury site and elsewhere in the body.
Experiencing a fire and burn injury can be upsetting and traumatizing. Victims may develop psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and others.
Burn Victims in Owensboro Can Pursue Compensation
You could qualify for compensation if you experienced a burn injury due to another’s careless or reckless conduct. What you can recover will depend on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of the incident. For example, if your injury happened at work, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation. If you suffered a burn injury at your home, you could hold a landlord responsible in certain circumstances and receive damages.
Workers who experience an accident and injury are generally entitled to workers’ compensation. Kentucky workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits such as:
- Medical treatment
- Wage replacement
- Vocational benefits such as retraining costs
A deceased worker’s family could qualify for benefits such as burial and funeral expenses and ongoing monthly payments for a spouse and dependent children.
Burn Injury Claim
If you got hurt on someone else’s property, you could have a burn injury claim against the at-fault party or their insurer. While settlements differ depending on the circumstances of the injured individuals, you could qualify for:
Severe burn injuries can leave victims permanently disabled and unable to return to their previous job. Some may never work again. Victims could qualify for awards for income loss and loss of future earning capacity.
Severe burn injuries can come with astronomical medical costs. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the average hospital cost for treating a burn injury patient was over $93,000 in 2014.
Filing a claim or lawsuit could qualify victims for reimbursement of their medical costs such as hospital stays, medications, and specialist appointments. Victims could also receive awards for future healthcare costs.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and discomfort can be intense and ongoing with significant burns. If someone else is responsible for the fire or incident that caused your injury, you could seek various damages, including:
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Reduced life quality
Punitive damages are generally rare in personal injury claims. However, if someone’s conduct was particularly reckless or malicious in causing your injury, such as deliberate arson, a court could award punitive damages. These damages are designed to act as a deterrent and punishment for the at-fault party. If awarded, victims receive punitive damages in addition to compensation.
Morgan & Morgan Can Help
We understand the issues burn victims can face, such as steep medical and rehabilitation bills, wage loss, and other expenses. Moreover, when you are out of work, paying for these expenses and taking care of your family can be challenging. However, if someone else caused your injury, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden alone. Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our Owensboro, KY burn injury lawyers can work tirelessly for the best possible outcome of your case and maximum compensation so you can get your life back on track.
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Do I Have a Burn Injury Case in Owensboro?
Not all those suffering burn injuries have a legal case and qualify for compensation. However, if your injury is significant and occurred due to another party’s negligent or willful conduct, you could have a burn injury case. A personal injury claim entails the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a “duty of care.”
- The defendant breached their duty.
- The breach caused the fire accident and injury.
- The plaintiff sustained damages such as medical bills.
Duty of care generally describes another party’s responsibility to avoid causing harm. For example, a landlord must ensure that an apartment is reasonably safe and free of hazardous conditions such as faulty electrical appliances. A breach of duty occurs when the defendant fails to uphold their duty, causing harm to another. A personal injury claim should make the plaintiff “whole” again and allow them to recover damages relating to the accident and injury.
I Was Injured at Work; Can Morgan & Morgan Help?
If you suffered a burn injury at work, your first step would be filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, consulting with our attorneys is always a good idea as there may be other avenues for recovering damages, such as a third-party lawsuit.
Getting what you deserve can be challenging without a strong advocate. In some cases, workers’ compensation claims are denied, and victims have to go through an arduous and complex appeals process to pursue their rightful benefits.
Morgan & Morgan can offer you the personal attention you deserve, whether you were injured at work or elsewhere. We can fight a denied workers’ compensation claim on your behalf and identify other potential options for receiving a fair settlement, such as filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Burn Injury Lawsuit in Owensboro?
The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit depends on the type of case you are bringing. However, as most burn injury claims are personal injury lawsuits, Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(a) determines that victims have one year to file a suit. The time starts running down on the day the incident and your injury occurred. A year can be very short, especially if you experienced a severe injury and spent weeks or months in hospital. Therefore, contacting an attorney as soon as possible can be crucial for protecting your right to seek damages from the responsible party.
Can I Afford a Burn Injury Lawyer?
Discussing fees before hiring an attorney can be critical, as some charge hourly fees and upfront retainers. However, paying out-of-pocket attorney’s fees could leave you with thousands of dollars to pay whether you win or lose your case.
Most personal injury attorneys work on “contingency,” which means you only pay attorney’s fees if and when you win and recover compensation. However, you may still be responsible for upfront legal fees such as court filing costs, expert witness fees, and others.
Morgan & Morgan never charges clients a dime upfront. We believe injured victims have enough on their plate and deserve the best legal representation regardless of their financial status. We only get paid when we win and recover compensation for you.
Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for What You Deserve
Victims who experience the trauma and pain of significant burn injuries should not have to struggle to get their due. Our Owensboro, KY burn injury lawyers can help victims in numerous ways, including:
- Arrange suitable medical care
- Help you learn about your legal rights
- Handle your burn injury claim from beginning to end
- Fight vigorously for what you deserve in a courtroom
We see firsthand the physical, emotional, and financial impact of fire injuries on victims and their families. When we take your case, you have America’s largest personal injury firm and an army of motivated and determined lawyers in your corner. Morgan & Morgan never settles for less because we want our clients to get the full value of their claim so they can move on with their lives. Get in touch with us today and determine your best next steps with a free case review.