Walnut Creek Burn Injury Lawyers

Person wrapping their burn injury and seeking a burn injury lawyer nearbySerious burn injuries can be both physically and psychologically devastating. These painful injuries can not only significantly alter the way you look, but change the way your muscles, nerves, blood vessels, or respiratory system function. It takes some burn victims years to fully recover from their injuries and often takes great rehabilitative effort and expense to do so.

Burn injuries can happen in any number of ways, including in motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and even from dangerous or defective products. If you suffered a chemical burn or another type of burn in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. Depending on the facts of your case, this may include money for lost wages, medical bills, property damage, scarring, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

At Appel Law Firm LLP, we are dedicated to helping injury victims get the money that they need to move forward after an accident. We have significant experience handling all types of serious injuries, including burns. If you have suffered a burn injury, give us a call to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can safeguard your rights to just compensation.

About Burn Injuries

The American Burn Association reports that approximately 486,000 people receive medical treatment for burns each year. Of these, 40,000 were hospitalized for their burns, with about 30,000 receiving treatment at a hospital burn center. About 3,400 people died as a result of their injuries.

Burn injuries can happen in numerous ways, including car accidents, electrical fires, chemical spills, structural fires, hot liquid spills or scalds, construction accidents, thermal fires, fires caused by defective products, explosions, radiation, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and accidents occurring while at work. No matter how they happen, however, burn injuries can cause severe long-term consequences.

Burns are medically classified by the severity of the injury:

  • First-degree burns: First-degree burns are the least severe, affecting only the outer layer of skin (epidermis). The burn site is usually dry, red, and painful with no blistering. It typically heals within 3-5 days with minimal medical treatment. Mild sunburn is a typical example of a first-degree burn.
  • Second-degree burns: Second-degree burns (also known as “partial thickness” burns) affect both the epidermis and upper dermis layers of the skin. The burned skin appears white, deep pink, or red, usually with blisters, and is often swollen and painful. Sunburn, scalding, briefly touching a hot object, or exposure to chemicals often causes second-degree burns. These burns typically take three weeks to heal.
  • Third-degree burns: Burns are classified as third-degree burns (or “full thickness” burns) when both the epidermis and dermis layers of skin are entirely destroyed. The skin becomes dry, leathery, and swollen, and becomes brown, black, yellow, or white in color. There is no pain (or any sensation) because the nerve endings have been destroyed. New skin does not grow from third-degree burn sites, thus a skin graft is usually required.

Consequences of Burn Injuries

No matter the level of severity, burns should be treated immediately and properly to reduce the risk of suffering serious health consequences. Among the more common consequences of burns are:

  • Infection: Infection is the number one risk of having a burn injury. Because the skin is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, when the skin’s integrity is compromised, an infection can easily settle in. Signs of infection include a change of color of the burn site, a change in the thickness of the burn, green discharge or pus, or fever.
  • Dehydration: With severe burns, fluid is lost through the skin. This can lead to dehydration, which in turn can lead to shock. Some burn victims must be treated through an intravenous fluid to prevent or rectify dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, light-headedness, dizziness, weakness, dry skin, and urinating less than usual.
  • Scarring: Burns scars can be psychologically traumatic, as these scars can alter your entire appearance. To minimize scarring, you should receive prompt treatment after a burn and take proper care of the burn while healing. Unfortunately, the greater the severity of the burn, the greater the chances that your scarring will be permanent.

Can I File a Lawsuit for My Burn Injuries?

If you suffered a burn injury because of something that someone else did – or failed to do – then you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. Personal injury cases are typically based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. 

A person or entity may be negligent in any number of ways. For example, if a battery catches on fire while charging, then the manufacturer, retailer, and/or distributor may be held liable for the negligent design or manufacture of the product. Alternatively, if another driver runs a stop sign and slams into your car, they will probably be considered negligent.

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against:

  • An at-fault driver
  • A private homeowner
  • A contractor or home builder
  • Product manufacturer
  • Others who commit negligent or wrongful acts

The best way to determine if you potentially have a claim is by scheduling a free initial consultation with a Walnut Creek burn injury lawyer. During this appointment, the attorney will listen to your story and offer you advice about your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire a personal injury law firm, they will get to work right away to build a strong claim for compensation.

Personal injury cases typically start with a demand letter to the insurance company, where your lawyer will explain the facts of the case and the legal reason their insured is responsible, and then make a demand for compensation. Insurance companies will typically respond with a counteroffer, and the two parties will begin negotiating a deal. If the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement, then it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to protect your rights.

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can increase the likelihood of getting top dollar for your claim. Insurance companies know that when an injury victim has legal representation, they won’t settle for pennies on the dollar. To increase the likelihood of getting full compensation for your burn injuries, reach out to our legal team for a free consultation.

What Compensation Am I Entitled to for My Burn Injuries?

In a personal injury case, you may be able to recover money for all of the losses you have suffered. These are known as your damages. There are three types of damages that may be available in a burn injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages compensate you for your direct financial losses, such as medical expenses, ongoing and future medical treatment, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and property damage. You may have particularly high economic damages in a burn injury case if you had surgery, treatment in a burn unit, and/or skin grafting procedures.

Non-economic damages cover intangible losses. Unlike economic damages, it can be hard to put a number on these types of losses, which may include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. If your burn injuries have caused permanent disability or affected the quality of your life, then your non-economic damages may also be significant.

Finally, punitive damages are available in cases where the at-fault party acted intentionally or recklessly (as opposed to negligently). In the battery example above, punitive damages may be available if the manufacturer knew that there was a risk of fire, but sold the product without a warning. Punitive damages may also be awarded in drunk driving accidents.

The best way to get maximum compensation for your losses is by working with an experienced Walnut Creek burn injury attorney. Studies show that people who are represented by a lawyer recover an average of 40% more in personal injury cases, compared to people who represent themselves. Our law firm will take on the major corporations for you, and will fight for your right to full compensation.

When to Seek Medical Attention

It’s crucial to know when a burn requires professional medical treatment. Seek immediate medical attention if the burn:

  • Is larger than the size of the person’s palm.
  • Appears deep, charred, or has white or brown patches.
  • Is on the face, hands, feet, groin, buttocks, a major joint, or genitals.
  • Causes difficulty in breathing or covers a large part of the body, like the back, chest, or legs.

Can I Afford a Burn Injury Lawyer?

Yes. Personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay anything out of pocket, and only pay a fee if you recover money through a settlement or verdict at trial. Your lawyer will be paid a percentage of your total recovery.

With contingency fee agreements, you can afford to hire a burn injury attorney even if you don’t have a lot of extra cash. In Walnut Creek, CA, call the Appel Law Firm LLP to schedule a no-cost consultation with a member of our legal team.

My Loved One Died from Their Burn Injury. Can I File a Lawsuit?

Possibly. If your family member died from a burn injury that was caused by someone else, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Spouses, domestic partners, children, and other survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

Through this type of legal action, you may be able to recover financial compensation for funeral expenses, burial expenses, loss of services that your loved one would have provided, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship. Reach out to the Appel Law Firm today to talk to a Walnut Creek burn injury lawyer about your case.

How Much Is My Burn Injury Case Worth?

The value of your claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether you are expected to make a full recovery, and even the policy limits of the at-fault party’s insurance. Generally, people who suffer more serious injuries will recover more compensation than people whose burn injuries were relatively mild. 

During a free initial consultation, a Walnut Creek burn injury lawyer will give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. This number may increase or decrease as the case moves forward. Contact the Appel Law Firm today to schedule an appointment with a California personal injury attorney.

How We Can Help You

Burn injuries are frightening occurrences for both the victim and their families. If the burn was caused due to the negligence of others, it’s understandable that you’d want those responsible to financially compensate you for your medical expenses, lost income, and other losses that you’ve suffered.

At Appel Law Firm LLP in Walnut Creek, California, our burn injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you obtain the financial compensation you need and deserve for your injury. We can’t turn back the clock to before your accident happened, but we can help you to move forward into a happy, healthy future. For a free consultation, call us today at (925) 938-2000 or contact us online.