If you or a loved one has suffered burns as a result of a product or service, a burn injuries lawyer in San Diego can file a civil suit against the liable party. Punitive damages may vary, depending on the degree of negligence the establishment demonstrated, as well as the severity of the burn injuries.
Different Degrees of Injuries
Burns are usually classified by degree, which is based on how much burn damage was done to the skin, tissues, and bones.
- First degree burns. This is the mildest level of burn and it’s very similar to sunburn. Generally, the epidermis (the topmost layer of skin) will be red. Though it’s somewhat painful, the injury can heal without the need for medication and most of the visible symptoms are gone in a matter of days.
- Second degree burns. The skin is white instead of red, and there may be some blisters and fluid buildup. That’s because the damage of the burn has gone past the epidermis to the dermis, or the deeper skin layers.
- Third degree burns. This type of burn is much more serious. It involves charring through the skin layers.
In a third degree burn, the skin feels harder and thicker and it can look like leather. Fluids can build up at the burn areas and they can look purple or dark red. It’s not actually painful in some cases, but that’s a bad sign because it means there has been some nerve damage.
Restoring the skin often requires advanced care, and this can include plastic surgery and skin grafts for the affected areas. In numerous cases, patients may have to undergo physical therapy to restore the extended motion or use of their torso, arms, or legs.
- Fourth degree burns. These are the most serious cases, and they’re often life-threatening. The charring isn’t limited to the skin, as muscles and even bones may have been charred as well. These injuries often end up with a permanent loss of use, motion, and dexterity for affected limbs. In some cases, the patients may even lose their fingers and toes.
Treatments for fourth degree burns will involve several operations for plastic surgery, extensive reconstruction, and skin grafts. The physical therapy afterwards will be arduous and extensive.
Fires: Asphyxiation and Smoke Inhalation
Ask any fireman, and they’ll tell you that the most dangerous aspects of fires aren’t burns. It’s smoke inhalation. You’re more like to die of asphyxiation than burning to death.
In fire-related incidents, the resulting smoke can replace the oxygen you need. The smoke contains various toxic compounds such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, which can leave victims disoriented. Severe smoke inhalation can cause serious damage to the lungs and airways, and in many cases it results in death.
Know Your Legal Options as A Burn or Fire Victim
A San Diego Personal injury and car accident lawyer can help if you are in a time of need. If you or someone close to you is a victim of burns or a fire-related incident in a commercial establishment, you should consult a burn injuries lawyer to determine whether the commercial establishment can be held liable for your injuries. The severity of your injuries will help determine the amount of damages you may receive.
We encourage you to answer the questions in our online form so one of our lawyers can personally review your case.