Kentucky Burn Injuries
Burns are a very common injury and cause of death in the United States—400,000-plus people required medical treatment after a burn in 2013.
Residential building fires are the leading cause of fire deaths (75.0 percent), fire injuries (78.0 percent), and the dollar amount of loss (52.1 percent). But burns are caused by many things other than fires. According to the American Burn Association, less than half (44 percent) of all burn injuries serious enough to cause the victim’s hospitalization involved the type of open flames we refer to as a “fire.” Other, “non-fire” causes of burn hospitalizations included:
- Scaldings (33 percent)
- Contact with a hot surface (9 percent)
- Electrical burns (4 percent)
- Chemical burns (3 percent)
The remaining 7 percent involve many different causes, from hot grease to explosions.
When the injuries can be attributed to someone else’s negligence or deliberate wrongdoing, a burn victim has the right to recover monetary compensation for economic damages such as medical costs, lost earnings, future earning potential, and other out-of-pocket costs, along with non-economic damages. In especially significant in burn cases, recovery for damages such as pain, suffering, emotional anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and much more may also be a consideration.
The Many Consequences of Serious Burn Injuries
Victims of serious burn injuries must deal with a great many physical, psychological, vocational, educational, and social problems. Victims often struggle with:
- Employment (returning to, finding new, retaining)
- School (child victims trying to reintegrate)
- Managing residual symptoms like pain and itching
- Caring for wounds and scars
- Psychological distress, including trouble sleeping, depression, anxiety (possibly PTSD, severe body image distress, etc.)
- Social interaction difficulties as a result of several of the above, especially anxiety, depression, and body image problems
Pain continues to be a major problem for many burn victims long after they have been discharged from the hospital and plays into many of the problems listed above. Significant pain certainly interferes with sleep and the ability to enjoy life to any significant degree. It frequently:
- Discourages the victim from engaging in recreation or social activities
- Interferes with the ability to work
- Affects the victim’s mood, often to the point of alienating family members (no matter how sympathetic they are)
- Dampens the desire to eat and to stick with any needed therapy and rehabilitation efforts
Scarring also has a major impact on many burn victims well after the basic recovery period ends. It affects confidence and body image, and that in turn affects mood, motivation, willingness to meet and be around people in every situation, and many other aspects of life.
Exactly how scarring affects a burn victim varies considerably, however, based on such factors as:
- The victim’s general personality
- Age: Younger victims often are affected more severely since they have yet to develop their personalities fully, and scarring near joints can affect future growth
- Gender: Appearancee is stressed more for females than males in our society. Additionally, abdominal scarring may affect future pregnancies
- The location of the scarring (visible scarring is always more stressful than what can be easily concealed)
Injuries in Addition to Burns
Many victims suffer injuries in addition to burns during the incident. The most obvious are inhalation of smoke, possibly containing toxins, during a fire. Serious infections and organ failure often occur as complications of an extensive burn injury. Virtually any kind of injury can occur at the same time as the burn. Open flame fires, explosions, and electrical burns, for example, often occur under circumstances that cause the victim to fall from a considerable height. Either the burn itself or a fall can, in turn, result in amputations, fractures, brain damage, and other serious injuries. All these additional injuries must be addressed as part of the legal proceedings to obtain compensation for the burn injury.
Get Legal Help in Making a Claim for Compensation Following a Kentucky Burn Injury
Depending on the type and severity of the injury, and the victim’s social and economic circumstances, burn victims may well need to navigate disability compensation systems (temporary or permanent), the laws regarding the accommodation of the handicapped, services for physical or psychological rehabilitation, services to restore or improve vocational skills, and a host of other services and programs. That’s an awful lot on the plate for anyone, let alone someone who is also worrying about a lawsuit to hold the person responsible for the injuries to account in the legal system.
Unfortunately, many burn victims are forced by the legal and financial practicalities of life to begin the attempt to recover compensation from the person responsible for their injuries long before they have recovered their physical and mental health. Having a truly experienced burn injury lawyer to handle the legal issues helps tremendously, particularly when recovering a claim may be necessary in order to afford therapy and rehabilitation at a time when income is drastically reduced. It takes a dedicated and experienced attorney to make sure that future difficulties such as long-term effects on the victim’s life and livelihood are all taken into account at the right time in the right way.
The personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lowder & McGill, PLLC, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, have successfully handled scores of personal injury cases for burn accident victims. Our persistence and dedication will allow you to focus on your health and recovery of your life as we aggressively deal with the people who harmed you, their lawyers, and their insurance companies. We keep our caseload low enough that each client and each case gets all the attention and effort required for a successful result.
Call us today for a free consultation. Once we get the details, we can give you an idea of what to expect and get started on making sure you get what you deserve. There is no fee unless we succeed in obtaining recovery through a fair settlement when possible, or through a trial and court judgment when necessary.