You’ve just suffered a serious burn injury. Perhaps a cooking accident in your home kitchen scalded your hands and arms. Or maybe an electrical fire at work resulted in burns across your back and shoulders. These painful injuries require immediate medical attention to treat and prevent infection.
However, in the days and weeks after your initial treatment, if you notice any of the following signs, it also means you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in burn cases right away.
- 1. The burn covers more than one body part or a large surface area.
- 2. You suffer third-degree burns.
- 3. You spend time in a specialized burn care unit.
- 4. You require skin graft surgery.
- 5. You face a long rehabilitation timeline.
- 6. The burns cause loss of mobility.
- 7. You experience loss of bodily functions.
- 8. Psychological trauma follows the incident.
- 9. Permanent scars or disfigurement result.
- 10. Lingering pain persists for months.
- 11. Doctor or hospital errors possibly worsened injuries.
- 12. Employers fail to cover adequate medical leave or compensation.
- 13. Insurance denials arise for treatment or medication.
- 14. Final Thoughts
The burn covers more than one body part or a large surface area.
Burns that impact multiple areas of your body or cover large swathes of skin are almost always major burn injuries. For example, if you suffered steam burns from an industrial boiler explosion at work and have second-degree welts across both legs and your torso, you have extensive burns. Or if a house fire singed both arms and also resulted in burns on your face or head, your injuries likely span a significant body surface area.
The more parts of your body impacted by burns, the higher the severity. In these cases of widespread burns, contacting a layer immediately provides the greatest chance of being able to cover your medical expenses and also receive compensation for any losses you may incur as a result of the extensive burns.
You suffer third-degree burns.
You likely require skin grafts for third-degree or full-thickness burns that destroy all layers of the skin. This type of tissue damage usually leaves skin extremely fragile and vulnerable to infection. If an accident such as a chemical explosion, grease fire mishap, or exposure to high voltage electrical currents results in any third-degree burns, you need an attorney’s advice right away. They can immediately launch an investigation into liability while evidence remains fresh and thus give you the best chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
You spend time in a specialized burn care unit.
In the event of major burns, emergency first responders typically transport victims directly to specialized burn care units. Only the most equipped trauma facilities have designated wards with highly trained medical teams to treat intensive cases.
The very fact you receive admittance into one of these specialized units means a doctor has already classified your burns as critical. And so, since your injuries have been classified as being severe, it means that you have a fair shot at winning significant compensation from those responsible for your burns. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
You require skin graft surgery.
Skin graft operations come into play for full-thickness burns after the damaged tissue receives debridement (removal of dead skin). Once doctors clear burned areas, a surgeon harvests healthy skin from elsewhere on your body and stretches it over wounded zones.
Following these complex skin harvesting and grafting procedures, working with an attorney provides assistance covering significant medical bills and expenses stemming from your accident. Their guidance also proves invaluable for managing disability and pain and suffering damages throughout your recovery.
You face a long rehabilitation timeline.
Severe burn incidents often lead to extended healing periods involving discomfort, emotional trauma, therapy appointments, and time away from work.
Therefore, you need a lawyer for burn injury victims by your side if you are facing many weeks, months, or even years of rehabilitation before achieving any sense of normalcy again. This is because an extensive recovery roadmap means gaps in income and ongoing medical expenses that expert legal advice can help you recoup. And so in essence, you should never delay in consulting an attorney after any accident resulting in a long rehab.
The burns cause loss of mobility.
Contractures—the tightening of skin tissue damaged by serious burns—frequently limit mobility and dexterity. Physiotherapy helps improve joint movement over time, but you may partially lose flexibility or the ability to complete certain motions.
Such functional impairment affecting how you move impacts independence. Getting lawyer assistance to seek out financial resources for daily assistance, accessibility equipment, and lost wages makes life easier while adjusting. Don’t wait to ask for legal help.
You experience loss of bodily functions.
In worst-case burn scenarios, severe tissue damage can disrupt normal bodily processes.
Going into shock immediately after an incident hints at the severity of accident injuries. Later on, extensive skin injuries might impact kidney function, nutrient absorption, body temperature regulation, or even respiration in extreme cases.
Loss of integral bodily functions often necessitates lifestyle modifications for the rest of a survivor’s life—especially with neurological damage resulting from electrical or chemical burns. In such an instance, you will need all the help you can get in order to live a normal life, and contacting a lawyer when facing lifelong impacts will increase the odds of making your life bearable.
Psychological trauma follows the incident.
Recovering from harrowing burn events involving prolonged pain, scarring, surgery, or rehabilitation also takes a monumental emotional toll. Survivors frequently develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a burn injury accident. The right lawyer compassionately advocates for long-term mental health therapy coverage when appropriate after tragic incidents. Seek both medical and legal help in parallel for burn cases involving significant psychological wounds slow to heal.
Permanent scars or disfigurement result.
Coming to terms with body image changes stemming from pronounced burn scars proves difficult on its own—without factoring in others’ insensitive reactions. Support groups help cope with the emotional fallout. Still, permanent skin damage and disfigurement that alters physical appearance also warrants financial restitution you can allocate towards reconstructive surgery or psychiatric treatment. Therefore, efficiently navigating the legal process with an attorney by your side aids in recovering self-confidence. Prioritize legal counsel early on when looking at permanent scarring.
Lingering pain persists for months.
In less extreme cases not requiring extensive grafting or resulting in debilitating health deficits, lesser burns still cause lasting harm. For example, an at-home cooking oil spill might cause second-degree facial burns accompanied by nerve damage. Or perhaps you suffer electrical flash burns with associated muscular pain from an industrial accident. Even without requiring weeks in a dedicated burn unit, these serious injuries warrant attorney assistance when smaller burns generate chronic discomfort over long timelines—still negatively impacting work attendance and quality of life.
Doctor or hospital errors possibly worsened injuries.
In a fraction of accident cases, mistakes in the delivery of emergency medical care unintentionally amplify burn severity. Perhaps a nurse administered too much intravenous fluid, compromising breathing. Or faulty hospital equipment administering oxygen malfunctioned and briefly cut off the air supply.
Regardless of original liability for the underlying incident, layered medical negligence by providers responsible for treatment almost always merits attorney investigation. Seek input as soon as possible following mistakes possibly compounding burn trauma.
Employers fail to cover adequate medical leave or compensation.
Workplace activities account for nearly half of all annual burn accidents. In employer negligence causing injury, victims rightfully expect assistance covering medical bills alongside income replacement for time off the job. However, businesses often push back on reasonable disability accommodations or provide complete insurance claim support. Before agreeing to any human resources department proposals, run decisions by a personal injury lawyer well-versed in employee protections. Their oversight safeguards your interests.
Insurance denials arise for treatment or medication.
Navigating endless insurance paperwork presents an unwelcome headache most burn survivors fail to anticipate amidst trauma recovery. Still, denials for covering hospital stays, prescribed pain medications, at-home nursing assistance, or rehabilitation equipment happen more frequently than you might suspect.
Rather than paying costs out-of-pocket unnecessarily, an attorney thoroughly reviews your policy and appeals any unfounded reasons for denying rightful coverage. Don’t let insurers create additional obstacles on your road to restoring normalcy.
If any of the above circumstances ring familiar following any burn accident, seek legal counsel right away for reliable guidance at every step towards resolving your case. With an attentive lawyer helping manage insurance negotiations, disability accommodations, financial coordination, and everything in between, you save energy and will thus be able to focus on healing.
Don’t go it alone—contact a dedicated lawyer for burn injury victims as soon as possible instead.