Burn Injury Lawyer in St. Louis, MO
Dedicated representation for injuries from fires and explosions
Burns are painful injuries that can take weeks or months from which to recover. Severe burns can be catastrophic, leaving both emotional and physical scars that will last a lifetime and leave a victim with chronic pain and extensive medical treatment that could last for years. The effects of a burn injury are long-lasting, traumatic, and financially devastating.
If you or a loved one suffer burn injuries in an accident, whether from a fire, explosion, or chemical irritants, look to The Hayden Law Firm for assertive representation. We put our years of experience handling personal injury claims to work for you, seeking compensation and justice on your behalf. Contact us today for a free and no-risk consultation. We serve the greater St. Louis area and Illinois.
What are the degrees of burn injuries?
At The Hayden Law Firm, we represent clients with burn injuries ranging from mild to severe. We treat everyone with the respect they deserve and listen to their story, no matter where their injury falls on the scale.
The four degrees of burn injuries include:
- First-degree burn. A minor burn that only affects surface-level skin, for example, a sunburn. These should resolve on their own, unless the burn is over a wide and large area of the body.
- Second-degree burn. A moderate burn that impacts both the upper and lower layers of the skin, also known as the dermis. They are more serious, extremely painful, cause permanent scars, and typically require medical treatment.
- Third-degree burn. This is a serious burn, also known as full-thickness burn, that affects all layers of the skin and causes tissue damage. It is accompanied by loss of sensation, limited mobility, and will usually require intensive treatment and potential skin grafting.
- Fourth-degree burn. A severe and rare burn that affects all layers of skin, nerves, and muscles. Most fourth-degree burns lead to death or permanent disfigurement.
Most second-to-fourth degree burns require ongoing skin grafting and intensive medical treatment to effectively heal. Chronic medical conditions are expensive to treat and can take a serious physical and emotional toll on the victims.
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How common are burn injuries in MO and the United States?
The American Burn Association (ABA) notes that burn injuries are one of the leading causes of death and unintentional injury in the United States. In the most recent data available, 3,390 people lost their lives in fires in one year, with one fire fatality occurring every two hours and 35 minutes.
The majority of burn injuries happen in the home, at 73 percent, with the rest occurring at work and other places. Nearly a quarter of burn injuries happen to children under the age of fifteen. The ABA reports that although nearly 97 percent of burn patients survive their injuries, many survivors are left coping with “serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties.”
What are the different types of burn injuries?
Although fires are the most common way to suffer a burn injury, they are by far not the only way. Various types of burns include:
- Heat burn. Occurs when there has been direct contact with fire, steam, scalding liquids, or other hot objects. Depending on the temperature and duration of the thermal burn, all layers of the skin, nerve endings, blood vessels, muscle, and even bone can be damaged. For example, a car accident may have resulted in leaking chemicals and fuel catching on fire, leaving anyone inside or around the vehicle vulnerable to heat burns.
- Electrical burn. Occurs when there has been contact with live electricity. Unlike other types of burn injuries, an electrical current moving through the human body can result in more severe damage under the skin causing internal injuries, including organ damage. For example, think about an exposed wire on someone’s property. If the owner was aware of this hazard, failed to repair it, and someone received an electrical burn from making contact with the wire, they may be entitled to file a premises liability.
- Chemical burn. Occurs when there has been skin or tissue contact with toxic chemicals and substances. Chemical burns are commonly a result of misuse of industrial chemicals or household products. For example, someone who bought a beauty product with the reasonable expectation that it was safe to use may have used the product and suffered a chemical burn. Due to the product defect, they may be entitled to file a product liability.
- Radiation burn. Occurs when there has been contact with ionizing radiation that damages cells in the body. These burns come from UV rays, X-rays, and radiation therapy. A sunburn is an example of a radiation burn. Small amounts of radiation may not cause damage, but overexposure is dangerous.
- Friction burn. Occurs when there has been contact with a hard or abrasive surface. Friction burns are common in auto accidents of all kinds. For example, a motorcyclist may have been thrown off their bike during a motorcycle accident and suffered “road rash” from contact with the pavement. You might also suffer a friction burn in a slip and fall.
However your burn injury happened, The Hayden Law Firm will investigate your case, determine the extent of your injuries, and fiercely protect your rights.
What is the long-term effect of burn injuries?
Burn injury survivors often live with long-term complications and effects. These can include:
- Infections. The skin plays a vital role in preventing infection by keeping germs out of your body. Serious burns can damage or even kill layers of the skin, making you more susceptible to infections. The most serious type of infection is sepsis, which can lead to organ failure or even death. With very ill patients, medical equipment like catheters and tubes also heighten the risk for infection.
- Respiratory problems. Inhalation of smoke, hot air, or burning chemicals can greatly damage the lungs and respiratory system. In serious cases, this can result in respiratory failure.
- Physical disabilities. After a serious burn, permanent scarring can cause injury to joints and muscles, resulting in long-term mobility issues as the body attempts to heal. In addition to scarring, burn injury survivors may also experience permanent, limited range of motion in the affected area.
- Emotional or psychological. Survivors of serious burn injuries often experience psychological trauma, most commonly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many survivors also suffer from depression, anxiety, and issues with self-image or self-esteem. Patients recovering from burn injuries often benefit from psychological therapy.
How much is my burn injury case worth?
Working with a skilled and experienced attorney gives you the best chance for the most successful outcome in a personal injury case. The Hayden Law Firm understands how to investigate a case and hold the right people or parties responsible for your injuries and losses. We will work to secure financial compensation and damages, including:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Property damage
- Rehabilitation and therapy expenses
Here in Missouri, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury action is five years from the date of the injury, so you should consult with our offices as soon as possible. We can help get the paperwork started on time and speak to you about your accident while the details are still fresh in your mind.
How can a St. Louis burn injury attorney help?
At The Hayden Law Firm, we have years of experience investigating burn injury accidents and other complicated personal injury cases. We know Missouri’s legal system from the inside out and we want to bring that level of knowledge and care to your case.
When your burn injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s our job to find out why and hold them accountable. Gathering evidence to prove this can be extremely complicated, and even knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. We are not afraid to go to trial, tapping into our vast network of experts and top medical professionals to explain your injuries to the insurance company and a jury, giving you the best chance at success.
We get you the results you need when you need them most.
Experienced burn injury attorney serving St. Louis, MO
Burns are challenging and painful injuries from which to recover. Worrying about your medical bills should not be one of those challenges. The Hayden Law Firm protects your rights to compensation when you’re injured due to the fault of another. Please call our offices at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation We proudly serve clients in St. Louis, and throughout Missouri and Illinois.