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Though thermal burns (those caused by intense heat) are the most common type, we can handle burns caused by:
- Fire or explosion
- Inhaling hot smoke or gas
- Hot liquids (scalds)
No matter the cause, burns range in severity from mild to deadly. First-degree burns, the sort you’d get from accidentally touching a hot pan, typically heal on their own within a week. It is the deeper, and therefore more severe, burns that may cause lasting injury:
- Second-degree burns affect both layers of skin: the epidermis and dermis.
- Third-degree burns penetrate through both layers of skin and harm tissues underneath. These burns destroy hair follicles and sweat glands.
- Fourth-degree burns extend beyond the skin into the subdermal fat layer.
- Fifth-degree burns damage everything up to and including muscle tissue. When not fatal, these burns typically require amputation of injured limbs or digits.
- Sixth-degree burns, the most intense type, penetrate all the way to the bone. These injuries are not survivable.
Most patients with serious burn injuries need to attend a burn clinic for specialized therapies from top doctors. Between travel and treatment costs, they and their families may face financial stress. This is the sort of situation an injury claim is meant to help alleviate.
Determining Liability in Burn Injuries
As multiple situations can result in severe burns, there are many potentially liable parties for each incident. If you were burned in an accident caused by someone else, our team wants to help you figure out who was liable. Below are some of the situations that might lead to burns, and who would be liable in each.
Nearly 90% of burn injuries are thermal, with 43% of those being from fire or flame and 34% caused by scalds. Whether a question of fire safety or a workplace accident, many burn victims are able to fight back against negligent parties:
- Dangerous products may catch fire, opening their designers, manufacturers, and/or distributors to liability.
- If a poorly installed household appliance causes a fire, its owner may be able to bring a suit against a technician.
- When a fire in a commercial venue injures visitors, they may be able to file a suit if the building did not have appropriate safety measures, violated fire codes, or did not have sufficient escape routes.
- Scalds are a constant hazard in commercial kitchens, where injured employees may be able to file for workers’ compensation.
Lightning is unlikely to strike you, but electrical burns are a concern in the workplace and in any situations that involve bare wires. For instance:
- Construction and industrial workplaces that lack strong lockout/tag out procedures often result in electrocuted workers, who can then file for workers’ compensation.
- Improperly installed wiring or electrical sockets around the house can result in electric shock, for which builders are likely liable.
If you have a cabinet full of cleaning supplies, chances are you have some materials that can burn you. In fact, chemicals that are dangerous to people are used in many situations. When they are not treated with appropriate caution, people may become injured:
- Household cleaners must be clearly labeled if they are dangerous and provide instructions on how they can be used safely, or someone burned by one could hold the manufacturer or distributor liable for burn injuries.
- Workplaces with stores of dangerous chemicals should provide PPE and have suitable storage and labeling systems, because any worker that suffers a chemical burn can file for workers’ compensation.
Severe radiation burns are rare. In some cases, they may not manifest right away, which can make it harder to figure out who is to blame. Thankfully, these burns have relatively few causes:
- An employee whose eyes are not shielded in the presence of active welding is likely to suffer damage to their vision. Aside from filing for workers’ compensation, they may also be able to bring a suit against the company that made their PPE, if it was faulty.
- Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer and other medical conditions. In some cases, patients end up with severe burns. If this happens because of a treatment mistake, or if they were not warned of the hazard before starting the therapy, a patient may be able to file a medical malpractice suit.
Lasting Complications from Burn Injuries
Severe burns of any type, in which both layers of skin are damaged, typically cannot heal without skin grafts. This process, and the rehabilitation that follows it, may take months. Even once fully healed, a burn patient’s health is not fully restored. The effects of a burn injury may follow them for the rest of their lives.
These complications include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Decreased mobility around joints
- Immune suppression
- Respiratory issues
- Intolerance of heat and cold
- Intolerance of sunlight (UV radiation)
- Chronic pain
- Mental distress or illness such as depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The challenges from a burn injury are such that they require major changes to a patient’s life. Burn patients are less likely to return to their job after healing; in fact, some may be unable to perform their previous job, depending on its demands and their continued health issues. That, along with continuing medical costs, makes finding a financial safety net an imperative for these individuals.
We represented 111 of the 333 survivors in the lawsuits against Michigan State University for sexual abuse involving the former MSU doctor, Larry Nassar.Read More
Grewal Law has been amazingly empathetic and forward-thinking through this very emotional and trying time.- Anonymous
Our attorneys are here to fight for the victims of severe burns, no matter where you are in Michigan. Having your life disrupted in such a painful and traumatic way is overwhelming and hard. Our attorneys understand you need compassion and support as you try to decide your next steps. We offer personal counsel and are available 24/7 to take your calls when you need help.
Maximizing your compensation after a burn injury is a must. Our attorneys can investigate your case, determine liable parties, and negotiate for a fair settlement. If the other party is not willing to give you the compensation you deserve, we are not afraid to take them to trial. You can count on our skill and knowledge to take you through this difficult time.
Manvir (Mick) Grewal Sr. Founder and Managing Partner
Scott Weidenfeller Attorney; Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Team Leader
Ayanna Neal Attorney; Sexual Assault, Civil Rights, & Criminal Team Leader
Daniel Barnett Attorney; Commercial Civil Litigation & Business Law Team Leader
Nolan Erickson Attorney; New Client Intake Coordinator & Mass Torts Projects
David Mittleman Litigating Attorney
Gurrajan Gill Attorney
Tim Seeger Attorney
Chelsea Lenard Attorney
Rico Neal Attorney
Tyler Burk Attorney
Carlye Reynolds Gasior Attorney
Michael Szparaga Attorney