Victims of fires and other burn incidents are often left with physical and psychological scars and injuries that leave them with overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and life-changing pain and suffering. When someone else caused the burn injury because of their negligence — such as an apartment landlord failing to follow fire safety laws, an employer not following workplace safety regulations, or a tractor-trailer who failed to follow traffic safety rules and causes a wreck resulting in an explosion — the victim may be able to recover fair compensation for these and other losses under North Carolina law.
Insurance adjusters, landlords, and others will work hard to minimize payouts to burn injury victims. That is why if you or a loved one have suffered; it is important that you contact an experienced North Carolina fire and burn injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. The attorney can help you hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and potentially get you the compensation you deserve.
Types of Burns
There are four main types of burns:
- Thermal burns – caused by contact with fire, steam, hot liquids, or other sources of extreme heat
- Light burns – caused by sunlight or ultraviolet light
- Chemical burns – caused by an acid, alkali, or chemical explosion
- Radiation burns – caused by contact with nuclear radiation
There are three categories of burn severity:
- First-degree burns – only the top layer of skin is damaged. First-degree burns are characterized by redness, minor inflammation. These burns cause minimal damage, and usually heal within a week. They can often be treated with aloe vera gel and cool water – not with ice!
- Second-degree burns – damage goes beyond the top layer of skin. Second-degree burns are characterized by extremely red, blistered skin. These burns may take weeks to heal and should be properly bandaged.
- Third-degree burns – The worst type of burn, damage extends through all layers of skin and can affect organs and bones. Third-degree burns are characterized by a white or black dry wound, and charring. Third degree burns can cause permanent nerve damage, hypothermia, and even death, so seek emergency medical treatment immediately
There are two nationally recognized burn centers in North Carolina. The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center is located in Chapel Hill, and the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Burn Center is located in Winston-Salem.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
Burns are one of the most expensive and traumatic injuries to treat. Even a simple first-degree burn can become infected and require medical treatment. Third degree burns can take years of treatment to heal, and usually have a significant impact on the victim’s quality of life and ability to work, sometime for the remainder of the patient’s life. Extensive burns can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment, repeat admission, and rehabilitation.
In every burn injury case our firm handles, our attorneys identify all possible at-fault parties and potential sources of compensation. When we sit down for your free case consultation, we will listen as you describe your accident in-depth and we will determine how we can pursue maximum compensation for you.
Burn Injuries Caused by Negligence
When you are coping with the aftermath of a severe burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to worry about mounting medical bills, missing days from work, and how your family will stay afloat financially. The law specifies that innocent people should not have to bear the terrible financial burdens of an injury caused by another party’s irresponsible actions.
Burn victims can seek damages from the party legally liable, or responsible, for their injury. A person or group might be legally liable if their negligence directly or indirectly caused you to get burned.
Representation for Burn Injuries
Our firm’s lead North Carolina personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard, is experienced in handling burn injury cases. Shawn provides free consultations to all burn injury victims. Since these injuries can be completely debilitating, we will travel to meet with you, no matter where you may live in North Carolina.
If we can assist you with your case, we will offer a contingency fee arrangement. This means that you will not owe any attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a financial recovery on your behalf. We will advance all costs of handling your claim, including the costs of hiring the multiple expert witnesses that are frequently needed in burn injury cases.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Howard, call Maginnis Law at 919.526.0450 or call Shawn personally at 919.480.8526. You can also visit our contact page to send a confidential message.