Burn Injury Attorney in Manassas, VA
The American Burn Association reports that nearly 500,000 individuals receive medical treatment for burn injuries in the United States each year. In addition, approximately 40,000 people are hospitalized for these types of injuries, and more than 3,000 do not survive. Burns are some of the most excruciating injuries a person can suffer, and those who survive serious burns face many obstacles in dealing with the effects of the injury. The cost of hospital bills, rehabilitation, ongoing care, loss of earning ability, and other expenses can be staggering. When a burn injury happens because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party, victims deserve to be fully compensated.
At Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we understand the major physical, emotional, and financial pain burn injury victims and their families go through, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We have extensive experience representing individuals in Virginia for even the most complex personal injury cases, and we are tireless advocates on behalf of each client we serve. Our in-depth knowledge of this area of the law and a strong track record of success with these types of cases gives our clients the confidence and assurance that they are in the best possible position to obtain a favorable result.
Types and Classifications of Burn Injuries
There are several different types of burns individuals suffer, some of the most common include:
- Thermal Burns: These injuries happen when the victim comes into contact with something hot. Typically, a thermal burn will happen when the victim comes in contact with flames or fire, hot liquid or steam, or a hot object such as a cooking pan or heated stove burner. Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injury, and they can happen in numerous settings.
- Chemical Burns: These injuries happen when the body comes in contact with a toxic or harsh irritant, such as acid. Substances containing acid that can cause chemical burns include ammonia, chlorine, bleach, battery acid, and many strong household cleaners. Chemical burns are most common in certain types of workplaces where employees frequently handle chemicals. Examples include construction sites, factories, agricultural sites, and medical facilities.
- Electrical Burns: These types of burns happen when an individual comes in contact with an electrical current, causing a shock to run through the body. This is commonly known as electrocution. Our internal systems are not resistant to electricity, so when a shock or jolt happens, it can result in internal injuries. Some electrical shocks are so powerful, they can cause a person’s clothing to catch fire, resulting in thermal burns as well.
- Friction Burns: A friction burn is an abrasion to the surface of the skin that is caused by the skin scraping or rubbing repeatedly against another surface. The friction of the two surfaces rubbing together generates heat, resulting in the burn. Examples may include carpet burn, rug burn, and rope burn.
- Radiation Burns: This is damage to the skin or other biological tissue because of radiation. The most common type of radiation burn is sunburn. However, this type of burn also happens frequently to cancer patients who are undergoing radiation treatment.
- Laser Burns: These burns are often the result of cosmetic surgery, the most common being laser hair removal treatment. Laser burns can be caused by lack of operator experience or laser hair removal equipment that has not been approved by the FDA.
Burn injuries vary in severity, and can be divided into three general categories:
- First-Degree Burns: This is the mildest type of burn, affecting the top layer of the skin only, also known as the epidermis. First-degree burns can usually be treated with home remedies and without the need for medical attention. They typically heal by themselves within about a week.
- Second-Degree Burns: These burns penetrate both the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and the layer beneath it (dermis). Second-degree burns are often referred to as “partial thickness burns”, and they can often require a skin transplant procedure to cover the burn and allow it to heal.
- Third-Degree Burns: These are more severe burn injuries which penetrate into the third layer of skin. These burns often appear leathery, black, brown, or white, and are frequently accompanied by numbness, pain, and swelling in the affected areas. Third-degree burns typically require immediate and rigorous medical treatment and extensive rehabilitation time.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
There are many possible causes of burn injuries, including:
- Auto Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Electrical Accidents
- Defective Product Accidents
- Daycare Accidents
- Household and Apartment Explosions/Fires
- Tanker Explosions
- Forest Fires
- Medical Malpractice
Burn Injury Claims in Virginia
Victims that suffer severe burns because of another party’s negligence can file a claim for damages. These can be divided into two main categories:
- Economic Damages: These are actual expenses incurred due to the burn injury. Examples include medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and in extreme cases in which the victim was killed by the injury, funeral and burial expenses.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are damages suffered that cannot be quantified, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
In rare cases in which the conduct of the responsible party was especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter them (and others) from committing similar acts in the future.
Pursuing a burn injury claim can be complicated and challenging. A thorough investigation must be conducted, and sufficient facts and evidence must be gathered to prove the cause of the injury. The burden of proof is even higher in Virginia, because they apply the “contributory negligence” standard. Under contributory negligence, a victim who is found to be even 1% at-fault for their injury may be barred from recovering compensation. For this reason, it is very important to work with a seasoned personal injury lawyer with the proven ability to effectively argue your case.
Speak with a Skilled Virginia Burn Injury Lawyer
Burns cause severe damage to the skin and even the muscle and tissue underneath. The healing process for burns is long-drawn and painful, requiring multiple skin grafts and surgeries. Burn injuries often leave the victims scarred for life, both physically and emotionally.
At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we have the experience, knowledge, resources, and commitment to aggressively pursue just compensation for clients who have been injured because of another party’s actions or omissions.
Our lawyers are compassionate and responsive. We provide free consultations, and we take the time to thoroughly analyze your case and advise you of your rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision regarding which legal avenue you wish to pursue. We also take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorney fees if we recover damages on your behalf.
To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 703-361-1555, or you may send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.