Burn & Electrocution Injuries
In the United States, one million burn cases are treated every year. In 2006 alone, 3,245 lives were lost due to fires, and an additional 16,400 people injured. 600 children under 14 lost their lives to fire, and 14,000 others still face the misery of fighting their injuries. Although the numbers of deaths and injuries due to fire have decreased over the years, burn treatment expenses have increased exponentially.
Burn injuries result from fire, steam burns, contact burns, scalds, and electrical burns, which include lightning strikes, chemical, and flash burns. Sixty to 80 percent of deaths due to fire are due to inhalation.
Burn injuries are classified into two broad categories: amount of body exterior burned and deepness of the burn. A common rule says the more the body surface is burned, the less the chances are of treating a person and the more they are susceptible to succumb to their burns. Depth of a burn can be gauged by layers of the skin affected as well as damage to core structure. More outward burns that involve the outer part of the body can be cured easily and heal without leaving scars. Partial-thickness burns involve the inner and the outer part of the skin and take time to cure. These can lead to scarring. Full thickness burns require intensive care and lead to severe scarring because they penetrate to the subcutaneous tissue and involve core structures like muscle, bone, and tendon.
Infection, dehydration, shock, electrolyte or fluid imbalance, and tissue swelling that affect circulation and breathing are some of the problems that can result from severe injuries. The medical field employs professionals skilled enough to gauge the extent of these problems and treat complicated burn injuries accordingly. Severely burned individuals are treated in special burn care centers.
Our statistics show that burns are not rare events. They can, however, lead to shocking results. Burn injuries end up causing physical, emotional, psychological, and social distress. They require treatments that take a lot of time, and rehabilitation of the patient which are costly and adds to the already overwhelming debt burden of the burn-surviving patient.
Support is initially provided to patients to begin the process of enduring burn injuries. When there are chances of survival, a patient is treated and rehabilitated afterwards. Severe injuries require intensive treatments and exhaustive hospitalization, which is then followed by rehabilitation. In addition to physical care, patients must then deal with the psychological and social stress caused by long-term treatment.
Many questions arise from the patient and their family. Who will take care of the person, and who will pay for the expenses? What if there is permanent disablement? Will this injury lead to permanent disfigurement? What will be the long-term impact on finances? What will be the long-term impact of the injury? Will this person be able to take back their profession?
People initially neglect the idea of legal assistance concerning burn injuries because of cost. However, legal assistance is required to help burn survivors, since it affects their long-term future. Legal assistance can help financially by holding the responsible party accountable. It would be beneficial to ask for legal help during the earlier stages to minimize financial and psychological pressure on the patient and their family.
Electrocutions are often deadly. Contacting electricity causes neuropathy, the failure of nerve cells, including in the brain, to function properly. It causes heart fibrillation, which are fluttery muscular contractions that disrupt the heart’s natural rhythm and cause cardiac arrest, as well as severe burns that affect both deep muscle and the body surface. These effects can quickly be fatal. Those who survive electric shock may suffer other serious, sometimes permanent, medical conditions, including:
Survivors may endure a lengthy, painful road toward uncertain medical recovery, overwhelming medical expenses, lost work income, or permanent disability. Families that lose loved ones have funeral expenses, absence of their family member’s financial contribution, and grief over a death that might have been prevented.
How does Electrocution Happen?
Electrocution in the workplace frequently results from poor safety practices such as working on metal scaffolding built too close to uninsulated overhead power lines. Workers can also be electrocuted by malfunctioning or defective machinery or tools and sometimes by hidden, dangerous conditions encountered while on someone else’s property in the course of employment.
Electrocutions in the home often result from malfunctioning or defective products, like appliances, power tools, or even medical devices such as mechanical pacemakers and heart catheters. Electric radios can cause poolside electrocutions, and children can be electrocuted after failure of child-safety products. In addition, workers like construction contractors may perform faulty installations or repairs that could electrocute residents.
Electrocutions on someone else’s property can happen when workers, business visitors, or social visitors are exposed to dangerous electricity in unexpected places, without warning from the owner. A victim might contact faulty electrical wiring in a light switch, or electricity from high-voltage sources like power lines can arc and flash to metal equipment.
Who Is Responsible?
Laws that may help a victim of electrocution receive compensation include:
Negligence laws: These laws hold another person responsible for the cause of electrocution, whether they had some control over the cause of electrocution, knew or should have known of danger posed to the victim, or failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the electrocution injury or death from occurring.
Workers’ compensation laws: These laws guarantee some compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses, for the victim’s electrocution while working, without having to prove the employer’s negligence.
Products Liability laws: These laws are used to hold product manufacturers legally responsible for electrocutions caused by a defective or malfunctioning product.
Premises Liability laws: These require property owners to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors or to warn them of non-obvious hazards.
Money received from workers’ compensation is usually less than your actual out-of-pocket expenses, and workers’ compensation awards no punitive damages (money assessed against the responsible person or company to deter similar future conduct). However, workers injured by electric shock from malfunctioning or defective machines or tools can collect both workers’ compensation benefits and also pursue claims for products liability against the tool manufacturers. Likewise, workers electrocuted by dangerous conditions while on someone else’s property in the course of their employment may sue the property owners under the laws of premises liability, while still collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
Being able to sue these third parties, even though the injury happened while working, may allow the injured person to escape the financial limitations of workers’ compensation and collect the full extent of all monetary damages, including current and future medical expenses, present and future pain and suffering, emotional distress, actual lost wages and future lost earnings, attorney’s fees, and court costs. A spouse can seek damages for loss of spousal consortium (the lost ability to engage in a normal marital relationship), and some states allow children to file claims for loss of parental consortium. A lawsuit might also include an award of punitive damages.
You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and understand what compensation you or a loved one might be entitled. Electrocution injuries are subject to a statute of limitations, a law giving you a limited amount of time to elect to pursue your legal rights.
Why Hire Us
Because of the severity of many burn and electrocution injuries, a person may be unable to work and medical bills may mount, and the level of physical and emotional discomfort may become severe. The recovery of damages from the person responsible will help to alleviate the stress of living with one’s injuries. Compensation may include an award for medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Compensation will include recovery for the past, present, and future costs of medical care and lost wages. At Brenner Law we hire experts such as, medical professionals, economists, and life care planners to help calculate how much compensation your claim is worth. For example, a medical expert will determine the type of treatment and rehabilitation needed, while a life care planner will research, analyze, and plan what it will cost to care for the accident victim. If the accident victim is unable to return to their same occupation before the injury, the damage award will include compensation for the difference in income.
When searching for a lawyer, you must concentrate on their skill level, both litigation and trial experience, dedication, and fee structure. We are completely transparent with all these factors and ensure to give helpful advice, guidance and relentless advocacy throughout the case.
With our vast experience and industry knowledge, we are well-versed in handling insurance and health care companies, litigation, and preparing cases for both settlement and jury trial to ensure our clients are fully compensated for their injuries and losses.
At Brenner Law, we believe PEOPLE MATTER and RESULTS MATTER.
If you would like to learn more about motorcycle accidents or have any questions regarding your legal rights, please contact us.