Nobody expects to be burned in Bridgeton, Missouri. On hot summer days, children are told to keep away from fireworks. On spring and fall nights, they are reminded to stay clear from the crackling bonfire, and mindful of the hot s’more sticks. Residents are especially careful with their candles and fireplaces in the winter.
Bridgeton and St. Louis residents are cautious when fire, chemicals, and hot surfaces are nearby. However, burn injuries are far more common than Americans think and they can be excruciating for a person, family, and life after a burn injury accident.
Almost half a million Americans receive medical treatment for burns every year, according to the American Burn Association. In 2013, 45,000 of those were so severe that they required hospitalization. It is estimated that each year 25,000 Americans are sent to burn centers to be properly cared for. Sadly, fire and burn injuries and smoke inhalation result in 3,400 deaths per year.
A burn is a skin injury that is primarily caused by heat or radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction or contact with chemicals, according to WHO. Burn injuries can also be internal—respiratory damage from smoke or chemical inhalation are also considered burns.
When a child reaches to grab a cookie and grabs a hot pan instead, they will most likely have a first-degree burn—cold water, Neosporin, and a hug from their loving parents will make them forget about the incident.
Second and third-degree burns are not so easily cured. Second-degree burns can be classified as partial or full thickness. A partial thickness burn will injure all of the upper layers of your skin—the wound will have blisters and can heal within three weeks. A full thickness burn will be dry and sensation will be diminished. A full thickness burn will most likely require incision and skin grafts.
A third-degree burn is the most severe classification of burns. All layers of the skin will be destroyed. The area may be leathery, black or white, and have no pain. Third-degree burns can take months to years to fully recover, and multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and rehabilitation will be required.
For those who receive burn treatments, there is about a 95 percent survival rate, but those lives will never be the same. Burns leave severe scarring, nerve damage or sensitive nerves, and can lead to a difficult life of continual medical treatment, social curiosity, and financial problems.
If you or a loved one has burn injuries in Bridgeton, Missouri, it is essential that you speak to a burn injury attorney. Even if the injury was at your house, there may have been other factors that led to the accident. A botched wire from a negligent electrician, a recalled coffee machine, or negligent act of another may have left you burnt, bruised, and scared for your future.
Personal Injury Claims from Burn Injuries
Many St. Louis families are reluctant to talk to a personal injury and burn injury attorney after an accident because they are unaware of the underlying problems that may have caused the accident. Almost three out of four burn injuries occur in a home, according to the American Bar Association. Even though many accidents may occur in your home, they are most likely not your fault. Every day, Bridgeton and St. Louis residents use equipment that can create a tragedy.
When a Bridgeton family has to care for a loved one in Mercy Trauma and Burn Center or St. Louis Children’s Burn clinic, the only thing that they may focus on is the recovery of a loved one. However, there is more than one way to care for an injured loved one.
When the attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC reveal what caused such a catastrophic accident, it may be possible that is due to a negligent professional or homeowner, defective product, or building standards. It is very plausible that a burn injury can turn into a premises liability or product liability case. If that is the case, then you have a right to compensation.
Property owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe and to use reasonable action to prevent accidents from happen. If a property owner is aware of a problem with their premises and does not try to fix it in a timely manner, and you are injured, then you may be entitled to file a premises liability claim.
If you are living in a rented property, visiting a neighbor, or at your workplace when you receive a burn injury, they can be held responsible for your injuries. Defective smoke alarms, dead batteries, blocked exits, improper policies on chemical usage, and more can lead to burn-related injuries.
A thorough investigation will determine whether or not the property owner was negligent and is responsible for the costs of your medical care, time away from your every day routine, including work, and more.
In the moment, your Bridgeton home may contain defective equipment that can later lead to severe injuries. Manufacturing defects, design defects, and dangerous products can result in electrical problems, exposed chemicals, and fires—which can all lead to burn injuries.
Every year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls dangerous products and takes them off the shelves of your local Kroger, Home Depot, and Target. Recently, barbecue pits, coffee makers, circuit breakers, candles, fireworks, and clothes dryers have all been recalled; sadly, they aren’t recalled until consumers like you are injured.
Almost half of burn injuries result from fires. Defective products—especially electrical household items—seem to be the leading cause of fires.
In 2011, 13,400 Americans were sent to the hospital for residential household fire injuries. The top three causes for household fires were cooking equipment, heating and cooling equipment, and electrical components, according to the CPSC Residential Fire Loss Report.
Cooking equipment, especially range and ovens, accounted for an average of 146,700 injuries from household fires from 2009-2011. Heating and cooling equipment accounted for 48,200 injuries from 2009-2011 in household fires; and electrical distribution components (installed, wiring, lighting) created almost 10,000 household fires and injured 480 people.
In addition, fireworks always pose the risk of a burn injury. In 2013, an estimated 7,400 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency departments—the most common parts of the body that needed treatment were: hands and fingers, head, face and ears, eyes, and legs.
Burn Injury Victims Have a Right to Compensation
Recovering from a burn injury can feel like a slow, glacial process. As your skin starts to heal on its own or with skin grafts, there is always the looming idea of another reconstructive, scar revision, and cosmetic surgery. There will be therapy and pain management sessions.
After an accident, all you want is your life in Bridgeton to be normal—or at least a new type of normal that has a high quality of life. You don’t want to worry about the medical expenses, lost wages, or time that you spent suffering from the accident and the slow healing process.
What you want is a fresh start, and compensation can be an essential key to creating that. Compensation for burn injury victims can include past, present, and future medical expenses, lost salary, and the crucial time that you spent healing.
At Finney Law Office, LLC, our attorneys can only begin to try and understand the pain and journey that led you to us. We know that you are fighters, but we want to fight for you. Our personal injury attorneys are skilled and will go through every painstaking detail of your case to provide you with your best legal options. We are compassionate, diligent, and an advocate for victims of negligent acts.