Las Vegas Burn Injury Lawyer
Every year in America, more than 4,000 people die of burn injuries. In addition, over 50,000 people suffer burn injuries from various types of accidents. Burn injuries can be caused in many ways, including the following: electrical cords, defective appliances, defective heaters, flammable products and liquids, propane and natural gas explosions, gas grill explosions, leaking propane tanks, stove tip-overs, flammable hardwood and plywood interior wall paneling, flammable sofas, mattresses and other furniture, flammable clothing, malfunctioning pressure cookers, etc. In addition, many car and truck accidents and fiery crashes can also result in severe vehicular burns. Victims of pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle accidents often suffer serious burn injuries. Burn injuries can be devastating, causing severe pain and suffering. Recovery from such injuries often requires months or years of hospitalization and numerous surgeries.
Remember that fires kill more Americans than all natural disasters combined. In Las Vegas, the Fire Department responds to approximately 100,000 fire calls per year. Clark County Fire Department responds to even more calls as the following statistics indicate:
LAS VEGAS FIRE & RESCUE (approximately 650 employees) 2011 Statistics:
TOTAL Responses of All Types for 2011 – 92,199
Total fire responses – 1,616
Residential Fires (Homes, Apartments, Condos, Hotels, Motels, Mobile Homes) – 396
Building Fires (Public Assembly, Educational, Health Care, Retail, Office, Storage, other) – 104
Other Fires (Vehicles, Outside buildings, Rubbish, Dumpsters, Brush, all others)
Clark County Fire Department
The Clark County Fire Department is also an active one (the Nation’s seventh busiest), responding to 124,554 incidents in 2010 – 3,454 fires, 104,882 medical calls and 16,218 other calls, including false alarms and mutual aid responses in other jurisdictions.
Electrical burns occur when electrical current is released from an outlet, cord, or machine and passes through a person’s body. These types of burns can result in serious complications, and are capable of causing external (skin) and internal (organ) damage. The extent of physical damage is usually determined by the degree of electrical burn that was sustained. Electrical burns are classified as first, second, or third degree. First degree electrical burn injuries are considered minor and will heal with time, while third degree electrical burn injuries are considered catastrophic, and can lead to extensive nerve damage and scarring.
One of the most common injuries industrial and construction workers incur are electrical burn injuries. Electrical burns are so common in the construction industry because workers must deal with electrical devices, outlets, and wires every day.
A burn injury is damage to a person’s body tissues caused by heat, sunlight, hot liquid, electricity, chemicals and radiation. The most common causes of burns are scalds from hot liquids and steam, building fires, car fires, flammable liquids and gases. Burns are categorized according to the degree of severity. There are four types of burns:
1) First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin. A sun burn is typically a first degree burn. A superficial burn is usually red and turns white if you press on it. A first degree burn heals by itself in three to six days. Hospitalization is required only if fever, dehydration (not enough fluid in the body) or uncontrollable pain develops.
2) Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath it. Second degree burns can cause blistering, and deep second degree burns are dry and may appear ivory or pearly white. A skin graft is usually recommended for deep second degree burns.
3) Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath it. Most third degree burns larger than 3 centimeters in diameter are best treated with removal of dead tissue, immediate skin grafting, and long-term use of compression garments to minimize scarring. If a person suffers a third-degree burn, he or she may need skin or synthetic grafts to cover exposed tissue and encourage new skin to grow. The appropriate medical treatment is critical to the successful recovery of a burn injury.
4) Fourth-degree burns are the most severe burns. In addition to charring of all skin layers, the burn causes charring to muscle tissue and even the bone. Fourth degree burns are life threatening and will require extensive burn treatment, such as skin graft surgery or other plastic surgery.
Severe burns are a devastating injury, both physically and emotionally. Persons with severe burns may be left with permanent physical disabilities: loss of mobility, disfigurement, scarring, infection, muscle or tissue damage, nerve damage, respiratory system damage, loss of a limb, and permanent mental disabilities: nightmares or flashbacks from the traumatizing event and anguish from loss of a friend or family member. Severe burn injuries often necessitate long-term medical care, nursing care, physical therapy, and psychological care
Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock and even death. They also can lead to infections, because they damage your skin’s protective barrier. They can result in disfiguring and disabling scarring, amputation of affected body parts or even death in severe cases. Shock, infection, organ failure, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory failure can occur. Large burns can often be fatal, but immediate medical treatment can significantly improve the prognosis of burn injuries, especially in children and young adults. More than 50 percent of burn patients are treated in specialized burn centers and hospitals. Because of potential complications, it is important to seek professional medical help when you sustain any degree burn injuries.
Asphyxiation/smoke inhalation (suffocation)
House fires and car accidents resulting in fires present another danger – the danger of asphyxiation/smoke inhalation (suffocation). Before fire victims see the fire, flames consume the available oxygen and produce toxic products of combustion, including carbon monoxide, hydrogen, cyanide and other poisonous gases in the air. This may cause people inhaling the gases move in a sluggish way, feel increased drowsiness, lose rational judgment, or lose consciousness, thus preventing escape. In addition, carbon monoxide inhalation causes death in a matter of minutes. If a house fire or a mobile home fire starts when a person is asleep, the chances of that person suffering from asphyxiation increase substantially.
Severe scald burns, third degree burns, and fourth degree burns can have a life-long impact. Smoke inhalation may cause the lungs to be seared. Victims of fires can suffer permanent pulmonary problems requiring medication and prolonged medical treatment. In addition, burns may result in scarring, such as keloid scars (which have a raised rope-like appearance) and contractures (which involve the tightening of the skin tissue, muscle, and tendons, particularly around joints that limit range of movement). Burn Injuries can result in blistering, swelling, pain, peeling skin, scarring, infection, shock, or even death. Medical treatment for burn injuries vary depending on the severity of the burn, and can be as serious as requiring surgery or skin grafts for very serious burns.
Burn injuries occur in a wide variety of situations. Some of the most common causes of burn injuries include the following:
- Scalding burns from hot liquids or steam
- Building fires
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Electrical accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Defective products
- Chemical burns
- Gas explosions
- Lawn mower accidents
Common types of burn injuries:
- Thermal burns are caused by contact with intense heat, such as flames, steam, scalding liquids, hot metals and other sources of heat.
- Radiation burns are caused by contact with nuclear radiation (X-rays, etc.) or ultraviolet rays such as from sunlight or tanning beds.
- Chemical burns are caused by contact with caustic chemicals, such as acids, alkalis, detergents or solvents.
- Electrical burns are caused by electric current passing through the body.
At the Albright Stoddard Law Firm, we understand that accidents happen for a variety of reasons. However, we believe that many accidents can be prevented. If you, your child, or another loved one sustained a burn or a scald injury, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys can help. Contact Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright to consult with a Las Vegas burn injury lawyer. Our attorneys know the devastation and pain that is caused by severe burn injuries. We help our clients hold the negligent parties accountable and recover necessary financial compensation for proper medical attention in the past, present and future. We are committed to helping clients through this difficult time and helping them establish a secure financial and medical recovery.
Why You Need a Lawyer
When you or your loved one has suffered a burn injury, you need an experienced Las Vegas burn injury lawyer to represent you. Accidents resulting in burns happen for a variety of reasons. Identifying responsible parties and conducting an investigation may be extremely difficult for someone who has no experience in such accident. When a loved one is injured, the family may be looking for answers as to why the accident happened. A burn injury attorney can help investigate the scene and inform you of the applicable laws and regulations.
Burn injuries commonly occur due to the negligence or intentional act of another. If you have suffered a burn injury that is the result of another’s negligence or intentional actions, you may have a claim against that person. Some common claims that result from burn injuries include the following:
- Personal injury claims
- Premises liability claims (if it occurred on the property of another or at a place of business)
- Workers’ compensation (if it occurred on the job)
- Social Security disability (if it is disabling)
- Wrongful death (if it resulted in the death of a loved one)
- Spouse’s Loss of Consortium Claim (depending on the circumstances)
- In certain circumstances, if a spouse is seriously injured, the other spouse may be able to bring a Loss of Consortium claim for loss of normal marital relations.
- Parent’s Filial Consortium Claim
In certain circumstances, if a child is seriously injured, the parent may be able to bring a Filial Consortium Claim for loss of the child’s companionship, love, affection, and society in the past and the future.
Help for Burn Injury Victims
If you have suffered a burn injury, it is vital that you seek medical attention for your injuries immediately. It is important that you receive medical attention and care for your injuries while your case is pending.
It is also important that you document the circumstances of the accident. If possible, you should take pictures of your injuries or the injuries of your loved ones and the surrounding area. You should also take pictures of what caused the burn injury. It is also important to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any person that witnessed the accident. Continue to photograph and document the healing process, including in the hospital. We will discuss with you the dangers of using social media, such as FaceBook after the injury to share photos and recovery status updates with friends. You should assume it will be seen by the opposing party, so it is often better not to use social media for a time.
A burn injury can be one of the most traumatic personal injuries a person can suffer. The monetary, mental and physical costs of recovering from a burn injury are staggering. A burn injury can require months, sometimes years of hospitalization, doctors visits, physical therapy and often even require extensive counseling to overcome the mental trauma sustained from suffering a burn injury. If you have suffered a burn injury, call the attorneys at Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright in Las Vegas, so we can help you through this difficult time. Call us at 702-384-7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.
Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.