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How To File Burn Injury Claims In California?

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

When you get burns due to someone else's negligence, you will be entitled to monetary damages to compensate for your expenses and other losses. That said, in order for you to be paid damages, there needs to be an assessment of the severity of your burn injuries, how much you've lost monetarily as a result of it, and how much suffering and difficulties you have to go through after it.

In this post, we'll talk about assessing your burn injuries, the damages you might claim, and other legal issues as commonly seen by a California Attorney For Personal Injury.

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What Are the Different Types of Burn Injuries?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, protecting your organs while also allowing you to feel and see the world around you. That said, burns to the skin can cause discomfort and loss of sensitivity, making it difficult to hold a job and enjoy life.

Burns are classified according to the extent of tissue damage, which includes:

  • First Degree. First-degree burns only harm the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis). Common symptoms include pain and reddening of the skin, which may proceed to a purplish mark as the wound heals. In most cases, these burns heal in one to three weeks with minor scarring. Thus, a first-degree burn is something like a sunburn.

    • Although first-degree burns are usually cured at home, they are extremely painful since the skin is scorched and sensitive to touch.

  • Second Degree. The lower layer of the skin has been affected by this burn (dermis). Blisters that crack, leak, and get infected, and discomfort and redness are prevalent among patients.

    • These burns can take up to a month to heal fully, and they can take even longer if they become infected. In addition, skin and muscle tissue scarring or tightness can occur over time, limiting mobility (contractures).

  • Third Degree. These severe injuries also impact the soft tissues underneath the epidermis and dermis. As a result, burn sufferers with third-degree burns may require skin grafts, take months to recover, and suffer temporary or permanent nerve damage.

    • Hospitalization in a burn unit or intensive care unit is required for third-degree burns. The damage to the individual's nerves, which are weakened or dead, can be so severe that the person cannot feel pain.

    • Third-degree burns can appear waxy and clear, burned, dark brown, or elevated and leathery depending on the origin. These burns result in permanent scarring and unbearable pain.

  • Fourth Degree. Under the epidermis, a fourth-degree burn destroys the victim's bones, muscles, or tendons. Even if the burns do not kill the victim, the burned area and the rest of the body are likely to be permanently damaged.

Burns exist in many different sizes and shapes. The following are some instances of various types of burns:

  • Scalding occurs when hot liquids come into contact with the skin.

  • Electrical burns occur when an electrical current burns the skin, perhaps causing internal harm.

  • Chemical burns happen when a powerful acid or base comes into contact with the skin.

  • Being exposed to flames, such as in a car accident or when exposed to combustible liquids, causes thermal burns.

  • Gas explosions are caused by a gas leak that catches fire.

  • X-rays, medical radiation, and tanning beds can all produce radiation burns.

  • Inhalation burns are caused by inhaling smoke, steam, or harmful vapors.

Your damages can vary depending on the severity of the burns. However, computing these damages might be complicated, so make sure to contact a California Burn Injury Lawyer to help you file claims.

Complications of Burn Injuries

Everyday life is highly challenging for burn patients. Not only is the accident terrible, but the therapies that a survivor must undergo are frequently just as painful.

The skin is the body's biggest organ, and it protects the underlying tissues from germs and evaporative water loss. Dehydration, inflammation, hypothermia, and damage to internal organs are all short-term sequelae of a burn injury. Long-term repercussions include severe mental and bodily scarring. Thus, a burn injury has a high financial, physical, and emotional cost.

Rehabilitation can take years, costing the survivor thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical costs as a result of:

  • Infections. Any break in the skin increases the chance of infection, and a burn infection can spread to the bones and bloodstream. If the patient has sepsis, the contaminated tissue may need to be removed through tissue removal or amputation.

  • Issues with the lungs. Smoke and heated air can cause lung scarring, leading to asthma, pneumonia, and respiratory failure.

  • The brain might get damaged. For example, oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) induced by smoke inhalation, caustic chemical inhalation, or electrocution injuries can cause brain damage in burn victims.

  • Blindness. The heat from a fire or a chemical burn to the face can permanently impair a victim's vision, making it impossible for them to operate.

  • Possible mobility issues. Muscle contractures, nerve injury, and scaling or burns to the feet and hands can all lead to losing balance and agility. Patients may require compression therapy as well as years of physical therapy to regain lost range of motion.

  • Scarring. Skin grafts may be required to restore burn sufferers' faces and necks, resulting in disfiguring scars that negatively impact their quality of life. Some of the current scar tissue smoothing treatments include plastic surgery, harsh laser procedures, and other options that may or may not be reimbursed by insurance.

  • Potential psychological harm. Burn victims are particularly prone to psychological injuries following a fire. Victims may withdraw, endure acute anxiety or despair, and require specialist counseling to cope with the tragedy's repercussions due to the trauma of the disaster and the daily reminder of the scars.

Remember that any of the above complications can significantly increase the amount of damages you are entitled to. So, again, to help you calculate these damages, contact Top Rated Personal Injury Attorneys In Los Angeles to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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The Causes of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can occur when exposed to high temperatures or intense heat, such as contact with scorching surfaces, liquids, chemicals, sunlight, or radiation.

The most common causes of burn injuries are as follows:

  • Thermal Contact Burns. Burns caused by coming into contact with extremely hot things are known as thermal contact. Even the tiniest touch on anything that creates high temperatures by design, such as an oven or an iron, can cause burns. Thermal burns can also be caused by defective products that malfunction and overheat. In addition, due to their high conductivity, heat-generating objects with metal surfaces are hazardous.

  • Contact with an open flame or a fire. The most prevalent cause of burn injuries is coming into touch with fire. This could be the result of a deliberate (arson) or unintentional (accidental) burn (such as an electrical fire or a blaze started by a cigarette). Fires can reach temperatures exceeding 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Scalding. One of the most common causes of skin burns is scalding liquids. This could be the result of spilled hot coffee or contact with boiling water when cooking. These liquids can reach temperatures above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, causing agonizing burns to occur immediately.

  • Chemical-induced burns. Chemical burns, also known as caustic burns, occur when a person comes into contact with irritant-containing materials. For example, if acids or bleaches come into contact with a person's skin or eyes, they can cause burns.

  • Accidents involving inhalation. Patients with inhalation burns are more likely to die as a result of their injury. Fire is associated with three types of inhalation injuries:

    • Toxicity results in harm. Over a hundred hazardous chemicals have been detected in burn smoke. In addition, toxins prevent the body from adequately using oxygen, leading to irreparable organ damage.

    • Smoke causes harm when inhaled. For example, smoke inhalation is believed to be responsible for 75 percent of burn-related deaths.

    • Heat inhalation. Heat inhalation occurs when a person breathes directly into a heat or flame source or when high-pressure forces heat into the victim.

  • Others. A multitude of different burn injuries can arise outside of these core categories. Some are considerably rarer than others. Among these are electrical burns (from exposed wires, for example), fireworks burns, lightning strikes, severe sunburns, and other sorts of burns.

If you have suffered one of the burn types listed above or another type of burn caused by another party's negligence, you may be eligible to file a Burn Injury Claim.

What to Do If You Have a Burn Injury

When you've been in an accident that resulted in burns, the first thing you should do is get medical help as soon as possible. Then, you should follow the doctor's advice and take the prescribed meds to reduce the pain and heal the burns.

The next step is to hire a Burn Accident Attorney to help you make a claim for the damages you've suffered as a result of the accident. You can provide all pertinent information regarding the occurrence and the names and contact information of any witnesses to the California Attorney For Personal Injury so that they can build a solid case to launch the lawsuit.

Call the insurance company and inform them of the accident. Make sure you don't overstate or undersell the accident's circumstances or misrepresent the injuries. Simply state the facts so that the claim can be processed as promptly as feasible. You can also ask your California Burn Accident Attorney to request a copy of the accident report submitted by the police officers who responded to the accident scene. The police report can be obtained for a modest charge.

Keep note of your hospital appointments, medications, and injury-related follow-up care. Also, keeping track of the hours you've missed at work and the revenue or earnings you've lost as a result is a good idea.

Include the things you couldn't perform because of your burn injuries at home or at work. Similarly, keep track of the impact the accident has had on your personal and family life. All of these documents will help your California Personal Injury Lawyer calculate the damages and file a compensation claim.

Things You Shouldn't Do If You Have a Burn Injury

Never admit to anyone that you caused the accident that resulted in your burn injuries. Additionally, do not speak with the defendant's insurance company without first consulting your Personal Injury Attorney.

The majority of insurance companies are adept at negotiating with beneficiaries to obtain the lowest payout amount feasibly. The firm may also try to get a signed statement to use in court to either reduce or dismiss your claims. As a result, avoid making a recorded comment to someone.

To be safe and sure, you should only discuss the situation with your California Attorney For Personal Injury. If you are contacted by another insurance carrier that claims to provide you with better coverage, you should never inform anybody else (friends or family) about the accident, no matter how close they are to you.

In that scenario, you can give your Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney In Los Angeles the insurance company's details so that they can handle the problem correctly.

Burn Injuries and Their Legal Consequences

Burn injuries are frequently caused by someone's carelessness or failure to act (negligence) or by a defective product.


Negligence, in Personal Injury Claims, is defined as the failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid injuring someone, a place, or something that the responsible party should have avoided. You may be held liable for any damages caused by your negligence if you are careless and cause harm to someone to whom you owe a "duty of care."

A person may be labeled "careless" or "negligent" if they fail to exercise the level of reasonable care expected in a specific situation. Under most cases, the law demands that a person exercise the same "due care" status as a reasonable person in identical circumstances. This is referred to as the "reasonable person" or "reasonable man" norm.

Defective Products and Product Liability

The term "product liability" relates to liable for the damages produced by a defective product. Thus, any member of a hazardous or faulty product's distribution chain, including its creator, manufacturer, parts supplier, distributor, and retail store that sold it, could be sued for product liability.

Product responsibility claims can arise due to carelessness, a breach of warranty, or strict liability. For example, a plaintiff must prove in a negligence case that a producer, distributor, wholesaler, or other business in the distribution chain owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care in the production or selling of a product and failed to do so, causing the plaintiff harm.

It is called negligence when a person of ordinary prudence does not do something in the same or similar circumstances or fails to do something in the same or similar conditions.

Negligence includes:

  • Failing to anticipate possible uses of a product.

  • Failing to adequately inspect or test the product.

  • Failing to offer timely alerts or guidance for the product's use.

  • Failing to employ proper caution in any other aspect of the production or delivery process.

Contract law imposes such "implied warranties" on the selling of things, and a claim for breach of warranty arises from this.

These guarantees are implied warranties since the law assumes they apply even if they are not explicitly stated. If a product fails to meet these criteria, the buyer can return it and receive a refund of the purchase price, or in some situations, monetary damages.

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"Faultless liability" is subject to strict liability. In a severe liability case, the defendant's obligation for damages is not determined by their level of care; if the product is proven to be defective, the defendant will be held accountable regardless of whether they exercised reasonable caution. As a result, if the product contains a flaw that causes damage, strict liability will hold the defendant liable for the damages. To make a strict responsibility product liability claim, the plaintiff must show the following:

  • The harm was caused by a fault in the product.

  • The product was being utilized in the way it was intended to be used.

  • The product had not been extensively changed or updated after leaving the seller's or manufacturer's hands.

Workers' Compensation and Industrial Accidents

Occupational industrial accidents are the cause of many burn injuries. Under California's Workers' Compensation Act, workers who are injured on the job are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Medical bills must be paid by the defendant.

  • Payments to those who are disabled

  • Vocational rehabilitation payments

  • If the employee's injuries are fatal, the employer must pay for death insurance and reasonable funeral expenditures.

Under California law, employers are accountable for employee accidents that occur on the job, regardless of the employee's carelessness or blame.

However, under California law, an employee who seeks Workers' Compensation is typically prevented from bringing any other civil action against the company. As a result, the employee keeps some advantages without proving fault but loses the right to a broader range of damages available in tort.

Limitations on Liability for Burn Injuries

If you were a victim of someone else's negligence that resulted in a burn, you might be facing extreme pain and suffering, medical bills, the need for continuing medical care or hospitalization, or life-long suffering. In the state of California, you only have two years from the date of the accident that caused your burn injury to file a claim for compensation for your injuries and damages.

When it comes to filing a claim against a government entity, the time restriction is far shorter. However, there will be a lot of documentation to fill out before filing a lawsuit in court.

Consult an experienced California Attorney For Personal Injury as soon as possible to ensure that your civil rights are protected and that you do not lose out on the opportunity to file a claim for the compensation you deserve.

Damages in California for a Burn Injury

Damages refer to the amount of money you will receive from a lawsuit after an accident. The two types of damages possible are compensatory and punitive:

  • Compensation damages compensate the injured party for both monetary and non-monetary losses experienced due to the accident. Losses with financial worth are referred to as economic losses.

  • Prescriptions and medical procedures (including surgery, hospital visits, etc.)

  • Skin grafting procedures

  • Wages that have been lost (past and present)

  • Property damage

  • Other treatment and service fees that are required in daily life

Non-economic penalties are those that have no monetary value but are still included in the compensation package for losses. Consider the case below:

  • Emotional distress damages

  • Scarring, deformity, and physical disability

  • Companionship and pleasure of life's events are both lost

When it Causes a Wrongful Death Case

Burns are life-threatening burns that only a small percentage of people survive. Although the death of a loved one is tragic, you may be entitled to seek justice if the death was caused by the negligence of another person or party. You and your California Wrongful Death Lawyer can bring a wrongful death claim if there is a question of negligence.

The victim's spouse, children, dependents, or other family members or estate members may initiate a lawsuit on their behalf in these instances. Damages may include non-monetary losses such as health and emotional discomfort or loss of quality of life.

Have you recently sustained burn injuries due to someone else's negligence? is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that can refer you to a qualified California Attorney For Personal Injury best fit to handle the unique conditions of your case.

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