Portland Burn Injury Lawyer
A burn injury accident and the accompanying complications are complex and distressing injuries that may require lifelong care and rehabilitation. When a client comes to Mayor Law seeking legal representation for a burn injury accident, we understand the impact to the whole family – emotional stress, financial drain, and changed family priorities. All this is happening while you are trying to understand how to get the best medical treatment, whether for yourself or a loved one.
A burn injury accident can create a lifetime of challenges – both physically and emotionally – requiring you to partner with an experienced attorney, one who understands the medical issues, cost of treatment, future costs of care and rehabilitation, and the impact to the entire family’s financial future. Travis Mayor is a Portland Burn Injury Lawyer that has the resources, knowledge, and experience to be your legal advocate, so you can focus on your recovery. Our goal is to maximize the compensation you need to restore your life, now and in the future, while buffering you from a complex and sometimes insensitive legal process.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified into four basic types, first degree burn through fourth-degree burn, corresponding to how deep the burn goes into the layers of skin and deeper into the body. The skin is constructed of three layers: the epidermis (or outer layer, provides water-proof protection preventing bacteria, viruses, and other foreign matter from entering the body); the dermis (or second layer, provides the skins flexibility and strength, and contains nerve endings, sweat glands, hair follicles, and blood vessels); and the fat layer (or third layer, provides insulation from hot and cold, and protective padding).
Involve the top layer of skin, the epidermis. We have all experienced a first-degree burn by touching a hot pan in the kitchen, or a sunburn. The skin will appear red, and be painful to the touch, but will usually heal 100% within a week. However, if a first degree burn covers a large area of the body, or the victim is an infant or elderly, seek emergency medical attention.
Involve the first two layers of skin, the epidermis and dermis. The burned skin will appear very red, with blisters, and a high degree of pain. Second-degree burns usually require 1-2 months to heal, but the burn may result in some scarring, disfigurement or loss of skin. Second –degree burns are serious and require special medical treatment by trained professionals.
Penetrate all three layers of the skin and permanently destroy tissue. The burned skin will appear charred, or dry and leathery, and may not result in a significant amount of pain because nerve endings have been destroyed. A treatment regime for third-degree burns is a lengthy, many months process, and will result scarring, disfigurement and loss of skin. Depending on the location of the burn, amputation or partial removal of the burned area may be required.
Involve tissue below the three layers of skin, including muscle, tendons, bone, and potentially vital organs. Fourth-degree burns are very serious and will usually require amputation of the affected limb or burn area creating significant functional impairment, and in some cases death.
What Does a Burn Severity Classification Mean?
Where and how burns are treated is based upon the Severity Classification of the burn, which takes into account several key factors, such as the extent of the body surface affected, age of the person, type of injuries (lungs, eyes, other organs), source of burn (electrical, or chemical), and specific areas affected (face, joints, feet, or hands).
The Severity Classification groups burn patients into one of three classifications – Minor, Moderate, or Major. Minor burn treatments are performed at home, whereas treatment of moderate burns are best managed in a hospital, and major burns are managed in a specialized burn center. The good news in that Oregon has one of the best-specialized Burn Centers on the west coast – Legacy Oregon Burn Center located in Portland. The Legacy Oregon Burn Center has state-of-the-art specialized rooms and equipment needed to treat burns.
Burn Injury Accident Causes
Burn injury accidents can occur almost anywhere – the home, workplace, or in your car. Burns are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, industrial accidents, dangerous & defective products, chemical exposure accidents, and structure fires.
Burns are caused by several sources including: thermal, chemical, electrical, and radiation sources.
- Thermal burns are caused by contacting hot heat sources such as fire, wood burning stoves, gas or electric ranges, or scalding liquids such as boiling water.
- Chemical burns occur when the skin is exposed to chemicals that are either very acidic, such as sulfuric acid in toilet cleaners, or very base, such as sodium hypochlorite in bleaching products. In the workplace, chemicals such as sodium hydroxide are routinely used in the manufacturing process for paper and petroleum products, and in the processing, cleaning, and dying of cloth. These chemicals can also be inhaled causing often fatal burns in the lungs.
- Electrical burns occur when contact is made with high voltage sources especially over 1,000 volts. Burns can be severe, but the injury may also cause bone fractures and joint dislocations due to muscle contractions causes by the electrical jolt.
- Radiation burns occur from exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, tanning booths, or arc welding sources, or from ionizing radiation used in x-rays, microwaves or cancer treatments.
What are the Long Term Effects of Burns?
Burns and their accompanying complications are complex and distressing injuries that may require lifelong care and rehabilitation. Because no two burns are alike, treatments are complex and require medical teams to address the physical and emotional damage to the patient, as well as the family. Severe burns often result in the following complications:
- Chronic pain
- Inhalation issues
- Loss of physical abilities – vision, speech, use of hands, ability to walk, mobility
- Loss of limbs
- Corneal damage
- Recurrent infections
- Continuous Pain
- Emotional distress – grieving, anxiety, insomnia
In addition to the physical and emotional effects, severe burn often result in major changes in career and life-style including: inability to work or continue to work at the same career, loss of current and future income, and loss of social support system.
Compensation for Burn Injury Accidents
If you have been a victim of a burn injury accident that was caused by another person’s negligent or careless actions, then they can be held accountable for the damage they caused. Recovering from a serious burn accident can be an expensive proposition, requiring months of medical treatments, and in some cases lifelong support. According to costs quoted in Paradigm’s article on Treatment Costs of Severe Burn Injuries, treatment for moderate burns may cost $206,853 or more, if there are complications. For severe burns treated without complications, the average cost is $1,617,345, and with complications, a severe burn can cost more than $10 million to treat successfully.
The average cost of treating severe burn injuries is $1.6 Million, and can increase to $10 Million with complications.
To recover these damages, we recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced Portland Burn Injury Lawyer to lead the effort; one that knows how to recover damages including:
- Medical expenses – hospitalization, doctors, drugs, and medications
- Long term medical care and rehabilitation – skin grafts, pain management, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery
- Burn rehabilitation services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Lost wages and income – current and future
- Other expenses – transportation, house hold duties, personal care
- Long term care – dealing with the consequences of burn injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Obtaining compensation for burn injury accident cases with significant damages can be a lengthy and complex process that is best performed by knowledgeable legal professionals. In most cases you must deal with a large insurance carrier, staffed with seasoned lawyers – this will not be their first time defending a burn injury case!
Burn Injury Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who can sue for a burn injury accident?
Answer: Anyone who is seriously burned as a direct result of another person’s negligent or reckless act.
Who is held responsible for a burn injury accident?
Answer: It all depends upon the specific facts of the case. For you to successfully bring a case against another party, they must be negligent or reckless actions on their part that specifically result in your burn injuries. An employer may be responsible if they have not implemented safety programs or provided equipment to prevent chemical burns. A landlord may be responsible if improper equipment maintenance or an absence of smoke detectors causes a serious fire. In other instances, the manufacturer of a defective product that fails to operate and causes a fire can be at fault.
What damages am I entitled to collect in a burn injury accident case?
- Past medical expenses to treat your burns
- Past loss income as a result of your burn injuries
- Compensation for past pain, disability and disfigurement as a result of you burn injuries
- Future medical expenses that are reasonably likely to be incurred to treat your burn injuries in the future
- Future loss of earning capacity that is reasonably certain to occur as a result of any disability that you have as a result of your burn injuries
- Compensation for future pain, disability and disfigurement that is reasonably certain to occur as a result of your burn injuries
How much time after the accident do I have to bring a case?
Answer: The simple answer is two years from the date you were injured, however, there are numerous exceptions which can shorten or increase the time frame. These exceptions have to do with filing various notices such as a Tort Claim Notice (if you are suing a public entity) which must be filed within 180 days of the incident. On the other hand, there are increased limits for cases involving a fatality, minors under the age of 18, and other actions involving fraud or deceit, to name a few examples. These are a few of the complications that may affect the statute-of-limitations. From a practical point-of-view, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Burn Injury Lawyer as soon as possible rather than later to evaluate your case and determine an appropriate course of action based on all of the case facts.
Contact A Burn Injury Accident Attorney
Mayor Law, it is our goal to help the families of Oregon burn injury victims achieve justice and restore their lives. Portland Burn Injury Lawyer, Travis Mayor will help you by reducing the hassle, complexity and anxiety of navigating the legal process, while maximizing your financial compensation. Travis Mayor has recovered millions of dollars for families of personal injury victims. For every Oregon client who has suffered through a serious burn accident, Travis offers personal service with proven results.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation. At Mayor Law, LLC, we understand the legal implications of a burn accident personal injury lawsuit. More importantly, we understand your family’s pain and anxiety. We use our experience, knowledge and resources to build a strong case and secure the compensation you need to cope with the burn injury for potentially years to come.
Additional References / Resources
The Legacy Oregon Burn Center — Burn Patient Resources and Education.
The Legacy Oregon Burn Center — Your guide to Legacy Oregon Burn Center