Phoenix Burn Injury Attorney
Serious burns injuries are incredibly painful and often lead to long-lasting or permanent disfigurement and disability. Burn injuries are also, unfortunately, very common in the United States.
At Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., we understand how difficult the aftermath of a burn injury can be. If you or a loved one suffered a serious burn in Phoenix, our burn injury lawyers can help secure just compensation for your injuries. Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation in Arizona.
- Burn Injury Statistics
- Types of Burns
- Do I Have a Lawsuit for a Burn Injury?
- Timeline for a Burn Injury Lawsuit
- Resources for Burn Injury Victims
Burn Injury Statistics
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), there were approximately 486,000 burn injuries that received medical treatment in 2016. This includes injuries that received treatment at hospitals and emergency departments. Minor burn victims likely also received treatment at clinics, community health centers, and private medical offices, which do not count in the ABA’s calculated total. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Arizona burn accident, the burn injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., can help you get the compensation you deserve.
That same year, there were around 40,000 hospitalizations related to burn injuries; about 30,000 were at specialized burn centers. These burn centers have an average of 200 admissions per year for burn injuries and skin disorders with similar treatments. Other hospitals average fewer than three burn admissions per year.
Burn and Fire-Related Death Statistics
Burns are also a contributor to fire-related deaths, which can occur both through burn injuries and smoke inhalation. Across residential, vehicle crash, and other fire sources, there were 3,275 fire-related deaths in 2016, meaning that one civilian fire-related death occurs approximately every 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Males suffer burn injuries more often than females, and most burns occur at home. Others occur through occupational, highway, and recreational activities. Fires and open flames account for almost half of burn injuries, while scalding is responsible for a third. Contact, electrical, chemical, and other burn causes account for the rest of injuries.
Despite the number of deaths attributed to burns, 96.8% of burn victims survive their injuries. This is because most burns are treatable, with only fourth-degree burns (and higher) likely to cause death.
Home Structure Fire Civilian Deaths and Injuries, by Age Group: 2011-2015
Child Burn Statistics
Young children are at a very high risk for burn injuries. Children under 4 suffer 200,000 scalding-related burns per year. About half of these injuries are due to spilled food and drinks, with the rest coming from contact with hot tap water, irons, stoves, and heaters.
About 65% of children hospitalized for burns are from scald injuries, and 20% are from contact burns. Every year, about 500 children lose their lives to burn injuries.
Annual Cost of Burn Injuries
Burn and fire injuries account for over $7 billion in costs annually, with males accounting for 64% of injuries. Fatal injuries cost $3 billion annually, which is 2% of the total cost of all fatal injuries. Hospitalization for burn-related injuries accounts for $1 billion in annual costs.
Burns can cause extensive and lasting injuries to victims. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn due to another’s negligence, rely on Phoenix burn injury lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Burns
Medical professionals generally refer to four different types of burns and use a degree scale to classify a burn injury’s severity. The four types of burns include:
- Thermal burns. Direct contact with hot surfaces or substances, open flames, or scalding liquids causes thermal burn injuries.
- Chemical burns. Exposure to toxic or corrosive chemicals can cause severe skin burns as well as internal burns in the respiratory system.
- Electrical burns. Electrical discharges can cause severe burns, cause clothing to catch fire, and can also cause nerve damage and cardiac irregularities.
- Radiation burns. Any exposure to harmful radiation can create a radiation burn. One of the most common examples of this type of burn is sunburn from overexposure to the sun’s radiation.
Different types of burns require different treatments. For example, electrical burns may cause heart problems or destroy the nerves in a region of the body, while chemical burns can cause severe illness and respiratory difficulty. Thermal burns can cause intense scarring which can later limit motor functions in the affected area. For example, a person who suffers a severe thermal burn covering his or her elbow may have difficulty moving his or her arm once scar tissue forms, reducing the elasticity of the skin.
First-degree burns are the least serious and generally only affect the outermost layer of skin. However, if a first-degree burn affects a sensitive area of the body or covers more than 10% of the surface area of the body, the victim should seek medical attention. Second-degree burns are more severe and penetrate more deeply into the layers of skin, and third-degree burns completely destroy the skin in the affected area. A fourth-degree burn is any burn that exposes the underlying tissues or bones beneath the skin and is a medical emergency.
Do I Have a Lawsuit for a Burn Injury?
While the majority of burn injuries in the United States occur in the home, there are many circumstances in which a burn injury may lead to a lawsuit. If another person or party caused a burn injury to you or a loved one, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse. This can be the result of:
- Defective products
- Gas explosions
- Car accidents and vehicle fires
- Workplace accidents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Chemical spills
- Premises liability
- Negligent security
- And many others
If you believe another party’s negligence caused your burn, a personal injury attorney will help you build a case to secure compensation for your damages. To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit for a burn injury, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff in the situation in question, but breached this duty in some way, directly resulting in the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff must also be able to provide evidence showing the extent of the damages caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Timeline for a Burn Injury Lawsuit
Burn injuries are often complex and require a difficult road to recovery. Victims can expect multiple procedures, surgery, and other impeding factors to their recovery. Since these expenses and medical bills can add up quickly over time, it’s natural to wonder how long pursuing a burn injury case will take.
Several factors may influence the nature and amount of a burn injury settlement or claim. For example, cases involving work injuries typically follow a faster timeline, since victims use a no-fault system of insurance to receive benefits.
If a burn injury arises from third-party negligence, on the other hand, the case may be more complicated and involve multiple defendants. An experienced burn injury attorney will identify the liable parties and pursue fair compensation on the victim’s behalf.
Factors Influencing a Burn Injury Lawsuit
The length of a claim resulting from a burn injury may depend on several key factors. Some of these include:
- The willingness of a defendant and his or her insurance company to accept liability and negotiate a fair settlement
- Legal rules and procedures, especially if a claim goes to trial
- The amount of discovery and depositions during litigation
- How long it takes the victim to recover from his or her injuries. Specifically, this affects the amount of time it takes to evaluate a claim
- The willingness of both parties to settle without going to trial
Unfortunately, some defendants will refuse to accept liability altogether, which could lead to a drawn-out legal process. In other instances, a defendant or the insurance company will accept liability, but argue about the worth of a claim. This highlights the need for an experienced personal injury attorney willing to fight for a fair settlement.
Should a case go to trial, one of the first legal procedures, discovery, will bring all the evidence to light and might lead to a speedier resolution of a claim. Still, this discovery process can take weeks or months to complete.
Finally, the nature of a victim’s recovery itself will affect a burn injury timeline. To assure a fair settlement, an attorney may wait for a victim’s full injuries to manifest. This allows medical professionals to ascertain the amount of expected future medical care, which will factor into a victim’s compensation amount. In some cases, victims of burn injury may wait until their medical conditions stabilize before beginning the negotiation process.
Arizona Statue of Limitations for a Burn Injury
The court system in Arizona imposes certain time limits to determine if a victim of a burn injury can bring a civil claim against another party. This timeline, called the statute of limitations, will affect a victim’s ability to file a personal injury claim. To pursue compensation for any injury caused by another party’s negligence, the plaintiff must file a personal injury claim within a two-year period.
The two-year clock begins on the date in which the injury occurred. On the other hand, an important exception to this rule may also exist, which is “the rule of discovery.” Under this exception, a person may also pursue a personal injury claim within two years from the time that a victim reasonably discovered an injury.
A person who attempts to file a personal injury claim after the two-year deadline will likely be unable to receive compensation, even if liability is clear. It’s essential for victims of burn injury to discuss legal options with an attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury and believe someone else may be responsible, you have legal options. Contact the Phoneix burn injury attorneys at Begam Marks and Traulsen today to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm.
Resources for Burn Injury Victims
If you have suffered a burn, it is critical to understand the severity of your injuries so that you can receive proper medical treatment. These resources contain information on the different types of burns and proper treatment procedures:
- Medline Plus – Burns Page – Complete burn resources including information, prevention, and treatments
- Stanford Health Care – Different Types of Burns – Description of different burns based on their causes
- Understanding First-Degree Burns – Information on first-degree burns, common causes, symptoms, and treatment
- Understanding Second-Degree Burns – Details on second-degree burns, including symptoms, causes, and treatment
- Understanding Third-Degree Burns – Information on third-degree burns (full thickness burns), including as treatment, common causes, and symptoms
- Understanding Fourth-Degree Burns – Details on fourth-degree burns, such as symptoms, common causes, and treatment
- Understanding Fifth-Degree Burns – Information on fifth-degree burns, common causes, symptoms, and treatment
- Understanding Sixth-Degree Burns – Details on sixth-degree burns, including treatment, common causes, and symptoms
Organizations Assisting Burn Survivors
People who have suffered burns may require additional support to recover from their injuries. These organizations provide both emotional support and physical accommodations:
- Burn Prevention Network – Education programs for awareness of fire safety and burn prevention
- American Burn Association – Information on burn care, research, prevention, rehabilitation, and teaching
- Angel Flight Central – Charitable flight accommodations for those with health care needs
- Burned Children Recovery Foundation – Emotional and financial resources for child burn victims
Emotional Support/Resources of Caregivers
While burns injuries are very difficult for victims to deal with, there is a strain on caregivers as well. Providing proper support and preventing caregiver burnout are critical to proper recovery and maintaining health.
- Caregiver Action Network – Education, peer support, and resources for family caregivers
- Caring for Those With Severe Burns – A guide for how to best care for those with severe burn injuries
Burn Injury Prevention
Most burns occur within the home. With precautions, it is possible to lower the risk of these injuries. Here are some great resources with prevention information:
- Preventing Burn Injuries (Stanford Children’s Health) – Tips for increasing burn awareness and promoting fire safety
- Preventing Burns in Your Home (Family Doctor) – Tips for fire safety, preventing different types of burns, and questions to ask your doctor about burns
- Burn Treatment & Prevention Tips for Families (Healthy Children) – Methods to treat and prevent burns
- Burn Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) – Four essential burn and scalding prevention tips
Additional Burn Injury Statistics
For further information on burn statistics, look into these resources:
- American Burn Association Burn Incident Fact Sheet – Information on burn incidence and treatment in the United States in 2016
- Stanford Children’s Health – Statistics on burn injuries, deaths, causes, locations, timing, at-risk groups, and fire safety measures
Burn injuries can be very traumatic for victims and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, contact the lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., to help you determine fault and explore your options for obtaining just compensation.
Finding the Right Phoenix Burn Injury Lawyer
Phoenix burn victims need reliable legal representation they can trust to manage their legal battles, handle difficult insurance companies, and provide peace of mind during a very difficult time. The Phoenix burn injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll assess the facts surrounding your burn injury case and let you know what type of compensation you could expect from a lawsuit.