Burn Injury Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

Depending on the severity, location, and depth of a burn injury, you may be facing months of pain, high medical bills, lost wages, and intense emotional trauma. Fortunately, if your injury was the result of another party’s negligent actions, you may be eligible to recover compensation. A Fort Lauderdale burn injury lawyer can walk you through the process and ensure you get the compensation you deserve from a burn injury claim or lawsuit.

Call Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. today. Let them be your path to justice.

What causes a burn injury?

There are many different types of burns — and causes — you should be aware of:

  • Contact burns: Caused by contact with hot objects and fire.
  • Scald burns: Hot liquids, grease, oil, and steam can cause scald burns.
  • Cold temperature burns: Caused by exposure to wetness, wind, and cold temperatures
  • Chemical burns: Caused by household or industrial chemicals (e.g., acids, gasoline, etc.)
  • Radiation burns: Sunburns, x-rays, and radiation therapy
  • Electrical burns: Lightning or touching electrical sources (e.g., getting shocked)
  • Friction burns: Occur as a result of scraping skin along a hard surface such as asphalt

Many types of accidents can result in burn injuries including:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents involving hazardous materials
  • Electrical accidents in the home
  • Explosion
  • Improper handling of flammable liquids

Burn Classification and Treatment

Doctors classify burns as first-, second-, third- or fourth-degree depending on their depth and severity.

First-Degree Burns

These are typically superficial burns that only impact the outer layer of a person’s skin (e.g., sunburns). The burnt skin may appear red and dry. While these burns are painful, they rarely cause long-term damage.

You can treat first-degree burns by running the burn under cool (not cold) water for 15 minutes, as well as applying cool compresses, antibacterial ointment to avoid infection, and aloe vera to reduce pain.

Second-Degree Burns

These burns, deeper than first-degree burns, involve both the epidermis and partial dermis layer of skin. Redness and blistering are common with burns in this category. These burns are often painful, but should heal in a few weeks with minimal scarring.

Run the burn under cool water for 15 minutes and then apply an ointment. If necessary, you can wrap a non-stick bandage loosely around the burn. If you are in pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers.

It is unwise to apply creams to a second-degree burn unless your doctor recommends to.

Note: While you can treat most second-degree burns at home, you should head to a medical center if your burn:

  • Covers more than two to three inches of skin
  • Is located on a major joint (e.g., ankle, elbow, etc.)
  • Is located on the feet, hands, face, groin, or buttocks

Long-term complications include:

  • Infections
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Discoloration

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree, or full thickness, burns fully damage the epidermis and dermis (i.e., first and second layers of skin) before going into the hypodermis. The area will appear white or black and feel dry.

It is important to note that you should never rely on a pain level to determine burn severity. In some cases, third-degree burn victims feel no pain because the burn has destroyed nerve endings.

You should always head straight to a medical center if you suspect a third-degree burn.

To begin treatment, doctors may cleanse and remove the dead skin tissue from the burn area and given special bandages. Once the burn heals, you may need surgery to reduce scarring and improve mobility. Skin grafting may also be necessary to cover the burn with healthy skin.

Serious burns take a long time to heal and may require longer treatment. Medical bills for such treatments can get expensive.

Complications resulting from third-degree burns include:

  • Scarring
  • Emotional issues
  • Immobility due to contractures (i.e., hardening of scar tissue)
  • Infections
  • Organ failure
  • Death

Fourth-Degree Burns

These burns are the most severe of the group. They damage bones and muscles beyond the surface and often destroy nerve endings. Go straight to the emergency room following a fourth-degree burn.

Even with emergency medical care, complications, such as the following, can occur:

  • Infection in the bloodstream and sepsis
  • Permanent limb damage
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Death

Much like with third-degree burns, skin grafts and other surgical procedures may be necessary to improve the patient’s skin condition.

How might a burn injury impact my life?

Burn injuries can have a major impact on all aspects of your life.

Physical Injury

Burn injuries can involve months of recovery, countless doctor’s appointments, painful surgeries, and physical therapy.

Even after this treatment, many victims do not make a full recovery and may need to contend with a limiting disability or severe scarring.

Emotional Trauma

Burn victims often feel insecure about their scarring and may not enjoy life like they did before the accident. The pain and suffering and loss of self-esteem may leave them feeling hopeless and alone.

Financial Turmoil

After an accident, burn injury victims may not be able to go back to work for a long time after their accident. In addition to losing wages, burn victims may be unable to return to the same position full-time or may face a demotion.

This lack of work may make it difficult for burn victims to pay their medical bills.

Can I recover compensation for my burn injury?

If you suffered a burn injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages for everything you have been through. To have a valid claim, you must be able to establish that the accident was, in fact, the result of negligence. To do so, you must prove four elements:

Duty

The at-fault party had a duty to keep you from undue harm (e.g., a driver has a duty to behave responsibly behind the wheel, doctors have a responsibility to follow their industry’s standard of care, manufacturers have a duty to create safe products).

Breach of Duty

The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care (e.g., a driver ran a red light, a manufacturer sent out a defective product).

Causation

Your injuries were the direct result of the at-fault party’s negligence (e.g., you would not have suffered third-degree burns had the toaster you were using not burst into flames).

Damages

You suffered actual damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, etc.)

A Fort Lauderdale burn injury attorney can value your claim and work to help you gather the necessary evidence to win your case.

How can I get help recovering compensation?

Ensuring you have appropriately valued a burn injury can be difficult. However, you are not alone. The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. know all about the challenges you face and will do their best to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

If you have suffered a burn injury, contact 954-524-2820 for a free case consultation.