Kansas City, MO Burn Injury Lawyers
Burns can result from many kinds of accidents. Car accidents, spills of hot liquid, plane crashes, house fires, electric shock injuries, and more can all cause severe burns. If you are a victim of burns in Kansas City, MO, and the cause of your condition was another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
The law offices of Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet has some of the best burn injury lawyers Kansas City, MO has to offer and they can help you seek and recover the proper compensation you deserve.
According to the American Burn Association, there are over 1 million burn injuries in the United States every year. These events can become serious quickly. Many of these injuries require hospitalization, sometimes long-term, and death is a risk for victims of severe burns.
Most victims of burns do survive their experience. However, severe burns require long-term medical care for a patient to recover. Scarring, loss of limb, disfigurement, nerve damage, and even brain injuries and damage are all common effects of severe burns. Mental illnesses, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are common as well. A burn victim can be unable to return to work for months or years, or may even be permanently out of the workforce.
Burn Injuries and Diagnoses
Our Kansas City personal injury lawyers are experienced in every kind of burn injuries. The most common types are thermal burns, electric burns, and chemical burns.
- Thermal burns are what most often come to mind when people think of burns. They are caused by proximity of the skin to a heat source. The skin increases in temperature until it dies. In a mild burn, only the first layer of skin dies. In response to most extreme heat, however, deeper layers of the skin can die and even the muscles, as well. Steam, hot surfaces, boiling liquids, and fire cause thermal burns.
- Electrical burns are a common hazard in the home. Typically, the current running through an outlet isn’t going to hurt you. However, if your building is unsafe as a result of your property manager’s or somebody else’s negligence, you may be exposed to an electrical current causing severe burns.
- Chemical burns can happen from regular household cleaners. They can also happen at the workplace, depending on your occupation. Alkaline or acidic substances can causes burns to the skin or eyes. Many other acids and solvents can also burn. These chemical burns tend to be extremely painful, and sometimes are even more difficult to treat than other kinds of burns.
Proper medical care is immediately required for a victim of severe burns to recover properly. Skin and tissue death resulting from bad burns can spread if improperly cared for. What’s more, dead tissue can easily attract infection, which can spread throughout the body. This can be deadly.
Doctors typically remove the damaged and dead tissue. This allows the remaining tissue to heal, in most cases. Sometimes, however, this tissue is too badly damaged to heal on its own. In these cases, skin grafts are the next treatment. Following these immediately necessary treatments, burn victims are facing years of rehabilitative therapy. If burned tissue goes unused for too long, it can become immobile. Intensive physical therapy is required to avoid this condition.
Do You Need a Burn Injury Lawyer?
If you suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you will have to cope with certain losses that you were not prepared for. You may have to undergo expensive and intensive medical treatment, miss months of work, or suffer from permanent disability. While no amount of money can reverse your injuries, you can claim compensatory damages to help you recover through a burn injury lawsuit.
Successfully proving your burn injury case will require the assistance of a burn injury lawyer. An attorney can provide numerous benefits for you and your case for compensation.
- Your Kansas City burn injury attorney will have access to a network of resources to help prove your burn injury case. He or she will know experts who can help provide testimony on your injuries and perform accident reconstruction, for example.
- Your attorney will have experience representing others in their burn injury cases and will know the arguments and legal tools to help prove your case.
- Your attorney will work with you to determine all possible avenues of compensation you could receive. He or she can help you calculate your tangible expenses, as well as determine what emotional damages you may be eligible for.
- Many insurance companies opt to settle burn injury claims outside of the courtroom. Your injury lawyer will have experience at the negotiating table and could argue for a higher settlement in your favor. He or she can also evaluate any offers the insurance company provides to determine if they are sufficient for your injuries.
Types of Burn Injuries
As discussed above, burn injuries come in many different types and can cause differing complications based on the source. These injuries range in severity, with medical professionals classifying burns by first, second, third, and fourth degree. Different types of burn injuries require different treatment options and involve varying lengths of recovery time.
- First-degree burns are the least damaging and most minor form of burns. They are superficial burns that cause damage to the outermost layer of the skin, causing severe pain, redness, and dryness. First-degree burns usually do not require surgery or emergency room visits, and you will not usually experience any permanent scarring or disfigurement. However, you could collect damages for first-degree burns if you experience significant pain and suffering or have medical expenses associated with them.
- Second-degree burns are more serious than the superficial first-degree type, since they damage the top two layers of the skin. You can experience blisters, permanent darkening or lightening of the skin, and severe pain. Since second-degree burns can break the skin, you could develop infections without prompt medical attention. Second-degree burns can be much more painful than first-degree burns, and they can take up to three weeks to heal.
- Third-degree burns reach deeper into the skin than first or second-degree burns. These burns affect the deepest layer of the skin and can take up to three weeks to heal. You can experience severe, permanent scarring after experiencing a third-degree burn, and you may have to stay in the hospital in order to fully recover from these injuries.
- Fourth-degree burns are the most serious types of burn injuries. In addition to the layers of the skin, fourth-degree burns cause damage to the tissues and the muscles underneath. You may lose portions of your skin and have to undergo reconstructive surgeries, such as skin grafting. They can be life-threatening and cause permanent scarring, infections, and other complications. You may have to receive an amputation if the fourth-degree burn is especially severe.
Burn Injury Causes
Burn injuries are very common in the United States. While the majority of burn injuries are first-degree burns caused by day to day activities, certain occupational hazards and acts of negligence can also be the cause. Common causes of burn injuries in Missouri include the following.
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Electrical lines
- Malfunctioning kitchen appliances
- Chemical exposure
- Hot steam
- Spilling hot liquids or touching hot objects
- Tanning booths and radiation
- House fires and defective smoke detectors
- Workplace and construction site accidents
- Defective products
While you can cause burn injuries to yourself, this may not always be the case. If someone else’s negligence or recklessness led to your burn injuries, you can pursue a personal injury claim for your damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and disability.
Treatment for Burn Injuries
Treatment for burn injuries in Missouri depends on the severity of the burn and what parts of your body suffered the burn injury. The more severe a burn injury is, the longer lasting the damage will likely be and the more intensive your treatment will be. You can suffer severe scarring and disfigurement, as well as additional complications such as infections, internal damage, and amputations.
If you suffer a first-degree burn, you could treat the burn at home or at work without going to the emergency room. However, second, third, and fourth-degree burns will require immediate medical treatment. You may have to spend time in the hospital to fully recover from your burn injuries.
More severe burn injuries may require reconstructive surgeries, such as plastic surgery or skin grafts. If you suffered damage to the tissue and muscle underneath your skin, you may have to have surgeries to remove damaged tissues and repair internal organs. These treatments can become expensive and may last for years following your initial burn injury.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Burns
The statute of limitations refers to the deadline you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in order for the Missouri civil court to hear your case. If you do not file within the deadline, the court will likely refuse to hear your case. Your case may involve different statutes of limitations depending on who you are holding responsible and when you discovered your injury. To ensure you meet the applicable statute of limitations, contact the law offices of Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet as soon as possible following your burn injury.
In the state of Missouri, you have five years from the date of your injury to file your lawsuit in civil court. If you were not aware of the severity of your burn injury until a later date after your initial accident, you have five years from the date of the discovery of your injury to file your claim.
Another extension you may receive for your burn injury lawsuit depends on if the negligent party leaves the state of Missouri. Your statute of limitations would pause whenever the at-fault person leaves Missouri. For example, if you suffer a burn injury in a car accident and the at-fault party moves out of state for a year, you could have an additional one-year extension on filing your case. If you are a minor or have a mental or physical disability, the state may grant you additional extensions.
Your burn injury may involve multiple at-fault parties. If one or more of these at-fault parties is a government agency or employee, you have a shorter statute of limitations. You have 90 days from the date of your injury to file your claim with the Office of Administration’s Risk Management Division.
Securing Compensation After Your Accident
You can claim compensation for your burn injury through a Kansas City personal injury lawsuit in Missouri civil court. With this lawsuit, you can recover monetary damages for multiple losses you suffered as a result of your accident.
- Past and future medical expenses, including surgeries, medication, mobility equipment, and physical therapy
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages, including chronic pain, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages for especially negligent or reckless behavior
- Property damage
The at-fault party’s insurance company will usually cover the cost of your damages, depending on who you are naming in your lawsuit and the type of accident you experienced. The amount of compensation you could receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case; the more severe your burn injury is, the higher your settlement will likely be.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Burns cause extreme pain and suffering. Victims of burns become victims of high medical bills, fights with insurance companies, lost wages, and unsympathetic employers. The Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet law team knows how to push back against these forces. With our help, you can receive fair compensation for your lost wages as well as your pain and suffering. We will assess your case to determine the part guilty for your injury, and help you get the restitution you deserve.
If you experienced burn injury in Kansas City, MO, there’s no reason to wait. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.