Burn injuries are extremely painful and often lead to lasting physical and emotional trauma, disfigurement, and disability. According to the American Burn Association, each year, approximately half a million Americans suffer burns severe enough to require medical treatment, and nearly 50,000 of those victims must be hospitalized for their injuries.
Unfortunately, the majority of these burn injuries are preventable, occurring only because of someone else’s negligent actions or intentional wrongdoing. This could include a product manufacturer who produces a defective product, a property owner who fails to maintain a safe premises or someone who knowingly creates an unsafe situation that ultimately results in a victim’s burn injuries.
If you or a loved one sustained burns, and you believe another party is responsible, we urge you to reach out to our qualified team of burn injury attorneys in Cleveland. We understand that knowing someone else’s actions caused your injuries can make the physical and emotional healing process considerably more difficult. Fortunately, under Ohio law, you have the right to seek damages from the responsible party by filing a burn injury lawsuit.
The Slater & Zurz legal team has been helping victims of burns and other fire-related injuries secure their rightful compensation for over 30 years. We know how to fight effectively on your behalf and get you the maximum recovery possible, so you can heal from your injuries and move past this unfortunate experience.
Some Common Causes of Burns
When most people think of burns, they think of injuries sustained in a fire. However, there are many other situations that can result in burn injuries. These include:
Cold burns – Also known as ice burns, cold burns occur when the skin comes in contact with ice or other very cold surfaces for an extended period of time. This exposure to severe cold can lead to frostbite, which causes damage to the skin.
Friction burns– Burns caused by friction occur when skin is scraped off through contact with a hard or rough object, such as a carpet, a concrete sidewalk, or a road. Friction burns are both an abrasion and a heat burn and are commonly seen following a car, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident.
Chemical burns – Burns can occur after coming into contact with dangerous chemicals, such as strong detergents, solvents, and acids. Chemical burns are often a result of work or construction-related accidents.
Electrical burns – When an electric current travels through the body, the electricity can damage the skin, tissue, and organs. These burns can come from a number of sources, such as an electrical socket, exposed wiring, and stun guns.
Radiation burns – Concentrated exposure to radiation causes damage to the skin, tissue, or organs. Common sources of radiation burns are UV rays, X rays, and cancer radiation therapy.
Thermal burns – Skin injuries caused by hot surfaces, liquids, or steam are considered thermal burns. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), nearly 7% of these burns require extensive medical treatment in specialized burn centers.
The Severity of Burn Injuries
Medical professionals classify burns into four different categories, known as “degrees.” The four degrees refer to the extent of the damage caused by the burn, with the highest degree being the most severe.
First-degree burns – These burns only affect the top layer of the skin and can typically be treated at home. The skin may be painful and red, but there won’t be any blisters or long-term damage.
Second-degree burns – Second-degree burns affect the top and middle layer of the skin. The affected area will be swollen, red, and may look shiny or wet. The skin may also blister and hurt to the touch. There is a chance of permanent scarring and discoloration of the skin.
Third-degree burns – These burns are often referred to as “full-thickness burns.” They completely destroy the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. The skin may appear white, black, brown, or yellow, not red like less severe burns. Third-degree burns will require medical care and likely result in permanent scarring.
Fourth-degree burns – The deepest, most severe level is known as a “fourth-degree burn.” These burns damage all layers of the skin and can also reach muscles, tendons, and bones. Fourth-degree burns do not hurt, as the nerves in the affected area are destroyed.
Securing Compensation After a Cleveland Burn Injury
When someone’s actions directly led to the accident that caused your injuries, you have the right to seek damages from the at-fault party. To successfully secure compensation, you, as the plaintiff, must prove the party was negligent.
Four elements must be shown to prove negligence in Ohio:
- Duty of care – The person or entity owed you a duty to act or not act in a way so as to avoid causing you harm.
- Breach of duty – They failed to use a reasonable amount of care.
- Causation – Their failure to act with care directly led to your burn accident.
- Damages – You suffered losses as a result of your injuries.
When establishing the last of the four elements, damages, you and your attorney will need to show the nature and extent of your injuries and all other losses relating to those injuries. Your recoverable damages depend on the specifics of your case but may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs, including physical therapy
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Assistive care
- Residential care expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one in a burn accident)
Our burn injury law firm takes the time to diligently and meticulously assess all of your past, current, and future losses. We do so to ensure we don’t miss any opportunity to recover damages on your behalf. We recommend arranging a free case review with one of our Cleveland burn injury lawyers to learn more about the damages that may be available to you.
You can sue any person or entity whose actions led to the fire that caused your injuries. Of course, whose responsible depends on your case’s specifics. However, here are some parties commonly at-fault for burn injuries.
- A person who intentionally or accidentally started a fire
- A product manufacturer of a faulty product
- A property owner who failed to keep their property free of hazards
Experienced Burn Accident Lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio
Suffering a severe burn injury is a devastating experience. Coping with the pain, countless skin grafting surgeries, and the likelihood of permanent scarring and disability can be overwhelming.
At Slater & Zurz, we want you to know that you don’t have to go through this harrowing experience alone. Our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers in Cleveland is here to help in any way we can. From making sure you have access to the highest level of medical care to offering our guidance and support to fighting aggressively on your behalf to secure maximum recovery, we will be there every step of the way.
Together, we can hold all of those responsible for your injuries accountable for their careless or intentional actions and work hard to see that justice is served. We know the road to recovery will not be easy. That is why we will fight with everything we have to secure the financial compensation you need to help you through this experience. And should you choose our firm to represent you, we will do so on a contingency fee basis. We will not ask you to pay anything up-front, and you will owe us absolutely nothing if we don’t secure compensation on your behalf. We welcome you to reach out to our firm and consult with one of our skilled and compassionate attorneys for FREE.