Let our burn injury lawyers stand up for you
We’ll pursue maximum compensation.
Fears about finances following a serious burn injury are common. Treatment may involve expensive hospitalization, doctors, therapy, plastic surgeries, and medication bills. If you can’t work, you know you’re worried about how the financial needs of your family will be met.
A burn injury lawyer from our firm can help reduce those concerns. We’ll advise you about the amount of money you may be able to get in a claim, based upon your situation and damages. Then we’ll stand up for your interests in our dealings with the insurance companies. We’ll work hard to get you and your family the best settlement possible. Call us today at (713) 973-8888 to learn what your case may be worth.
Compensation in burn injury claims
Compensation in burn injury cases is based on the losses you’ve suffered, which are called “damages” in legal terms. The degree of negligence involved and other factors also help determine compensation. There is a wide range of compensation victims of burn injuries may get, from four figures to seven figures or more. How much our burn injury attorney may be able to get for you depends on all the details of your case.
Damages in injury cases
- Payment for current and future medical expenses (e.g., emergency room bills, other hospitalization, debridement, skin grafting, plastic surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and more)
- Reimbursement for past and future lost wages
- Money for past and future pain and suffering
- Compensation for disfigurement and emotional suffering
- Payment for loss of life’s pleasures.
In cases where there was gross or willful negligence, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish people or other parties that acted in an especially reckless and reprehensible manner.
If your burns are particularly disabling or disfiguring, such as causing severe scarring to the face, compensation should increase accordingly.
Damages in wrongful death claims
If the burn injury resulted in the death of a close family member, survivors may file a wrongful death claim. This is similar to a negligence lawsuit, but the settlement goes to the survivors or estate of the deceased to compensate for the losses suffered as a result of the death. Damages in wrongful death claims can include medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, lost income and inheritance, pain and suffering, lost love and support and others. Survivors who can file include spouses, parents and children of the deceased. We will also explore potential survival actions.
How our burn injury lawyers will pursue justice for you
Trustworthy legal representation for difficult times
When our firm handles your case, our burn injury lawyer will assist you by:
- Thoroughly investigating all the evidence
- Discovering what parties may be at fault for your accident
- Filling out and filing all the legal paperwork and documentation
- Identifying expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Proving negligence and fault
- Negotiating settlements with insurers
- Taking your case to trial if a fair settlement can’t be reached
- Arguing your case before the judge or jury
During the process, our burn injuries lawyer will keep you closely informed about your case. When you have a question or concern, we will be here to answer it.
Burn injury cases are often very complex. Often guilty parties don’t want to admit fault. Insurance companies may not want to pay out the large amount of money that these cases can cost.
The attorneys at the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant have extensive experience with burn injury cases. Call our Houston law firm now at (713) 973-8888 for a free and confidential consultation by our experienced burn injury legal team.
Types of claims handled by our Houston burn injury attorneys
Serious burn injuries happen in many ways. When they are a result of another’s negligence, they often result in insurance claims and lawsuits. The following is just a sampling of the ways negligent burn injuries can happen. If your burn injury happened in a way that isn’t shown here, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your case. If your burns were caused by another party’s negligence, we’ll fight to get you justice.
Common causes of burn injuries
Here are the most common causes of severe, negligence-based burn injuries:
Structure fires – According to a survey by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a residential fire was reported every 90 seconds during a recent year. Statistics point the finger at several reasons for apartment and house fires. Two of the most prominent are faulty cooking and electrical equipment or wiring and open-faced portable heaters.
Smoke alarms cut in half your chances of being seriously injured or dying in a fire, according to the NFPA. Houston and its surrounding communities have stringent smoke alarm requirements in all rental homes and apartments. If landlords do not obey the regulations and a fire occurs, they may be held liable for legal damages even if they had no hand in causing the fire themselves.
Car accidents – With gasoline, other flammable fluids, and the high concentration of plastics and foam rubber in all vehicles, burn injuries in a car accident are often catastrophic. Fires and explosions can turn a serious car accident into a fatal one in the blink of an eye. Texas has many tanker trucks on its highways – used to transport a wide range of volatile chemicals, fuels, and gases. These vehicles can explode in accidents, causing severe burns. If motor vehicle accidents are caused by a negligent, intoxicated, reckless, or distracted driver, victims can recover legal damages.
Electrical burns – An electric shock or uncontrolled short circuit can cause electrical burns, resulting in extreme internal damage such as cardiac arrest or damage to other vital organs which may not be apparent at the time of the injury. Though many electrical burns are obvious at the point of contact, that is not always the case.
Scalding – Hot liquids can cause scalding burns when they come in contact with the skin. Scalding is frequently the cause of burns experienced by children younger than five, but they can also occur in restaurant kitchens or near steam release valves.
Defective products – Leaking propane canisters can result in propane tank explosions. Other defective products can also cause burn injuries. Defective batteries and battery-powered products, electric blankets, kitchen appliances, and e-cigarettes are some examples. If a defective product causes an injury, manufacturers may be held accountable.
Chemical burns – Caustic chemical compounds, such as industrial acids or other corrosive liquids, can cause severe burns when they come into contact with the skin. Highly toxic chemicals can burn away soft tissue in seconds. With Houston having the largest concentration of petrochemical refineries in the U.S., hazardous chemical exposure is very common. And disastrous chemical fires can irrevocably sear lungs in workers all too quickly. Companies which do not safely manage their chemical plants, leading to an explosive chemical fire or widespread exposure event, can be sued for damages by injured workers and residents who live in proximity to the disaster.
Workers’ compensation claims in burn injury cases
According to OSHA, work-related fires and explosions cause over 5,000 burn injuries annually. If you were severely burned in a work accident that occurred while you were on the job, you may be able to get medical and wage-replacement benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the facts of your case, you may also be able to file a third-party lawsuit for pain and suffering and other damages. Third-party lawsuits are claims filed against someone who is not your employer but who contributed to a burn accident. Employers who carry workers’ compensation cannot be sued by employees for injuries except in rare cases.
In Texas, unlike other states, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If companies don’t carry it, they may be sued by employees for burn injuries. You can check here to see if your company carries workers’ comp.
Who can be sued in a burn injury claim?
The person or party whose negligence results in burns can be sued. Here are some examples of negligent parties in fire cases:
- Motor vehicle drivers who recklessly cause accidents
- Apartment and other building owners or managers who don’t have smoke alarms or other fire safety features in place
- Companies that manufacturer defective products that explode
- Home construction companies if electricity was improperly wired
- Employers or third-parties at worksites whose negligence leads to burn injuries
- People who intentionally set fires—even if they are being criminal prosecuted, they can also be sued in civil court.
A Houston burn injuries lawyer from our firm can advise you about liability based on all the factors in your case. Call us at (713) 973-8888 to arrange a free consultation.
What to do after a burn accident
There are certain things to do for your own well-being and to strengthen your legal claim.
Don’t delay in getting medical treatment
If you weren’t transported to the emergency room, see a doctor right away. Even if you feel your burns aren’t serious, they could turn out to be worse than you think. Plus, you may have other injuries from the accident. Also, seeing a doctor will show insurers that you took the accident seriously. Your medical records will be important evidence in your claim.
Gather evidence about the accident
If possible, get contact information from eyewitnesses to your accident so you can get statements later. Take photos or video of the accident scene. If police responded to the accident scene, such as in a car crash, get a copy of the police report.
Keep a daily journal of your injuries
Keep a dated written or recorded record of how your burn injuries affect you on a day-to-day basis. It can include your level of pain, how the burns and pain impact your daily activities and even how they make you feel emotionally. If your injuries have caused negative impacts to relationships or your job, describe this in writing. Also, consider taking photos of burn injuries every few days to show how or whether they are healing.
Speak to a Houston burn injury lawyer
An experienced Houston burn injury lawyer can increase your chances of getting maximum compensation. An attorney skilled in this area of the law knows what evidence is needed to prove negligence and how to successfully take on tight-fisted insurance companies.
To get help from an experienced burn injury lawyer, contact the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today. We provide free consultations. Call our firm at (713) 973-8888.
What are the degrees of burn injury?
Burn injury severity is placed on a scale from first degree to fourth degree. Accident severity will be a major point of emphasis for a burn injury lawyer.
- First-degree injuries affect only the outer layer of skin and are similar to sunburns.
- Second-degree injuries are severe enough to require medical attention and involve multiple layers of tissue. Scalding liquids and brief exposure to fire are common causes of second-degree injuries.
- Third-degree injuries are medical emergencies and extend through all layers of skin, damaging nerve tissue as well. Scarring is common, and amputation may be needed in some cases. Building fires, chemical fires, and electrical fires often result in third-degree injuries.
- Fourth-degree injuries cause catastrophic damage to the body and are often fatal. Such damage extends through the dermis into bone, muscle, and fat tissue. As a result, amputation is usually required. High voltage electrical shocks and longer exposure to open flames can cause fourth-degree injuries.
Serious burn victims who survive their wounds usually experience physical and psychological scars. They (and, by association, their families) are often saddled with devastating medical bills and lost wages, and the victims themselves deal daily with excruciating pain and suffering. When some negligent party or entity causes the burn injury — such as an apartment or rental house landlord failing to follow fire safety law, an employer not following workplace safety regulations, or a careless driver causing a catastrophic accident — victims are often able to seek financial compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other legal damages.
Consequences of and complications from burn injuries
Burns can seriously harm the skin, underlying muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and bone. Burn injuries can require surgeries, skin grafting, and other expensive medical treatments. Additional consequences of severe burns include:
- Infection during treatment
- Respiratory distress in patients with severe burns, which is often fatal
- Scars and disfigurement
- Serious emotional and psychological damage.
Serious burns can overwhelm not only the victim but also their family. Rare is the time that the victim’s life isn’t profoundly changed after a catastrophic burn injury. The possible loss of a limb, disfigurement, permanent scarring, and/or recurring infections can truly devastate the victim and their loved ones. Depression, nightmares, and avoidance of social interaction often follow, and rehabilitation for the physical damage caused by a burn is long and painful.
When someone else is responsible for such a life-changing injury, they should be held accountable.
Statute of limitations for negligent burn injuries in Texas
Be mindful that the statute of limitations in Texas typically allows two years after the date of injury to bring a claim. If you wait for that date to expire, you may give up your right to file a claim for your injury.
*** However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Always speak directly to a burn injury lawyer for the statute of limitations and any other deadlines that apply to your specific claim(s).***
Contact an experienced Houston burn injury lawyer for help
The accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant has more than 35 years of experience successfully fighting for the rights of injured burn victims. We want to help you, too. Call us today to arrange a time to speak with a highly skilled Houston burn injury attorney. We provide free consultations in a low-pressure environment to burn victims. When we handle your case, you only pay us if we win you compensation. Call (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation.