Little Rock Burn Injury Lawyers
Caring lawyers for burn injury victims in Arkansas
Burn injuries can change a person’s life forever. For some victims, they have scars and disfigurements that last a lifetime. Severely injured burn victims often require surgery and skin grafts. Most levels of burns cause horrible physical pain. Many victims require hospitalization and intense physical therapy.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Little Rock burn injury lawyers fight to hold manufacturers, construction sites, property owners, and anyone who caused burn injuries accountable for your damages. Burn damages include compensation for your physical pain, emotional suffering, disfigurement, lost income and your medical bills. Our Little Rock lawyers have a strong track record of success in personal injury cases. In one burn injury case, we obtained $2 million from a plastic surgery for a client who suffered facial and neck chemical burns.
How are burns categorized?
There are three degrees of burn injuries according to the Mayo Clinic:
- First-degree. This category applies to burns that affect the outer skin layer. Symptoms, in addition to pain, include swelling and redness. This category is akin to the burn you get when you get too much sunburn. First-degree burns normally take about a week or so to resolve.
- Second-degree. This category of burn penetrates the first skin layer (epidermis) and damages the dermis (the second skin layer). Symptoms, in addition to first-degree symptoms include red, white, or splotchy skin. There may be blisters. Second-degree burns can result in scars.
- Third-degree. This category of burn goes to the layer of fat underneath the skin. The areas that are burned may look black, white, or brown. Third-degree burns can cause numbness (no feeling of pain) because they destroy nerves.
Some burns are also categorized as fourth-degree burns. Fourth-degree burns damage more than the skin. They also damage the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Fourth-degree burns are often fatal.
Complications can include bacterial infections, low blood volume, hypothermia, breathing difficulties, scars, and bone and joint difficulties.
Anyone who suffers a second or third-degree burn should seek immediate care – usually at a hospital emergency center.
How do burn injuries happen?
The way a burn injury happens affects the medical treatment you will need. The cause of the burn injury is also a major factor that our Little Rock burn injury lawyers use to help determine who is liable for your injuries. Most burn injuries occur for the following reasons:
- Thermal/heat burns. These burns are due to contact with hot objects/liquids, flames, or steam. Many thermal burns occur at home or at work. Construction workers are especially prone to thermal burns.
- Chemical burns. These serious burns happen when chemicals or acids come into direct contact with the skin. The toxic chemical can rip through all the layers of the skin. Chemical burns usually happen on the job but some household products such as bleach can cause chemical burns at home.
- Electrical burns. These burns occur when any electric home or work product/device causes the current to enter your body. Anyone who works with or near electrical wires needs to be especially careful. Electrical burns can cause death.
Other types of burns including scalding burns and radiation burns.
What accidents cause burn injuries?
Many burn injuries are due to the result of the negligence or greed of another person or company. When burns are due to negligence, our Little Rock burn injury lawyers fight to show these companies failed to use proper safety measures. When companies make defective products, they can be held strictly liable for your injuries. Common accidents that cause burn injuries are:
- When homes or businesses go up in flames, it can be for many reasons. Someone may have left a pot on the stove too long. The electrical wiring may be faulty. Homeowners and businesses should have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to quickly put out fires that do occur. Often, we work with fire inspectors to determine exactly what caused the fire. We then fight to hold anyone accountable who failed to use standard safety precautions, failed to follow business codes, or failed to make necessary repairs
- Defective products. Manufacturers of electrical appliances, products, and work tools have a duty to ensure the safety of the items they make and sell. Some of the products can cause fires, which can then cause burns and smoke inhalation, include fire extinguishers that don’t work, defective space heaters, electrical appliances and tools, and teak-kettles. Electronic cigarettes are also known to cause burns.
- Industrial accidents and construction accidents. Machinery defects, chemical spills, and explosions can cause fires and severe burns at manufacturing sites. Paints, adhesives, and other products can become combustible if the workers and supervisors don’t follow safety protocols.
- Motor vehicle accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 500 people were killed in vehicle crashes in Arkansas in 2018. Many drivers and passengers in non-fatal car accidents suffer severe burn injuries from gasoline fires that can quickly ignite. Burn injuries can also occur if there is a fire in the engine and the driver opens the hood.
- Flammable clothing. Many materials such as pajamas may be flammable which means they can easily go into flames if they catch fire. Anyone who works with an iron needs to be especially careful not to scorch a shirt or an article of clothing while ironing.
What are inhalation injuries?
In addition to severe burn injuries, fires are doubly dangerous because the toxins in the smoke that usually accompany a fire can cause death or catastrophic injury if inhaled.
The signs someone is suffering from an inhalation injury according to the Burn Institute are:
- Facial burns
- Mouth burns
- Mouth blisters
- Respiratory difficulties
- Nose hairs that are singed
- Skin cyanosis
- Mental difficulties
According to the National Institutes of Health, inhalation injuries can damage respiratory function in three ways:
- Thermal injuries can cause upper airway obstruction soon after the exposure
- Chemical injuries can develop in a day and a half due to particles in the smoke which can lead to “bronchospasm and impaired gas exchange in the distal airways.”
- Toxic gases such as CO and cyanide can cause systematic oxygenation
What types of medical care are required for burn injury victims?
Patients who suffer burn injuries usually require both physical care and emotional care. Our Little Rock burn injury attorneys work with many different physicians and health providers to help burn victims see quality physicians.
Common types of burn injury medical care include:
- Emergency medical care. Severe burns, such as third-degree burns may, according to the Cleveland Clinic, require skin grafting. These burns may also require the use of “synthetic skin.” Patients may need IV antibiotics and IV fluids due to the fluid loss.
- Pain management. Patients with burns offer suffer intense burn pain and need to treat with pain management doctors.
- Cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons may be needed to improve the appearance of the burns and scars.
- Emotional care. Many burn accident victims require treatment with psychologists or psychiatrists to manage their anxiety and depression. Often, the scars and disfigurement can be extremely difficult to cope with – especially if the scars are on the face or the parts of the body that are visible to others such as the arms, hands, or neck. Some burn patients suffer from post-traumatic stress.
Additional care may be needed for respiratory problems and other related burn injuries.
What are the various kinds of burn scars?
Burns that damage the deeper skin often can’t be healed completely. The burns leave permanent scars that are unsightly and can be painful.
According to Medical News Today, there are three types of burn scars:
- These scars can by itchy and warm. They are raised above the level of the skin. They may appear purple or red.
- These burn scars tighten the muscles, muscles, and skin. They restrict the normal movement of the skin.
- These scars “form a shiny, hairless bump.”
The following treatments may give relief for burn injuries, according to the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Pressure therapy:This requires that that the accident victim wear a pressure dressing.
- Silicone gel. This treatment comes in an ointment or gel. Patients must wear the gel sheets daily – for months.
- Polyurethane dressing:This pad is used to help reduce scarring after surgery.
- Lasers and other light treatments:This treatment is becoming more common for treating scars.
- Corticosteroid injections:Normally more than one treatment is needed. The AAD states that this treatment can cut the size of a scare in ½.
- Cryosurgery: This burn method freezes the scar.
- Scar surgery:Here, “a dermatologic surgeon cuts out the scar.”
5-FU or bleomycin injections may also be used.
Speak with skilled Little Rock burn injury lawyers immediately after an accident
Living with a burn injury requires a great amount of upfront immediate medical care. The accident victims and their families often have to live their lives differently than before the accident. The victims need a great amount of emotional support, medical support, and often practical day-day-living support. The Little Rock burn injury attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, have the experience and resources to hold those people and companies who caused the burns accountable. Our office is just 5 mins walk from Little Rock Zoo by the Park Plaza Mall, to speak with our caring lawyers, call us at 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.