Burn Injury Attorneys in Mississippi
An accident that leaves you with burns on your body is one of the most difficult to recover from physically, financially, and emotionally. Not only can burns be excruciatingly painful, they can cause permanent disfigurement and scarring as well. When someone else causes you this much pain through their negligence, it’s only right that they should pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and other economic and non-economic damages associated with the accident.
Classifications of Burn Injuries
When doctors rate the severity of a burn, they assign the least serious burns the label of first degree and the most serious burns the label of fourth degree. Below is a brief description of each of the categories of burn injuries.
- First degree: If you have this type of burn, your top layer of skin turns red and looks like a typical sunburn. Pain is mild and new skin replaces the old skin within a few days.
- Second degree: This means that the burn has moved beyond the top layer of skin called the epidermis and reached your deeper skin levels known as the dermis. With a second-degree burn, your skin appears whiter in the burn area and you have blisters and extra fluid as well.
- Third degree: A third-degree burn is very serious as it means that the flame or heat has charred through all skin layers. The skin takes on the appearance of leather and feels hard and thick. The extra fluids that accumulate in your body cause the affected skin to look purple or dark red. You may not be able to feel anything in the injured area due to extensive nerve damage. Most people who sustain third-degree burns must attend many sessions of physical therapy to recover sensation in the affected area as well as full mobility and range of motion in the entire body.
- Fourth degree: A fourth-degree burn is immediately life threatening because charring affects the skin, muscle, and bone. Victims of fourth-degree burns often suffer from the amputation of fingers or toes, permanent loss of motion and dexterity, and ability to use their limbs. It’s also common to require several skin graft surgeries as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery. If you have suffered this type of burn, you should expect to complete extensive physical therapy and need lifelong medical treatment.
Asphyxiation and smoke inhalation is another way that you could receive serious injuries from a fire. While these don’t involve burns to your body, they can cause permanent disability if you don’t escape the fire soon enough. The fire removes oxygen from the air that you need to breathe and replaces it with smoke, hydrogen cyanide, and carbon monoxide. Breathing in these substances can cause immediate disorientation and loss of consciousness. People who survive can have permanent lung and brain damage.
In addition to assigning a degree of burn, doctors also assign a percentage. They arrive at this figure by counting your head, front of the chest, buttocks, abdomen, each arm, and the front and back of each leg as nine percent of the body. Your upper and lower back is eight percent each while each palm and your groin area are one percent each.
The type of burn that you sustain can determine the severity of your injuries. The most common types include:
- Chemical burns: These usually occur due to contact with something that contains acid or alkali
- Contact burns: You have a contact burn if you make direct contact with a hot object such as a stove, coal, or burning metal
- Electrical burns: These come from high intensity heat sources such as electrical wires
- Flame burns: This type of burn comes from a fire
- Flash burns: Accelerants such as kerosene or gasoline cause these types of burns
- Scald burns: These types of burns happen due to contact with very hot water
You will need medical care no matter how your burn happened. Even if you think it doesn’t seem significant, it’s better to receive care right away than to wait and have the pain possibly become worse.
Typical Causes of Burn Injuries Caused by Negligence
Burn accidents often occur due to the negligent actions of another person or company. The most common categories include:
- Car accidents: When an inattentive, chemically impaired, or deliberately reckless driver causes a crash, the vehicle’s fuel tank can immediately burst into flames. The car can also start on fire due to negligence on the part of the manufacturer or the company that performs maintenance.
- Chemical accidents: These types of burn injuries typically occur on the job when employers expose workers to toxic or harmful chemicals that accidentally ignite.
- Defective products: Items that you use every day, such as computers, appliances, and machinery, can catch on fire due to improper manufacturing. This can cause devastating and immediate injuries.
- Electric shock: Linemen and other workers who regularly have contact with electrical currents face a risk of injury from electrical burns or electrocution.
- Improper supervision: Children, people with significant disabilities, and the elderly can sustain serious burns when the person responsible for their care fails to supervise properly. The caretaker could also exercise poor judgment, such as placing the vulnerable person in a scalding hot bath without checking the water temperature first.
- Workplace accidents: Faulty wiring and toxic chemicals are two common examples of causes of workplace fires. The entire building could explode, leaving those who survive with severe injuries for the rest of their lives.
As with any accident, the first thing you need to focus on is your recovery. However, you shouldn’t wait too long if you’re considering filing a personal injury lawsuit since the statute of limitations in Mississippi is three years.
The personal injury attorneys at Gardner Law Firm have years of experience helping burn accident victims recover the financial compensation they deserve. If you or a family member have suffered a burn injury, smoke inhalation, or asphyxiation due to someone else’s negligence, please contact us to request a free initial review of your case. You can reach Gardner Law firm in Biloxi at 228-436-6555, Hattiesburg at 601-582-4300, or Pascagoula at 228-762-6555.