How is Fault Determined in a Burn Injury Case in Texas?
As burn injury lawyers, we know that burns can be caused in several ways and be due to negligence, overt carelessness, or the malicious intent of others. Tissue damage can be due to heat (or flame), chemical, electrical, and even radiation. Extremely hot liquids or gas (such as steam) can scald the victim and cause irreparable harm. There can also be secondary damage due to smoke inhalation or breathing in toxic gasses such as chlorine.
There are essentially three main types of burns:
First-degree burns – which damage the outer layer of skin or epidermis
Second-degree burns – damage the outer layer of skin and the underlying layers
Third-degree burns – damage to the deepest layers of skin and possibly deep tissue or even organs
Burn cases result in shock, blistering, and possibly deeply rooted emotional damage to you or your family members. The recovery can be painful, arduous, and require lengthy medical treatment or hospitalization. Depending on the type of burn, and how much of your body it covers, skin grafting may be necessary to repair the damage. Also, infection is always an issue since the outer, or protective layer, of the epidermis has been stripped away.
You see immediately how dire burn accidents can be, and the cost of the medical treatment may go on for months, or even years. These cases are legally complex and you should seek the guidance of a Texas personal injury attorney who is adept at fighting for the rights of those injured as soon as you are able.
Due to the unusual severity of this type of injury, time is always “of the essence”. Treatment must start at once, as you or your family member’s future hangs in the balance.
How is Fault or Negligence Determined in a Burn Injury Case in Texas?
It is fair to say, those burn injuries are in a completely different realm than most other injuries that you may suffer. This is because of their severity and can cause such a high degree of pain and suffering. The legal cases that ensue are also in a class of their own, and your Hidalgo county personal injury lawyers have to have the experience and legal depth to help you concerning all the ramifications of your injuries.
Most injuries are somewhat expensive to treat, but burn injury treatment can easily cost hundreds of thousands or even millions. This is exactly where the challenge to your legal team stems from. The treatment, pain management, and possibly years of rehabilitation that you may require go far beyond the usual “pain and suffering” in most injury cases. This means that your personal injury attorney is going after significant compensation. That’s compensation that you or your family member needs to get back to a full and rewarding life.
A broken arm or another type of injury may be easily explained and the costs of treatment and recovery are more easily determined. With a burn injury, the jury must be made to understand the agony and deep emotional and physical injuries you have sustained. This may involve many of the following details:
Photographs which depict your burn injuries
Photographs which depict your recovery process
Photographs which document any permanent scarring you may have incurred
Video of doctors performing the various painful procedures that you experienced (if our client’s procedures were not filmed, we have stock footage of the most typical procedures, and we’ve used these films with great results)
Medical illustrations showcasing the injuries
Expert witnesses, which may be various physicians that treat your type of burn injury and prognosis
Eyewitness testimony of those that witnessed the accident, and those that have been witness to your recovery process.
Medical records and bills for your immediate treatment, recovery, physical therapy, lost wages, and much more
The result is a mountain of evidence that must prove to the jury that you need and deserve the compensation asked for. The sued party will most definitely fight back, so your personal injury attorney must give a personalized touch to each case. Personal injury cases involving burns usually are the most difficult and complex to legally represent, but the legal outcome may determine your future.
When and How Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for My Burns?
A minor burn injury, which can be successfully treated, will not usually get you any compensation. A personal injury claim is meant to restore you to the physical and emotional state you were before the injury. However, medical bills, lost work, and other related expenses can and should be received.
The first thing that you and your burn injury lawyer will need to establish is each of the elements of negligence in your case.
You, or your family member, is owed a certain “duty of care”
The duty has been breached, or not achieved
The breach caused, or contributed to, your injury
The injury resulted in financial and/or emotional loss
The “duty of care” is an obligation to avoid causing injury (or harm) to another person either by direct action or inaction. For example, a manufacturer has a duty of care to make sure that whatever they produce will not harm anyone. The “breach” occurs when the manufacturer, employer, or any person or entity doesn’t uphold the duty not to harm you. This is one reason why auto manufacturers issue recalls on vehicles – to try to uphold their “duty of care”.
You can easily see how serious, complex, and life-changing a burn injury can be to you. These injuries also usually require very high dollar compensation to you as the injured party. Consult with your Edinburg burn injury lawyer, so that your treatment, recovery, and future are represented professionally, in-depth, and with the greatest outcome for your future health and success.
By Chris Brasure
Brasure Law Firm, PLLC was founded by Chris Brasure in 2006. His legal accomplishments are diverse and numerous. He is a fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, was a delegate in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and holds a BA in political science and speech communication from Baylor University. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Chris believes that education is absolutely critical to one’s success, so his firm now offers The Brasure Law Firm Scholarship to give back to the community and to help students who are seeking to pursue a higher education.