Burn Injury Attorneys in La Mesa
There are few injuries that are more excruciating and potentially debilitating than burn injuries. Serious burn injuries are extremely painful, and they often require extensive medical treatment and a long (and sometimes incomplete) recovery process. Injury victims often incur tens of thousands and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs, and prolonged rehabilitation can result in weeks or even months being out of work (if you are able to return to work at all). When a burn injury results from the negligence or reckless actions of another party, those who are injured deserve to be fully compensated.
At Garmo & Garmo, LLP, we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll burn injuries take on victims and their families. Our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and seamless as possible. We work closely with our clients and we handle all the complicated legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery. Our experienced legal team works collaboratively on each case and we fight hard to get you the full and fair compensation you need and deserve for your injuries.
We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, and we routinely go up against well-funded adversaries, such as large insurance companies who typically employ a wide range of tactics to minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay. Whenever possible, we will settle with insurance companies when they fully compensate our clients. However, if the insurance company is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we are ready and able to pursue full damages through litigation.
Typical Causes of Burn Injuries
The American Burn Association reports that approximately 500,000 individuals in United States suffer burn injuries that require medical treatment each year. Roughly 40,000 burn injury victims require hospitalization, and more than 3,000 individuals do not survive their injury.
Burn injuries impact individuals of all ages and demographics and they can happen in all types of settings. Many times, another party (other than the victim) is to blame for the injury. Some of the most common reasons these injuries occur include:
- Auto accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Chemical accidents
- Gas explosions
- Building fires
- Electrical accidents
- Scalding accidents
- Radiation burns
- Medical malpractice
- Defective product accidents
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified into varying degrees of severity:
- First-Degree Burns: These are the most minor type of burn injury, affecting only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). A first-degree burn typically causes mild to moderate pain, redness, and swelling, and it can usually be successfully treated with home remedies such as cold water and over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Second-Degree Burns: These are moderate to severe burns that penetrate two layers of skin; the epidermis and the dermis. Second-degree burns typically cause more excruciating pain, redness, blistering, and sometimes, infections. Medical treatment is often required for this type of burn, which may include cooling, sterilization, and skin transplants or replacements to cover the burn. It may take several weeks or months to fully recover from a second-degree burn.
- Third-Degree Burns: This is the most severe type of burn injury, penetrating three layers of skin and often causing damage to the muscles and soft tissue underneath the skin. When someone suffers a third-degree burn, their skin often appears brown, black, white, or leathery. Victims may also experience a loss of sensation in the affected areas. Third-degree burns require immediate and intensive medical treatment, and it could take years to fully recover. In many cases, the damage caused by this type of burn can be permanent and debilitating.
Pursuing a Burn Injury Claim in California
When someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of a burn injury and another party was responsible, victims and their families are entitled to compensation. Compensatory damages can be divided into two general categories:
- Economic Damages: These are actual monetary losses that the victim incurs because of their injury. Examples may include property damage, hospitalization costs, costs for various types of medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, costs for ongoing medical care, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial expenses (in the case of a wrongful death).
- Non-Economic Damages: These are losses that are intangible and more difficult to quantify. Examples may include physical pain and suffering, psychological distress, loss of enjoyment, disfigurement, and loss of consortium. If the injury resulted from medical malpractice, California caps non-economic damages at $250,000.
In some rare instances in which the actions of the party responsible for the injury were especially egregious, punitive damages (also known as “exemplary damages”) may be awarded to “punish” the wrongdoer and help deter them (and others) from engaging in this type of behavior in the future. To be eligible for punitive damages, the plaintiff must show clear and convincing evidence that the actions of the responsible party were:
- Extremely reckless;
- Oppressive; or
- Intended to cause harm to the victim.
In California, there is a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. If the claim is against a government entity (i.e., city, county, or state government agency), the statute of limitations is just six months, and there are other strict procedural hurdles that must be cleared. If you fail to file your claim within the designated time frame, you may lose your right to recover compensation. For this reason, it is extremely important to obtain strong legal counsel as early as possible after being injured.
Speak with an Experienced Southern California Burn Injury Attorney
Severe burns can have devastating consequences for injury victims and their families. If you or someone close to you has suffered a burn injury that was someone else’s fault, you need a skilled attorney who fully understands the complex legal and medical issues involved, and how to put together a strong case that will allow you to receive the just compensation you are entitled to.
At Garmo & Garmo, LLP, we are here to help! We will handle the legal process for you from start to finish, providing experienced legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We handle burn injury claims in La Mesa, and throughout Southern California. For a free consultation and case evaluation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 619-441-2500 or send us a message through our web contact form.