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Denver Burn Injury Attorney

Burns are among the most painful and debilitating injuries. They may result in extensive medical bills and a lengthy recovery, with time away from work, and long-term effects for the victim. If you have suffered burn injuries through the negligence of another, call the burn injury lawyers at The Fang Law Firm as soon as possible. Our Denver burn injury attorneys are dedicated advocates for burn victims.

Doctor bandaging burn injury

Why Choose Us as Your Burn Injury Lawyers?

  • At The Fang Law Firm, we have dedicated our practice to helping injured people in Colorado.
  • Our personal injury attorneys in Denver have more than a decade of experience litigating over 10,000 collective cases.
  • We get proven results and have a 98% success rate.
  • We maintain a direct, open line of communication with our clients. Our Denver burn injury lawyers are available for your questions or concerns any time of the day.

Why Do You Need a Burn Injury Attorney?

Severe burns are serious injuries that can have lifelong effects on the victim and require extensive medical treatment, repeated surgeries, and physical therapy. Damages in a burn injury claim are likely to be significant and may include lost wages, loss of future earning potential, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Our experienced Denver burn injury lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and resources to conduct a detailed investigation of your accident or injury, determine liability, assess the full extent of your losses, and craft a compelling claim for compensation based on the facts of your case. We can negotiate skillfully on your behalf or take your case to court if it is in your best interests.

Who Is Liable for Burn Injuries?

Liability for burn injuries depends on the circumstances surrounding your accident:

  • If you were burned in a car accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for your injuries.
  • If you were burned by a defective or dangerous product, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
  • If you were burned on the job, your injuries should be covered by workers’ compensation. Contact our Denver workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about injuries while on the job.
  • If your burn injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence in any other circumstances, you may have a personal injury claim for compensation.

Types of Burns

A burn can injure the skin in many different ways depending on the type of dangerous element the victim contacted. The type of burn can determine the treatment plan, recovery timeline and severity of the injury. Different types of burns can occur in different settings. An electrical burn, for example, might be more common in a workplace with electric components, such as at a construction site. Burns exist in four different types.

  1. The most common type of burn injury, a thermal burn, stems from contact between the skin and an element of heat, such as flames, steam or hot metal.
  2. An electrical burn comes from a source of electricity, such as a live electrical wire or bolt of lightning. Electrical burns can affect a victim internally as well as externally.
  3. Contact with a base or acidic chemical can burn, injure or destroy the skin. Toxic or corrosive chemicals can cause internal or external damages.
  4. Too much exposure to a harmful source of radiation, such as an x-ray machine or the sun, can cause painful radiation burns.

The type of burn is especially important in understanding how to treat the patient. A physician will recommend different treatments for an electrical burn compared to a thermal burn, for example. The type of burn can also matter in terms of how the injury will ultimately affect the victim. Thermal and chemical burns commonly cause extensive scarring, for instance, while an electrical burn could only impact a victim internally.

Severity of Burns

Burn severity in Colorado is an important element to factor into your injury claim or lawsuit. In general, the more severe your burn injury, the more your claim will be worth. A severe burn injury that will leave permanent scarring or disfigurement, require expensive medical care, or give you a disability may qualify you for greater compensation than a minor burn injury in Colorado. Burn severity can also determine key elements such as how long it will take to recover from your injury.

  1. First-degree burn. The most minor type of burn injury is a first-degree burn. It affects the uppermost layer of skin and does not cause blistering. It often appears red. A victim might not need medical care for a first-degree burn unless it is larger than four inches or in a vulnerable area, such as the joints or the face.
  2. Second-degree burn. A second-degree burn affects the second layer of skin, the dermis, and causes blistering. A second-degree burn involves some thickening of the skin and can appear red, swollen and blistered. Second-degree burns often require medical attention to help prevent scarring and infections.
  3. Third-degree burn. Third-degree burns impact the fatty tissues below the dermis. They are extreme burn injuries that require immediate medical attention. These are full-thickness burns that fully destroy the first two layers of skin. Third-degree burns can appear white, yellow, black or brown instead of red. They generally cause permanent scars and/or disfigurement, and can damage the nerves. A victim might not feel a third-degree burn due to nerve destruction.
  4. Fourth-degree burn. The most severe type of burn injury, a fourth-degree burn, can impact the muscle tissues and reach the bone. These burns can be fatal and/or require medical limb amputations. Fourth-degree burns destroy all skin layers and cause damage to the deeper tissues. They can destroy nerve endings and cause many health complications for a survivor.

Some burns start as one degree, then advance to another if skin damage continues to spread and deepen. In general, third- and fourth-degree burns may entitle a victim to higher compensatory awards than first- and second-degree burns. Burns that require surgeries or cause permanent damages can lead to greater compensation for past and future losses. It is important to keep medical documents related to your burn injury as evidence. This can include a physician’s official diagnosis of your burn injury type and severity, as well as any treatment plans.

Burn Injury Statistics

As stated by the American Burn Association (ABA), burns remain a leading cause of injury and death in the U.S.

  • Approximately 486,000 burn injuries were seen in emergency departments between 2011 and 2015.
  • 3,390 civilians died from fires in 2016 alone.
  • A civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 35 minutes.
  • 24% of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.
  • 7% of people treated in burn centers today will survive, but many will have severe scarring and long-term physical disabilities.

What are the Common Causes of Burn Injuries?

As stated in the ABA Burn Incidence Fact Sheet for 2016, the most common causes of burns in the U.S. are:

  • Fire or flame – 43%
  • Scalding – 34%
  • Contact with a hot object – 9%
  • Electrical – 4%
  • Chemical – 3%
  • Other – 7%

What Is Scalding?

Burned skin

As stated by the Burn Foundation, more than 500,000 scalding burns occur every year in the U.S. Scalds are the number one cause of burn injury among children under the age of four and the second most common cause of burns in the U.S. Unlike burns that are caused by dry heat from a fire or hot object, scalds are caused by something wet, such as hot water or steam.

Hot water scalding can cause pain and skin damage from moist heat or vapors. It destroys tissues and cells and may cause the victim to go into shock. In the most serious cases, this type of burn can be life-threatening.

Types of Hot Water and Scalding Burns

There are four categories of hot water and scalding burns, based on the degree of skin damage:

  • Superficial epidermal: Affecting only the epidermis (outer layer of skin), this type of burn may cause pain, redness, and swelling.
  • Superficial dermal: Scalding reaches the dermis (second layer of skin), affecting blood vessels, nerve endings, and hair follicles. Symptoms may include pain and mild blistering, and the skin may be pale pink.
  • Deep dermal/partial-thickness: The first two layers of skin (epidermis and dermis) are damaged with this type of burn. The skin will turn red, with or without moisture. The burn will be either painless or extremely painful. There may be blistering and swelling.
  • Full thickness: Affecting all three layers of skin (epidermis, dermis, and subcutis), this is the most serious degree of scalding. It is categorized as a third-degree burn and requires immediate medical attention. The skin will be burned away, and the tissues may then blacken. Skin texture may change from smooth to either waxy or leathery after a full thickness burn.

Who Is Liable for Scalding Burns?

Liability for hot water and scalding burns depends on what caused the burn and the circumstances surrounding the accident. If you were burned by scalding hot water in an apartment, hotel, gym, or property controlled by someone else, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner. Our experienced Denver scalding burn injury lawyers can investigate your accident, collect and preserve evidence, determine liability, and pursue a claim for compensation on your behalf.

Timeline for a Burn Injury Lawsuit

Wondering how long your burn injury lawsuit might take is common as a plaintiff. It can be difficult to wait for the financial compensation you and your family need to pay for medical costs and make up for lost wages when you do not know what type of timeline to expect for your burn injury settlement or lawsuit. Each case is unique, with different timelines depending on the circumstances. Some burn injury claims settle between parties within just a few months while others can take a year or longer to resolve via a personal injury trial in Denver. Ask an attorney for a specific breakdown of your burn injury timeline.

Most burn injury lawsuits start with the investigation and evidence gathering phases. Multiple parties may investigate the burn injury accident, including the insurance company and the plaintiff’s law firm. These investigations will seek any available evidence pointing to who might be at fault for the burns, such as photographs, video footage, accident reports and eyewitness statements. Then, the lawsuit will move to the negotiations stage. Most personal injury claims, including burn injury suits, resolve during this stage without proceeding to a full lawsuit.

Insurance settlement negotiations involve the plaintiff demanding a certain amount in compensation for his or her burn injury, then the insurance company countering with an offer of its own (if it accepts the claim). Negotiations can go back and forth until both parties agree on a fair settlement amount, at which point the case will end. If the parties cannot agree to a settlement, however, the claim will proceed to trial. Trials are more common with severe, catastrophic and permanently disabling burn injury cases.

If your Denver burn injury case goes to trial, it could take several months to a year or longer to resolve. If you win your case, your compensatory award could be greater than what you might have received from an insurance settlement. A trial involves an investigation and discovery phase, a scheduled court date, trial proceedings, and jury deliberations. The length of your burn injury lawsuit will depend on many factors, including how far into the future the court has to schedule your hearing and the complexity of the case. Working with the burn injury lawyers at The Fang Law Firm can give you the most efficient claims process possible.

Expert Witnesses for a Burn Injury Case

Many injury cases in Denver require expert witness testimony to establish things such as the type or severity of the injury, how the injury will most likely impact the victim, and how the defendant acted negligently in causing the plaintiff’s injury. An expert witness is an unbiased third party with expertise that is relevant to the claim, such as a physician, burn injury specialist, surgeon, counselor or another professional. The Fang Law Firm has connections to a network of experts in the Denver area to testify on behalf of our burn injury clients when necessary.

During a burn injury lawsuit, an expert witness can help a judge or jury understand the plaintiff’s injury. A medical expert or physical therapist can support a plaintiff’s claim to intangible damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering, for example. Medical experts can provide important insights into the plaintiff’s condition and prognosis for the future. Our lawyers at The Fang Law Firm front the costs of hiring expert witnesses during burn injury claims in Denver. You will only pay these expenses if we succeed in obtaining you compensation.

Contact Us Today

If you have suffered serious burns through someone else’s negligence, we can help. Contact The Fang Law Firm right away for a consultation in Colorado. Our Denver burn injury lawyers can quickly review the facts concerning your injuries, advise you of your options, and zealously pursue full and fair compensation for your personal injuries if we represent you. We operate on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay us no legal fees until our burn injury attorneys settle or win your case.