Burn Injury Attorney in San Diego, CA
A burn injury is one of the most serious and impactful types of injuries that can occur in an accident. Burns can occur in several ways due to someone’s negligence, including drivers on the roadway, owners or managers of properties, or even negligent manufacturers who design dangerous and defective products such as appliances or vehicle parts.
In addition to the financial costs of the injury, the sufferer also often faces significant psychological impacts, including physical pain and suffering, due to the injury, complications, and treatment.
If you’ve suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation for the financial and psychological losses through California’s personal injury claims process. A San Diego burn injury lawyer from Rawlins Law is essential to that process.
San Diego Burn Injury Guide
- How Someone’s Negligence Can Result in Burn Injuries
- The Many Impacts of a Serious Burn Injury
- Seeking Compensation for Your Burn Injury
- Let the Rawlins Law Legal Team Help You With Your Burn Injury Claim
Trust Rawlins Law With Your Burn Injury Claim
At Rawlins Law, we pride ourselves on being client-focused, providing our clients with concierge services to make the process more convenient for them as they recover from their injury, fast responses to their questions, and aggressive advocacy in both settlement negotiations and litigation. We want our clients to obtain the maximum compensation available while receiving open and honest communication from us.
Our contingent fee billing method ensures that anyone who needs our services has access, regardless of their financial status. This method does not require any upfront payment to begin working on your claim, and you will not be billed for our services while your claim is active. Instead, we only receive payment for legal services if and when we recover compensation for your injury.
How Can Someone’s Negligence Result in Burn Injuries?
There are many ways that a person’s failure to take reasonable actions to avoid causing injuries to others can result in a burn injury. Here is a look at some common burn scenarios.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Several flammable chemicals, including gas, are needed to make vehicles run and extensive electrical systems. When a motor vehicle accident occurs, the force of the collision can damage electrical systems and cause gasoline and other fluids to leak from the vehicle. All it takes is a spark from metal parts scraping across each other or the roadway, and the entire vehicle goes up in flames.
Motorcycle accidents, in particular, commonly feature fires and burn injuries. A motorcycle’s gas tank is exposed rather than tucked away within the protective frame of the vehicle, as in most cars and trucks. When an accident occurs in which the motorcycle skids across the asphalt, there is a significant risk of rupturing the gas tank.
If the motorcyclist is unconscious or severely injured, they may be unable to escape a fire without getting burned. They can also suffer chemical burns from contact between gasoline or other caustic chemicals used in the vehicle and their skin.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 212,500 vehicles catch fire on highways across the U.S. annually, resulting in more than 500 deaths and around 1,500 injuries. Collisions were the leading cause of fatal motor vehicle fires, while the overall leading causes of car fires involved mechanical or electrical malfunctions.
Premises Liability Matters
Owners and managers of California commercial, residential, and even public properties are responsible for ensuring their property is free of hazards that can injure guests. When they discover such hazards through a routine property inspection, the owner or manager must properly mitigate the issue or provide prominent warnings, so guests know to avoid the hazard.
Failing to maintain the property adequately and protect visitors from injuries can leave the property owner or manager liable for the expenses and psychological impacts of the injury.
Some of the types of hazardous property features that can cause a person to suffer a burn injury include:
- Faulty electrical systems or appliances.
- Failing to provide a smoke detector in a rental home, office, or store.
- Failing to provide adequate exits from a property so occupants can escape if there is a fire.
- Leaving chemicals in unsecured places where others can come in contact and suffer severe burns.
Certain manufactured products can also pose an unreasonable risk of burning a consumer. The most common product defect resulting in a fire or burn is defective electrical or mechanical parts used on vehicles. Other products that create a risk of burn injuries if they’re defective include defective appliances, electronics, space heaters, and faulty smoke detectors that fail to adequately warn occupants of a building that there is a fire.
The Many Impacts of a Serious Burn Injury
Deep and severe burns only heal around the edges without a surgical skin-grafting procedure. Treating serious burns requires extensive medical treatments, including medications for pain and preventing infection, regularly changing dressings, removing burned skin tissue, and physical therapy, particularly if the wound involves a jointed area.
In some cases, burns require breathing assistance and a skin graft or plastic surgery to minimize the appearance of scarring and provide greater functional movement in the area. Infections from burns are common, as the burn is a wound open to all manner of bacteria. Many individuals who suffer severe thermal, chemical, or electrical burns will require treatment at a specialized burn center. All of these treatments result in significant medical expenses.
In addition to the expense of treating the injury, burn patients commonly cannot work for days, weeks, or more following the injury. They often suffer severe psychological impacts due to scarring and disfigurement, as well as through intensely painful and frequent treatments. Their relationships with their loved ones can be affected, with family members often at the helm of providing home care for burn victims.
Seeking Compensation for Your Burn Injury
Burn injuries are expensive to treat, often resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, even for moderate burns. These costs can balloon well over $1 million when treating a serious burn.
When a person suffers a burn outside of the workplace due to the negligence of another driver, property owner or manager, or manufacturer of a defective product, they can seek compensation for their injuries through the personal injury claims process. This process involves seeking compensation by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s relevant insurance policy.
Another driver’s auto liability policy is likely applicable for burn injuries incurred in car accidents. A property or homeowner’s policy would likely apply in burns resulting from a premises liability matter. The claim would generally be filed against a business policy for burns resulting from product defects.
When the insurance provider receives the claim, they assign a claims adjuster. While the claims adjuster can come off as well-meaning and concerned with making sure the claimant is “taken care of,” it is important to understand the adjuster’s role.
A claims adjuster protects the insurance company’s bottom line by reducing the compensation owed to claimants as much as possible and only compensating them to avoid expensive litigation. Insurance companies tactics to devalue claims are one of the many reasons an experienced burn injury lawyer from Rawlins Law can assist you in the process.
A lawyer knows the laws in place to protect the rights of personal injury claimants to be compensated for their injuries and understands what a liability insurance policy is responsible for covering. Your lawyer can protect the value of your claim by managing communication with the claims adjuster and avoiding their tactics.
Once the claims adjuster evaluates the claim, they will either accept the claim as submitted, deny the claim with a written reason for the denial, or offer to settle the claim out-of-court for less than its stated value. Often initial settlement offers will be far below the value of the claim, which is when your attorney steps in to negotiate with the claims adjuster to reach a reasonable offer.
If the claims adjuster fails to compensate the claim, you and your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit. If the insurer hasn’t offered a fair settlement when the trial date arrives, your lawyer will present the evidence and witness testimony to a civil court judge or jury. The court will then determine liability and compensation.
In California, burn injury claimants have two years from their injury to file a lawsuit on the matter. Failing to meet this deadline, otherwise known as the statute of limitations, will usually result in losing your ability to use the court process to seek compensation for your injury.
The court process is a legal consequence for insurers who don’t offer a fair settlement offer for legitimate claims. If you can no longer use the court process, the insurance provider will have no obligation to negotiate a settlement.
What Types of Compensation Can You Seek Through a Burn Injury Claim?
Burn injury claimants can seek compensation for the expenses of the injury, including all reasonable costs associated with the treatment of the injury, even if it involves specialized treatment in a burn center. It also includes the loss of wages and the loss of future earning capacity, which apply if the claimant suffers permanent and disabling injuries that impair their ability to earn an income.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the significant impacts a burn injury has on their quality of life, such as physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Let the Rawlins Law Legal Team Help You With Your Burn Injury Claim
Burn injuries can have a serious impact on the life of the sufferer as well as their loved ones. Significant scarring and disfigurement can cause a loss of self-esteem and other psychological challenges. The expenses of the injury and the inability to work can leave the sufferer struggling to make ends meet.
We want you to focus on recovering to the best of your ability, which is why the experienced personal injury lawyers at Rawlins Law offer clients concierge services to make the process as convenient as possible. We make ourselves available to answer your questions quickly and thrive on honest communication. We aren’t interested in making false promises but in delivering on our commitment to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. This client-focused approach has helped us garner millions of dollars in settlements and court awards on behalf of our clients.
Our contingent fee means we won’t charge you a fee for our services unless we can win your case. Additionally, we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations to explain the claims process and tell you about our services. Begin your path to recovery with a free case evaluation by contacting us online or calling (858) 529-5872.