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Virginia Burn Injury Lawyer

Burn injuries are the most painful and potentially devastating injuries that you can suffer.  They are also one of the most complex to deal with legally due to the likelihood that victims of serious burn injuries will require long-term, if not lifetime, medical care. There are also a myriad of accidents and incidents that can lead to burn injuries, so determining whether the accident was actually due to someone’s negligence requires keen legal insight and skill. Our firm can help you, or your loved one, if you have suffered a serious burn injury in Virginia. Call today to schedule a free consultation with us, and please refer to the following information as a general guide on the subject of burn injuries and civil claims.

According to the American Burn Association, more than 450,000 people were treated for burn related injuries and 3,500 people died in the U.S. in 2013.  In Virginia, from 2005 and 2009, there were 352 burn deaths recorded in the commonwealth, according to the state health department. There were also 3,038 hospitalizations for burns in Virginia that same five year time span, and countless other burn injuries treated on an outpatient basis or not treated at all. You can find a pdf copy of the state’s report on burn injuries here.

Causes of Burn Injuries

There are many different situations that can lead to serious burn injuries, some of which are much more obvious than others.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Heat burns, such as burns from fire, steam, scalding liquid, or hot objects;
  • Smoke inhalation, which can lead to burns if a victim inhales super-heated gasses in a house or structure fire.
  • Electrical burns, such as those inflicted by lightening strikes, downed power lines, damaged electrical cords and sockets in the home or business, and other electrical contact;
  • Cold burns, such as frostbite from being exposed to the elements;
  • Radiation burns, such as those from a tanning bed;
  • Chemical burns, such as those caused by exposure to industrial or household chemicals;
  • Friction burns, such as those caused by motor cycle crashes and similar grinding accidents.

Some of these burns will result in more serious injuries than others and many have different symptoms and complications. Pain and suffering along with disfigurement, scarring and secondary-infections, which can prove deadly, are all possibilities and require expert medical care for extended periods of time.

Burn Treatments

Burn treatment can range from icing a wound to painful skin graft surgeries and amputation.  Much of the treatment depends upon the type and severity of the burn injury.  If a burn is more severe because it involves more layers of skin or covers more of the body, the treatment could involve weeks or months in the hospital or a lifetime of additional treatment and/or surgeries.  Some burns may seem relatively minor at first, but because of the area where they occurred, such as the face or hands, they could be more prone to disabling scarring and infection if not treated properly. Anytime you have suffered a significant burn, you should first seek medical attention and then contact a personal injury attorney who has handled such cases in Virginia.

Lawsuits for Burn Injuries

Because of the many different types of causes of burns, there could also be many different types of lawsuits related to burn injuries and deaths in Virginia. All of these lawsuits involve different time limitations, parties, and procedures and you should find a lawyer who specializes in burn cases as soon as you can.

Some cases may involve wrongful death while others may involve serious personal injury and require compensation for various harms and losses suffered, including time missed form work or, in severe cases, the loss of a career. Some burn injures could involve a products liability claim, such as the 2014 recall of more than 300,000 GM vehicles after eight pickup trucks caught fire in frigid weather.  You could also have a negligence case involving dangerous property, such a building site that is not secured and has live electrical wires.  An experienced burn injury lawyer will know whether your claim is best filed as a product liability or premises liability case, or if it falls within another category of personal injury law.

Damages Claimed in Burn Cases

Burn injury cases involve similar damage claims to those other personal injury case in Virginia. Every case is different and damages vary based on the circumstances of a given case. Some of the most common claims, however, include:

  • Medical bills, including future medical expenses and the cost of special equipment;
  • Lost wages and loss of earning capacity in the future;
  • Pain and suffering for both mental and physical injury;
  • In certain wrongful death claims you may claim funeral expenses or loss of consortium for the death of a spouse.

If you or a loved one has suffered a significant burn injury in Virginia do not feel as though you have to suffer through the financial strain of treating your injuries while struggling to cope with the mental and physical strain of your wounds. Call our firm to find out whether you have a civil claim worth pursuing. Our attorneys at the firm’s Virginia law offices are well-qualified to walk you through all stages of your potential case and help you organize you claim so that you have the best possible chance for success. He can aggressive negotiate for an appropriate settlement, or argue for your rights in court. Holding those responsible for your injury or injuries is important not only to ensure you receive the support you need, but to make sure the negligent, careless or reckless behavior that led to your injury is addressed. This makes Virginia safer not only for you, but your fellow Virginians.

VA Statutes of Limitations

Every case is unique and there are always special or specific considerations. Most personal injury cases must be filed within a limited period of time per VA Code Ann. Section 8.01-228 et seq. The Commonwealth Code limits personal injury claims to two years, though there are some exceptions as far as when the injury occurred and when you first realized that you were injured. An attorney can explain in further detail. The earlier you call, the faster they can begin to build your case and ensure that all deadlines are met.