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Palm Springs Burn Injury Attorneys
Assisting Palm Springs & Palm Desert Burn Injury Victims
Chances are, you’ve experienced some type of burn in your life. If you’re lucky, the severity of the burn didn’t extend beyond a few days of minor discomfort.
For far too many people, however, burn injuries cause disfigurement, skin grafts, loss of limbs, severe infections, and other extraordinarily painful and expensive ordeals. If this sounds like the injury you have endured read on to learn what you can do to get compensation from our experienced Palm Springs burn injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys.
Unfortunately, many serious Palm Springs burn injuries result from someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct. If you live or work in the Palm Springs area and have suffered a severe burn, you might qualify for significant compensation. If you would like to know more about your legal rights, contact the skilled Palm Springs personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys now for a free case consultation.
Understanding the Different Types of Burns
For serious Palm Springs burn injury cases, a trip to the hospital is usually in order. To better understand how to react in the event of a burn injury, it’s helpful to understand the different types of burns.
For medical purposes, burns are classified by level of severity, in terms of degrees:
- First degree burns. First degree burns are superficial burns. They only affect the outermost layer of skin. These are the types of burns you get when you touch a pot when it is too hot or receive when you touch the curling iron when it’s still on. In most cases, first degree burns only last a few days. You may experience some redness and soreness until the burn fully heals. These types of burns generally do not require medical attention.
- Second-degree burns. According to the Cleveland Clinic, second-degree burns affect the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and the dermis (the lower layer of skin). Second-degree burns are more painful than first degree burns and typically leave blisters. Severe sunburns are an example of second-degree burns. Because second-degree burns involve blisters, there is a chance for infection. If you experience a second-degree burn, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.
- Third-degree burns. Third-degree burns are serious. These burns always require medical attention. Healthline describes the appearance of third-degree burns as white and leathery. Third-degree burns affect the skin as well as underlying tissue and bone. In many cases, third-degree burns can lead to loss of function or sensation.
Common Causes of Burns in Palm Springs Burn Injury Matters
Burns are serious injuries that can cause devastating, lifelong impairments. Unfortunately, serious burns to victims in Palm Springs are often preventable, the result of someone else’s careless or reckless actions.
Common, preventable causes of burn injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Millions of motor vehicle accidents happen across the country every year. Many of these accidents result in serious injuries. Burns can happen if a crashed vehicle catches fire, or when flammable liquids leak from vehicles and ignite or explode. These motor vehicle accidents could include:
- Workplace accidents. Any worker, in any workplace, can suffer a severe burn on the job. Construction workers, in particular, regularly work with open flames, high voltage electricity, equipment that runs hot, and flammable or caustic chemicals, all of which pose an extreme risk of causing burns. However, these risks also arise in other settings. Even a worker in an office can suffer severe burns by spilling hot coffee, for example.
- Building fires. The National Fire Protection Association reported nearly 500,000 structural fires across the United States in one recent year. Common causes of these fires include cooking, electrical issues, smoking, and unattended indoor and outdoor fires. Property owners have a responsibility to comply with fire safety codes, and every building, commercial and residential alike, should have properly working fire safety features, including smoke detectors, sprinklers, alternative fire exits, and fire extinguishers on hand on every floor.
- Chemical exposure. Chemical burns can cause extreme pain and cause a lot of damage quickly. At home, be sure to keep household cleaners out of reach of children, as many of them contain chemicals that can cause a burn. At work, report any unsecured chemicals right away. Call the national poison exposure hotline immediately at 800-222-1222 if you, a loved one, or a coworker suffers exposure to a caustic chemical. Your call will connect automatically to your nearest poison control center.
- Scalding water. If you have ever got into the shower while the water was too hot, you know how painful hot water can be. Water causes a scalding burn when it reaches a temperature of 120 degrees or above. The longer the exposure, the more serious the burn. At 140 degrees, it takes just 5 seconds to cause a third-degree burn. Children who cannot properly check the water are most at risk for scalding burns. Always check the water before bathing your child and before you turn the water back on.
- Hot surfaces. In most cases, we know when to expect a hot surface. The stove turns red to indicate it is on. The bathwater steams. Serious injuries can occur, though, when you touch a surface you are not expecting to be hot. Business owners and employers have a duty to label any surfaces that may pose a danger to people in the area.
Burn Treatment Options
Minor burns usually only require at-home first aid care. However, these are typically not the type of burns we see as a Palm Springs burn injury firm. When it comes to burn treatment, your options will depend on the degree and the location of the burn.
Treatment options may include:
- Antibiotic therapies
- Skin grafting
- Reconstructive surgery
- IV treatment
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
The location of the burn can dictate likely complications. For example, swollen tissue to the face, mouth, or throat may block the patient’s airways. Other areas present higher risks of infection.
The High Costs of Burn Treatment
Burns are no minor injury. Palm Springs-area burn victims often face a long road of recovery, including physical and psychological treatment. Serious burns can cause disfiguring scars. Many times, burn victims struggle to adjust to these scars and battle with ongoing emotional trauma.
Burns also inflict significant financial cost, principally resulting from the need for medical interventions such as:
- IV Therapy
- Skin grafting
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys has represented numerous burn victims, and has a firm grasp of the ways costs can multiply for them. We evaluate every Palm Springs burn injury case we handle to make sure to calculate all financial needs that might arise for our clients, so that any settlement or jury verdict we achieve provides them with the monetary support they deserve for their injuries.
Who Pays for a Burn Injury?
Palm Springs victims of severe, preventable burns may know they deserve compensation for their injuries, but not necessarily who should pay it. One of the most important jobs for a Palm Springs burn injury attorney is to identify all parties who may have a legal liability to pay damages for causing a client’s burn injury.
Those parties may include:
- A motor vehicle driver: Only Texas has more fatal motor vehicle accidents than California. If you are in an accident that is no fault of your own, California law often allows you to file a claim against the at-fault driver seeking money damages.
- A property owner: Property owners have legal obligations to keep visitors to their properties safe from harm. Serious injuries can occur when a property owner takes shortcuts or fails to warn visitors about known burn hazards, making the property owner liable for damages.
- A product manufacturer: Companies that produce goods and items that we use in our everyday lives, from appliances to cleaners to automobiles, have a legal obligation to prevent their products from putting the public in unreasonable danger of injury. A defective product that causes a burn can put the manufacturer on the hook for paying damages to the victims.
These are just a few of the parties who may have legal liability for causing a serious burn to a Palm Springs resident, worker, or visitor. Speak with the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys today to get started figuring out who should pay you financial compensation for your burn injuries.
How an Experienced Palm Springs Burn Injury Attorney Can Help
Burns are painful and can have a serious effect on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. A Palm Springs burn injury lawyer works to recover financial compensation to help you regain your health and rebuild your life. Every Palm Springs burn injury case has its own unique features.
However, some of the tasks a burn injury attorney may perform on your behalf include:
- Gathering evidence: Evidence is an essential component of any Palm Springs burn injury case, because a lawyer uses it to prove how a client’s injury happened, and who should have financial liability. Experienced burn injury lawyers like the ones at Gomez Trial Attorneys know where to look for this evidence, and how to secure it for use in legal action.
- Managing expert witnesses: Identifying the root cause of a Palm Springs burn injury can involve detailed, technical analysis. Often, lawyers for burn victims employ and oversee expert witnesses who investigate and evaluate scientific evidence to determine how a burn occurred and/or a victim’s prospects for making a full recovery.
- Negotiating a settlement: Palm Springs burn injury lawyers like ours at Gomez Trial Attorneys frequently engage in negotiations with insurance adjusters and defense lawyers who represent parties with legal liability to their client. These negotiations aim to achieve a fair, just settlement of a burn injury victim client’s claims for financial compensation.
- Going to trial: When settlement negotiations do not produce an adequate result, lawyers like those at Gomez Trial Attorneys will often advise their clients that the best course of action involves taking a case to the California courts to seek an award from a judge or jury.
Potential Palm Springs Burn Injury Damages
No lawyer can guarantee that a Palm Springs burn injury claim will yield compensation for the victim.
However, with a skilled, experienced attorney from Gomez Trial Attorneys representing your interests, you give yourself the strongest chance of recovering money damages to pay for:
- Medical bills: Burn injuries can require extensive, long-term treatment. Treatment costs can easily enter six figures. This is not a cost that most patients can cover on their own. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we always aim to recover all of your medical costs.
- Lost wages: Serious burn injuries can interfere with your ability to return to work. When this happens, the loss of income can cause a serious strain on your finances. Lost wages can reimburse you for time lost from the first day missed until you can return to work.
- Pain and suffering: Burns are extremely painful. Unfortunately, medical bills don’t always reflect this. This is why pain and suffering awards exist. Pain and suffering covers the “invisible wounds” including physical pain, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
- Loss of companionship: Injuries can affect personal relationships. Unfortunately, the physical and emotional pain can cause unnecessary strain on a relationship. When this happens, you deserve fair and just compensation for your loss.
- Loss of enjoyment: An injury can make it difficult or impossible to participate in activities you once enjoyed. While this may not seem like much, joy is an important part of your emotional well-being. Compensation for this loss will depend on the degree of your injuries and how it interferes with your day-to-day activities.
Palm Springs Burn injury FAQ
The American Burn Association estimates that there are nearly 500,000 burn injuries treated every year across the United States. This is a scary number and chances are that if you or someone you love is a burn victim you have more questions than answers. Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about burn injuries.
Who can sue someone if they suffer a burn in Palm Springs?
If someone is burned due to another person’s negligence, they can sue the person responsible. A Palm Springs burn injury attorney can explain your rights, identify the parties responsible for the burn, and help you seek the compensation you are entitled to under California law.
When the victim of a burn is a child, the parent or legal guardian may file a lawsuit on their behalf. When the case is filed, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem on behalf of the child to help negotiate a settlement. The court must approve any settlement reached on behalf of a child before it may be accepted.
What kinds of burn injuries are common in Palm Springs homes?
According to Healthline, household burns occur most commonly in children. They can be the result of hot or boiling liquids, chemical burns, electrical burns, or fires. Just because a burn injury occurs at home does not automatically mean a third party is not responsible. For example, if people follow the typically issued guidelines for hot water heaters and the heater malfunctions, burn injuries can be the result.
Electrical fires can be caused by an unsafe electrical appliance, bad wiring, or a faulty outlet that was improperly installed. Regardless of the source of the burn, before you assume that there is no way to recover financially for a burn you or your child suffered at home, speak with a Palm Springs burn injury attorney.
If I suffered a burn injury at work, is my Palm Springs employer responsible?
California requires nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if you are injured on the job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim after filing an accident report with your employer. However, because workers’ compensation insurance will cover the costs of your injury, you may not sue your employer. You can sue the workers’ comp insurance company if it refuses to pay the benefits you deserve.
That said, not all workplace accidents are the employer’s fault. Parties other than your employer, such as an outside contractor, the supplier of a chemical, or the manufacturer of a piece of equipment may be responsible for your burn injuries on the job. Therefore, before you decide you are not able to collect anything except workers’ compensation, speak with a lawyer who understands liability laws in Palm Springs.
What type of burn injuries occur in Palm Springs workplaces?
Restaurant workers may suffer burn injuries from stoves, grills, or a piece of defective equipment that malfunctions during normal use. In workplaces, electrical burns or chemical burns may also occur. The source of a burn in the workplace is important because it may determine who may be held responsible for the burn.
There are several instances where someone other than an employer may be responsible for a work-related burn. For example, if a machine catches fire on the job, the maintenance company, or the manufacturer of the machine may be responsible. Workers who suffer a burn due to chemical exposure may learn there is no warning on the label on the chemical, which could mean the distributor, manufacturer, or both are responsible. These types of personal injury claims often fall under defective product claims.
What kinds of burns occur in Palm Springs car accidents?
A Palm Springs car accident could cause you to suffer a burn. There may be a fire if your fuel tank becomes damaged, and engine fires can occur if you are involved in a head-on collision.
Keep in mind, car accidents are not the only causes of a fire in cars. Short-circuits in electrical systems can also result in a fire which can result in serious burn injuries. Regardless of whether you suffered a burn while operating a motor vehicle or when you were involved in a car accident in Palm Springs, you should seek the assistance of an attorney who has experience handling complicated personal injury cases.
I was burned at a Palm Springs store when an electrical fire broke out. Who is responsible?
The answer to this question is extremely complicated. Business owners carry premises liability insurance, and you may be able to file a claim with that insurance carrier. However, these types of burn injuries can be complicated because there may be several parties who can be held liable for your injury. Electrical fires can be caused by a defective piece of equipment, a poor wiring job, or because of improper wiring. Therefore, before someone can be held liable, it will be crucial to determine who is responsible for the incident.
The fact that many premises liability policies may have exclusions may also complicate these incidents. Therefore, it is best to discuss the circumstances of the fire and your injuries with a Palm Springs burn injury attorney before pursuing compensation.
How long can I expect it to take for my Palm Springs burn injury to heal?
The length of time it takes to heal from a burn injury varies significantly. Your overall health before sustaining a burn injury will play a role, as will the degree of burn you suffered. The more serious the burn, the longer the healing time.
When a victim suffers a third- or fourth-degree burn, recovery is slow and very painful. Doctors will take numerous steps to aid your recovery starting from the minute you walk into an emergency room. Victims of these levels of burns will likely be on intravenous fluids for several days while their body rehydrates. Victims will also likely be on high doses of pain medication while they are recovering. To allow the body to properly heal, doctors must remove burned tissue and skin—a process called “debriding“—to allow newly formed skin to grow over the burn area.
The more serious the burn, the more likely a victim is to need reconstructive surgery. Skin grafts are common when the wounds cover a significant portion of the body. Grafts are used when the severity of the burn prohibits the body from growing new skin to cover the burned area.
Why are my burns painful and why do they itch?
This is a fairly common problem for burn victims. Pain is common regardless of how minor the burn may appear to be. There is evidence to suggest even minor burns tend to cause substantial pain because the protection the nerves usually have from a skin covering helps keep them from being exposed. Burn injury victims are often forced to take strong pain medication. Deeper tissue burns may require intravenous drugs to keep the pain under control during healing.
Some victims may face serious pain even when they are laying in bed. This type of pain can be managed with effective use of pain medications. If you are experiencing heightened pain, you should contact your doctor. It is not unusual for burn victims to have pain starting several days after the injury.
Burns also tend to itch as they begin the healing process. This is because the nerves are starting the regeneration process, and because your body is regrowing new skin. The itching and tingling is usually a good sign, but for many burn victims, this uncomfortable stage can last for several weeks or even months after a burn.
How much compensation can I expect after a Palm Springs burn injury?
Every personal injury case is different, but victims of burn injuries who file a personal injury suit often want to know what they can expect in terms of compensation. This is a difficult question to answer for several reasons. First, every burn is different and victims face different roads to recovery.
Some potential compensation a victim of a burn injury may be able to recover includes:
- Pain and suffering – Victims of very serious burn injuries typically suffer more than those who have minor burns. Pain in the burn area can last for days, weeks, months, and even years depending on the severity.
- Disfigurement – Serious burns may require multiple plastic surgeries. Even following multiple surgical procedures, victims may learn they have extensive scarring on their face, arms, or body.
- Medical treatment – hospitalization costs, prescription drugs, plastic surgery, specialized tests, nursing care at home, and special equipment to ensure a burn victim’s comfort may not be covered by insurance but may be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Home modifications – Some burn victims may have problems navigating stairs following their injury. Some victims may need to add ramps or lifts to their homes, safety equipment in the bathroom, or other in-home modifications. These expenses may be recoverable.
- Lost wages – Burn victims can be out of work for extended periods of time because there is a high risk of infection, and because they need time to heal from the burns. The more severe the burns, the longer the victim is likely to be out of work. Some workers may be receiving disability benefits or workers’ compensation. But even so, they are losing income and other benefits as well.
How can a Palm Springs burn injury attorney figure out who is responsible for my burn injuries?
An attorney works with investigators who are experienced at handling serious cases, and they will assign someone to look at the facts surrounding your case. An experienced investigator knows what to look for, including whether a manufacturing defect was responsible for your burn injuries.
Victims of a burn injury should understand that the insurance company for the parties responsible for your injury will work tirelessly to pay as little as possible for your claim. A Palm Springs burn injury lawyer can serve as your advocate and will work hard to pursue the compensation you deserve for the pain you suffer after a burn injury that the at-fault party could have prevented.
How long can I wait to decide to file a Palm Springs burn injury lawsuit?
Victims have only two years following a personal injury in California to file a claim. It is important to note that while this may seem like a long time, the sooner you file a claim, the better. It will take some time to develop your case and investigate the circumstances under which you suffered a burn injury.
When I am out of work how can I afford to hire a Palm Springs burn injury lawyer?
One of the most common questions a personal injury lawyer is asked is about payment. When a victim of a Palm Springs burn injury is searching for an attorney to represent them, they can schedule a free initial consultation. Should the Palm Springs burn injury law firm you are working with determine you have a case, they will represent you throughout the claims process with no expectation of being compensated until they secure a settlement on your behalf.
Because getting a settlement is important, you should always look for an attorney who has a proven track record of reaching settlements for their clients. While the past results of a personal injury lawyer are not always indicative of their future success, our prior results can tell you a lot about our experience.
You need time to recover from your burn injury. When you work with our Palm Springs burn injury attorneys, you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery while someone else pursues justice on your behalf. No one should have to suffer the pain and agony associated with a burn injury because someone else was negligent. The Palm Springs burn injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are available to answer your questions and help you seek the compensation you have the right to pursue under the law.
Gomez Trial Attorneys: We Help Palm Springs Burn Injury Victims
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we believe that anyone who causes someone else’s severe burns should be held accountable for their actions. If you have suffered a burn because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful actions in the Palm Springs area, you may have the legal right under California law to receive substantial financial compensation. To learn more about your rights after suffering a severe burn injury in Palm Springs, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at (619) 237-3490 or click here for a free case evaluation.
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