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San Diego Burn Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury in San Diego due to someone else’s careless or dangerous conduct, Gomez Trial Attorneys can help.  Our San Diego burn injury attorneys have represented a number of burn victims over the past 10 years, and we are confident that you will be in good hands with our attorneys and staff.

Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.

Burn Injuries Are Catastrophic

Burn injuries are one of the most painful and devastating injuries someone can suffer.  Over 700,000 victims go to the emergency room each year for burns, and nearly 45,000 of them are hospitalized for longer-term care.  Burns can range from first-degree (top layer) to third-degree burns (tissue damage), and they result in over 4,500 deaths per year due to cell death or infection or smoke inhalation.

For more serious burns, we know about the debridement, the grafting, and the time spent in the burn unit and ICU.  We know the amount of physical and emotional therapy burn victims go through, as well as the significant toll it takes on their employment, finances, and personal lives.  No person should ever have to go through this.

We are determined and hopeful to walk you through this difficult part of life and get you the necessary treatment and just compensation for your injuries.  We will make sure that those who caused you injury will be held accountable.

Types of Burns

While burns can be fatal, many burn injuries to the skin and underlying tissue can heal completely with time and treatment.  Burns have a variety of causes, including:

  •  excessive sun exposure
  •  scalding from hot, boiling liquids
  •  chemical burns
  •  electrical burns
  •  fire
  • car accidents

Burn injuries are classified into three primary categories.  There are technically a fourth-degree burn (damage extends into tendons and bones) and a fifth and sixth-degree burn, but most people who suffer them are killed in the process.

First-degree burns.

A first-degree burn affects only the first layer of skin.  Signs and symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, and dry, peeling skin.  Because the signs and symptoms disappear once the skin cells shed, the skin usually heals in 3-6 days.

One common example of a first-degree burn is a sunburn.

While first-degree burns are usually manageable with home care, they can still be extremely painful as the skin is damaged and sensitive to touch.

 Second-degree burns.

Second-degree burns are more serious because the damage extends beyond the top layer of skin.  This damage causes skin to blister and become extremely red and sore.  Some blisters pop open, giving the burn a wet, moist appearance.

Some second-degree burns take longer than 3 weeks to heal, and frequent bandaging is necessary to prevent infection.  Pain is classified as severe.

Third-degree burns.

Third-degree burns are the worst burns people survive.  They cause damage through every layer of skin, extending into the underlying tissue of the body.  The damage can reach the bloodstream, major organs, and bones.  Third-degree burns can result in death.

Treatment for third-degree burns is extensive and requires hospitalization at a burn unit or ICU.  The damage may be so extensive that the person may not feel pain because his nerves are damaged or dead.  Depending on the cause, third-degree burns cause this skin to look waxy and white, charred, dark brown, or raised and leathery.  These burns lead to permanent scarring and extreme pain.

Costs associated with burn injuries are very High

While improved technology and burn treatments have saved thousands of lives and helped improve the quality of life for burn victims, medical costs are incredibly expensive.  Treatment routinely runs into the $100,000+ range.

There is also a considerable loss of income that results from many serious burn injuries due to not being able to work.

You need a highly experienced attorney who can help to get the necessary compensation to pay for your medical costs and provide for your loss of income and future expenses.  We never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you.  Our fee is a percentage of your recovery, and we advance all costs for investigators, experts, and any other expenses associated with winning your case.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys we specialize in personal injury, products liability, mass tort, and environmental, insurance, and corporate litigation.  We are dedicated to helping people across California, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties to get fair and just compensation for their injuries.  You can depend on our knowledge and skill when it comes to representing a client with a burn injury.  With decades of collective experience, lawyers at our firm consistently gain some of the largest recoveries for personal injuries cases, including burn injury claims.

Please call our office at (619) 237-3490 for more information.  Our San Diego burn injury attorneys and staff are happy to speak with you, and all consultations are free.

San Diego Burn Injury FAQs

More than a million people in the U.S. suffer burn injuries that are severe enough to require medical attention, and around 10,000 people die each year from burn-related infections. These injuries can occur in many different ways, but the results are often the same: pain from the burn injury or the treatment, and fear about the costs associated with the injury.

If you have suffered a burn injury in San Diego that was caused by someone else’s reckless, careless, or intentional actions, you could obtain compensation for your injuries through a legal process. However, the process is not simple and lends itself to a lot of confusion.

Here are the answers to some general questions our San Diego clients often ask about burn injuries. For questions related to your specific case, please contact us at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free case evaluation.

What are the different severity levels of a burn?

The severity of your burn is defined in “degrees” as follows:

  • First degree: First-degree burns are the most minor burns to experience, causing damage only to the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. First-degree burns generally present with red and painful skin, but rarely with blisters. This injury can generally be treated at home.
  • Second degree: Second-degree burns cause damage to both the epidermis as well as the second layer of skin, which is known as the dermis. Second-degree burns present with skin that is red and swollen and can also look shiny or wet. The burn is painful to the touch and there will likely be blistering. A superficial second-degree burn usually will heal without scarring, while a deeper burn can result in scarring or permanent discoloration of the skin.
  • Third-degree: Third-degree burns destroy two layers of your skin. The skin can be black, brown, white, or yellow. The injury is often painless as the nerve endings have been damaged. The risk of scarring and infection is high with third-degree burns.
  • Fourth degree: This is the most serious level of burn, impacting all layers of skin as well as the bones, muscles, and tendons beneath it.

When should I seek medical attention for a burn in San Diego?

Seek immediate medical assistance for burns that:

  • Cover the hands, face, feet, groin, buttocks, a major joint, or a substantial part of the body.
  • Appear black, brown, white, or yellow or that have impacted the body structure beneath the skin.
  • Are caused by chemicals or electricity.
  • Cause difficulty breathing.

Call your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Signs that your burn has gotten infected, including oozing of the wound, increased pain, redness, or swelling.
  • A burn or blister that does not heal within two weeks.
  • New, unexplained symptoms.
  • Significant scarring.

Why do I need immediate medical assistance for a chemical or electrical burn? Are those burns worse than others?

Chemical or electrical burns are not necessarily worse than other types of burns, such as thermal burns caused by heat or flames, or friction burns caused by contact between the skin and a rough surface such as a roadway. However, there are some specific considerations with these types of burns. Chemical burns often require a large amount of fluid to wash the chemicals from the skin. Failure to do this can cause continued exposure to the chemical and can result in more or worsening burns.

Electrical burns are caused by electricity making contact with the skin or entering the body. This type of burn often results in injuries inside the body that cannot be seen from the skin. Seeking medical attention immediately for this type of burn allows your health care provider to evaluate you for the potential of internal injuries and to address those injuries quickly.

My doctor mentioned skin-graft surgery. What is that?

A skin graft is a medical procedure in which healthy skin is harvested from a discrete area of your body and used to cover the scarred area from your burn during a surgical procedure. The procedure is often performed as out-patient treatment, with the recovery of both the donor site (where the skin was harvested from) as well as the graft site—taking about two weeks, provided there is no infection. It’s potentially painful and extremely expensive—and you shouldn’t need to pay for it if someone else’s negligent actions caused your burn. Call us for help getting the liable party to pay for your skin graft surgery.

How do I obtain compensation for my San Diego burn injuries?

In California, if you have suffered a burn injury as the result of the reckless or careless actions of someone else, you could pursue compensation for the expenses and quality-of-life impacts you have experienced through a San Diego burn injury lawsuit. Generally, you must file in civil court within two years of the date on which your burn injury occurred.

The lawsuit seeks to:

  • Establish who was liable (legally responsible) for the accident that caused you to become burned.
  • Show what expenses and impacts you have incurred because of the injury.

What compensation could I obtain for my San Diego burn injuries?

San Diego residents who have acquired a burn injury as the result of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness can pursue the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. The term “damage” refers to a payment made in compensation for harm. Economic damages are a payment made in compensation for the expenses you incurred from your injury.

Common expenses that are included in economic damage claims for burn injury cases include:

  • Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment at the scene or in the emergency department, the provision of IV fluids and prescription medication, physician or surgical services, hospitalization, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages due to missing work because of your burn injury or to attend a burn-related medical appointment.
  • Loss of future earning capacity, if your burn injuries keep you from returning to the job you had before or to earn in the same capacity.
  • Property damage related to the incident in which you were also burned. For example, the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if the burn injury was the result of a motorcycle accident.

Non-economic damages are a payment made in compensation for the negative impact that your burn injury has had on your quality of life.

Examples of the sort of impacts that are often listed on non-economic damage claims in San Diego are:

  • Physical pain and suffering from the burn or the treatment provided. Burn treatments can be particularly intense and painful for many individuals.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Loss of the enjoyment of life.

What if I need surgery to repair scarring for my burn a year from now? Can I ask for more compensation for my San Diego burn injury?

Settlements and awards are generally a one-time deal. Once you agree to an amount in a settlement or are awarded a judgment in court, you generally cannot go back and ask for more money. It is important that your attorney properly values your case to reflect not only the medical expenses you have already incurred, but also those that you are likely to incur in the future as you continue to receive treatment for your injury or experience the complications of it. Burn injury attorneys, like those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, understand that you may incur additional expenses with a serious burn injury and will try to account for those expenses in your damage claim.

Who is liable for my San Diego burn injury?

Burn injuries can happen in a variety of ways, and each way features a different potentially liable party.

Some common examples of liable parties in burn injury cases include:

  • Other motorists whose reckless or careless actions resulted in the injury.
  • The owner of an apartment or rental home who has failed to protect tenants and their guests by ensuring that the wiring is up-to-date and in accordance with city codes.
  • The owner of a commercial property who allows dangerous situations that could cause a fire, such as faulty appliances, improper chemical storage, or debris that blocks exits and prevents guests from escaping if there is a fire.
  • Your employer, if your burn injury was the result of a workplace accident.
  • An individual who intentionally started a fire in your home, office, or hotel. Note: An individual who caused your injury due to criminal intent can also be sued for your injury, even if he or she has been arrested for the action and is undergoing the criminal process.

What is the average settlement in a San Diego burn injury case?

Because burn injury settlements are created based on the unique aspects of a single case, there really is no average settlement.

Several factors that could change the value of your case, including:

  • The amount of insurance the at-fault party has. Insurance pays the vast majority of San Diego burn injury settlements and awards. While you may sue an uninsured person and even obtain a judgment on your behalf, most individuals cannot pay the expenses associated with a severe burn injury out-of-pocket—so you might never collect your compensation.
  • The clarity of liability. In California, if you are partially liable for the accident that resulted in your burn injury, you can still file a claim against other at-fault parties. However, the amount of your award would be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you bear.
  • The severity of your injury. Severe burns cost around $1.6 million to treat if there are no complications involved, and severe burns with complications can push the price tag over $10 million. Each complication you experience adds to the cost of the injury and the likelihood that you will need additional treatment in the future.
  • Your age/education/wage at the time of the injury. While no life is worth more than another, the amount of damages an individual could recover after sustaining a burn injury is generally higher if they are in the midst of a successful career than if they were a teen or young adult with an hourly-wage part-time job or an individual of retirement age who no longer earns an income. This is because many of the expense categories involve wage loss. It stands to reason that the more you earn, the more you stand to lose because of the injury.
  • Your patience. It is not necessarily difficult to obtain a settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance, particularly if the bulk of the liability is on that individual. However, obtaining a settlement offer that fairly reflects the seriousness of your injury and the expenses you have experienced because of it is an entirely different matter. Insurance companies often do not like to pay out the full value of a claim and may wait as long as possible to do so. Often, this results in the fairest settlement offer coming in either just before the case is scheduled to go to trial or even after the trial has begun but before a decision has been reached.

How could a San Diego burn injury attorney help me with my case?

Burn injuries often take unexpected turns and twists. The injury can appear mild and then an infection can occur. Or the burn can be quite severe and yet feature few complications to hamper recovery. The right San Diego burn attorney understands this and is willing to fight for your right to claim the compensation you need to tackle both past, current, and future medical expenses and wage loss.

The burn injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys also understand that burn injuries can pose a lot of negative impacts on your quality of life. The injury can take many months to heal, even without complications, and can result in intense pain and suffering.

Let us help you make sense of the process of obtaining compensation for your burn injury. For a free case evaluation, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online or call as soon as you can.

Review: 5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“I want to thank John Gomez and his associate Kayla Lynk for working tirelessly in our case. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to both of you and the firm for taking our case. You have been so phenomenal and I appreciate every effort you all have put in. Kayla kept us informed throughout the process of our case & was highly professional and responsive. John and Kayla went above and beyond and did everything they could to ensure a great outcome for us. I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm or attorney.”

Review by: Shiela A.

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