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Our Expert Beverly Hills Burn Injury Attorneys Will Discuss the Types of Burn Injuries You Can Sustain From a Motor Vehicle Accident and by a Defective Product

Burn injuries, regardless of cause, are very painful and will always require costly medical treatment. A burn injury is a type of personal injury, which means that if your injury was caused by either a negligent individual, group, or defective product, you may file a personal injury claim against the guilty party in order to recover compensation for your losses.

Burn injuries are more common than people believe. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 486,000 burn injuries occurred in 2011, which required emergency room visits and extensive medical treatment. Furthermore, more than 3,000 deaths were reported that year.

Burn injuries are generally identified depending on severity. Burn classification is one of the most important considerations a burn injury attorney will analyze when determining liability and potential damages. The more severe a burn was, the greater the likelihood that medical costs associated with treating resulting injuries will be. For the most part, more severe injuries translate into greater compensation.

Contact our team of Beverly Hills burn injury attorneys 24/7 by calling (310) 919-5962 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Beverly Hills personal injury law firm.

Vehicle Fires and Burn Injuries 

Fires are just one circumstance that can cause burns injuries. Here are some quick facts about fires, burn injuries, and burn fatalities:

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2018, an estimated 212,500 vehicle fires caused 560 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries, and $1.9 billion in direct property damage in the United States.
  • That same year, only fires in one-and two-family homes claimed more lives than vehicle fires. Vehicle fires caused 4.5 times the number of deaths as nonresidential structure fires and 1.6 times the number of apartment fire deaths.
  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, vehicle fires accounted for 16 percent of the 1.3 million fires reported to U.S. fire departments. Vehicle fires also caused 15 percent of all civilian fire deaths and 10 percent of all reported civilian fire injuries.

Burn Degree Classification

  • First-degree burn. This type of burn is characterized by a red appearance which is painful and dry. Generally, only the epidermis, or outer layer is affected and victims will not experience long-term damage. Noticeable redness is common in the beginning stages, but will fade with time.
  • Second-degree burn. This type of burn may affect the epidermis and the layer of skin underneath, known as the dermis. A victim’s skin will appear bright red, swollen, and blistered.
  • Superficial second-degree burn. Only a victim’s dermis is affected by this burn, and scarring may not necessarily be visible
  • Deep partial-thickness burn. This type of burn causes permanent changes in skin color and will likely leave visible scarring.
  • Third-degree burn. This is a more serious type of burn that can damage a victim’s nerve endings. The epidermis and dermis are destroyed, and the subcutaneous layer, which is the innermost layer, is also affected. Skin may turn white, black, brown, or yellow.
  • Fourth-degree burn. This type of burn is the deepest, most severe and often results in life-threatening situations. All layers of a victim’s skin, including their muscles, bones, and tendons are destroyed.

The Costs of Treating Burn Injuries

A moderate burn injury may cost a victim over $200,000. Even those with the most generous insurance plans will likely struggle to afford these costs. Furthermore, more serious injuries may cost a victim $1.5 million, and that’s without any complications or unexpected emergencies. Finally, the very worst burn injuries may cost over $10 million to treat.

Burn injuries will often require long term, specialized medical treatment. Spending a significant amount of time in a burn unit is not uncommon. Unfortunately, very serious burn injuries also carry a risk of permanent disfigurement, psychological issues, infection, and the possibility of skin graft failure.

Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products

Let’s discuss one of the most common types of burn injury claims. This type of claim revolves around burn injuries that were caused by defective products. Any company that designs, manufactures, or sells a defective product that causes someone to suffer burn injuries can be held responsible.

According to Beverly Hills product liability law, any person, entity, or group that is directly involved in a product’s chain of distribution can be held responsible for a victim’s losses. This can include designers, manufacturers, and sellers.

Strict liability cases typically revolve around:

  • Mistakes or flaws in the design process
  • Mistakes or flaws in the manufacturing process
  • Inadequate warnings about a potential burn injury hazard
  • Lack of instructions about how to safely use a product

If you suffered burn injuries that were caused by negligence and you want to file a product liability lawsuit, you must prove that the:

  • Defendant designed, manufactured, or sold a defective product
  • Product had a design, manufacturing, or warning defect when it left the defendant’s possession
  • The product was used in a reasonable way
  • The product defect caused your losses

Consider this following example of burn injuries caused by a defective product: Anita just bought a new e-scooter. She’s never ridden an e-scooter before. She practices by going around the block a few times and everything seems to be going well. Later that afternoon, Anita goes out for a long ride. All of a sudden, the e-scooter suffers an electrical malfunction, which causes it to burst into flames.

As a result of this malfunction, Anita experiences severe burns on her legs. Anita contacts an experienced Beverly Hills burn injury attorney who helps her identify the product malfunction. However, no one wants to accept responsibility for the defective e-scooter. The manufacturer will not accept liability. And the store that sold the e-scooter claims they had no idea about the product defect either.

In this situation, all Anita needs to prove is that the e-scooter company designed, manufactured, or sold a defective e-scooter; that the e-scooter had a design, manufacturing, or warning defect when it left the company’s possession; that Anita used the e-scooter in a safe, reasonable way; and that the e-scooter’s defect was the cause of her injuries.

What About Compensation?

Burn injury accidents happen. However, if you were injured because of someone else’s negligence or a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Damages are a type of monetary award that is intended to compensate a burn injury victim for losses and injuries sustained as a result of negligence. Damages are typically classified under the following categories.

  • Economic damages. This type of compensation is awarded to a victim for tangible losses for which a dollar amount can be attached to. For example, economic damages are awarded according to the out-of-pocket losses a burn injury victim has or will expect to incur. Economic losses may include financial compensation for loss of earning capacity, costly medical bills, lost wages, and more.
  • Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are awarded for losses that are not essential. In other words, this type of compensation is meant for losses that are seen as subjective. Furthermore, non-economic losses do not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses, such as medical treatment. For example, non-economic damages may include compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Punitive damages. The least common type of damages a California court may award are punitive damages. This type of compensation is meant to punish a wrongdoer and is only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful.

For example, if someone deliberately tried to harm you by causing you to suffer burn injuries, you would most likely qualify for punitive damages on top of the normal compensatory damages you would already be entitled to for your medical bills and pain and suffering.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained burn injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Beverly Hills burn injury attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.

Call us today at (310) 919-5962 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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