Severe burn injuries are not the most common injury in a car accident, but they can be devastating when they happen. There are many ways a fire can be started in a car accident, whether an electrical fire was the cause of the accident, or a burst gas tank leaves the scene burning, burns from car accidents may lead to costly medical care, rehabilitation, and even surgery.
Some burns may heal easily with basic medical attention. Others may require intensive, ongoing medical treatment over months or even years. Your life may be completely changed by a severe burn from a car accident, including loss of income, earning potential, permanent scarring, loss of mobility, and much more.
Due to the potential for permanent disfigurement, discomfort, and loss of quality of life, burns from car accidents can lead to high settlement amounts for the injured. If you have been burnt in a wreck, call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today to speak with a Georgia car accident lawyer.
Types of Burns You May Suffer in a Car Accident
A first-degree burn is a superficial injury, affecting only the outer layer of skin. It causes pain, redness, and swelling. A first-degree burn usually heals within six days without scarring the skin.
With a first-degree burn, you may not need medical care as the burn will usually heal on its own. But remember burns may grow in intensity in the first few hours after injury, so err on the side of caution when dealing with a painful burn and seek medical attention if needed.
Second-degree burns affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin. This type of burn is red and painful, and may blister and swell as your body tries to pull the heat away from the underlying layer of skin. A second-degree burn may take 2-3 weeks to heal and is more likely to scar.
You may need to seek medical treatment if your second-degree burns if they start leaking fluid, blisters burst, or show signs of skin loss.
Third-degree burns are more severe and affect the deeper layers of skin and underlying tissue. In most cases, third-degree burns require extensive medical treatment, including scar surgery or skin grafts.
4th Degree Burns
These severe and catastrophic burns occur when the source of the burn has destroyed skin, tissue, muscle, and even bone in some cases. There will be no feeling in the area, and will require immediate and intensive medical attention.
Severity of the Burn
The source of the burn and its location on the body can wildly vary the severity of the burn. For example, children and elderly people are more likely to suffer a severe burn because their age makes them more susceptible in different ways.
Additionally, the location of the burn can lead to other lingering injuries and potential issues. Burns on the chest or face can cause breathing problems or vision loss, where the same burn on the leg or shoulder won’t have these complications. When you’ve suffered damage to the eyes or face, it can lead to many different types of damages that may be claimed in your lawsuit, including disfigurement, scarring, mental anguish, loss of earning potential, and other mental challenges as you have to adjust to a new life with a different view in the mirror.
If you are severely burned in an automobile collision, you should meet with a Scholle Law attorney to make sure you’re receiving fair compensation for your medical cost, lingering medical issues, and potential future damages.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Car Crashes
Car crashes can cause burns in a variety of ways, many of which don’t include flames.
These are the common causes of burn injuries in car accidents:
- Airbag deployment burns
- Chemical burns
- Car fires and explosions due to a busted gas tank
- Exposure to hot metal, steam, or other hot debris
Average Settlement Amount for Car Accident Burn Injuries
Calculating the approximate settlement value of a burn depends on several factors, including:
- Severity of the burn
- Medical cost including current and rehabilitation services required
- Potential lingering and future medical expenses
- Calculating the cost of mental anguish and emotional turmoil
- Permanent life changes that happen due to the accident
Your lawyer may ask several questions about the burn injury like the following.
- Was the injury preventable?
- Was the burn caused intentionally or recklessly?
- Will there be permanent scarring?
- How will the scarring affect the injured?
- Will there be changes like a lack of mobility, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of earning capacity?
There are many questions to be considered, including the possibility that psychological problems may be suffered as a result of the burn.
Burn injuries can result in life-threatening complications. Many people heal partially, but never fully, resulting in a change of life from their pre-injury habits. This is especially the case if a victim has suffered significant scarring or amputation as a result of their burns. More concerns come into play if the victim relied on their physical image to make money, like models, salespeople, or actors.
Severe burns may require ongoing medical treatment, such as skin grafts and surgeries. They risk infections, emotional trauma from the burns, and financial debt due to their treatments. If you suffered a burn from an auto collision, meet with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your options.
Types of Damages in a Burn Injury Claim
If you have suffered burns from a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can seek damages for your losses.
Burn injury claims can file for economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages cover the financial costs that you incurred as a result of the burns. These include medical bills, surgeries, lost income due to time off work, and additional rehabilitation needs.
Non-economic damages cover the emotional losses that you suffered and that have altered your enjoyment of life. These include permanent scarring or disfigurement, a change in your ability to work, pain and suffering, mental anguish and much more.
Punitive damages are a punishment for the defendant. If their actions are especially negligent or if there is a concern that they will behave similarly in the future, they may be charged punitive damages to punish them for their reckless and negligent behavior in hopes that it alters their behavior in the future.
Burn survivors face more challenges than a typical car accident plaintiff. Between medical challenges and emotional suffering, you’ll have a long road to recovery.
Your car accident burn claim should be handled by a professional team who puts your best interests first. We advocate for your rights against the insurance company who will, no doubt, offer you far below what is fair for your injuries and suffering. We will work tirelessly to ensure you get maximum compensation so you can get the treatment you need.
Contact Scholle Law today to speak with a skilled car accident attorney. Let us focus on your claim while you focus on recovery. We will do the heavy lifting of investigating the accident, documenting your injuries, negotiating with the insurance company, and taking your case to court if needed.