The Utah burn injury lawyers at Good Guys Legal represent victims of burn injuries. Sometimes, car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and truck, train, bus, or workplace accidents can result in burn injuries. Serious burns need complex treatment. When burns happen, medical bills can quickly become overwhelming at a time when you should be focusing on healing.
If your burns are caused by someone else’s carelessness, Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys Ken Christensen and Russ Hymas can help. We work exclusively with personal injury cases and have the experience you need in an attorney. Let our burn injury lawyers handle your case and help you find the care and healing you need.
What Is the Legal Basis for a Burn Injury Claim?
The legal basis for a burn injury claim is that the injury occurred because of the wrongful act of someone else. The exact legal grounds may be:
- Negligence – A lack of ordinary care that results in an injury like a traffic violation that results in a car accident that causes burns, a building fire because of negligent maintenance or even allowing a toxic substance to cause a chemical explosion.
- Recklessness or willful conduct – Recklessness is more serious conduct than negligence. It is a willful disregard of clear danger. With recklessness, the actor knows that injuries and harm are the probable causes of their actions. Yet, they proceed with their behavior anyways.
- Intentional harm – The legal basis for a burn injury claim may be intentional harm.
- Strict liability – There may be no excuses or defenses for a burn injury when the legal standard is strict liability. An example may be a malfunctioning product that causes burns.
If you suffered burns due to one of these reasons, you may deserve financial compensation. Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your case and how we can help.
How Do I Get Compensation for a Burn Injury?
To get compensation for a burn injury, you either file a legal claim or make a report to an insurance company. Usually, you need to formally file a legal complaint by the deadline. You must show that the other party is responsible for your damages and what compensation you deserve based on the law.
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How Long Do You Have To Claim Compensation for a Burn Injury in Utah?
In Utah, you generally have four years to claim compensation for a burn injury under Utah personal injury laws. If a government agency is involved, the time limit may be as short as one year. The best time to speak with a personal injury lawyer for burn injury claims is always as soon as possible so they can investigate, prepare documents and build your case.
Can I Claim Pain and Suffering for a Burn Injury?
Yes, you can claim pain and suffering for a burn injury. Let our lawyers help you properly value and include a request for pain and suffering in your burn injury claim.
Burn Injury Statistics
- On average, in the United States, someone dies in a fire every 142 minutes. Someone is injured every 32 minutes.
- A fire department responds to a call every 24 seconds.
- More than 1 million burn injuries require medical attention in the United States each year.
- About 50,000 burn injuries require hospitalization each year.
- Around 20,000 are serious burns involving at least 25% of the body.
- Burns result in 4,500 deaths per year, and another 10,000 people each year die of burn-related infections in the United States.
- Smoke alarms decrease your chance of dying in a fire by 50%
Burn Injury FAQs
Burns are among the most painful types of injuries. They can also take years to heal. Because of this, we have compiled a list of resources to answer your questions about burn injuries and legal claims.
What are some types of burn injuries?
In addition to scarring, fires and burn injuries can also damage nerve endings. That can mean severe pain, paralysis, or even blindness. Burns are divided into three categories – first, second, or third-degree depending on the severity of harm.
What should I do immediately after being burned?
If you are burned, do the following:
- Make sure that you are safely away from potential harm.
- Assess whether the burn is life threatening, needing care but not life threatening, or minor.
- If it is a minor burn that covers very little surface area, cold water and a non-adhesive bandage may be enough.
- For larger or deeper burns, run it under cold water and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- If the burn is a third-degree burn or covers a large surface area, call 911 immediately.
- Consider the specific type of burn – fire, chemicals, hot liquids, electricity, etc., and take any steps that are appropriate for that type of burn.
- Follow specific instructions from medical care providers for continued dressing and medical attention
- After you receive medical care, you may need to report the accident to your employer or another entity.
How should I report a burn injury?
If the burn is a result of a fire, you should contact the local fire department. Even if the fire is out, the fire department can assess the damage, check to see if there is a risk of the fire starting again, and determine the cause. They also know how to treat burns. If there is a fire in the workplace, report it to your employer and potentially also to OSHA.
Who is legally responsible for a fire or burn injury?
The following parties may be legally responsible for a fire or burn injury:
- A driver who causes a car accident
- Manufacturers who create a poor vehicle design that causes a car to catch on fire
- In residential fires, the landlord or property owner
- A business owner who fails to adhere to fire codes or safety guidelines
- Any individual whose negligence results in an injury
What are some ways to prevent burn injuries?
The Center for Disease Control provides the following guidelines for preventing burn injuries:
- Never leave food unattended on a stove
- Keep cooking areas free of flammable objects
- Avoid wearing loose clothing around open flames
- Never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended
- Do not empty smoldering ashes in a trashcan
- Keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains
- Never place portable space heaters near flammable materials including drapes
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Use working smoke alarms
- Handle flammable materials with care
- Leave your vehicle as soon as possible after a crash
Will insurance cover my medical costs after a burn?
This depends on the at-fault party’s insurance policy, your policy, and the extent of the damage. It may be covered by car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, business insurance, or equipment insurance.
One insurance company or both may offer up an initial settlement, but do not accept it right away; the best thing to do is consult a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in these cases. They can ensure your costs are covered and that your settlement is fair.
What kind of evidence do I need to make a burn injury insurance claim?
You need all the evidence that you can gather. Take pictures of your burns. Document and photograph faulty equipment. Save doctor records and medical appointment information. Gather insurance information and identify witnesses.
At Good Guys Legal, we will gather the evidence for you and make sure that your doctor records everything that the insurance claim will require.
When does my burn injury warrant hiring an attorney?
Burn injuries are not only painful, but they can leave you with a large amount of medical bills. Once you decide who is at fault and how much your insurance company will cover, ask yourself if it’s enough given your medical expenses, lost work and suffering. During a consultation with a burn injury lawyer, you will be able to walk through the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Burn Injury Statistics
From the American Burn Association:
- 1.1 million burn injury victims receive medical treatment every year
- There are around 3,400 deaths each year from fires, burns and smoke inhalation
- Most burn deaths are from residential fires followed by vehicle crash fires and other sources
- 40,000 burn victims are hospitalized each year with 30,000 of those being admitted into hospital burn centers.
From the Centers for Disease Control:
- On average, someone is killed in a fire every two hours in the United States
- Survival Rate: 96.6%
- Gender: 69% male, 31% female
- Ethnicity: 59% Caucasian, 20% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 7% Other
- Admission Cause: 43% fire/flame, 34% scald, 9% contact, 4% electrical, 3% chemical, 7% other
- The home is the most common location for a burn accident followed by the workplace
- 85% of fire deaths occur in homes
- Burns are a serious risk of harm in a fire, but smoke and chemical inhalation are also serious risks of fire
- Cooking is the primary cause of residential fires
From the Department of Health and Human Services:
- Fire and burn injuries represent 1% of accident injuries
- Fire injuries are relatively expensive to treat, accounting for 2% of the total costs of accident injuries, or $7.5 billion each year
- Young children ages four and under and seniors over age 65 are at the highest risk for burn injuries
- Substandard housing is a significant risk factor for burn injury
- One-third of fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms
- Winter is a more dangerous time for residential fires than summer
- Alcohol is a factor in 40% of residential fire deaths
Utah Burn Injury Resources
We have compiled a list of resources available for people recovering from burn injuries. These include both Utah resources and those available nationally.
- University of Utah Burn Center. The University of Utah Burn Center is a 12-bed adult and pediatric critical care unit located at the University of Utah Hospital. It cares for patients who have been acutely injured from a thermal, chemical, electrical event or a hypothermic exposure and require specialized wound care. Intensive, intermediate and rehabilitative care is provided for victims.
- University of Utah Burn Camp. The University of Utah Health Care Burn Camp Program was established in 1993 to help support burn survivors with the personal challenges associated with surviving a burn injury. There are programs geared towards specific age groups. Self-esteem building, teamwork and peer interaction create an environment that is conducive to healing. The purpose of the University of Utah Health Care Burn Camp is to help victims survive and thrive in recovery.
- American Burn Association. The American Burn Association and its members dedicate their efforts and resources to promoting and supporting burn-related research, education, care, rehabilitation, and prevention. The ABA has more than 3,500 members in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Members include physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, researchers, social workers, firefighters, and hospitals with burn centers. Their multidisciplinary membership enhances their ability to work toward common goals with other organizations on educational programs.
- Shriners Hospitals for Children. There are 22 Shriners Children’s hospitals nationwide to provide no-cost medical care to those burn injury victims who otherwise could not afford it and contribute groundbreaking research to many areas of the medical field. One research and care facility is in Salt Lake City.
- World Burn Foundation. Aiding burn victims throughout the world, this organization fosters an online community for those who have suffered from burn injuries to share their stories and lend strength to one another.
- Survivor’s Hope. Survivor’s Hope accepts uplifting recovery stories to connect the experiences of burn victims everywhere. The site is a small wealth of photographs, videos, and testimonials to the resiliency of burn victims.
Utah Burn Injury Attorneys – Free Consultation
At Good Guys Legal, we have the discipline, intelligence and drive to get results for you. We’re taking new burn injury cases. Let our team of professionals guide you through the claims process with an eye towards maximizing your results.
We know how traumatic it can be when a burn accident happens to you. That’s why we focus our legal practice and our office culture on providing professional, respectful and compassionate legal services. Contact our burn injury lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation.