Burn injuries from car accidents are not common, but when they do happen, they are severe. Burn injuries can cause significant damage, and you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the Houston auto accident attorneys at Haun Mena to learn more.
How Burn Injuries Occur in a Car Accident
Of course, burn injuries may occur when your car catches fire in the crash, but it is relatively rare for your vehicle to ignite after a crash. Most car accident burns are of the thermal variety, where your skin comes into contact with an extremely hot surface or a chemical.
For example, a part of your body may come into contact with hot metal. Your body can touch a damaged radiator, causing immediate burns. Alternatively, gasoline or other fluids may leak from your car and land on your skin.
The airbag itself can also cause serious burns. The car accident causes the airbag to deploy by way of pressurized nitrogen gas. When the airbag ruptures, it can release high-temperature gasses that can cause serious burns.
You may have been in an accident with a truck that is carrying chemicals, and they have spilled. Even if the chemicals do not ignite, they can cause serious burns.
The Three Types of Car Accident Burns
Car accident burn injuries can range in severity:
First-degree burns are a minor turn, affecting only the outer layer of your skin. These burns may need medical treatment, but they will not take long to heal.
Second-degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin and some of the underlying layers. They may require more extensive medical treatment and can be very painful.
Third-degree burns are the most severe. They reach beneath the skin and can impact the muscles, tendons, and bones. Third-degree burns require extensive medical treatment and may never fully heal.
Third-degree burns cause a number of short-term risks. First, you may suffer from a severe infection in the days following the initial injury that can be life-threatening. You may also suffer respiratory problems and organ damage. You need immediate medical treatment after a third-degree burn. In addition, you will likely need long-term care.
Treatment for Serious Burn Injuries
Victims of serious burns are usually sent to specialized burn centers. The days after a serious burn injury can determine the extent of your recovery. Short-term treatment involves cleaning out the burn site and medications to prevent infection. In addition, doctors will also give the accident victim continuous fluids to prevent dehydration.
In the long term, you will still need many surgical procedures to help you recover as much as possible. Skin grafts are the most common surgical procedure. Each skin graft can cost thousands of dollars. It is not uncommon for a serious burn victim to need dozens of skin grafts. Each procedure can be painful and lead to an extended recovery time.
In addition, you may also need physical and occupational therapy because the burn can damage the underlying muscles and tendons. Depending on the severity of the injury, rehabilitation can last for years.
The Significant Costs of a Burn Injury
Burn injuries are very costly. One study estimated the hospital costs for a severe burn injury at almost $100,000. There are numerous other costs associated with a burn injury, including:
Pain and suffering damages, which can be very high, given the extreme pain and discomfort associated with burn injuries
Lost wages, not just from time that you missed from work but also a reduction in your earnings capacity because your physical appearance may be permanently altered
The permanent scarring and disfigurement that you may have suffered
The cost of your ongoing medical treatment
The emotional distress that you endured from the initial accident
You Must Know the Value of Your Claim
Before you can settle your burn injury case, you will need to prove that someone was to blame for your car accident. Then, they will have the legal obligation to pay for your damages. Total long-term costs and damages for a severe burn injury can exceed $1 million.
When you settle a burn injury claim, you should be aware that the effects of the injury will last years into the future. You need to have an idea now of what your future costs may be because you cannot go back for more money if you run out of funds. The only way to get a true idea of your costs is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will work with experts to learn the scope and extent of your damages and fight for you to receive every dollar you deserve. Otherwise, you may end up leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney Today
The attorneys at Haun Mena work with burned car accident victims, protecting your legal rights and fighting for you to receive full financial compensation for your injuries. It is crucial for you to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury because you cannot afford to lose sight of the legal process. You can schedule your free initial consultation by calling us today at (713) 874-9216 or emailing us online.
Car Accident Case FAQs
How do I win a car accident lawsuit?
The legal standard you must meet is showing that the other driver was negligent in the crash.
What happens if my car accident settlement proves to be not enough?
Unfortunately, you cannot request more compensation because you signed a release agreement as a condition for the initial settlement check.
When should I call a car accident lawyer?
If you cannot call an attorney right after the accident, you should have a family member do it for you.