Serious burn injuries can have lasting physical, emotional and financial effects. If you or a loved one suffered a serious burn injury that may have been the result of another’s negligence, including a product manufacturer, you may be eligible for compensation.
The experienced lawyers at Geoff McDonald and Associates have been helping personal injury victims and their families in Richmond and throughout the state of Virginia for over 20 years. We have obtained more than $400 million in compensation awards for our clients. CEO and President Attorney Geoff McDonald has tried cases resulting in more than 200 written opinions and several of these cases have helped influence Virginia case law for injury victims, including victims of permanent impairment for third-degree burns.
The Richmond burn injury lawyers at our firm are prepared to help you through the recovery process. We offer a free consultation to help determine if you may have a case. There is no obligation to have us represent you, even after your free consultation, and you will not be charged any fees unless we win fair compensation for your case.
How Do I Know if My Case Qualifies for Compensation?
Since no two burn injury cases are alike, it is difficult to determine whether you have a valid case without knowing the details of your accident and injuries.
If you believe your injury could have been avoided and was directly caused by the negligence of another party, contact us to discuss your situation.
Negligence is a complex legal theory that has four parts, each of which must be proven by your attorney:
- Duty of care was owed to the victim – The defendant was legally obligated to uphold a duty of care to try and prevent you from getting injured. For example, landlords are legally obligated to maintain their property to prevent fire hazards, such as by fixing any electrical problems and installing smoke detectors.
- Duty of care was breached – This is when the defendant does not uphold his or her duty of care as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. Using the example above, if the landlord never installed smoke detectors, the landlord could be held liable for burn injuries from a fire tenants did not know about because of the lack of smoke detectors.
- Breached duty of care linked to your injuries – You or your lawyer must be able to prove the defendant’s failure to uphold his or her duty of care directly resulted in your burn injury.
- Damages – You must be able to prove that damages were created as a result of the injuries you sustained, such as medical bills, lost income from missing work, and pain and suffering.
How Much Can I Be Compensated for My Burn Injury?
The value of a burn injury case is determined by the value of the damages the victim suffered, including physical and emotional damages. Serious burn injuries may require a significant amount of medical care including multiple surgeries and possible skin grafts. Sometimes victims are so badly burned, they can no longer sustain gainful employment.
Our Richmond burn injury lawyers know how to calculate the value of these and other damages, including past, present and future medical expenses and future pain and suffering. Other damages that may result from a burn injury include lost enjoyment of life and lost companionship.
If you have a valid claim, our licensed attorneys are prepared to seek the maximum amount of compensation available. You will not have to pay us any legal fees unless we recover compensation for your claim.
Schedule your free case review today by calling (866) 369-9051.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Burn Injury Case
Many burn injury victims who decide to hire an attorney to represent them recover larger compensation awards than those who try to handle a case on their own.
If you have a valid case, the Richmond burn injury attorneys at our firm are prepared to manage the entire legal process on your behalf, so you can focus on your recovery.
Some of the tasks our attorneys may be able to help you with include:
- Investigating the scene of the accident
- Collecting evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Examining medical reports
- Hiring industry expert witnesses
- Reconstructing the scene of the accident
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters
- Preparing your claim for trial (if necessary)
Allowing an attorney to handle communication with insurance adjusters can be very beneficial. Adjusters are trained to manipulate accident victims into saying things that hurt their claim. However, our attorneys are prepared and know how to defend the full value of a claim.
Our experienced attorneys understand the needs of burn injury victims and our goal is to ensure you and your family are fairly compensated for current and future damages.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations in the state of Virginia is two years, which means most burn injury victims will have to file their claim within two years of discovering their injury. (Failure to file within that time will likely mean you lose the right to file a claim.) However, depending on the details of your case, this time period may be lengthened or shortened.
We recommend contacting a Richmond burn injury attorney from Geoff McDonald & Associates as soon as possible to learn more about the deadline that may apply to your claim.
Call Geoff McDonald & Associates today at (866) 369-9051 to find out when your claim is due.
Different Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are generally broken down into types and degrees. For example, these are four of the most common types of burns:
- Thermal burns can be caused by steam and hot liquids. For example, maybe someone was burned by hot water from a stove or hot coffee.
- Chemical burns are caused by harsh liquids that are known to burn skin, such as acids and solvents. These could be found in cleaning products. Chemical burns also happen in workplace accidents, such as when workers are handling dangerous chemicals.
- Electrical burns can be the result of a malfunctioning device or appliance. These burns can also happen at a job site because of faulty wiring.
- Friction burns, also referred to as road rash, often occur in motor vehicle accidents, particularly motorcycle accidents.
Degrees of Burn Injuries
When burn injury victims receive medical treatment, doctors generally classify the burns by degrees – the higher the degree, the more severe the burn.
- First degree burns usually do not need medical treatment. A common example is a bad sunburn. Oftentimes these burns heal on their own within one or two weeks.
- Second degree burns penetrate below the top layer of skin and usually cause painful blisters to appear during the healing process, which may take several weeks.
- Third degree burns penetrate through both the outer and inner layers of the skin and may cause significant damage to muscles, tissues and bones. These burns can take months to heal and can leave significant scarring. Sometimes victims will need skin grafts, which is the process of removing skin from a healthy part of the body to place over the damaged areas.
Burns covering a large portion of a person’s body must be treated at a specialized burn center such as the Evans-Haynes Burn Center at VCU Medical Center. There, the burn victim may:
- Undergo reconstructive or restorative surgery
- Receive blood transfusions
- Get skin grafts
- Be closely monitored for infections
- Be provided with enteral feeding (as needed)
- Receive treatments to minimize scarring
- Undergo a range of rehabilitative therapies.
Improper treatment of burn injuries, age and existing health problems are all factors which can lead to further complications that can be fatal. When complications stemming from infection, blood loss or hypothermia arise, it can put a patient in shock or ultimately lead to his or her death.
Seeking immediate medical attention for second- or third-degree burns can help minimize complications and risks that may be associated with treatment.
Costs Associated With Burn Injuries
As with treatment, the costs associated with burn injuries are largely determined by the degree of damage sustained.
Patients who have burns over a significant portion of their body will often require longer periods spent in the hospital. Those with lesser burns may require a shorter duration of treatment.
In a cost analysis study referenced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), where the average body surface area burned was 7 percent, each 1 percent of burn corresponded to two days in the hospital.
The NCBI currently estimates hospital costs and doctor fees for specialist care provided to a victim who has sustained major burn injuries to be $200,000. Much of this cost is a result of major burn victims requiring multiple reconstructive surgeries and extensive treatment for rehabilitation.
Contact a Richmond Burn Injury Attorney Today
If your burn injuries were the result of another party’s negligence, we recommend contacting a Richmond burn injury attorney from Geoff McDonald & Associates. Our firm has been helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve for over two decades.
Call us today and our dedicated team of legal professionals can answer any questions you may have about your burn injury claim. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We charge no upfront costs and we do not get paid unless we are able to successfully recover compensation for your damages.
Our Richmond office is located at 8720 Stony Point Parkway, Suite #250, which is only a few blocks away from the VCU Medical Center.