If you or someone you love sustained severe burn injuries in an accident, it’s time to speak with an experienced burn injury lawyer in Albuquerque.
Burn injuries can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Victims could be entitled to compensation if their injury was caused by another party’s actions.
Pursuing a claim for burn injuries is complicated. You need a skilled legal advocate who can protect your rights. Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C., is a premier personal injury firm in Albuquerque.
We have a proven record of success assisting injured victims, including those with burn injuries. Without legal representation, you might receive far less than you deserve for a burn injury.
Don’t let the defendant’s insurance company take advantage of you. Let our skilled legal team fight for the compensation you’re owed.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns can be divided into some general categories based on their cause. The following are some of the most common causes of burns that can lead to a personal injury claim.
Many chemical burns occur in the workplace. Many types of chemicals can cause burns, and some can cause severe burns depending on the chemical type.
When chemicals become airborne, victims can suffer excruciating burns to the lungs, mouth, or nasal cavities. Some people face an increased risk of chemical burns due to the industry they work in, such as miners, auto repair technicians, and chemical plant employees.
Electrical burns happen when someone’s body touches an electrical current. Lightning strikes, downed power lines, and electrified water are a few common causes of these burns.
Electrical burns can be direct or indirect. Direct burns occur when the electrical current passes through human tissue. An indirect burn happens when the victim suffers exposure to a strong current between the ground and a charged source.
Thermal burns result from exposure to heat or flame from hot objects, scalding liquids, and open flames. Someone fleeing from a building fire can suffer thermal burns in their nose, lungs, and mouth after inhaling smoke-filled air.
Some workers are at a higher risk of thermal burns, such as kitchen workers, welders, and construction workers.
Different Burn Degrees
Medical professionals classify burns by the depth of the injury, which means how far the burn penetrates your body. There are four principal degrees of burns.
A first-degree burn is the least severe degree. It affects the outer layer of the skin and typically only requires first-aid treatment. Common symptoms include swelling, redness, and pain. First-degree burns often heal within a week or so.
Second-degree burns extend into the top two skin layers. You should seek medical treatment as there’s a risk of infection. Second-degree burn symptoms include swelling, blisters, extreme redness, and severe pain.
These burns may take several weeks or longer to heal, with the possibility of permanent scarring.
Third-degree burns are extremely serious. This type of burn destroys the top two layers of skin and may result in painful nerve damage. A third-degree burn creates a dry and charred appearance, and victims may experience numbness more so than pain. There’s usually no full recovery from a third-degree burn. Skin grafts can improve a person’s recovery.
You might not even realize a fourth-degree burn exists because third-degree burns are more commonly talked about in shows and movies. A fourth-degree burn is almost always life-threatening as it destroys all skin layers.
It might also destroy tendons, muscles, bones, and even internal organs. Some victims might not live long enough to receive medical treatment.
Who’s Liable for Burn Injuries?
New Mexico law allows you to hold multiple parties responsible for burn injuries. Your Albuquerque burn injury lawyer can help you identify all legally responsible parties. In general, potential at-fault parties can include:
- Another motorist or a truck driver,
- Your employer,
- A landlord or property owner,
- Product manufacturers, and
- Government agencies.
This list is not exhaustive. Your case might involve filing a lawsuit against other entities or individuals. When you hire Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C. to represent you, we’ll explore all avenues of recovery to help you maximize your potential compensation.
How to Establish Liability for a Burn Injury
Before receiving any compensation for a burn injury, you must prove the defendants are legally liable. This process is typically complex, which is why we recommend hiring a skilled burn injury lawyer in Albuquerque.
Establishing negligence means providing proof of these four elements:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty, which is the requirement to act in a reasonable and responsible matter in a certain situation;
- The defendant must have breached the legal duty of care;
- You must show the defendant’s breach led to your burn injuries; and
- You must have suffered a loss, such as medical expenses, lost time from work, and pain and suffering.
Many burn injuries involve negligence. For example, if someone didn’t follow traffic laws and caused an accident that led to your burn injury, they might have been negligent.
Obtaining strong evidence is crucial when determining liability. It’s important to note that you can be partially responsible for your injuries and still collect compensation.
The reason is that New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. Your recovery is limited by your own percentage of fault, though. For example, if you’re 45% at fault, you would receive 55% of your damages.
What Happens When Your Burn Injury Occurs at Work?
When a burn injury happens on the job, you’ll most likely file a workers’ compensation claim. However, there might be a negligent third party that has some legal responsibility for your accident.
In this situation, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will go over all aspects of your case, including whether you have any recovery options beyond workers’ compensation.
Types of Compensation in a Burn Injury Accident
Potential compensation varies in every case because your damages likely aren’t the same as another burn victim’s damages. In general, recoverable damages might include the following:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium.
Your Albuquerque burn injury lawyer at Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C. will explain which damages apply in your case and how we can determine a potential settlement value.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer in Albuquerque
If you suffered severe burn injuries in an accident or work-related incident, please speak with a skilled lawyer at Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C.
We have years of experience assisting burn injury victims in New Mexico and know what’s necessary to build a strong case. Let us help you pursue fair and full compensation for your burn injuries. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.