Sevierville Personal Injury Attorneys Seek Justice for Burn Victims
Defending the rights of individuals and families in and around Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge when burn injuries impact their lives
In 2013, according to the National Trauma Institute, 450,000 people in the United States suffered burn injuries that required medical treatment, another 40,000 required burn-related hospitalization, and 3,400 died of their burn injuries. Most often, severe burns – by fire, scalding liquids, chemicals, and electricity – are caused by human error, including the negligence or the carelessness of others.
If you or a loved one suffered a severe burn injury or death as a result of another’s negligence, you should seek the guidance of an experienced Sevierville burn injury attorney. The team at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC have been fighting tirelessly for the past twenty years on behalf of clients and their families in and around Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, to help them obtain just compensation for their losses. There is no case too complex for our skills, or too big for our resources. Let us put our years of experience to work for you.
What are the most common causes of burn injuries?
Among the most common are residential fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during 2014 a home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds, with diverse causes such as:
- Faulty wiring
- Poorly maintained electrical wiring
- Kerosene or gas room heaters
- Use of candles and oil lamps
- Defective appliances and products, including flammable fabrics
Fatalities resulted in some cases because defective, improperly maintained, or missing smoke alarms prevented timely evacuation.
A second common cause of burns is by fire resulting from an automobile accident. Crash energy can trigger a catastrophic fire in a vehicle struck in a vulnerable place. For example, in 2008 a number of class action lawsuits were brought against Ford Motor Co. by owners of 1992-2001 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car models, alleging that the positioning and securing of the gas tank made them vulnerable to explosions and fires in rear-end collisions. Ford’s Crown Victoria PI (Police Interceptor) model was popular among law enforcement agencies across the country, and the defect accounted for the deaths of at least fourteen officers between 1982 and the 2008 lawsuits.
A large number of burn injuries are work-related, although workers’ compensation insurance regulations preclude lawsuits except in “third-party” cases, such as negligence by a non-employee or injury caused by defective products or equipment.
How is the severity of burn injuries measured?
The severity of burns is classified according to the degree of bodily damage, as follows:
- First-Degree: these usually affect only the outer layer of skin and cause only redness and minor pain, such as mild sunburn. First-degree burns are treated as a minor burn unless they are extensive.
- Second-Degree: these affect the second layer of skin and often involve blistering. The level of pain will depend upon the burn’s proximity to nerves.
- Third-Degree: these are the most serious burns, in which there is complete destruction of the skin and sometimes of the underlying flesh and bone. The greatest danger is the risk of sepsis since the skin is the body’s outermost protective layer. The victim may also go into shock as a result of fluid loss. Third-degree burns can also result in severe psychological and emotional distress related to scarring and deformity. They almost always require long-term treatment, including grafts. Third-degree burns over an extensive area of the body can be fatal.
Some organization recognize fourth and even fifth degree burns, but they are exclusively used to describe fatal burn injuries.
What if my burn injury occurred on the job?
Even if a severe burn injury occurs on the job, you may not be prevented from seeking restitution beyond that provided under workers’ compensation law. If your injury was due to the negligent actions of an individual at your workplace who was not one of your company’s employees, you may be able to bring suit against that person as a “third party.” You may also be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits if your impairment meets their criteria.
Tennessee lawyers are your advocates if you are severely burned
If you have suffered a severe burn injury, or a loved one has died from one, because of someone’s negligence, you should seek the counsel of a qualified personal injury lawyer at once. The experienced Sevierville burn injury attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC offer the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve. We are ready to help. To schedule a no-obligation consultation with a Sevierville, Gatlinburg, or Pigeon Forge burn injury lawyer, please call 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form.