Austin Burn Injury Lawyer

Burn-related injuries are a tragic occurrence that happens all too often in the United States. What is even more tragic about burn-related injuries is when the careless actions of a third party cause them.

Why Choose An Austin Burn Injury Attorney From Shaw Cowart?

If this situation describes you or someone you love, the firm of Shaw Cowart LLP is here to say that you’re not alone. We are here to tell you that while the pain you are experiencing is not erasable, we can help you seek financial compensation to begin setting things right. Our Austin personal injury lawyers have helped our clients receive millions in compensation.

Contact our team today and request your free, no-obligation case review in your burn injury case.

Understanding The Statistics On Burn Injuries

According to the research team at the World Health Organization, preventable burns are a public health crisis globally. Each year over 180,000 individuals perish each year due to burns.

Here are some additional shocking statistics regarding burn injuries, according to the American Burn Association, a national burn advocacy group:

  • One civilian death from a fire every 2 hours and 41 minutes
  • 486,000 Americans receive non-fatal burns requiring medical treatment annually. 40,000 of those burns require hospitalization
  • 3,000 deaths result from burns each year

If your or your loved one’s burn is attributable to the negligence of another individual as a pedestrian, reach out to our pedestrian accident lawyers in Austin today.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries In Austin, Texas

Burn injury survival rates have substantially increased in recent decades due to improved treatments; however, the pain, trauma, and disfigurement from burns make them one of the most catastrophic and life-altering injuries anyone can endure. Common causes of burns in Austin and throughout Texas include:

  • The flame burns from outdoor bonfires, campfires, indoor fireplaces, cooking fires, accidental structure fires, and wildfires
  • Scald burns from contact with boiling or extremely hot liquids
  • Contact burns from touching hot objects
  • Electrical burns
  • Chemical burns

Burns are also associated with blasts, such as from fireworks, bombs, and other explosives. Emergency rooms in Austin and throughout the U.S. see many firework-related burn injuries every July. If your burn is the result of a car accident, please reach out to our Austin accident attorneys today. 

What Types Of Burns Could Get Me Compensation In An Austin Burn Injury Lawsuit?

Austin burn injury lawyer

All types of burns of any severity could make you eligible to receive damages in either a settlement or a trial verdict. However, it is a safe assumption that the more severe your burns are, the more likely you will receive a larger financial settlement in your burn injury case.

Here are basic definitions of these burn grading categories:

  • First-degree burns are the most superficial, only penetrating the outermost layer of skin (epidermis). These burns do not blister or scar.
  • Second-degree burns go to the next layer of skin (the dermis). These burns may scar or require surgery but likely will not be life-threatening.
  • Third-degree burns penetrate both skin layers, known as a “full thickness” burn. These burns go to the subcutaneous tissue depth, likely killing the nerves in the affected area and requiring skin grafts for the victim. Victims of third-degree burns may perish due to their injuries, although it is not always the case.
  • Fourth-degree burns are also full-thickness burn, except that it goes past the subcutaneous tissue to the muscle and bone. These burns typically result in a loss of limb at a minimum and are likely fatal to the recipient.

How Are Burn Injuries Diagnosed In Austin?

Whether you arrive at a hospital through emergency services or drive to an ER, a doctor will examine you to determine the severity of your burns. They may also order imaging tests and determine if your lungs were compromised by smoke or chemical inhalation. The hospital may choose to send you to a burn unit or transfer you to a burn center for specialized care. 

The doctor diagnoses the severity of your burns based on the depth of the skin affected by the burn. The diagnosis also takes into account the amount of body area burned. Doctors use a chart assigning percentages to each part of the body (Percent Total Body Surface Area PTBS), for instance, the front of the torso is 18% and the head and neck is 9%. Percentages for children are different than those for adults. Once doctors learn the degree of the burn and the percentage of the body burned, they can begin to determine the most effective treatment. 

Treating Burn Injuries

Treatment for burn injuries varies depending on the severity of the burns and the amount of the body injured. Most burn victims with significant injuries can expect treatment to include:

  • IV hydration
  • Water-based skin treatment such as ultrasound mist therapy
  • Burn creams and ointments
  • Wound dressing
  • Burn wound debriding (removing dead, burned tissue)
  • Antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Tetanus shot
  • Surgeries/skin grafts
  • Reconstructive plastic surgery (in some cases)
  • Occupational therapy (in cases of compromised fine motor skills)

Treatment for burn injuries can be very painful and typically requires pain medication as well as anti-anxiety medications.

How Are Burn Injury Settlements In Austin Calculated?

Burn injuries are some of the most expensive medical treatments available, but proper treatment is critical for recovery. Further treatment may also be necessary for cosmetic improvement and mobility. Your Austin burn injury attorney will calculate your damages by examining your medical report and bills and consulting with medical experts to assess future expenses such as those for expected surgeries and occupational therapy. Damages will include your past and future income loss. If your injuries are severe and cause partial or total disability, your attorney may demand compensation for diminished earning capacity. Burn injuries are traumatic, so your damages could include compensation for counseling.

Because burns are particularly painful and distressing your claim for damages should include compensation for pain and suffering, and disfigurement. Intangible damages like pain and suffering are more difficult to calculate, but many personal injury attorneys use formulas based either on an amount per day for every day you’ve suffered and will suffer during recovery, or an amount based on the total of your medical bills with the understanding that the higher the medical costs, the more likely you are to experience significant pain and suffering.

Speak to your Austin burn injury lawyer about calculating both economic and non-economic damages after a burn injury.

Damages Available Through a Burn Injury Claim in Austin

Burns cause serious physical harm and financial damages. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll pay the bills when you need to focus on recovering from painful injuries. A successful personal injury claim for burns in Austin could help you recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses for reconstructive and/or plastic surgery, equipment, therapies, home healthcare
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity for severe injuries with disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium (the ability to enjoy a full romantic relationship and/or support of/activities with your children
  • Loss of pleasure in life

While financial compensation can’t undo all of the harm caused by burn injuries, it can help you gain access to medical care and relieve undue financial burdens while you focus on recovering. When another party is responsible for your injuries, compensation is the civil court’s way of allowing you to recover losses and gain justice.

Proving Liability in an Austin Burn Injury Claim

If your burn injury was preventable and only occurred because someone else was negligent or reckless, your Austin burn injury lawyer in Texas will investigate the circumstances of the accident and prove liability on the part of the person or entity at fault. Texas is a fault-based insurance state where proving liability requires evidence demonstrating the following:

  • That the at-fault party owed you a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent harm such as a driver’s duty to avoid distraction and follow traffic laws or an employer’s duty to keep a safe workplace
  • That they breached this duty through negligence, recklessness, or purposeful wrongdoing
  • That the breach of duty directly caused your burn injury
  • That the injury has caused you to suffer significant damages

Once the above legal points of liability are clearly demonstrated, your attorney will draft a powerful demand letter to the appropriate insurance company with a calculated amount of damages. Typically, some negotiating back and forth takes place before arriving at an ample settlement. If the insurance company refuses to offer an acceptable amount of compensation, your attorney is more than ready to litigate the matter in court and argue aggressively on your behalf.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Burn Injuries in Austin, Texas?

Texas places a 2-year time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit, including for burn victims. This clock begins ticking on the date of the accident. In most cases, your claim will settle out of court through negotiations with the insurance company; however, the state’s statute of limitations allows time to follow through with a lawsuit if the insurance company doesn’t offer an acceptable settlement. It’s important to file a claim promptly, once it’s possible to calculate your damages to ensure you have time to file a lawsuit within the 2-year window if it becomes necessary.

Contact An Austin Burn Injury Lawyer Today

At Shaw Cowart LLP, our accident attorneys in Austin always try to maximum compensation for all of the burn victims we represent. With millions in successful settlements and trial verdicts, we try to bring compassion and justice to those who suffered unduly at the hands of a negligent third party.

Getting started with our team is fast, easy, and free. Call us today at 512-499-8900 for your free, no-obligation burn injury case review. We’ll give you our honest legal opinion of your case and recommend your next steps as you continue your healing journey.