Most people suffer minor burns while cooking, from scalding water, or too much sun, and they experience mild pain and discomfort. Severe burns, on the other hand, are excruciating, as they go deep below the skin and cover more significant swaths. If you suffer from one, recovery will be painful and expensive as you might require plastic surgery or skin grafts. If you cannot work due to these injuries, your bills and family’s needs do not just stop.
If you find yourself in this situation, immediately reach out to one of the skilled catastrophic injury attorneys at our firm. If someone else is responsible for your burns, our dedicated legal professionals could demand compensation from them for the full-extent of your losses. While your doctor is doing everything possible for your medical needs, let a High Ridge burn injury lawyer handle your legal ones.
The Importance of Skin
The body’s skin is waterproof and the largest organ. It allows people to sense heat and cold and sends messages to nerves to recoil before severe damage is done. Think of a hot pot when accidentally touched. Skin can heal from minor burn injuries—but unfortunately, the deeper the burn, the less likely skin will be able to regenerate. Severely burned skin may generate thick scar tissue, impede body temperature control, and become a breeding ground for infections. Some situations that commonly lead to severe burn injuries include:
- Fiery motor vehicle crashes
- Faulty wiring
- Kitchen accidents from hot stoves or scalding water, including leaving pots on stoves resulting in house fires
- Falling asleep with a lit cigarette causing a house fire
- Burning commercial buildings with locked fire exits, lack of fire extinguishers, or non-functioning alarms
- Flammable or acid chemicals at work
- Defective products
In each of these instances, someone is to blame—whether it be drivers sharing the road, employers, manufacturers, landowners, or tradespeople. A diligent High Ridge attorney could explore all the possibilities when determining who was negligent and caused another person to suffer a burn injury.
Financial Recovery May Be Possible
Missouri state law sets minimum standards for how people should act around others to protect its residents from other parties’ carless or reckless actions. The basis of a negligence lawsuit is the idea of not acting as a reasonable person would act in a similar situation. People who fail to follow these standards and subsequently cause an accident that injures someone will likely be found negligent and legally responsible for compensating the injured person for their damages.
For example, if an apartment dweller falls asleep while smoking in bed and the complex is engulfed in flames—causing severe burn injuries to a neighbor—the smoker acted negligently. If the apartment complex owner or landlord failed to provide working fire extinguishers and alarms, and the stairwells were unlit, these parties may also be liable for the burn injuries. A knowledgeable burn damage lawyer in High Ridge could apply the legal elements of negligence to a particular case to identify all at-fault parties.
Are Damage Awards Capped in Missouri?
Generally, people burned in accidents caused by others can recover any amount the jury believes is fair. Even punitive damages—which are meant to punish the defendant for malicious or grossly negligent acts—are not capped in Missouri, as per a 2014 Missouri Supreme Court ruling that punitive damages caps are unconstitutional.
Two exceptions apply. By state law, damages are capped if the defendant is the state of Missouri or a municipality, and in medical malpractice cases.
A High Ridge Burn Injury Attorney is Ready to Advise You
Second and third-degree burns are painful and life-changing. You likely face expensive rehabilitation, which may include skin grafts and plastic surgery.
Our team of committed attorneys understands the physical and emotional trauma you are going through as they have advised many people in your exact situation. They want to help you get the compensation you need and deserve so that you can focus on your physical recovery. Call a High Ridge burn injury lawyer today to get started.