Burn Injury Attorney in Chicago, Illinois
Burn-related injuries are a serious issue in America. They can happen at home or at work. They affect both children and adults. And they can be caused by numerous unexpected factors.
According to the American Burn Association, over 400,000 people throughout the United States receive medical treatment for burn injuries each year. In addition to intense physical pain, a burn can leave lasting effects on how you live your life after accident. Recovery takes time and can lead to hefty medical bills and less wages from reduced hours at work. Thankfully, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your financial and non-monetary losses.
At the Law Office of Anselmo Duran, we take your health and future seriously. Our hands-on approach centers on directly working with clients to build their cases based on their specific needs. We fight for injury victims throughout Chicago, Illinois, including the communities of Lake McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will, Kankakee, Kane, and Grundy Counties. Schedule a free consultation today to start seeking the maximum compensation you deserve.
Understanding Burn Injuries
Burns can be classified into the following types:
Heat burns occur when a person suffers injuries involving fire, steam, or hot liquids such as boiling water.
Chemical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with a corrosive substance like acid or alkali. Chemical burns do not necessarily involve heat, as the substance itself is toxic enough to cause burns regardless of its temperature.
Degrees are also used to describe the severity of burns. The following provides a breakdown of each level of degree:
First-Degree Burns. These are the mildest type of burns, affecting only the outer layer of skin. Symptoms include redness, minor pain, and swelling. These burns typically heal within three-six days without any scarring.
Second-Degree Burns. These burns affect both the outer layer of skin and the layer underneath. Symptoms include blisters, severe pain, and swelling. Second-degree burns may require medical attention, and they can take one to 3 weeks to heal. They may also leave scars.
Third-Degree Burns. These burns are the most severe type, affecting all layers of skin and potentially causing damage to tissues and nerves underneath. Symptoms include charring, white or blackened skin, and intense pain or numbness. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention, as they can be life-threatening and may require skin grafting or other surgical treatments.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Illinois
Burn injuries can result from a variety of circumstances. The following list illustrates common burn injuries we see in our cases:
Workplace accidents. Burns can occur in the workplace due to exposure to chemicals, fires, explosions, or contact with hot surfaces or machinery.
Defective products. Burn injuries can result from using defective products such as defective space heaters, faulty electrical devices, or defective batteries.
Fires. Various factors, including faulty wiring, cooking equipment, smoking, and arson, can cause fires. Burn injuries can occur in fires, and the severity of the burn will depend on the intensity and duration of the flames.
Restaurant accidents. Burns can occur in restaurants due to hot surfaces, cooking equipment, or hot liquids such as coffee or soup.
Hotel fires. Fires can flare up in hotels for numerous reasons, including old wiring, cooking equipment, and negligent behavior of hotel guests or staff. People may be at increased risk of a burn injury if there are faulty or inadequate fire alarms or escape routes.
Electrical accidents. Electrical burns can result from contact with live electrical wires, power lines, or electrical equipment.
Please bear in mind that these common causes stem from negligence – either by a property employer, contracted electrician, or another party. Proving negligence will be essential to establishing fault and liability in your burn injury claim. Our personal injury attorney can lead you through this process and investigate the details of your case so you can focus on recovery.
Personal Injury Claims in Illinois
In general, to bring a successful personal injury claim based on negligence in Illinois, you must prove four elements:
The liable party had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent you from experiencing harm.
The liable breached that duty by failing to exercise reasonable care.
The liable party’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
Your suffered actual damages due to the liable party’s negligence/breach of duty.
Please note that under Illinois law, if your own negligence contributed to the injury, your compensation will be reduced proportionally. For example, if the civil court determines you hold 10% of the blame for your burn, and you’re seeking $50,000 in damages, you can still walk away with $45,000 (10% less than the original amount). This is known as the comparative fault rule.
Illinois utilizes the 51% rule, which means that if you’re found to hold at least 51% of fault for your injury, you may be barred from recovering any damages.
Illinois Injury Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is generally two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. As a result, burn victims must file their claims within two years of the incident date. Filing after the time limit has passed may lead to your claim getting completely dismissed.
Recovering From a Burn
Recovering from a burn injury can be a long and difficult process, and some burns can leave lasting scars that require ongoing treatment. The recovery time and the type of treatment needed will depend on the severity of the burn, the location of the burn, and the individual’s overall health.
For minor burns, such as first-degree burns and some second-degree burns, recovery may only take a few days to a few weeks. Treatment may include pain management, keeping the affected area clean and dry, and applying topical ointments or creams to promote healing and reduce scarring.
For more severe second-degree and third-degree burns, recovery may take several weeks to several months. Treatment may involve wound care, antibiotics to prevent infection, and surgical procedures such as skin grafts or reconstructive surgery to minimize scarring. In addition to physical treatment, severe burn injury victims may also require psychological support to cope with the emotional and psychological trauma resulting from a burn injury. Any cost or lifestyle change that results from your injury may be included as damages you’re seeking to recover in your claim or lawsuit.
Possible Damages for Burn Injuries
In Illinois, the possible damages for burn injuries may include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for the financial losses they have suffered, such as:
Loss of earning capacity
Funeral expenses in case of wrongful death.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate the victim for intangible losses such as pain and suffering. These damages may include the following:
Emotional anguish from trauma and/or disfigurement and scarring
Reduced enjoyment or quality of life
The amount of damages that may be awarded in a burn injury case will depend on various factors, including the severity of the injury, the impact on your life, and the extent of the financial losses you’ve suffered. A professional personal injury attorney can help victims establish a fair amount for compensation purposes
Burn Attorney in Chicago, Illinois
At the Law Office of Anselmo Duran, P.C., we’re committed to your justice. We understand the severity of burn injuries and care about your recovery. We’re prepared to battle for your right to fair and full financial compensation. Call today to speak with our trusted burn attorney that knows what it takes to help get your life back on track.