Burn injuries are some of the most serious injuries a person can sustain. Even relatively minor scalds can be extremely painful and result in significant scarring and other damages. The more severe types of burns, however, may require hospitalization and extensive surgery.
When a burn injury is caused by the negligence of a person or business, the injured person may have a legal claim for compensation. Navigating the legal process is difficult without the counsel of an experienced attorney.
By working with a Michigan burn injury lawyer, you will have help needed to pursue your claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Common Types of Burn Injuries
Naturally, the most common source of a burn is from direct exposure to flames. This might occur in a house fire or when someone is trapped inside a car following a crash. However, there are numerous causes of burns, including:
- Scalding liquid burns from hot drink spills or faulty hot water heaters
- Friction burns from sliding along pavement after a bicycle or motorcycle accident
- Chemical burns from household cleaners and other substances
- Defective exploding products like pressure cookers and e-cigarettes
- Steam burns, including from manhole covers
- Work injuries
- Heat burns from tools or direct contact with hot surfaces
- Surgical fires in an operating room
- Radiation burns resulting from medical malpractice
Many of these burn injuries result from careless behavior and reckless conduct. Many times, a person suffers a burn injury because a business refused to provide needed safety measures to protect a victim from harm.
Classifications of Burns
Burns are classified into three levels of severity. The least severe are first-degree burns, which only affect the top layer of skin and require minimal medical treatment. However, even these burns may still leave scars.
A second-degree burn may result in nerve damage and, as a result, may require skin grafts.
Third-degree burns are the most catastrophic and debilitating. These may require total removal of the affected tissue and might never fully heal. Many of these burns require multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and even hyperbaric chamber treatment.
When Another Party is At-Fault in Michigan
Cases stemming from burn injuries are similar to other personal injury cases. Often, burns are the result of an accident, meaning an injured plaintiff must prove that a defendant was negligent. Legally, negligence means the failure to use reasonable care resulting in injury to another.
For a burn injury lawsuit, you must prove that a person or other entity was negligent in their conduct. This could be by acting in a certain way or failing to act in a certain way. For example, a nurse’s aid who spills a pot of hot coffee on a patient’s lap would be negligent. And, a company that sells an exploding product would be negligent for burns suffered by a consumer.
Burn injury settlements are often substantial. This is because the pain and suffering associated with burns is significant and lasts a long time. Additionally, many burns result in permanent scars and disfigurements. As a result, compensation payouts are very high.
The burn injury victim can also sue for all medical expenses related to the burn treatment. Settlements often include money to pay for future treatment, scar revisions, and plastic surgery. Other damages include payment of lost wages and income.
The Time Limit to File a Claim in Michigan
One element of any case that a potential claimant must be aware of is the statute of limitations. According to Michigan Compiled Laws §600.5805, most plaintiffs in injury claims have three years from the date of suffering a burn to pursue a case. Minor children have until their 19th birthday to file a lawsuit, even if there injury occurred much earlier in life.
However, for cases involving medical negligence by a doctor or nurse, there is only a two year statute of limitations. There are other time requirements for medical malpractice lawsuits so it is important to contact an experienced attorney immediately.
Retain a Michigan Burn Injury Attorney for Help
Burn injuries are serious matters that may result in severe pain and disfigurement. If the negligence of another party caused your injuries, you have the right to compensation and should speak with a burn injury lawyer today.
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Detroit, MI 48226
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Shelby Township, MI 48316
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