If someone else’s reckless or negligent actions caused your burn injuries, you might be entitled to compensation. You should contact the Washington personal injury lawyers of Tamaki Law immediately, so we can determine who should be held liable for the suffering you experienced.
According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 450,000 serious burn injuries happen every year throughout the country. Burns can result from various scenarios, such as a vehicle catching fire after an accident, an explosion at an oil refinery, and electrocution.
Many burn victims require painful and costly treatment to heal. Some need surgery and skin grafts and spend months in the hospital recovering. Permanent damage can lead to significant scarring and disfigurement. Loss of mobility and disability are also common consequences of severe burn injuries.
You have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for what happened. Their misconduct caused your injuries, and they should be financially responsible for your hospital bills, physical therapy, and other treatment costs. Do not hesitate to contact Tamaki Law to discuss your legal options. One of our Washington burn injury attorneys can review the details of your case during a free consultation. Call us today at (800) 801-9564.
Common Types of Burn Injuries
At Tamaki Law, we have over 100 years of combined legal experience. We represent clients in cases involving various types of burns and incidents, such as:
- Gas explosions – Burns and other injuries can result from an exploding heater or gas line.
- Electrical burns – Damage can occur to multiple layers of skin when exposed to electricity. Exposure can also cause heart problems, organ failure, and brain trauma.
- Chemical burns – Severe burns can result from direct contact with a hazardous substance, such as ammonia, battery acid, and bleach.
- Scalding burns – Hot liquids, such as coffee, can cause burn injuries and damage different layers of the skin.
- Car accidents – A vehicle can catch on fire or leak hot fluids after a collision, causing severe burns to the occupants.
- Fires – Direct contact with flames from a cooking accident or house fire can lead to varying degrees of burn injuries.
Burns fall under four main classifications:
- First-degree burns – The injury only causes superficial damage to the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). An example of this type of burn injury is a sunburn. Pain and redness are common, but there are typically no blisters.
- Second-degree burn – The outer layer of skin and dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis) becomes damaged. The affected area can appear swollen and bright red. Blister formation will also occur.
- Third-degree burn – The damage extends from the dermis and epidermis through the full thickness of the skin. The burn may look leathery or charred. However, there might not be any associated pain because of extensive nerve damage.
- Fourth-degree burn – This burn destroys all layers of skin and extends into the tendons, muscles, and can include the bones, as well. Fourth-degree burns can be life-threatening.
Burn injuries also range in severity. The level of severity will depend on the percentage of the body that the burn covers and how deep it is beneath the skin.
Minor burns include first and second-degree burns. The injury covers less than ten percent of the body and typically doesn’t require emergency medical care.
Moderate burns are a second-degree classification and cover around ten percent of the body. Damage to the face, hands, genitals, or feet can be moderate or severe.
Severe burns involve third-degree and fourth-degree burns covering over one percent of the body.
Possible Complications from Burn Injuries
Complications can arise from burns, especially if they’re severe. Examples include:
- Blood loss
- Bone and joint damage
- Permanent scarring
- Psychological trauma
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of mobility
First and second-degree burns typically don’t result in permanent or ongoing medical issues. However, it’s vital to seek medical care immediately after this type of injury so a doctor can evaluate your condition and determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Seek Legal Action Following a Burn Injury
If another person is responsible for your burn injury, you must hire a lawyer immediately after the incident. Personal injury cases are complicated and can be confusing if you don’t know how to handle them.
Insurance companies are typically not on the claimant’s side. They might try to intimidate you into accepting a lowball offer or unfairly deny your claim. If you don’t have an experienced Washington burn injury attorney on your side, you might not know your rights during the claims process.
Tamaki Law can be your advocate and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. We’ll investigate the accident and determine who should be held liable for your injuries. The evidence we need to obtain will depend on the circumstances of your case but could include:
- Video surveillance footage
- Statements from witnesses
- Police/incident reports
- Photos from the accident scene
- Pictures of your physical injuries
- Copies of your medical records and medical bills
Once we finish the investigation, we’ll need to submit all the evidence we found to the insurance company to show them that their policyholder should accept liability for the incident. We’ll aggressively negotiate for the maximum available settlement to compensate for your expenses. If they refuse to settle for an amount we believe you deserve, we can move forward with filing a lawsuit.
There is a strict deadline for suing someone after an accident. Most people don’t know the timeframe for initiating a lawsuit and might run out of time. That’s why you need a knowledgeable Washington burn injury attorney to help you with the legal process. Washington has a three-year statute of limitations. That means you have three years from the injury date to file the lawsuit if you want to hold the at-fault party liable in court.
Compensation You Might Be Entitled to in a Burn Injury Case
You can pursue compensation for your total losses whether you decide you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. The recoverable losses include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
You should not be forced to pay out of pocket for any expenses when someone else’s misconduct led to your injuries. They should be financially responsible for your medical care, prescription drug costs, and any other expenses incurred from the accident.
What You Can Do if Your Loved One Died from a Burn Injury in Washington
State laws define wrongful death as the default, neglect, or wrongful act of one person that causes someone else’s death. If you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, building fire, or another scenario involving a fatal burn injury, you might be entitled to compensation.
Only a handful of individuals are allowed to pursue a wrongful death case in Washington. They are:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
- Surviving spouse or state-registered domestic partner
- Surviving children or stepchildren
The victim’s parents or siblings could file a wrongful death lawsuit if there are no surviving spouse, partner, or children.
If the deceased was under 18 at the time of the accident, one or both parents could seek compensation from a wrongful death case. However, both of them must have regularly contributed to supporting the child. They can pursue legal action even if they weren’t married or decided to separate or get divorced.
The court must pay any financial award received from a favorable jury verdict to the deceased’s estate. The losses you could be compensated for include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills related to the victim’s burn injury
- Pain and suffering the deceased’s endured before their death
- Property damage expenses
- Lost income the deceased would have earned if they survived
- Loss of companionship, care, and additional intangible benefits the victim provided before the accident
All of these losses might not be available if you choose to file a lawsuit. It depends on your relationship with the victim. For example, a domestic partner or spouse can pursue compensation for loss of companionship, but the estate’s personal representative cannot.
Call Tamaki Law for a Free Consultation
The Washington burn injury attorneys of Tamaki Law know you might face economic struggles from the accident. You shouldn’t be responsible for additional costs while you’re seeking legal action against the negligent party. We take most cases on contingency, so you’re not forced to pay upfront legal fees or costs. If we don’t win, you’ll never owe us for our services.
We also offer a free initial consultation so you can get the advice and guidance you need to make an informed decision about how to handle the accident. We can review the details of your case and advise you about the available legal options for pursuing an insurance claim or lawsuit. There’s no obligation to hire us if you decide you’re not ready or want to consult with another firm.
Since 1994, our experienced team has dedicated our time and resources to accident victims in Washington state. We work closely together to meet your needs and achieve your legal goals. You can count on us to remain in your corner from start to finish of the process, so you don’t have to go through this devastating experience alone.
If the accident that caused your burn injuries was someone else’s fault, call Tamaki Law immediately. One of our Washington burn injury attorneys can discuss the specifics of your situation during a free consultation. We’re ready to help you in the fight for justice and get you on the road to recovery.