Kansas City Burn Injury Attorney

Burn injuries are one of the worst types of injuries anyone can endure. The pain is excruciating, the disability and disfigurement can be emotionally devastating and the cost of the medical care overwhelming. Approximately 450,000 people every year require medical care for burn injuries and 3,400 die from their trauma, according to the American Burn Association. With such a high rate of injury, it is likely that you or someone you know will experience such an injury at some point in life.

Recovering from this trauma is no easy feat. While burns can range in severity, they all need skilled medical care and will recover at a different pace than many other types of trauma. Burn injuries are not merely cosmetic in nature; they can seriously affect the health of a victim.

When most people think of a burn injury they think of damage to the skin. Serious burn injuries effect much more than the outer layer of the skin. The skin is the bodies’ largest organ. It plays a vital role in regulating body temperature, body fluids, metabolic rate and proper chemical balance. Burns not only involve the skin but can also involve muscles, tendons, bones, nerves, veins and the respiratory system. Burns can destroy muscles and joints. Burns can also affect underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and asthma. Serious burns require weeks or months of hospitalization followed by rehabilitation. Doctors must carefully monitor burns for infection, give IV fluids, monitor for pneumonia, debrid dead tissue, perform plastic surgery, skin grafts and oversee intense physical and occupational therapy. Burns can keep you from being able to work for a long period of time or possibly the rest of your life.

Obviously, the first goal is to obtain proper medical care so that the burn victim has the best recovery possible. A second extremely important goal is to learn of your legal rights and the path that must be taken in proving fault. Through a free consultation with the Kansas City burn injury lawyers at Cullan & Cullan, you can be properly informed of the necessary steps to preserve evidence and protect yourself and your family.

Types of Burns

Most of us have heard of first, second and third degree burns. These classifications refer to the severity of the burn.

First Degree Burns are the least severe. The means the outer layer of the skin is burned. The outer layer of skin is called the epidermis. With a first degree burn the skin will be red, hot to touch and somewhat swollen.

Second Degree Burns involve not only the outer layer of skin (epidermis) but also involve the dermis which is the inner layer of the skin. These burns are very painful, will blister and take several weeks or longer to heal. They may leave a permanent scar or a scar that will gradually disappear over a lengthy period of time.

Third Degree Burns are frequently referred to as Full Thickness Burns. Third degree burns not only involve the outer and inner layers of skin but they go deep and can involve tendons, nerves, muscles, and bones. Sometimes third degree burns themselves are actually less painful than second degree burns because nerves may have been destroyed. However, if a burn victim has a third degree burn; it is likely that they also have second degree burns surrounding the third degree burns. Obviously, second and third degree burns can cause serious scarring leading to scar tissue formation, scar tissue adhesions or contractures, severe pain and disfigurement. Burn areas may be permanently sensitive to touch, heat and/or cold. The burn victim may need to avoid exposure to the sun and cold temperatures. They may have an increased risk of developing cancer. Plastic surgery may help to partially restore function and reduce disfigurement.

Who is at Fault for Your Injury? The Necessity of Preserving the Evidence.

Burns can occur anywhere, whether or not there is an obvious cause, such as an open flame or boiling water. But who may be responsible for these injuries?

  • Building Fire – A blaze can break out for many reasons, including faulty electrical cords or faulty device malfunctions, unattended flames, and various other accidents. Those who have shown negligence or companies that have produced defective devices may be at fault for injuries that result.
  • Gas Explosion – These accidents can occur in a matter of moments, with a gas line rupturing and catching fire, resulting in an explosion that can engulf an entire building. A careless mistake or a defective pipe, improper ventilation, improper storage of hazardous materials could lead to an explosion.
  • Scalding Liquid – Often found in kitchens or restaurants, drinks and other liquids that are served too hot could burn an unsuspecting customer. Additionally, accidents on the property could result in hot liquid being spilled on a nearby victim.
  • Open Flame – Should flames such as candles or fire pits be left unattended, someone could suffer a serious burn or catch on fire without knowing it. Those who have placed them in a dangerous position could be responsible for the accident.
  • Burning Temperatures – Whether it is food or the water running through showers, bathtubs, and sinks, property owners should prevent temperatures from reaching the scalding point. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate what temperatures are safe for hot water heaters. Although the safe temperatures are well known or documented it is still common for owners of apartment complexes to violate the building codes and fail to test the temperature of the water. Those who are unfamiliar with the property could easily be burned without warning.
  • Semi-Truck and Car Accidents – Due to defective fuel systems and/or driver negligence, motor-vehicle collisions can result in fire, which can not only cause severe burn injuries, but potentially trap vehicle occupants in their vehicle. A fuel leak caused by a defective fuel line or tank can result in fire, even in a minor crash. Auto manufacturers whose vehicles contain such defects may be held liable for burn injuries that result. Poor vehicle maintenance by drivers, or companies in the case of commercial trucks, may also cause a fire to erupt in a collision. In severe crashes, a vehicle fire may occur without the existence of defects, but if that crash was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another driver, he or she may be held liable.

In any of these causes, it is extremely important to have an attorney that is working for you make sure the evidence is preserved so that you can prove what happened. This will include inspecting the scene, taking photographs and measurements and making sure the evidence is preserved for analysis by engineers, forensic labs or other experts. All witnesses including responding paramedics, firefighters, police and by standers need to be interviewed while the information is fresh in their memory. In addition, it is important to investigate whether any of the witnesses took any videos of the scene prior to or after the injury. The insurance company for the defense will have a highly paid team working for them as soon as the injury is reported. It is important that the burn victim and their family have someone who is looking out for them as well.

Recovering Through Compensation

Immediate and precise medical care is a must for anyone who has suffered a serious burn injury. Properly diagnosing the extent of the burns, such as whether it should be classified as first, second, or third degree, and how much of the body has been affected will help determine what treatment is best. Next, medical staff will have to begin treatment immediately in order to prevent the injury from worsening, as burns can continue to damage the body over time if not cooled down and treated.

After putting an end to the immediate danger, victims will need to rehabilitate from the trauma and may require continued medical care.

Finding proper treatment and paying for all emergency care that was required can be a costly endeavor. However, no victim should forgo treatment for the sake of his or her finances. Often, untreated burns can worsen, even to the point of becoming life threatening.

However, those who caused this accident and their insurance providers can be held accountable and made to pay for past and future losses. Through this compensation, proper treatment can be given and the chance to return to life as it was before the accident can be a possibility. In any case, your situation can only be improved through the compensation and care that you deserve.

Unique Insight, Skilled Representation

At Cullan & Cullan, we have extensive experience protecting the rights of those who have been injured by another person’s negligent actions. We have lawyers who are also doctors and an attorney trained in accident reconstruction. It is our job to investigate what happened and prove who was at fault. No one can give you back your health but it is important to recover the financial resources you need to pay your medical bills and lost wages. It is also important to hold the negligent party responsible so that we can prevent injury to others. If you or a family member has sustained a burn injury, please call our office for a free consultation at (816) 861-7600.

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Cullan & Cullan
4900 Main St, #310
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Phone: (816) 861-7600
Toll Free: (866) 540-7600

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Several of the attorneys at our firm are also medical doctors and are able to bring their considerable medical knowledge to bear on Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona cases involving burn injury law.

© 2018 The Law Offices of Cullan & Cullan M.D., J.D. - All Rights Reserved

Kansas City Burn Accident Lawyer Disclaimer: The information on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal or medical advice. This website is provided by The Law Offices of Cullan and Cullan M.D., J.D. for informational purposes only. Laws are very complex. You should not rely on a website or advice from a friend who had a case when it comes to making decisions about your rights. You should personally consult with an attorney as early as possible for advice regarding your own situation. Every situation is different. Every state is different. There are many factors that are important for an attorney to know before it is possible to give you advice on your case.