According to the American Burn Association, every year approximately 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention in the United States. These burn injuries result in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of hospitalizations. While it is unclear how many of these injuries are the result of car accidents, a significant number of crashes each year involve fires, leading to serious burn injuries.
At Green Law Firm P.C., our dedicated Colorado Springs burn injury lawyer stands committed to helping victims who’ve endured the devastating aftermath of auto accidents that resulted in burn injuries. With deep roots in Colorado, we understand the unique aspects of our state’s legal system and the profound physical, emotional, and financial impacts these injuries can inflict. Leveraging our extensive experience, exhaustive knowledge, and unwavering compassion, we guide our clients through the intricacies of personal injury law, striving to secure the justice they deserve and the compensation necessary to rebuild their lives. Contact us today for your free consultation.
What are Colorado Springs Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries can occur from a variety of sources, such as fire, hot liquids or surfaces, chemicals, electricity, or even excessive sun exposure. These injuries can vary in severity from first-degree burns (affecting the outer layer of skin) to fourth-degree burns (extending into muscle and bone). These might happen due to car fires following a collision, airbag deployment, or contact with hot engine parts or fluids, among other scenarios. Victims of such injuries typically need medical attention and can seek legal recourse for their physical and emotional suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
Types of Burn Injuries
Some car accident victims may escape their vehicle with only minor burn injuries. These may be very painful, but do not require surgery or lengthy hospital stays. However, it is also common for victims to sustain severe burn injuries requiring surgical excision and skin grafting. Burn injuries are typically classified by severity according to the following criteria:
- First Degree: In a first-degree burn, only the outermost layer of skin is damaged. The epidermis will be red and dry. It will be painful, but should heal in about a week.
- Second-degree Superficial: In this type of injury, the first and second layers are damaged. The damage to the second layer (dermis) is not deep. The skin will look moist, and be red with clear blisters. It will take several weeks to heal.
- Second-degree Deep: With this type of injury, the damage to the dermis is more significant. The skin will appear red and white with bloody blisters, and may necessitate replacement of the damaged area with skin grafts.
- Third Degree: The entire dermis is damaged with this injury. The skin will be white or brown and seem stiff, dry and leathery. Excision will be necessary, however, some very severe third degree burns result in amputation.
- Fourth Degree: This type of burn damages even the deepest layer of skin, called the subcutaneous, as well as the muscle and bone underneath. The skin will be charred and dry, resulting in significant loss of function.
Common Causes of Colorado Springs Burn Injuries
Here are some common causes our Colorado Springs burn injury lawyers see at Green Law Firm P.C.:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Car accidents can result in fires, leading to burn injuries. A collision may cause a car to catch fire, or ignite spilled gasoline or other chemicals. Motorcyclists are also at risk for burn injuries from hot parts of the bike or from the road surface during an accident.
- Workplace Accidents: Workplaces, particularly in industries like construction, manufacturing, and energy production, can pose burn risks. Accidents can result from hot machinery, flammable chemicals, electrical equipment, or even explosive materials.
- Household Accidents: Cooking mishaps, faulty electrical appliances, improperly stored flammable materials, or unattended candles can cause burns at home. Scalding injuries from hot liquids or steam are common, especially among children.
- Recreational Accidents: Campfires, barbecues, fireworks, and other recreational activities can lead to burn injuries if not managed correctly.
- Chemical Accidents: Exposure to strong acids, alkalis, or other corrosive substances can cause chemical burns. These can occur in industrial settings, but also in homes with certain cleaning products.
- Electrical Accidents: Electrical burns can occur due to faulty wiring, high-voltage power lines, or misuse of electrical equipment.
It’s essential to note that burn injuries can range from minor to severe, causing significant pain, physical impairment, or even fatality. Victims of severe burn injuries may require extensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation, resulting in substantial medical bills and personal suffering.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
Financial compensation may be available for your car accident burn injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assist you with determining fault and liability, as well as securing compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalizations, surgeries, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and other appropriate damages.
When you are involved in a car accident, the safety features in your vehicle should function properly and protect you from any major injuries. Sometimes, however, the logistics of certain accidents result in one or more of the vehicles catching fire. It only takes one loose wire or one rogue spark to ignite the gasoline in your vehicle, putting everyone involved at great risk of suffering a burn injury.
Areas of Law Relevant to Colorado Springs Burn Injuries
- Negligence: If a person suffers a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, the injured party has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Negligence is a key concept in these cases and must be proven for a successful claim. It generally involves showing that the party at fault had a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that the breach directly led to the burn injury.
- Product Liability: If a burn injury is caused by a faulty or dangerous product, the manufacturer or distributor might be held accountable under product liability law. This can include anything from a defective car part that causes a fire to a dangerous household appliance.
- Premises Liability: If a burn injury occurs on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, a claim may be possible under premises liability law. The property owner or manager has a duty to maintain a safe environment, and a failure to do so may constitute negligence.
- Workers’ Compensation: If a burn injury happens at work, the injured worker typically needs to file a workers’ compensation claim. Colorado law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages for work-related injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Colorado Springs Burn Injuries
In Colorado, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which includes burn injuries, is generally two (2) years from the date of the accident that caused the injury. This timeframe means that a victim has two years from the incident’s date to file a lawsuit seeking damages for their injuries.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the burn injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident, the statute of limitations is extended to three (3) years. If the injured party was a minor (under 18) at the time of the incident, the clock typically doesn’t start running until their 18th birthday, giving them until they turn 20 to file a lawsuit.
Additionally, if the injury was not immediately discovered, Colorado law includes a “discovery rule,” which may extend the statute of limitations. This rule states that the clock starts when the injured party knew or should have known about their injury.
Contact our Colorado Springs Burn Injury Attorney Today
At Green Law Firm P.C., our Colorado Springs burn injury lawyers are more than just an advocate; we are partners in your journey towards justice and healing. We understand that no amount of compensation can completely restore the loss and pain you’ve suffered. Still, our commitment is to tirelessly pursue every avenue to help alleviate your financial burdens and support your recovery. With a keen understanding of Colorado’s laws, a passion for justice, and a deep well of compassion, we stand ready to guide you through the legal process. Let us shoulder your legal worries so you can focus on what matters most—your recovery and the well-being of your loved ones. Contact us today for your free consultation.