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Burn Injuries
HawkLaw Fights for Charleston

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Charleston Burn Injury Lawyer

Whenever one person or party causes injury or damage to another, the injured party can seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. The value of a personal injury case typically reflects the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, the lasting effects, and the financial burden caused by the injury.

Painful injuries entailing more extensive recovery processes typically yield higher case awards to cover the damages. Burn injury cases are typically more extensive because not only are they incredibly painful, but they also often lead to long-term problems for victims.

The right attorney can make a difference in a South Carolina burn injury case. People who have suffered injuries due to the negligence or dangerous actions of others can seek compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage through lawsuits. However, it’s important to hire a Charleston burn injury lawyer who can explore all avenues of compensation, especially after an injury as devastating as a severe burn. This is what our law firm can do for you.

Burn Injuries and Their Effects

Doctors and health care professionals classify burn injuries based on their severity using a degree scale. Here’s a breakdown of the different classifications.

  1. First-Degree Burns. This is the least severe type of burn, typically only affecting the outermost layer of skin. Most people can effectively treat first-degree burns using conventional over-the-counter burn ointment and bandages, but burns to sensitive body parts or over large regions of the body require medical attention.
  2. Second-Degree Burns are more serious and penetrate deeper into the underlying layers of skin, requiring immediate medical care.
  3. Third-Degree Burns extend to all layers of the skin. This type of burn will typically not heal without medical assistance.
  4. Fourth-Degree Burns. This type of burn is the most severe. Like third-degree, this classification extends through all of the skin layers but might also affect the underlying bones or other soft tissues.

What are the Most Common Causes of Burns?

Arm that has been damaged by a burn

In order for doctors to successfully treat a burn injury, it’s important to know the actual cause of the burn. There are many typical sources, such as:

  • Thermal burns(direct heat)
  • Scalding (steam, hot water)
  • Electrical
  • Chemical Radiation

Symptoms of a Serious Burn Injury

The symptoms of a burn injury can manifest in quite a few different ways, and it largely depends on the degree of the burn you suffered. Here are the most common symptoms you may encounter:

  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • Shock
  • Pain
  • Charred skin
  • Peeling skin

While all of these symptoms are possible, the most common symptom across all sorts of different burns is the appearance of blisters, either intact or broken and leaking fluid. It is also important to remember that pain is not always an indicator of the severity of the burn. In some extreme cases, severe burns can destroy nerves, which in turn eliminates the pain receptors in the area.

Long-Term Complications

Significant burns can easily damage mobility and reduce sensation in the affected areas. For example, a burn over the entirety of the arm can impair the victim’s range of motion with that arm or make fine motor functions more difficult. A severe hand burn can prevent the victim from writing efficiently.

Whenever plaintiffs sue for damages in personal injury lawsuits, their attorneys will ask for an award commensurate with their clients’ damages. Most personal injury awards include:

  • Medical expenses. Plaintiffs can sue for their hospital bills, prescription costs, surgery fees, and the costs of any necessary ongoing treatments such as physical therapy.
  • Pain and suffering. Although this may seem difficult to quantify in monetary figures, a judge will consider the evidence of the case and the testimony of expert witnesses to determine the degree of physical pain and emotional trauma the plaintiff experienced. The judge will then award an appropriate amount.
  • Lost income. Plaintiffs who are forced to miss work for an extended period can sue for the wages he or she would have earned in that time. Plaintiffs who are unable to resume work due to injuries can sue for the income he or she would have reasonably expected to earn in the future.

Most people understand how devastating a severe burn injury can be and the long-term complications burn victims may experience. Chemical burns can also cause respiratory issues and brain damage. Electrical burns damage the nerves and may even lead to cardiac complications. Radiation burns, even sunburn, can lead to various cancers. All burn injuries require careful medication, attention, and thorough care. Injured victims should know their rights and their options for legal recourse.

How to Treat a Burn 

The most important factor to remember when it comes to burn treatments is that you must remain calm. Panic makes it too easy to forget an important step or crucial treatment. If you suffer a minor burn, you may be able to simply treat the injury at home. More serious burns, however, warrant a visit to the hospital, so treatment depends on the types of burn injuries you suffer.

First-Degree Burn

A first-degree burn only affects the outer layer of the skin. They can typically be treated with cool water, lotion, and bandaging. Pain relievers help, too, of course.

Second-Degree Burn

A second-degree burn penetrates through to the second layer of skin and may warrant more proactive treatments available at the hospital. These can include fluids to prevent dehydration and other water-based treatments to stimulate wound tissue. 

Third-Degree Burn

A third-degree burn goes through all three layers of skin. These severe burns must be treated at the burn unit in the hospital. Surgery may be required, as well as antibiotics to fight infection. Skin grafts and plastic surgery may be needed for particularly bad cases that involve disfigurement or extensive permanent damage.

How Long Does a Burn Take to Heal? 

The amount of time it takes for a burn to heal varies based on the circumstances of the burn itself. A minor burn could heal in as little as a few weeks. Meanwhile, significant burns may never heal properly unless you get skin grafts. Some severe burns can also leave a person permanently disfigured. If an infection occurs with your burn, that will also add some serious time to the recovery process.

How Do I Know If I Have a Claim for a Burn in Charleston, South Carolina? 

You may have a claim for a burn if you can identify a liable party who breached their duty of care. You will also have to demonstrate that this breach of care caused your burn and the injuries sustained from the burn. Establishing that causal link is essential for any burn case if you seek compensation for damages suffered.

Duty of care can be a vague term, but it essentially refers to the responsibility that people have to prevent injuries to others. It is your legal right to be protected from violations of duty of care. Drivers have a duty of care to drive safely to prevent injuries in car accidents. Store managers are responsible for providing a safe environment for their customers and employees. A gas station manager has a duty of care to properly maintain pumps with regular safety checks. If the duty of care is violated, and you sustain an injury because of it, you may have a claim for both economic and non-economic damages.

Burn Injuries as a Result of Defective Products in Charleston

Product manufacturers have a duty of care to anyone using their product to prevent harm. This includes burn injuries. If you suffered a burn injury from using a defective product, you may be able to sue the manufacturer with a product liability claim. This is true whether the product has a faulty design, manufacturing defect, or danger that could have been avoided had the manufacturer provided proper warnings and/or instructions.

Typically, burn cases are directed toward product manufacturers. Still, you may also have a claim against the seller of a defective product if they sold it to you knowing it was defective. This can be tough to demonstrate on your own, so you will want help from a personal injury attorney.

Is There a Deadline to File a Burn Injury Claim in Charleston?

The deadline to file a burn injury claim in Charleston, SC, is three years from the date of the injury, just like the vast majority of other personal injury claims. While certain exceptions may be available in other cases, burn injuries are typically hard to miss, so the date you notice your injury will probably be the date of the accident.

What Should I Do If I Was Burned While Working in Charleston? 

If you suffered a burn injury while on the job, and the injury occurred within the scope of your job description, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. The first theing you need to do is contact a personal injury attorney with a practice area in burn injuries. They can help guide you through the workers’ comp claims process, offering legal advice to get coverage for medical bills and more.

Can a Burn Patient in Charleston Get Disability? 

Medical specialists treating a burn

Whether or not you are eligible for disability as a burn injury victim depends on whether or not your burn left you with a disability. While it is entirely possible to become disabled from a burn, that is not always the case. You will need medical evidence demonstrating your disability to qualify for disability benefits and how your disability impacts your quality of life.

Charleston Burn Injury Lawyers– Free Consultations*

In order to find out how we can help you, contact our Charleston burn injury lawyers at HawkLaw today for a free consultation* about your burn injury case in Charleston, North Charleston, Columbia, Mount Pleasant, or the surrounding areas. Burn injuries can be devastating, but it’s possible to recover fully with effective medical treatment and financial compensation for the resulting expenses. Call us today or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.* 

Helping Burn Victims in Charleston, South Carolina

At HawkLaw, our personal injury lawyers are happy to handle all the heavy litigation for you while you focus on recovery. Alternatively, we can help you seek compensation if a burn injury leads to the wrongful death of a loved one. To request a free case evaluation*, call 888-HAWKLAW or complete the online contact form to speak with an experienced Charleston burn injury attorney at HawkLaw today.

Visit Our Office

HawkLaw, P.A.
4975 LaCross Rd
Suite 201
North Charleston, SC 29406
+1 (854) 333-3333
Our location:
John D. Hawkins
Founder and CEO

John Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of HawkLaw He has been licensed to practice law in South Carolina since his graduation with honors in 1994 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was on the Law Review and Order of Wig and Robe.