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Some serious injuries result in a lifelong expenses
$ 1 . 5 - $ 5 M i l l i o n

is the expected lifetime cost to care for someone with a severe spinal cord injury.

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What Can Cause Burn Injuries in Texas?

The American Burn Association determined that nearly 500,000 cases of burn injuries take place annually in the United States, of which 4,000 results in death.

If you sustained burns at work or because of the actions of another person, you might be able to pursue compensation for damages in Texas.
Given that burns can happen in the workplace or public, there are many causes including:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Car accidents
  • Gas explosions
  • Fires
  • Defective products

Talk of burns typically conjures an image of injuries to the skin, but burns can take place inside the body as well.

For example, inhalation burns typically happen in accidents involving a fire which can be a workplace accident or a severe car accident. In such cases, inhaling smoke, toxic fumes, or gases can burn the lungs.

Burns do not come from fires alone. Thermal burns happen when the skin is exposed to high heat. That level can be anything over 115°F, be it hot metal, fire, steam, or boiling water. A workplace accident, for example, involving hot steam can cause severe burns the same as the hot metal from a car accident can.

Texas Burn Classifications

After sustaining a burn, you will need a medical professional to evaluate the damage. After you meet with a doctor or visit the hospital (such as San Antonio State Hospital or Southwest General Hospital), your burns will be placed into one of four categories.

  • First-Degree Burns: These burns are those most people are familiar with, and they include sunburns or minor kitchen burns where one accidentally touches a hot pan. The symptoms include red skin and in some cases, minor swelling. These tend only to impact the outer layer of skin and do not require additional medical care.
  • Second-Degree Burns: These affect the outer and dermis layers of the skin, resulting in small blisters, swelling that is to the point of discomfort, and pain. Treatment required is minimal, with over the counter burn ointments sufficing.
  • Third-Degree Burns: These are considered medically severe burns, with the burn impacting the skin and the underlying tissue. The skin can turn white or black after a third-degree burn, become quite dry, and be quite painful. Medical attention is required to treat such injuries.
  • Fourth-Degree Burns: These burns are the most detrimental. These burns go beyond the skin and tissue, burning the muscles and tendons below, sometimes even the bones themselves. In severe cases of fourth-degree burns, the pain is excruciating and often results in disfigurement, can lead to amputations, or result in death.

What Can I Do After a Burn Injury?

With a San Antonio burn injury lawyer, you will need to determine whether to file for negligence or submit a worker’s compensation claim.

In Texas, there is a four-tier system for determining negligence.

  • First, you have to establish that there was a “duty of care.” This means that a property owner, employer, product manufacturer, or driver had a responsibility to prevent the accident from taking place.
  • Second, you have to prove that the duty of care was violated.
  • Third, you have to prove the violation directly resulted in your injury.
  • Fourth, you have to prove that your injuries resulted in a loss. This loss is typically financial loss, which was severe enough to place strain on your finances and thus warrant compensation in the form of damages.

All four elements must exist to prove negligence and file a claim.

If the burn took place while working, you would likely file a worker’s compensation claim instead. This is a form submitted to your company insurance which pays out for those found injured on the job. Most Texas employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. You do not need to adhere to the four-tier system of negligence for such claims. All your San Antonio personal injury lawyer has to prove is that you were performing your regular work duties when the injury took place.

What Type of Compensation Can I Get?

You can receive compensation for damages including medical expenses relating to your burns and all other out of pocket expenses relating to your burns. For the latter, you must keep records of all expenses with receipts and corroborating documentation. There is also the possibility of compensation for lost wages since the time of the burn and any future lost wages. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering in personal injury cases of negligence though not typically for workers’ compensation claims. If the defendant in a negligence case acted with malice, you might also be entitled to punitive damages.