Compensation for Injuries Caused By Burn Accidents

Louisville Burn Accident Attorney

Burns can be severely damaging injuries that leave the survivor permanently scarred, disfigured, disabled, and emotionally scarred. First and second-degree burns damage or destroy the skin’s tissues, while third-degree burns damage deeper layers of muscles and tendons. Survivors often have long hospital stays and surgeries during recovery.

If someone else’s negligence or wanton disregard for your safety resulted in burn injuries, contact our Louisville burn injury attorneys. The skilled legal team at Meinhart & Manning, PLLC may be able to secure you financial compensation.

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What Are Common Causes of Burn Injuries?

When we discuss burn injury law, we encompass four types of burns: thermal, chemical, electrical, and radiation. Burns can happen anytime the skin comes into contact with something harmful and damaging to the tissues, such as flames, harsh chemicals, a live electrical wire, or excessive radiation. Our Louisville burn injury lawyers have worked with victims who suffered serious burns at work, in car accidents, and right at home. Common causes of burn injuries include:

What Are Common Causes of Residential Fires?

Fires that start in residential or commercial buildings can be especially devastating to individuals on the premises. In Kentucky, it is the property managers responsibility to ensure that fire safety equipment including egress, fire alarms, sprinkler systems and other equipment is in proper operating conditions in communal areas.

Tenants that reside within a domicile are responsible for maintaining smoke detectors within their units. If the detector is not operating properly, it is the tenants responsibility to notify the owner of the unit in writing if the smoke detector is inoperable.

If for any reason the responsible party fails to maintain the smoke detector in operable condition, the responsible party can face penalties involving civil and criminal action.

The failure of a working smoke alarm within a bedroom or unit can result in dire consequences. Sixty percent of all fire deaths result in properties that do not have working smoke alarms. The risk of a fatal fire is reduced by 50% with homes that possess working smoke alarms.

The National Fire Protection Association outlined the most common causes of fires:

  • Cooking – Cooking is the leading contributor to fires in a home. Unattended cooking is a leading contributor of apartment fires.
  • Heating – Between 2014 – 2018, an average of 48,530 fires resulted from heating equipment. These fires on average accounted for more than 1,300 injuries and more than 500 civilian deaths per year.
  • Electrical – Lighting equipment including cords, plugs, light systems and wiring were involved in 34,000 home structure fires between 2014 – 2018. Faulty electrical work led to 1.4 billion dollars of property damage annually.
  • Smoking – Smoking indoors has led to thousands of injuries and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. If a person engages in smoking, do so outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Candles – Fires that were started by candles account for twenty one home fires each day. The holidays and Christmas are the peak time of year for candle fires so remember to keep burning candles out of reach of anything that can burn. Blow out all candles before exiting a room to reduce potential fire danger.

louisville burn accident attorneys

What Are the Different Degrees of Burns?

Burns can occur in three main degrees, with first degree the least harmful and third degree the most harmful. Third-degree burns can result in permanent disfigurement, amputation, and scarring, while first-degree burns typically don’t break the skin or cause blisters.

While some burns can be minor and heal naturally with time and simple medicine, other burns are more severe and can cause life-long scarring. Dependent on the severity of your burn you may need medical attention immediately. Burns are classified into three distinct groups that escalate in severity with each degree:

First Degree Burns – These types of burns are typically mild and are the most common type of burn that occurs. The majority of sun burns are first degree burns and involve the top layer of the skin turning and red and causing some pain but no blisters occur on the skin.

Second Degree Burns – These burns impact both the top (epidermis) and lower layers of the skin (dermis). Individuals with second degree burns may experience pain, blistering and swelling where the burn occurred.

Third Degree Burns – Third degree burns are the most serious and can result in the most life-altering burns. These types of burns impact all three layers of the skin including the epidermis (exterior), dermis (lower layer) and fat cells. These burns are capable of impacting not only the skin, but also hair growth and subcutaneous glands. Due to the fact that these types of burns can negatively impact nerve endings, you may not feel pain on the actual burn area, but rather feel the pain around the burn itself. After a third degree burn occurs, the area may be discolored with a red, black or white appearance.

Some second- and most third-degree burns require medical attention and can be costly and extremely painful to victims. After receiving proper medical attention, the first step in securing justice for your burn injuries is to identify the party responsible. Then, contact a Louisville personal injury attorney to help you navigate the legal process.

Do All Burns Heal Over Time?

Unfortunately the answer to this question is no. While some first and second degree burns may heal in full with basic medical treatment and bandages, more severe second and third degree burns can leave life-long scarring and some may even require skin grafts.

If you have suffered a very serious burn, skin grafts may be necessary to help minimize scarring. According to the University of Wisconsin’s burn center third degree burns that are larger than a fifty cent piece must be grafted or these burns will not heal.

Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that uses skin from the patient themselves or from a donor.  Skin grafts tend to occur after very serious injuries that impact large wounds across large amounts of area. Skin grafting can take two weeks or longer to heal and can cause some level of scarring where the graft occurred.

How to Recover From a Burn Accident?

One piece of advice we give to all our clients, not just burn survivors, is to document your case as much as possible. From the day you suffer the burn injury, gather information about the incident.

If it occurred at work, report the accident to a higher up. Keep copies of any accident reports or workers’ compensation claims. Take photographs of the object that burned you, and of your injuries. If there is a police report or medical documents, hold onto them. The more information you have about your case, the better.

You also need to seek medical care for your burns right away. Delaying care can make your injuries worse, increase the risk of infection, and give the defendant the opportunity to allege that your burns must not have been very serious. Go to the hospital as soon as possible after suffering a major burn.

Then, give us a call. We’ll meet with you at your Louisville home or hospital if you can’t come to us and discuss your possible legal claims free of cost.


Seek Legal Counsel from Experienced Louisville Burn Accident Attorneys

If we believe a driver, employer, product manufacture, or property owner could be legally responsible for your burns, you could be eligible for recovery. Our Louisville burn accident attorneys will fight for fair compensation for your exorbitant medical costs, lengthy recovery, rehabilitation, surgeries, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost quality of life, lost wages, and loss of consortium.

Keep in mind, however, that in Kentucky you only have one year from the date of the burn injury to bring a claim against the at-fault party or parties. Call (502) 589-2700 or contact us through our online contact form as soon as possible after your incident to maximize your odds of recovery.