Burn injury victims and their families immediately find themselves asking a lot of questions about medical and financial issues, as well as legal issues. Please use our website to access free information that should give you many of the answers you are looking for.
I keep getting medical bills in the mail -- am I responsible for paying these bills?
Medical treatment for burn injuries is usually very expensive. Families of burn victims are often shocked when the first sets of medical bills come in the mail.
There are several potential ways these bills can get paid. If you have health insurance, then your health insurance company is responsible for paying these bills. If you sustained your burn injury on the job, and if your employer had workers compensation insurance, then the workers compensation insurance company will be responsible for the medical costs. If the burn was job related but your employer does not have workers compensation insurance, then your employer may be directly responsible for taking care of your medical bills in a nonsubscriber lawsuit. If the injury was caused by some other person's or company's carelessness, then they may be responsible for satisfying your medical bills in a third party negligence lawsuit.
I need to keep seeing doctors for my burn injury -- who will pay for these bills in the future?
If, according to your doctors, you need continuing medical treatment for your burn injury, then the same source that has paid your past bills will ordinarily be required to pay bills you receive in the future. The only requirement is that your doctors report the medical treatment is related to your burn injury.
My burn injuries are so severe that I need a lifetime of medical care -- can I get that?
Again, if your doctors relate your medical treatment to your burn accident, then the same source that has paid your past and continuing bills will be responsible for paying your medical bills for as long as you continue to see doctors -- even if you need to see doctors for the rest of your life.
If your burn injury has resulted in a third party negligence lawsuit, then your attorney should arrange for you to be seen and examined by a "life care planner." Experts in this field can determine what kind of medical treatment you need for the rest of your life, and determine how much it will cost. Many times, this life time medical cost will reach multiple millions of dollars. If you have a meritorious case against the responsible parties, they will be liable for the cost of your life care plan.
What are my legal rights after a burn injury?
If you suffered burns in an accident caused by someone else's carelessness, you will have important legal rights. In order to protect these rights, we recommend you consult with experienced attorneys who have a specialty in handling burn cases. Most of the time, the only way you can protect your legal rights is by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. In order to recover for your burn injuries, your lawyer will need to prove that the responsible party was careless in a way that caused the fire which caused your burns.
How would an attorney prove my burn injury case in court?
Burn injury cases are difficult to win, because often much of the relevant physical evidence is destroyed by the fire. For an excellent review of what an experienced burn injury attorney will do when they are hired, please read this article.
I am permanently disfigured due to my burn injuries -- am I entitled to compensation for this?
Yes. Many times, a fire will cause permanent disfigurement. Under the law of Texas and most other states, an injured person is entitled to compensation for "disfigurement." This includes the types of disfigurement that can be caused by fire.
Does it make a difference what TYPE of burn injury I have?
Yes. In a lawsuit involving burn injuries, your compensation is based in large part on the type of burn injuries you sustained. In general, the more serious the burn injury, the more compensation you will be entitled to receive.
There are five types of burn injuries: first degree, second degree, third degree, fourth degree, and inhalation.
First degree burns involve minimal tissue damage, and only involve the skin surface (also called "epidermis"). A sunburn is an example of a first degree burn. Common symptoms include: redness, swelling, pain, peeling skin, and charred skin.
Second degree burns affect both the skin surface ("epidermis") and the underlying layer of skin ("dermis"), usually causing redness, pain, swelling and blisters. Untreated second degree burns can develop in to third degree burns.
Third degree burns involve the epidermis, dermis, and "hypodermis," causing charring of skin with coagulated vessels visible below the skin surgace. Third degree burns ordinarily result in permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Fourth degree burns, also called "full thickness burns," burn all the way to the tendons, bones, ligaments and muscles. Ironically, because the nerve endings are destroyed, these burns are not painful.
The fifth type of burn injury involves "inhalation." There are three types of inhalation injuries: heat inhalation, systemic toxins, and smoke inhalation.
Cases involving fourth degree burns and certain types of inhalation injuries usually generate the highest amounts of compensation. The next level down involves third degree burns, followed by second and first degree burns.
Still have questions? Contact us.
If you would like to speak with us about your questions, please contact us. We will answer your questions for free, and with no obligations. If you request it, we will review your case for free, and with no obligations. If we accept your case, you will not owe anything unless and until you win.