Burn Injury

Washington, DC Burn Injury Lawyers

Strong advocacy for anyone who suffers thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation burns

Flames that move across the room in an instant are horrifying, but electrical arcs and dangerous chemicals can be just as life-threatening. Just breathing in toxic fumes can cause a lifetime of respiratory ailments. Burn injury victims may need immediate emergency care at a local burn center or the nearest emergency room. The physical pain is often just the beginning of a victim’s suffering. The emotional scars can be just as deep as the physical scars.

Experienced burn injury lawyers work with fire experts, building code officials, electricians, and other experts to show what type of accident caused the fire, electrical shock, chemical spill, or other circumstance which led to your injuries. At Paulson & Nace, PLLC in Washington, DC, our injury lawyers work with your full team of healthcare professionals to show just how extensive your injuries are and the type of care you’ll need to cope. We have an impressive record of verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases, and more than four decades of service to our local community. Let us help you, too.

What types of burn injury cases do you handle?

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our Washington DC burn injury lawyers understand how devastating burn injuries are.

We file personal injury cases on behalf of surviving burn victims. Our burn injury lawyers demand compensation for all your medical bills, lost income, physical pain and emotional suffering, scarring and disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other damages. We’re skilled at filing and pursuing catastrophic injury claims resulting from:

  • Structural fires. Residential fires are a quite common cause of fires. Some of the many reasons residential fires occur include leaving pots on stoves, failing to extinguish cigarettes, faulty appliances such as space heaters, and failure to use safety protocols around grills and fireplaces. Improper use of propane gas can also cause a residential fire.
  • Vehicle accidents. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles that crash can easily ignite. Sometimes a defective fuel line or electrical component can cause a vehicle fire.
  • Scalding liquids. Many burn injuries occur at hotels, restaurants, and any place that serves or uses hot liquids. Metals and gases can also cause severe or deadly scalding burns.
  • Medical malpractice. Radiation burns can affect patients seeking treatment for cancer. Even surgical procedures are known to cause electrical fires. The hospital, clinic, or device manufacturer may be liable for an OR fire.
  • Worksite accidents. Many burn injuries happen at construction sites where workers regularly work with toxic chemicals.

We file wrongful death cases on behalf of the families of anyone in Washington, DC or the surrounding areas who dies as a result of their injuries or complications.

How common are burn injuries?

According to the American Burn Association, the leading cause of burn injuries is residential fires. Burns due to motor vehicle accidents are a distant second. Per their data, 486,000 burn injury victims receive medical treatment each year.

About 40,000 people are hospitalized each year for burn injuries, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers.

What are the different degrees of burn injuries?

Burn injuries are classified in three ways, according to MedStar Health in Washington, DC:

  • First-degree burns. These very painful burns only damage the topmost skin layer. Generally, operative intervention or extensive wound care is not required.
  • Second-degree burns. Blistering is a sign that a burn is, at best, a second-degree burn. The damage may be deep enough to require surgery. Many victims of second-degree burns only require specialized wound care to heal. Second-degree burns do have a risk of scar formation. Second-degree burns should be treated immediately after an injury.
  • Third-degree burns. Most third-degree burn injuries require operative intervention because the skin layers cannot heal on their own. Per MedStar Health, “All third-degree burns should be referred to a burn center for treatment.”

Some medical practitioners use the term fourth-degree burns for burns that reach into the bone. Fourth-degree burns are usually deadly.

Lincoln Memorial

What are the different types of burn injuries?

According to Stanford Health Care, the different kinds of burn injuries include:

  • Thermal burns. Thermal burns are due to heat sources including steam, hot metal, flames from a fire, and scalding liquids.
  • Chemical burns. Many household and workplace chemicals such as solvents, detergents, alkalis, and acids can cause skin or eye burns.
  • Radiation burns. Exposure to ultraviolet sun rays or to X-rays can cause radiation burns.
  • Electrical burns. According to MedStar Health, electrical burns may be due to stun guns, lightning, and exposure to household or worksite currents. Electrical burns are often worse than they appear. Victims should seek immediate medical help.

Complications from burn injuries

In addition to direct burns, smoke and ash inhalation is a major cause of respiratory and other internal injuries. Smoke inhalation can cause a person to suffocate and can even trigger a heart attack.

More severe burns are likely to cause permanent scarring, too. If these scars form over joints or muscles, they can lead to contracture, a condition where “the normally stretchy (elastic) tissues are replaced by nonstretchy (inelastic) fiber-like tissue.” Not only is contracture painful, but it can decrease mobility or make it difficult to breathe.

In some cases, victims may have difficulty regulating their own body temperatures because their pores will literally fuse. This means they will need to install climate regulation systems in their homes as well as HEPA filters – a pricey renovation.

A burn injury also leaves victims susceptible to infection. This risk may be greater when the wound occurs in an industrial or outdoor setting, and/or if the patient had to wait for care. A serious infection can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening inflammatory response.

Who is liable for accidents that cause burn injuries?

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we file claims against all responsible individuals and companies. Possible defendants may include:

  • The drivers of any vehicles that cause an accident that, in turn, causes burn injuries. The owners may be liable also.
  • A residential property owner or a commercial property owner.
  • A construction site operator/company owner.
  • A manufacturer of a defective product, such as clothing, heaters, electrical products and wiring, and defective smoke detectors.
  • A healthcare facility that failed to implement proper X-ray protocols.
  • A business owner that failed to inspect its electrical system.

We work with experts who can explain why your accident or the death of a loved one should not have happened.

What are the treatments for burn injuries in Washington, DC?

Most acute hospitalizations for burn injuries are treated at burn centers. Acute care hospitals also treat many burn injury patients. Many burn injury victims are treated at burn centers like MedStar Health.

The Burn Center at Med Star Health works with many different healthcare professionals, including:

  • Burn specialist surgeons
  • Advanced Practice Providers
  • Nurses with special training in the care of burn patients
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Dietitians
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Mental health providers

Other burn injury healthcare providers may include plastic surgeons, internists, orthopedic surgeons, respiratory professionals, internists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others.

Surgeries may include initial treatment surgery and reconstructive surgery. Many burn centers have rehabilitation centers for burn injury victims after surgery and for non-surgical victims. MedStar Health also helps patients suffering from pain, itching, tightness, and discoloration associated with burns or traumatic scars. Treatments include “compression and massage, laser scar revision, and surgical reconstruction.” In addition to acute stress, burn injury victims may suffer post-traumatic stress disorders.

These treatments may be necessary for a burn injury victim’s lifetime.

Do you have a burn injury lawyer near me?

We meet burn injury victims at our Washington, DC law office located at 1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW
#810. We have an office in West Virginia, and can meet clients at their homes or a healthcare facility if coming to our office is too difficult. Video conferences are also an option.

Our lawyers understand how traumatic burn injuries are. We exercise compassion with our clients while working aggressively to help you obtain the full compensation you deserve.

Contact our Washington, DC burn injury lawyers today

Severe burn injuries hurt – all the time. If you are suffering from any type of burn injury caused by property owners, manufacturers, or any other responsible parties, our Washington, DC burn injury lawyers have the experience and resources to help you obtain justice. At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we move quickly to investigate the cause of the fire. Our lawyers work with your medical team and you to fully understand how your burns are affecting every aspect of your life. To schedule a free consultation, call us or fill out our contact page. We’re ready to help you now.