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Glendale Burn Injury Lawyers

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Legal Representation for Victims of Burn Injuries

Burn victims suffer severe pain and often require years of agonizing surgeries to attempt to restore damaged areas of the body. The loss of wages, combined with the inability to earn a living, is only one of the unimaginable challenges that a victim of severe burns might face. Often, these injuries are the result of a horrific accident, such as an apartment fire, tanker-truck crash, or defective product. If someone else caused your burns through an act of negligence, you may be able to file a claim against them for compensation, which you will surely need to cover the costs of your injuries.

Unfortunately, insurance adjusters and those who represent the negligent party will attempt to pay out as little as possible. Having a Glendale personal injury attorney on your side is critical to filing a successful burn injury claim or lawsuit. Our legal team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, does not want you to be victimized by an insurance company that wants to pay you less than you deserve after a serious burn injury. We want our clients to recover compensation at a level that allows them to have the finest medical treatment available, and the financial support to maintain the best quality of life possible under the circumstances.

To learn how we can represent you in a burn injury claim, call Aghabegian & Associates, PC, at (818) 507-4311 and schedule a free consultation.

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How Burns Are Classified

First-Degree Burns: First-degree burns are relatively minor and may involve tenderness or blisters in the affected area. These burns are often seen as sunburns or the result of touching a hot surface, where the damage is limited to the upper layers of the skin.

Second-Degree Burns: In a second-degree burn, the damage extends deeper into the skin and can lead to inflammation, swelling, and blisters. Second-degree burns often require medical attention and should be examined by a doctor to ensure proper treatment and to avoid infection.

Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burn are serious. In these instances, the layers of skin have been completely burned and the damage extends to the underlying tissue, such as muscle. The wound may appear black (“charred”) or white. These injuries can result in permanent scars, long-term medical problems, and physical impairment if the skin, muscle, and bone tissue are severely damaged. In some cases, amputation of the damaged body part may be required to protect the life of the victim.

Fourth-Degree Burns: Fourth-degree burns require immediate medical attention, as the trauma has passed into the muscles, nerves, and bones. These types of burns can lead to severe disabilities, limb loss, paralysis, and significant scarring.

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Causes of Burns

While most people are burned in fires, others suffer severe trauma due to chemical and electrical burns. Chemical burns can involve corrosive substances that eat through multiple layers of skin in a matter of seconds. They are some of the most painful injuries someone can go through and almost always result in scarring. Electrical burns can cause similar trauma, but come with the added danger of nerve damage and paralysis.

If your burns were caused by an act of negligence or recklessness by another person, then you have the right to pursue compensation in a personal injury claim. In our experience, the common scenarios that result in serious burns include:

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What Type of Claim Can I File?

Broadly speaking, most burn injuries are covered under personal injury claims, but there are several other types of claims you may be eligible to file. Simply put, you can file a personal injury claim if someone who owed you a duty of care committed an act of negligence that led to your burns. The “duty of care” is legal concept that means people have to behave in a way that keeps other people safe.

For example, landlords have a duty of care toward their tenants and visitors, and should make every effort to protect them from serious injuries while on the landlord’s property. In turn, all drivers are expected to drive safely and avoid reckless behaviors that put others on the road in danger. If someone drinks and drives and hits you, you can file a personal injury claim.

Beyond a general personal injury claim for a traumatic burn, you may be able to file a:

Auto Accident Claim: If your burns were caused in an auto accident, such as a vehicle fire or gas truck explosion that another driver caused, you can file a claim against their liability insurance. In the state of California, you have up to two years from the date of the accident to file an auto accident claim for a burn injury.

Premises Liability Claim: Premises liability claims refer to claims against property owners, such as apartment landlords, shop owners, and building managers. Like auto accidents, you have up to two years to file a claim.

Product Liability Claim: If your injury was caused by a defective product, such as a kitchen appliance that overheated or a faulty lithium battery, then you may have a product liability claim on your hands. Product liability claims are more complicated than most other PI claims because you will need to clearly show how the product was defective or dangerous, which means you must secure the product as soon as possible after the burn. In addition, you will need to show that you used the product correctly or that the product did not warn you of the dangers of a burn or overheating. Like most personal injury claims, you have up to two years to pursue a product liability claim.

Government Tort Claim: If the person or group who caused your burns was a government employee or agency, then you will need to file a government tort claim. With government tort claims, you have up to six months to notify the specific government agency that caused your injury of your claim. From that point, the agency has 45 days to respond. If it does not respond to your claim, then you have two years to file a lawsuit in a California civil court. However, if your claim is rejected within those 45 days, you only have an additional six months to file a lawsuit.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations is different for cases involving children. If your child was burned in an accident, then the statute of limitations is delayed until your child turns 18. Then, your child has two years to file the claim.

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What Is My Case Worth?

The value of your case will vary depending on the extent of your injury. Minor injuries may only require a single doctor’s visit, while third- and fourth-degree burns will require extensive medical treatment. You will be hospitalized if you suffered serious blood loss and, in most cases, will require surgery to repair the immediate damage. In the long-term, victims often require a procedure called skin-grafting, which involves taking healthy skin from one part of the body to replace scar tissue.

Other complications that come with catastrophic burns include the risk of infection, nerve damage, chronic pain, and long-term soft-tissue damage to ligaments and tendons. You may also experience high degrees of pain and discomfort, especially if your burns were on your face or head. Altogether, your treatment can include surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and psychiatric treatment. Just in terms of medical bills, you may be looking at tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, if you do pursue a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover these costs with the right attorney.

At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we make sure to include all your costs in a claim and demand full compensation for your injuries. Not only will we advocate for the long-term costs of your treatment, but also for lost wages from time away from work, difficulties brought on by a disability, and both your physical and emotional suffering. While each case is unique, the damages pursued in a burn injury case can include:

  • Current medical costs
  • Long term medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Household expenses if you were disabled due to your injury

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Why Do I Need a Lawyer in a Burn Injury Case?

After suffering serious burns, it may be challenging to consider the legal problems associated with your case. Over time, memories fade, and vital evidence can be lost or destroyed, so it’s important to retain legal counsel as early as possible after an accident. With the help of a skilled Glendale burn injury lawyer, you can focus on your health and recovery while the legal team handles the pursuit of compensation.

Unfortunately, insurance companies want to give you the lowest payout and without an attorney you may fall victim to this practice. You deserve to recover the maximum in damages. Attorneys will consult with medical experts, financial experts, and others when evaluating your case, leaving nothing to chance.

At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we have the resources, the drive, and the tenacity to help you pursue the compensation that you deserve. We have devoted our lives to protecting the people that make up our community to ensure that they get what they need to put their lives back together after suffering a severe burn. Call us today at (818) 507-4311 for a free consultation.

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Additional Information

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Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.