Houston Burn Injury Lawyer
Legally Reviewed By: Jud Waltman
Serious burn injuries can occur in a matter of seconds, but the effects are long-lasting. In 2017, 489,000 patients in the United States visited emergency rooms because of burn accidents. Approximately 20,000 burn injury victims experience burns over 25% or more of their bodies, and 4,500 die.
Recovery is a long process involving multiple medical procedures and potential skin grafts. If you or your child has experienced a burn injury, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The attorneys at Lanier Law Firm have extensive experience helping clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Where do most burns occur?
Burns most commonly occur in homes, at work, and in motor vehicle accidents, with 73% occurring in the home. Children and the elderly are most at risk. Burns in the home can stem from house fires, chemicals, scalding liquids, and appliances.
Burns occur from workplace accidents 8% of the time. Thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns are the most common types of occupational burns. According to OSHA, 5,000 occupational burn injuries per year are caused by fires and explosions. These injuries were most often caused by unenforced safety regulations, inexperience, poor safety training, and employee non-compliance.
One study at a tertiary burn center found the highest percentage of occupational burn accident victims was construction site workers. The majority were young males with less than five years of construction experience. Lack of protective equipment and negligence were among the leading contributing factors.
Construction workers often handle faulty electrical equipment, placing them at risk of dangerous electrical burns. They face fire hazards through friction and chemicals and often work outdoors, exposing them to sunburn.
Construction workers have a duty to one another to follow safety protocols, and employers have a duty to provide safe conditions and equipment.
Oilfields and Oil Rigs
Oil rigs are especially hazardous because of the potential for explosions caused by the ignition of flammable gases and vapors. The magnitude and sudden nature of these explosions underscore the importance of safety protocols.
The oil rig injury attorneys at Lanier Law Firm have vast experience representing clients who have been injured in the oilfield. We know how to hold oil companies accountable for neglecting the safety of their workers. In fact, we represent injured workers not only in Houston but also in West Texas, where oil company negligence is rampant.
Roads and Highways
Trucks hauling oil and gas are especially hazardous because of the potential for a massive explosion in the event of an accident. The Houston truck accident lawyers at Lanier Law are dedicated to ensuring that those responsible pay maximum compensation.
In addition to the dangers posed by the expanding oil and gas industry in the West Texas basin, car accidents cause burn injuries on Houston roads and highways. Approximately 5% of burn injuries occur in motor vehicle crashes.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
The main types of burn injuries are caused by heat, chemicals, radiation, electricity, or the sun. In the home, the following hazards commonly cause burn injuries:
- Appliances that get hot, such as stoves and irons
- Scalding liquids from improperly set water heaters, defective faucets, and poorly maintained heating and cooling equipment
- Household chemicals
- Coin-sized batteries
- Playground equipment
Complications Caused by Burns
Burns are classified as first, second, or third degree.
- First-degree burns – redness that affects the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin
- Second-degree burns – affect both layers of the skin, the dermis and the epidermis, and may cause swelling with red, white, or splotchy skin plus blisters and severe pain; may cause scarring
- Third-degree burns – the most serious type of burn, a severe burn that reaches the fat layer beneath the skin and may cause a leathery appearance and numbness due to nerve damage
First-degree burns heal on their own without complication as long as they do not cover a large area, but second-degree, third-degree, and widespread burns require medical treatment. Without immediate treatment, the following complications could develop:
- Bacterial infection
- Fluid and blood loss
- Respiratory complications
- Permanent scars
- Bone and joint issues
Who Is liable for burn injuries?
Liability lies with any company, vehicle owner, or premises owner when their negligence or the negligence of their employees or agents cause or contribute to the injury. Product manufacturers could be liable if a defective product causes injury. Texas law allows burn victims to recover damages in a personal injury claim as long as they are not more than 50% at fault for the injury.
If you rent your home, your landlord must provide a safe environment that meets minimum housing standards. Landlord obligations include the following:
- Properly installed and functioning smoke detectors
- Sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings
- Timely repairs of fixtures or appliances in the home
Texas employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation. You can file a lawsuit against any employer who does not carry workers’ compensation, but you will need to prove employer negligence. If you prevail, you could receive substantial compensation.
If your employer has workers’ compensation, you can collect benefits, including medical bills and wages, without proving your employer was at fault. The employer is protected from lawsuits except in cases of gross negligence.
How long do I have to file a burn injury lawsuit?
The statute of limitations to initiate legal action for burn injury cases in Texas is two years. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured so your attorney can investigate your case while the information is still fresh.
What to Do if You or Your Child Is Burned
Serious burns are traumatic, but it is imperative to act quickly and avoid panicking.
- Seek medical attention. This is the most important step. Early medical care can contribute significantly to recovery. Even if you do not think your injuries are serious, you will need the medical record to prove your personal injury case.
- Obtain pictures of the injuries. Try to include pictures before and after treatment.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. The sooner you contact an experienced burn injury attorney, the better.
Houston Resources for Burn Victims
Any Houston emergency room is equipped to address burn injuries, but Houston and Galveston are home to renowned burn injury hospitals and post-burn support facilities.
- The John S. Dunn Burn Center, located on the 5th floor of the Sarofim Pavilion at the
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, located at:
6411 Fanning Street Houston, Texas 77030
- Shriners Hospital Burn Center specializes in treating burn-injured children. Located on the campus of the University of
Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, their address and contact information is as follows:
815 Market Street Galveston, Texas 77550
How much is my burn case worth?
The amount of compensation you could receive varies based on the severity and impact of your burns, insurance coverage limits, and multiple factors. You could receive up to three types of compensation:
- Economic damages – monetary losses such as medical expenses, the cost of ongoing care, and lost wages
- Non-economic damages – non-monetary damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of society
- Exemplary damages – punitive damages awarded when you can prove your injuries were the result of gross negligence, fraud, or malice by the liable party
Do I need a Houston burn injury attorney?
If you or a loved one has experienced a serious burn injury because of someone else’s negligence, an experienced Houston personal injury attorney can spare you the overwhelming challenge of navigating the complex personal injury laws on your own.
If you do not have an attorney, the insurance company and negligent party may pressure you to accept a low settlement or attempt to get you to admit fault. You could accidentally sign a document that waives your right to compensation altogether.
Your case may require the testimony of expert witnesses, a professional investigation, and scrutiny of medical records. At Lanier Law Firm, these resources are readily available through our network. We can also draw upon our experience to help you anticipate your future medical costs and needs to ensure you seek the correct amount of compensation.
Our resourcefulness and dedication have helped us win billions on behalf of our clients. We have been ranked one of the best law firms in the nation by the US News and World Report. Many of our lawyers have been designated Best Lawyers in America.
These recognitions are the result of our consistently tireless and unrelenting advocacy for our clients. If you have suffered a severe burn injury, call us today at (713) 715-4167 for a free consultation, or use our convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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