The Texas Burn Injury Guide was created by Garcia & Ochoa to help those who suffered a burn from a fire or accident get full compensation. Call today for a free consultation.
Burns are extremely painful, even when they are minor burns from taking out something from the oven. Odds are, if you are reading this page, you have suffered something far worse than a minor kitchen injury. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to you because this truly is a difficult thing to have to go through, especially if this was an accident that should have been avoided. If you are severely burned, you may be eligible for a personal injury claim. Our Texas burn injury lawyer will be able to help you every step of the way to get full compensation.
Most Common Burn Accidents
Most of the time, burns are caused by out of control fires. The negligence of not having working smoke alarms, not being compliant with fire cords and/or bad electric work are prime factors that lead to out of control fires. There are two layers of that skin and depending how badly burned they get your injury will be classified in degrees. If you have a first-degree burn, that means the top layer of your skin was burned. A second-degree burn damages both layers of skin, and a third-degree burn damages both layers of skin plus the issue under the skin and sometimes as deep at the bone. You may need skin grafting and will most likely have severe scarring. This can be very costly and take a very long time to recover.
Important First Steps After a Burn Injury
If you have been seriously burned, you are most likely going to be eligible for a personal injury case which means you have several things to prove in order to make it a successful case. That includes proving That there was an individual or entity that had a duty to keep you safe, that a liable party breached that duty, you were hurt because of it, and that your damages are significant.
What You Can Be Compensated For
With any typical personal injury case in Texas, the only damages that you could seek out would be compensatory damages which include past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. With a fire burn injury, you may be able to seek out punitive damages which is a way to punish the liable party. Punitive damages will be considered when there is gross negligence or malicious intent to harm, i.e. arson. In order to collect punitive damages, however, you would have to prove that there was negligence or malice.
If you lost a loved on in a fire incident, you would then be eligible for wrongful death compensation on behalf of the surviving family members who would be emotionally and financially affected by the loss of this person. Those cases are typically reserved for the spouses, minor children, and/or parents according to Texas law.
Obstacles You May Have to Overcome for a Successful Case
It is not always easy to figure out how much compensation you will be entitled to because your injuries may require either a lot of care, or just a little bit of care. We won’t know the particulars until you have finished or come toward the end of your treatment. Your burn injury can affect so many things in your life, including your ability to take baths, go to the beach in the sun, or work in a rigorous environment. We need to take all of that into account and come up with a compensation award, which is a challenge. We may need specialists and experts to come in to testify on your behalf after evaluating your claim. There will be a determination about what your future medical needs will be which is important to your case.
Frequently Asked Questions | Texas Burn Injury Guide
How Do I Find the Best Attorney?
When it comes to choosing a personal injury attorney for your burn accident claim, you should ask the following questions.
One, are you a personal injury trial lawyer? That means that you do nothing but personal injury work. You don’t handle divorces, bankruptcies, and wills. Two, are you a trial lawyer? That means you are a lawyer that will take this case to trial, if necessary. Three, have you done this work before? If the attorney tells you that his is the first time they’ve ever been involved in a fire case, then that’s not the lawyer for you. Four, are you board-certified? Board certification by the state of Texas proves you have expertise in this area. Only three percent of the lawyers in personal injury have board certification.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid Making?
The other day we had a client come in regarding their personal injury claim and asked us, “What are some common mistakes that people make after being involved in a fire incident?”
Some of the common mistakes that we typically see people make is that they don’t report the accident. Reporting to law enforcement is very important in order to have a record of what happened. It’s also important because law enforcement will typically preserve any evidence that’s found on the property, which can be beneficial in your case later.
Another mistake we typically see is that people don’t contact attorneys to seek legal advice, and they don’t contact attorneys who specialize in this type of incident. Also, when insurance companies get involved, they know the reputation of trial attorneys. Selecting a trial attorney is be very important. Insurance companies will come to the table with better offers and better deals for you, knowing the risks that trial could be in their near future.
What Do I Do After I’m Burned?
I had a young man come in the other day who was involved in a serious oilfield accident and received burns. One of the questions he asked was what he should do about his burn injuries. There are several things that need to be done; the most obvious being to seek immediate medical attention. You may need to go to a special burn unit so that can be properly done. If this isn’t done timely, then your injuries may not heal. It’s also important that you follow up with your own family doctor or another medical doctor of your choice to make sure any untreated injuries you have as a result of these burns get properly taken care of.
The second thing that’s also important is to hire an experienced lawyer who’s handled burn accidents and burn injuries. This is important because there may need to be specific investigations that be done. Prior to any investigation, an experienced lawyer will make sure that your employer gets notified. If it happened at a job site, your attorney will make sure that the people in charge of the job site get properly notified and a report is properly documented to protect you.
An experienced lawyer will also make sure that an investigation is conducted, including finding any material witnesses who may have seen it or may have knowledge of how the burn injuries occurred. There may be surveillance videos at the oilfield accident or wherever the burn injury occurred, that they can make sure gets preserved. They can also ensure that an expert is hired to do any investigations.
How Much is My Case Worth?
I have an individual that came in last month that was involved in a horrible oilfield explosion and, as a result, he suffered serious burns. One of the questions he asked me was how he determines the value of his case, and I told him there’s several factors that we need to look at. One of them is what the extent of the injuries are.
How severe and what degree was the burn? Did you have to have skin grafts? What part of your body was affected? Did you lose any vision? Did you lose function of your arms, legs, or any other body part? All of that is going to be important in determining the value of your case.
Another factor we’re going to look at is the harm that was caused. Is this individual going to be able to work anymore? Are they going to be able to accomplish their daily activities? We also need to look to see if they’re going to be able to recover from the burns that they had. Will their skin eventually grow back or will there be permanent scarring?
The last thing we’re going to look at is the amount of insurance that’s involved. Get an experienced lawyer to help answer these questions for you. If you have any questions whatsoever, we are here to help.
Who Is Liable for My Burn?
The other day we had a client come in whose family member had been severely burned in a fire injury, and they wanted to know how liability can be proved for their case. There are investigators and experts who are hired to look into the fire to see who did it, what caused it, and how it came about. There are also electricians, fire marshals, and law enforcement who also can be contacted. Several factors go into determining and helping prove the liability in your fire incident case. We recommend you hire an attorney right away who specializes in personal injury, so that they can help you take care of this and help prove the liability for you.
How Long Will This Case Take?
The timeline for resolving a fire injury in Texas depends on several factors. How severe and what type of burns did you suffer? How did the fire occur? Who is responsible for the fire occurring?
In those cases, you’re going to want to obtain control over the premises where the fire occurred. You’re going to want to investigate it. The fire marshal will be involved. The firemen are going to be involved. The county is going to be involved. The police will probably be involved. These cases are going to take a fair amount of time.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
The other day we had a client come in whose family member had been severely injured in a fire incident. They wanted to know, “Do I talk to the insurance companies who are calling us? Are they going to help us?” Our answer to them is no. Insurance companies are not typically there to help you. In fact, they are only looking to help themselves. If you make any type of statement to them, it will be recorded and used against you later on in the future, which can be harmful and damaging to your claim.
What we suggest that you do is contact an attorney right away to seek legal advice. It’s best if you select someone who specializes in personal injury. Tell the insurance companies to contact your attorney directly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us. We’re here to help.
Contact Our Office Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been seriously burned because of someone else’s negligence, please call our office as soon as possible to get a free consultation where we will go over the details of your case and let you know what your legal rights are.