Peoria, located in north-central Illinois, is the state’s third-largest city outside the Chicago metro area and home to about 115,000 people with a metro population of nearly 374,000. About 27% of the population is between 25 and 44 years of age, and hospitals and medical centers are among the city’s largest employers.
We at Mike Agruss Law are proud to serve the people of Peoria in personal injury cases, including when you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury in an accident, and we are fully committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that the other party is held legally accountable when negligence occurs. We will fight until the very end to ensure that you receive full financial compensation for all injuries and losses resulting from the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering, and you won’t owe us a dime for our services. Contact our Peoria personal injury lawyers for a free consultation today.
Burn injuries can occur on the job, at home, or even in places of business. Here are some of the most common types of burns:
Thermal burns are caused by contact with sources of intense heat, such as flames, steam, or hot liquids, and also include: scalds from hot liquids; flash burns from propane, gasoline, or natural gas; flame burns from intense and prolonged heat; and contact burns from hot metal, glass, or coal.
These burns often involve alkali substances and/or strong acids which continue to cause damage until “deactivated.” Chemical burns can be caused by acids and bases found in ammonia, bleach, and other common household cleaners.
Electrical (AC or DC current)
Electrical current follows the path of least resistance, meaning that these burns can extend to other areas of the body than just the point of contact. It is a common workplace injury, especially on construction sites and for professional electricians, and is often caused by damaged/faulty wiring due to the negligence of a company or property owner.
These burns are caused by alpha, beta, or gamma radiation, and some may require decontamination to prevent further damage. They may be caused by severe sunburns or, in a medical setting, improper radiation therapy or x-rays, in which case the victim may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim.
Burns are commonly categorized as first-, second-, and third-degree:
- First-degree burns – These affect only the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. They can be bright red and painful, but generally heal within three to five days, and hospitalization may only be necessary for pain relief and/or fluid imbalance.
- Second-degree burns – These affect the entire epidermis as well as the dermis’s upper layers. They may also be colored and painful, while sensation in the area may be partially or entirely diminished. Scarring is usually minimal and several weeks of healing may be necessary.
- Third-degree burns – Third-degree burns affect and may destroy all layers of the skin, with damage also extending to the subcutaneous tissue. The burn may be dry, black or white, leathery in texture, and severely painful, though some of these burns may numb the nerve endings and instead result in a loss of sensation.
Electrical burns are among the most common shock-related injuries, and can cause greater damage than can be seen and should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Here are some common non-fatal electrocution injuries:
- Burns to the skin or underlying tissue/muscle
- Heart/nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety or problems with memory/concentration
- Problems with balance/coordination
Here are some of the ways that electrocution accidents can result in injury or death, especially in the workplace:
- Buried, fallen, or exposed power lines
- Ladders which come into contact with power lines
- Failure to shut off power before repairing equipment or appliances
- Electrocution involving water
- Battery systems in motor vehicles
Serious burn injuries can occur in a variety of accidents, including auto accidents and in the workplace, and some may require long-term medical care and/or rehabilitative therapy. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person or entity, speak with a Peoria burn injury attorney today.
If you’ve suffered severe burns in an accident, it’s important to seek a full medical evaluation as soon as possible to prevent the injury from worsening and resulting in long-term complications. Here are some of the more serious consequences of these injuries:
Infections – Burn damage to the skin can make it more vulnerable to bacteria and infections, as well as sepsis, a potentially-fatal complication of an infection which can trigger inflammatory responses in the body via the bloodstream.
Low body temperature – Burn injuries affecting a large percentage of the skin can result in lost body heat and inability to maintain body heat, which can lead to hypothermia in serious cases.
Bone/joint problems – Deep burns can cause damage to underlying bones in joints, which can limit movement in these areas. Resulting scar tissue can also cause tightening in muscles and tendons, which can pull joints out of position.
Decreased blood volume – Some burns may damage blood vessels, which can cause low blood-volume and fluid-loss when the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body.
Breathing problems – Smoke inhalation can burn airways within the body, and lung damage can result in long-term respiratory problems and even respiratory failure.
Scarring – Scarring can sometimes result in ridged areas in the skin due to overgrowth of scar tissue, and skin-grafting may be necessary in serious cases.
Burn Injury Lawsuits
If you’ve suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress in a personal injury claim, and loss of consortium may be claimed for your spouse, if applicable. Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
Legal claims for burn injuries come in many forms and may incorporate all sorts of legal issues. Here are a few common factors in a personal injury lawsuit for a burn injury:
As with other personal injury claims, such as for a car accident, burn injury cases must sufficiently demonstrate that the other party’s negligence directly caused or contributed to the accident which resulted in your injury. While presenting this evidence is necessary, gathering it can be a complicated process in itself and may require witness interviews, obtaining opinions and analyses from accident-reconstruction experts, and obtaining documents such as police reports and medical records.
Comparative fault claims
In a personal injury case, the negligent party may claim you were partially responsible for the accident in order to limit his/her own liability. These are accusations of “comparative fault,” and our Peoria personal injury attorneys know how to defend against them and keep the story straight.
Proving the extent of the losses you suffered ties in closely to proving you deserve the damages you are seeking. Common forms of damage include past and future lost wages and benefits, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, short-term or permanent disabilities, and lost capacity for enjoyment of life. Thanks to pay statements and medical bills, calculating past financial losses is relatively simple. Calculating future losses can be more difficult, however, and may require the assistance of medical or economic experts.
How We Help
If you’ve suffered a burn injury in an accident, you may be unsure of how you will resolve the situation. After you’ve received medical attention, consulting with a Peoria, IL personal injury attorney will help you in many ways. Our personal injury attorneys will:
Advise you of your claim’s potential
Not every burn victim will be eligible for compensation in a personal injury case, even for a serious injury; when an individual is entirely at-fault for his/her own accident, for example, no one else can be held accountable. On the other hand, if the personal injury accident was caused at least in part by the negligence of another person or entity, it is likely that you have a solid and viable claim under Illinois law. Injury lawyers may interview witnesses or conduct certain forms of investigation to find evidence of negligence.
Review your options
Some accident victims may expect to file an immediate lawsuit, march into court, and be awarded a large chunk of money from the jury, but this is rarely how the process occurs. There are ways to earn your compensation without this type of litigation, and the few cases which do go to trial usually involve very serious injuries. Our personal injury lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the best-possible settlement for your losses, which is likely to end in your favor without the need for a jury trial.
If or when these negotiations are ineffective, there are always other options, such as filing personal injury claims in civil court or pursuing “alternative dispute resolutions (ADRs)” such as mediation and arbitration. Your attorney will advise you regarding these potential options and what will be best for your case.
Investigate the accident and gather evidence
A legal claim will, of course, require evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused your accident and resulting personal injuries. This may involve multiple investigations, including:
Obtaining video surveillance footage of the accident, if possible;
Reviewing safety records and related documents;
Obtaining medical records and police reports;
Consulting accident-reconstruction experts;
Conducting depositions or other legal discovery methods.
Determine the value of your case
Burn injury cases, as with other personal injury cases, require a specific requested amount of compensation for your injuries and losses, which must be calculated based on past losses incurred as well as estimated future losses, such as lost wages and present and future medical expenses. Burn injury victims may also seek to recover compensation for “non-economic” losses, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Represent you in court
In the unlikely event that a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, a trial will be necessary and you simply cannot afford to do it alone. Under the attorney client relationship, our experienced accident attorneys will fight for you until the very end to earn full and fair compensation.
Contact us Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury or wrongful death in an accident in the Peoria area, you need an experienced Peoria personal injury lawyer. Contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will take care of the insurance company, your medical bills, your property damage, and your lost wages under the attorney client relationship. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Mike Agruss Law works on a contingency fee basis and is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.