Reno, Nevada, is known for its scenic landscapes, lively casinos, and growing technology industry. But Reno is also famous for enduring a massive explosion in its downtown area in 1957. While the city has taken huge strides in improving its safety, accidents leading to burn injuries still happen. Whether a car bursts into flames, a home catches on fire, or a chemical spill or fire tears through a worksite, burn accidents are serious and can prove deadly.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury in Reno, call the experienced burn injury lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. If you decide to retain us, we will fight for justice and compensation on your behalf.
What Harm Can Burn Injuries Cause?
The American Burn Association estimates that 486,000 people received treatment for burn or fire injuries between 2011 and 2015. Burns can cause severe injuries and even death. Each year, roughly 45,000 folks die of burns, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These burns can cause severe injuries to a victim’s skin, nerves, and bone, depending on the type of burn. Such injuries can also cause disfigurement, disability, and even death. Treatment may require months in the hospital, surgeries to graft skin, and extensive physical therapy.
It helps to understand the three degrees of burns. Each degree is classified depending on the burn’s severity and what percentage of the body is affected.
Second-degree burns penetrate both the outer layer and second layer (dermis) of skin. Skin will look red, blister, feel painful, and may shed.
Third-degree burns penetrate all layers of skin and usually damage both muscle and nerve tissue and permanently damage or destroy the skin. Victims may not feel pain because their nerves suffer destruction. The skin may lose layers and look dry, leathery, or charred. Patches of white, brown, and black may appear.
Burns can also cause swelling and send people into shock, resulting in clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and fingernails, and fading alertness.
Electrical burns (from electric sockets and other electrical sources) can cause heart arrhythmias.
In addition, burn victims are highly susceptible to infection of the burns and surrounding areas, because the skin is often damaged or no longer present to serve as the first line of defense against infection. As many as 10,000 people die annually from infections related to their burn injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The four different types of burns are:
Thermal burns, caused by contact with hot material, such as flames, steam, hot metal, or hot liquid.
Electrical burns, caused by contact with an electrical current, such as a socket or downed electric pole.
Chemical burns, caused by contact with chemical explosions, solvents, strong acids, and the like.
Radiation burns, caused by X-rays, radiation therapy, or even by a malfunctioning tanning bed. (A sunburn is a type of radiation burn.)
What Should I Do if I’m Burned?
If you suffer serious burns, from any source, go to the emergency room or a physician immediately. Don’t try to treat anything more serious than a mild sunburn yourself. Doctors know how to diagnose and treat burns properly.
The consequences of not seeking medical attention could imperil your life, especially if you go into shock or the burns get infected.
If someone else caused your burn injuries, it’s prudent to speak with an attorney once you’ve received proper medical treatment. An attorney can establish who or what bears responsibility for your burn accident. The responsible party, whether it’s a driver, a product, a company, an employer, a careless homeowner, or more, may face financial liability for the harm caused.
A lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company for the highest compensation possible, which you will need to pay medical bills and other expenses. A lawyer can also litigate your case all the way through trial, if necessary.
Available Compensation for Burn Injuries
No matter the type of burn or the at-fault party, victims can seek the following in damage compensation, from either insurance companies in the form of a settlement or through trial:
Medical bills for emergency transport and treatment, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitative therapy, prescription medication, dressings, assistive devices (canes, crutches), retrofitting a home for treatment, and more
Income lost from work for any work time you lost as a result of the accident, treatment, and recuperation
The lifetime value of earnings if your burn injuries disable you to the point that you can’t return to a former job
Property damage if the accident damaged your personal property
Pain and suffering for physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
Available Compensation for Deaths That Result From Burn Injuries
Many damages compensate a living victim for harm suffered from a burn accident. But tragically, victims of burns also die. If someone dies from a burn that would have allowed the victim to file a burn injury claim in court had he or she lived, Nevada allows certain survivors to bring wrongful death suits.
Wrongful death suits may seek compensation in these categories:
Medical costs stemming from the decedent’s final illness or injury
Reasonable funeral and burial costs
Lost wages and benefits that the decedent could reasonably have earned had his or her life not been cut short
Loss of benefits to heirs
Personal property damage caused by the accident
Loss of companionship, care, and affection the family members received from the decedent
Parties entitled to bring a wrongful death suit include:
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
The decedent’s surviving child(ren)
The decedent’s surviving parents, if no surviving spouse or child exists
You may file a wrongful death claim if you prove that the decedent supported you for a reasonable time before the death.
If You Need a Burn Injury Lawyer in Reno, Call Us Now
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury from any source in Reno, you need an experienced lawyer to help you navigate the aftermath. The legal team at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, possesses years of experience arguing for the rights of burn victims. Your first consultation with us is always free. Contact us today or call us at our Reno offices at (775) 600-6000.
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“Benson and Bingham I would use a again in the future. Great staff, And very professional. Bernadette my case manager always took the time to get back to me with any questions I had. Lina was great to work with, she would keep me updated on my case as it went along. Bernadette made sure that all my medical bills were paid on time, which made this experience less stressful. This is by far the best personal injury lawyers in the state.” -Todd M.