burn injuries

Have you or a loved one experienced a burn injury due to another party’s negligence? Our team at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP is committed to advocating for your rights and assisting you in securing the financial compensation necessary to rebuild your life.

Dealing with a burn injury can be emotionally draining. Having a dedicated lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal complexities of your case.

We are proud to have served the people of Kern County since 1939, with more than $200 million in fair compensation recovered on behalf of our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation with a burn injury lawyer in Bakersfield, CA, so we can help you.

What Are the Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Bakersfield?

Burn injuries can occur through a variety of circumstances. However, in Bakersfield, the following are among the most frequent causes:

  • Fires and Explosions – As a major oil and gas industry production center, Bakersfield has an increased risk of fires and explosions. Accidents in residential areas and workplaces can lead to severe burns.
  • Vehicle Accidents – Crashes involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles often result in fires, potentially causing burn injuries to the occupants.
  • Faulty Products – Household appliances, electronics, and even children’s toys can sometimes malfunction and cause fires, leading to burn injuries.
  • Hot Liquid and Steam – Hot liquids or steam can cause scalding injuries in both residential and commercial settings, especially in restaurants, refineries, and factories.
  • Electrical Accidents – Bakersfield’s heavy industrial and construction sectors put workers and passersby at risk of electrical burns.

Types and Degrees of Burns

Doctors categorize burns according to their cause. Here are some of the most frequently encountered types:

  • Thermal Burns – These are the most common type of burns and occur when the skin comes into contact with a heat source, like fire, hot metals, steam, or hot liquids.
  • Chemical Burns – These burns are caused by exposure to acidic or alkaline chemicals in liquid, solid, or gas form.
  • Electrical Burns – Caused by exposure to an electric current, these burns can cause severe internal damage even when external wounds seem minor.
  • Radiation Burns – Burns of this type are caused by exposure to radiation from sources like ultraviolet light, X-rays, or nuclear material.
  • Friction Burns – Also known as “road rash” in the context of vehicular accidents, these burns result from the skin scraping against an abrasive surface.

Burns are also classified into the following three degrees based on the severity of the injury:

  • First-Degree Burns – This is the mildest type and affects only the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Symptoms include redness and minor inflammation.
  • Second-Degree Burns – These burns extend to the second layer of the skin, the dermis. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
  • Third-Degree Burns – The most severe burns damage both layers of the skin and sometimes underlying tissues. The damage caused by the burn may appear white or charred and lead to significant scarring.

What Are the Medical Costs for Burn Victims?

Burn injuries can have a profound impact not only on a victim’s physical and emotional well-being but also on their financial stability. The cost of treating a severe burn can be staggering, potentially running into the hundreds of thousands, depending on the severity of the injury.

  • Immediate Care – In the aftermath of a burn injury, immediate care is paramount. This might involve an emergency room visit, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and outpatient care.
  • Rehabilitation – The journey to recovery doesn’t end with immediate care. Rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain mobility and function can take months or years and significantly increase medical costs.
  • Psychological Support – Burn victims often suffer from psychological trauma, requiring professional mental health support.
  • Long-Term Care – In severe cases, victims may require care for quite some time, including home health assistance, medical equipment, or moving to an assisted living facility.
  • Future Medical Expenses – Burn victims may need future surgeries or ongoing medical treatment, adding further to the total costs.

Remember that medical expenses are not the only costs associated with severe burns. They can also prevent the victim from working and earning a living, not to mention the intangible costs such as limited mobility or disfigurement.

Who Is Liable for a Burn Injury in Bakersfield?

The person at fault for causing a burn injury is likely also liable for its consequences, meaning they are legally responsible for compensating the victim. Depending on the circumstances of your burn injury, the liable party might be one or more of the following:

  • A Product Manufacturer – If a defective product caused your burn injury, the company that designed or produced it could be to blame. Potentially hazardous products include appliances, electronics, vehicles, heavy equipment, and cleaning solvents.
  • A Property Owner – Property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for lawful visitors. You could hold them accountable if you suffered a burn injury due to a property owner’s negligence, such as failing to maintain electrical systems or ignoring fire safety regulations.
  • A Driver or Other Road User – If you were hurt in a vehicle accident that resulted in a fire or road rash, the at-fault driver could be responsible for your injuries.
  • Utility Companies – If your burn injury was caused by an electrical accident due to poorly maintained power lines, the utility company could be deemed liable.
  • Your Employer – If the burn injury occurred in the workplace, your employer might be liable, in which case you could be entitled to workers’ compensation.

Several parties could be held responsible for your burn injury. To identify the liable party, it’s important to seek help from a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP with expertise in handling burn injury cases. Our lawyer will examine your case and fight to secure compensation from the responsible party.

Can I Get Compensation for My Burn Injury?

Yes, you may be entitled to compensation if you’ve sustained a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional conduct. Depending on the particular losses you suffered as a result of the burn injury, you could be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Medical Expenses – This includes both past and future medical costs related to your burn injury, such as surgeries, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and medication.
  • Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity – If your burn injury caused you to miss work or has reduced your ability to earn income in the future, you deserve to be compensated accordingly.
  • Pain and Suffering – Burn injuries often cause significant physical pain and emotional distress. While these effects are subjective, they are every bit as real as more easily quantifiable losses.
  • Disfigurement and Physical Impairment – Severe burns can result in permanent disfigurement or physical impairment, leading to long-term psychological and emotional losses.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life – You should be compensated if your injuries prevent you from engaging in your favorite activities or fully enjoying your life as you once did.

Remember, the nature of your claim and the compensation you may be entitled to can vary significantly depending on the specifics of your case. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield can review your case to determine the full breadth of compensation you could be owed.

What Our Bakersfield Burn Injury Lawyer Can Do for Your Case

Knowing someone is to blame for your burn injuries and getting them to pay you for the harm they’ve done to you are two entirely different things. Often, burn victims with strong cases struggle to get the compensation they deserve because at-fault parties and their insurance companies dispute liability, stonewall during settlement negotiations, and throw up bureaucratic barriers in an effort to save themselves money.

If you’re overwhelmed by managing everything on your own, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced burn injury attorney in Bakersfield. At The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP, we are here to assist you with the following:

  • Evaluating Your Case – A burn injury lawyer from our firm can provide an accurate and comprehensive evaluation of your lawsuit, considering all possible avenues for compensation.
  • Gathering Evidence – Next, we can independently investigate your injury, gathering valuable evidence like medical records, accident reports, and witness testimonies to substantiate your claim.
  • Consulting with Experts – Our lawyers have access to a network of professionals, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and economic analysts, who can strengthen your case.
  • Negotiating a Settlement – Let us negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Insurers often try to minimize their payouts, but a skilled lawyer knows the tactics they use and how to counter them.
  • Going to Trial – If the insurance company won’t offer you a fair settlement, heading to court might be the only way to recover the money you deserve. We know how to present your case effectively to a jury with the goal of achieving the best possible outcome.

Dealing with a complicated legal case can be overwhelming, especially when you already have a lot on your plate. You can ease your worries by seeking help from our burn injury attorney in Bakersfield who can help you with the peace of mind you need.