Chicago Burn Injury Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have sustained life-altering burns due to accidents caused by others' negligence. Our attorneys have won cases for clients who suffered burn injuries due to the negligent actions of property owners and by third parties in work-related accidents.
Our law firm is here to answer any legal questions on this topic, including how to receive monetary compensation if you were injured due to someone else's negligence. We invite you to contact our office for a free consultation so we can explain your legal rights during a case with a Chicago burn injury lawyer.
Burn Victims Face Unique Challenges
A burn is an especially traumatic injury because it can leave both physical (like skin grafts) and emotional scars that impact the quality of victims' lives forever.
Should a burn be the result of a workplace accident, negligent property manager, car accident, other motor vehicle accidents, or defective product design, victims might recover compensation for their injuries.
Insurance companies generally dislike having to pay substantial claims on behalf of their policyholders. So, it is not uncommon for burn victims to encounter resistance when seeking the compensation they rightfully deserve.
Types of Burn Accident Claims and Their Causes
The statistics are sobering. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly half a million fires in 2017 occurred in building structures, with 72 percent of those in residential buildings.
There were 3,400 civilian fire deaths, with 77 percent of those deaths occurring in the home. However, our Chicago burn accident attorneys know that fires can happen just about anywhere, from an apartment complex to your workplace to a car accident while traveling on the highway.
Types of Lawsuits our Chicago Burn Injury Attorneys Handle
We fight hard to prepare your personal injury case for the best possible outcome via settlement or trial against the offender or insurance company.
Many burn injury victims we represent throughout the United States requires immediate medical attention in cases that involve:
- Apartment complex fires (premises liability)
- Motor vehicle accident or car accident fires
- Explosion accidents
- Fires caused by poorly designed products, such as Pam Cooking Spray
- Burns and smoke inhalation resulting from victims being unable to leave the premises because of locked fire exits
- Construction accidents
- Chemical burns
- Thermal burns from scalding hot water or liquid
- Electrical burns on a construction site
The causes of burn injuries in the above examples often left the victims with permanent disfigurement and nerve damage. The severity of the burn case is often crippling, creating permanent or temporary disabilities.
Talk to a Chicago burn injury lawyer today about your burn injuries (third degree; radiation burns; etc.) and potential cases in a free consultation with you and your family members.
Types of Burn Injuries and Their Medical Treatment
A burn is among the most painful of injuries and requires specialized care because the skin contains a high density of nerves. A victim with serious burn injuries might need a surgical skin graft followed by ongoing medical treatment that could cause additional pain.
Cosmetic surgery (skin grafts) might be necessary to minimize the appearance of scars in situations where a burn results in scarring depending upon the type of burn.
According to the American Burn Association, physicians and medical experts categorize burns in four different degrees:
Just about everyone has experienced this mild type of burn at one time or another. These burns are considered superficial and damage only the top layer of skin, known as the epidermis.
First-degree burns are a type of burn typically characterized by redness in the affected area, occasionally peeling skin, and moderate skin pain that subsides after 2 to 3 days. Sunburns, intense friction burns, electrical burns, chemical burn, burns from hot liquids, and non-blistering light burning on the skin are examples of common first-degree burn injuries.
In most instances, these clear up on their own and do not cause long-term tissue damage, but they can still be quite painful and may require medical treatment for you or another person.
This burn causes considerable damage to both the skin's top layer and the layer underneath, known as the dermis.
If the affected area is large, or the burn is on the delicate skin of the face, feet, hands, buttocks, or groin, it requires immediate medical help.
Second-degree burns are classified as either partial or full-thickness. Partial-thickness burns often involve the presence of blisters and wounds that tend to be red or pink, excruciating, and at times appear wet.
Complete healing usually requires up to twenty-one days without the need for grafting, with minimal scarring. Full-thickness burns tend to appear white or red, and dry.
Third-degree burns cause significant deep tissue damage that usually requires surgical repair. It affects every layer of skin, including the epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis, which is the bottom-most layer. These severe burns can also cause significant injuries to blood vessels, nerve endings, muscle tissue, and bones.
Common causes of 3rd-degree burns include fires and explosions; contact with scalding liquids, toxic chemicals or hot objects (such as radiators); and electrical sources. Nearly every 3rd-degree is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment from skilled healthcare professionals to ensure that the body does not lose critical fluids.
The most extreme burns often require hospitalization in a burn unit. As a full-thickness burn, 3rd-degree burns often result in blackened (charred) or white skin, where nerve endings become numb. Swelling often occurs along with eventual yellowing or browning of the skin.
It is uncommon for anyone to experience a fourth-degree burn, usually caused by an electrical accident. This type of burn damages the skin, underlying tissue, bones, tendons, and muscles.
Because severe burns can have such a devastating effect on your health and quality of life, it is essential to consult a lawyer to protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Apartment Buildings are the Source of Common Fire Hazards
One of the risks of apartment living is that despite being entirely responsible and taking all the precautions you can to avoid a fire, you may suffer consequences due to the actions of your landlord or neighbors.
While apartment fires are often caused by tenant carelessness associated with cigarettes, stovetop cooking, and space heaters, improperly maintained buildings are also a significant cause.
According to NFPA, the great majority of home fires involving electrical malfunction can be traced to wiring issues and HVAC systems.
What is My Landlord Responsible for My Burns?
Building owners and managers (possibly even the insurance company) are responsible for taking the following fire-prevention measures as enumerated by the Chicago Municipal Code:
- Proper wiring
- Smoke detectors
- Exit paths
- Fire escapes
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire-resistant doors
Property owners and managers must take every reasonable action to reduce the risk of fire for the safety of occupants and visitors. However, landlords (and maybe their insurance company) often find it far more cost-effective to cut corners and neglect some of these duties, which is illegal.
Should a property owner or another person fail to keep the building to code or provide a safe environment, anyone who is injured due to the negligent behavior has a right to recover compensation from the owner.
When landlords are in violation, and a fire occurs, they may wish to avoid being financially exposed in a case. They will thus pressure or threaten injured victims into refraining from filing insurance claims to minimize their financial liability.
Malfunctioning Smoke Detectors Consistently Responsible for Serious Burn Accidents
Smoke detectors must be installed in the correct locations and operate correctly. NFPA recommends that all apartments be equipped with smoke detectors in each bedroom and just outside of bedrooms and on each level of the home.
Most local governments mandate at least one working smoke alarm in an apartment. Unfortunately, many fires that start in the kitchen go unnoticed for too long because the smoke detector does not go off or is not located in the vicinity of the kitchen.
Additionally, ionization smoke detectors—which are among the most commonly used— may not always detect smoke from slow-burning, smoldering fires until the fire has significantly progressed. Know where all the smoke alarms in your home are located and check them periodically to ensure they are operating.
Workplace Burn Injuries
Burn accidents occur at work, especially if workers are required to operate powerful machinery or work in proximity to flammable materials. OSHA reports that there are over 5,000 injuries every year resulting from explosions or fires on the job.
While workers' compensation benefits provide for the payment of medical expenses and lost wages, injured workers are often denied financial compensation for harm and suffering, diminished quality of life, or scarring.
In such cases, their workers' comp case benefits could be supplemented through a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party entity, the manufacturer of a defective product, or a subcontractor who acted negligently.
Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products
Was the origin of the fire that caused your burn injuries a faulty product such as cooking equipment, heating, or other electrical items? If so, you could bring a product liability case against the maker, distributor, or retailer.
In product liability cases, you can sue anyone on the "chain of distribution." Any person or entity that played a part in its design, creation, or sale from the very beginning until when the product came into your possession.
Products liability actions generally have two claims:
- The design or manufacture of the product was defective, and that caused your injuries.
- The warnings or instructions that came with your product were defective, and that caused your injuries.
Product liability cases with burn injuries are very dependent on the specific facts of the individual case. They examine the design or creation of commercial goods and therefore require expert evidence or testimony, which can be expensive.
No matter what kind of product liability action you bring for your burn injuries, you must allege and prove the following elements:
- The product or product warning was defective;
- You were reasonably using the product for the purpose for which it was intended
- You were injured while using the product
- The product defect caused the injury
Our Chicago burn injury attorneys can evaluate your case and determine whether the facts support bringing a legal action for product defects.
Burn Injury FAQs
Are Burns the Most Painful Injury?
Severe burns can be some of life's most painful injuries any human can experience. Often, a severe burn requires ongoing wound care that could be more painful than the accident.
Medical professionals specializing in burn wounds treat burn victims in surgical units and burn centers. The journey to recovery can be incredibly long and require multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and other treatments to heal.
What Complications Might Result From a Burn Injury?
Widespread or deep burns anywhere on the body can create a host of health complications that require intense treatment and ongoing care. Some complications might involve a bacterial infection, sepsis (bloodstream infection), or hypothermia (shallow body temperature).
What Happens if a Burn is Left Untreated?
Any moderate to severe burn requires immediate medical attention to avoid the development of a life-threatening infection. The doctor will evaluate the burned skin and likely prescribe medications and antibiotics, if necessary.
An untreated infection burn could lead to sepsis (blood poisoning), skin infection, or toxic shock syndrome. A severe burn left untreated could develop severe medical conditions that could be deadly.
What Compensation can I Receive for My Burn Injuries?
Did another's misconduct burn you? If so, you can recover financial compensation for the medical costs, lost wages, damaged property, pain, and incapacity from a case.
Below is an overview of the economic and non-economic compensation a burn injury attorney can recover for you in a lawsuit or case.
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Income
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Disfigurement and Disability
In a situation where your loved one has died due to burns, you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent parties under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.
The Act allows you to recover damages in a case for the loss of financial and emotional support from your family member.
How Long do I Have to File an Illinois Burn Injury Lawsuit?
Illinois gives victims of personal injury, including burns, two years to file their claims. (See 735 ILCS 5/13-202) The law says you have only two years to decide to file a civil lawsuit if you sustain a severe burn through the fault of another party.
The law extends the filing deadline for minors injured in burn cases. The two-year window does not begin until you realize you have a case, but it still takes a lot of work to get a suit ready regardless of when the clock starts which is why Chicago burn injury lawyers can help so much.
Therefore, it is critically important that you consult an attorney and lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
Sample Illinois Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Burns: Settlements and Verdicts
$2 MILLION SETTLEMENT, Cook County, Chicago Il
A33-year-old woman took a shower at her Arlington Heights condo when she was blasted with 152-degree water, causing fatal burns. She was survived by a husband and daughter who brought a wrongful death lawsuit. Allegedly, the water heater had been set at dangerously high temperatures and had been improperly inspected. Travelers Insurance paid the settlement for the condo association and management company.
$12.9 MILLION SETTLEMENT, Chicago Il
Three construction workers at an apartment complex in Willowbrook were severely burned when vapors from a mastic remover used to loosen carpet glue allegedly ignited by the pilot light of an older model A.O. Smith gas water heater.
The device did not have a flame arrest device. Four children survived one of the laborers who died from the events. A second victim suffered burns over seventy-five percent of his body and face, which caused severe injury and necessitated multiple surgeries, and left him unable to return to work.
The third man sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns over twenty-one percent of his body and face. His injuries caused continued neuropathic pain in his extremities and PTSD. The victim resumed working with limitations.
A.O. Smith and insurers for Laramar Communities and Laramar Management paid $12.5 million and the distributor of the mastic remover contributed $450,000. The plaintiffs had previously settled for $2.7 million.
$580,000 JURY AWARD, Chicago Il
A 55-year-old woman sued a cosmetic laser clinic for burns (first and second degree) she sustained after a laser procedure to remove age and sunspots on her hands and forearms.
She contended the operator of the intense pulsed light machine failed to apply any gel between the hand-held device and her skin while performing the removal procedure, causing her to sustain 56 separate burns to her hands and forearms. A jury awarded her $580,000
$928,568 JURY AWARD
A 30-year-old attorney who suffered second- and third-degree burns attempting to get out of a tanning booth at a tanning salon sued the salon for failing to install and set up the booth properly.
A jury returned a verdict of $928,568 as compensation for medical bills, disability, loss of everyday life, and pain and suffering. The award was reduced to $687,140, because the woman was found to be 26 percent at fault for her burn injuries.
Where are the Leading Chicago Burn Treatment Centers?
The Windy City has some leading hospitals and doctors that specialize in treating patients with burns.
The primary Chicagoland burn treatment facilities include the following:
- The University of Chicago Medical Center
- Loyola Medicine
- Cook County Hospital
- Lurie Children's Hospital
Read the next section to learn about leading Chicago Il burn injury lawyers, their law firms, and practice areas as well as what you can learn in a free consultation for validation purposes.
Put Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to Work for You
Were you, or a loved one, burned in a fire, work accident, or any other accident caused by the reckless actions of another person? If so, the Chicago burn lawyers of the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC law firm might be able to help you after a burn injury and can offer a case evaluation no matter what the causes of burn injuries were.
Our Chicago Il personal injury attorneys have assisted thousands of clients after a burn injury in the past on a contingency fee basis. We are confident our Chicago burn injury lawyers can secure the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills, recover lost wages, account for out of pocket expenses, and more. A burn injury attorney can help today.
Contact our attorneys from Chicago Il today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation for legal advice on how to handle your burn injury case. All discussions with our law firms remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Our experienced Chicago burn injury attorneys can investigate your accident case and discuss your legal rights and options in greater detail in a free consultation.
Contact us (our phone number is below) and talk to a Chicago burn injury attorney for more info about your case and as well as for validation purposes.
- Flammable Clothing
- Chemical Burn Accident
- Cold Therapy Burns
- Combustible Dust Explosions
- Electrical Burn Accidents
- Extension Cord Fires & Burns
- Extinguishing Household Fires
- First Degree Burns
- Hot Liquid Burn
- Hot Water Heater Explosion
- Natural Gas Explosion
- Pain Related to Burn Injuries
- Propane Explosion
- Second Degree Burns
- Steam / Water Burns
- Tanker Truck Explosions
- Thermal Burns
- Third Degree Burns
- Treatment for Burns
- Burn Injury Accident FAQs