Tampa Burn Injury Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
A severe burn injury from an accident can instantly turn your life upside down. Depending on the severity, you may need extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. You might also face mounting medical bills and financial instability due to lost income. Further, you could be left with physical and mental scars, all because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. But you don’t have to bear the financial and emotional burden alone.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, we can help you pursue financial relief and accountability from those who caused you harm. Our firm works hard to provide our clients with the personalized, compassionate service they deserve. We have a proven record of winning catastrophic injury cases at the negotiating table and in the courtroom, even against large corporations. Our legal team’s experience, resources, and dedication allow us to pursue the best possible results for our clients.
Contact the law firm of Paul Knopf Bigger today to learn how our attorneys can help you. Your consultation with us is free and with no obligation.
What Are the Common Causes of Burn Injuries?
Examples of some of the most common reasons for burn injuries include the following:
- Auto accidents that involve vehicle fires
- Commercial truck accidents involving trucks carrying flammable, caustic, or radioactive material
- Dangerous property conditions that trigger fires or explosions
- Construction site accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective product accidents, including accidents with products that explode, catch fire, or have exposed hot surfaces
- Medical malpractice, including negligent handling of acidic substances, burning patients with hot medical equipment, or excessive radiation exposure
What Are the Types and Degrees of Burns?
- Thermal Burns – These occur due to exposure to hot materials, liquids, or gases. These burns frequently occur from contact with fire, hot surfaces (like an iron), steam, or scalding water.
- Chemical Burns – These happen when the skin contacts materials or substances that trigger a chemical reaction that generates excessive heat or dissolves tissues.
- Friction Burns – These occur when the skin rubs against an abrasive surface. A typical example of a friction burn includes road rash, which involves the skin sliding across the abrasive pavement.
- Radiation Burns – These happen when a person suffers exposure to radiation, including ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, and gamma rays. Sunburns are the most common type of radiation burn, although severe radiation burns can occur when exposed to radioactive materials.
Burn injuries are classified by degrees based on the severity of the injury. The degree of burn injury increases with the injury’s severity. Injuries commonly fall into one of three degrees:
- First-Degree Burns – This least severe type of burn injury affects the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Treatment usually involves first aid and home care, with the injury causing redness and pain.
- Second-Degree Burns – These affect the epidermis and the second layer of skin (dermis), causing swelling, discoloration of skin, and blisters. More severe second-degree burns can cause permanent scarring.
- Third-Degree Burns – These injuries reach the fat layer beneath the skin, causing the injury area to look black, brown, or white. Third-degree burns also damage nerve cells, causing numbness around the injury site.
What Are the Medical Costs for Burn Victims?
The medical costs that burn victims incur to treat their injuries depend on the severity of those injuries. First-degree burns usually need only first-aid and home care. However, second- and third-degree burns often require more intensive medical care.
Common treatments for second-degree burns include:
- Wound dressings
- Burn creams and ointments that help prevent infections, keep the skin moisturized, and promote healing
- Pain medications
- Oral or IV antibiotics if the wound does become infected
Third-degree burns almost always require hospitalization, usually at a dedicated burn or wound care center. Common treatments used for third-degree burns include:
- Water-based treatments, such as ultrasound mist therapy or debridement, to clean the wound and stimulate healing
- Skin grafts to replace tissues too severely damaged to heal
- IV fluids to prevent dehydration
- Antibiotics or tetanus shots
- Prescription narcotics and anti-anxiety medication to help treat severe pain and reduce anxiety or stress
- Surgical procedures, including inserting breathing or feeding tubes, removing necrotic tissue or limbs, or using plastic surgery to approve the appearance of scars and improve the flexibility of scarred areas
- Physical/occupational therapy to help restore flexibility and range of motion to scarred areas
Who Is Liable for a Burn Injury in Florida?
The party or parties you can hold liable for a burn injury will depend on the circumstances and causes of the accident that led to your injury. Here are some examples:
- Auto Accidents – You could pursue compensation from the driver or drivers at fault for the crash. If the driver was on the clock for their employer during the crash, the driver’s employer may be held responsible.
- Defective Products – You may have the right to hold the product’s manufacturer or a retailer liable for your financial and personal losses.
- Dangerous Property Conditions – You might hold the property owner liable for your injury. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, other parties may bear responsibility for your injuries, such as the property’s tenant, a utility company, a property management company, or third-party maintenance companies.
- Negligent Medical Care – You could have a medical malpractice claim against the negligent healthcare provider(s) who injured you, depending on how the injury was caused. If a doctor is found to have caused the injury, the doctor and his or her employer could possibly be held responsible.
Can I Get Compensation for My Burn Injury?
Burn injury compensation can provide you with money for ongoing and future expenses related to your injuries. You can also be compensated for personal suffering or loss caused by your injuries. Examples include the following:
- Medical treatment and rehab, including emergency care, hospitalizations, surgeries, wound care, pain management care, and physical/occupational therapy
- Long-term care or support you may need for physical disabilities caused by your burn injury
- Lost wages/income if you need to miss time from work while treating your injuries or transfer to a part-time or light-duty position because of your medical restrictions
- Lost future earning capacity if you suffer permanent disabilities that render you unable to return to your job or do other work
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Lost quality of life due to disabilities, visible scarring/disfigurement, or reduced life expectancy
How Long Do I Have to File a Burn Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
The Florida statute of limitations typically gives you only two years from the date of an accident to file a burn injury lawsuit. Any lawsuit filed after the statutory deadline will likely be dismissed by the court, regardless of its merits.
If your case is dismissed, you could lose your chance to seek compensation in civil court. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger immediately after suffering a burn injury to ensure you file your lawsuit promptly and protect your legal options.
What a Tampa Burn Injury Attorney Can Do for Your Case
While you dedicate your time and energy to your healing, a Tampa burn injury lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger can handle the details in your lawsuit. We can help you by:
- Investigating the accident that caused your burn injury and securing evidence for your case, such as accident or incident reports, accident scene photos and videos, surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, and accident reconstruction or engineering reports
- Identifying who is liable for your injuries and losses
- Gathering medical and financial records to document your injuries and calculate your ongoing and future expenses
- Evaluating your legal options for recovering compensation, including identifying applicable insurance coverage
- Filing your claims and communicating with insurance adjusters or defense lawyers on your behalf
- Aggressively negotiating for a maximum settlement and taking your case to court and trial, if necessary, to pursue full and fair compensation
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer in Tampa Today
If you were severely burned as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you deserve to seek compensation and accountability from those responsible for your injuries. At Paul Knopf Bigger, we can help you pursue financial relief to help you on your road to recovery.
Let our experienced legal team provide you with the personalized, compassionate service you need during this difficult time. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a burn injury lawyer in Tampa.