Dallas Burn Injury Attorneys, Texas
Fighting for burn injury victims and families throughout Dallas and Texas
Burns injuries are some of the most catastrophic injuries there are. Survivors of deep burns are likely to have psychological scars that are just as penetrating as the physical scars. At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas burn injury lawyers understand the trauma of burn injuries. Burn injury victims often require skin graft surgeries and other plastic surgeries. The victims live with depression and anxiety – especially if the burns cause unsightly scars. When you need help, you can rely on us to protect your rights and fight for a better future. Contact us in Dallas today to learn more.
Did you know?
The U.S. Fire Administration recorded 1,291,500 fires in 2019. Those fires resulted in 16,600 injuries and 3,704 deaths. Of those fires, 354,400 were residential home fires, resulting in 1,900 deaths and 7,000 injuries, and 223,000 were vehicle fires.
How common are burn injuries?
Burn injuries cause approximately 180,000 deaths each year across the globe, making them a global health problem, according to the World Health Organization. The American Burn Association (ABA) reports that “every year over 450,000 serious burn injuries occur in the United States that require medical treatment.”
How are burn injuries categorized?
Burn injuries are classified according to how deep the burns are according to the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:
- First-degree burns. These burns involve the skin’s top layer. Signs of first-degree burns include redness, pain when the injury site is touched, and mild swelling. First-degree burns generally do not need further treatment unless the burn injury location is large, on the face, or the victim is a newborn or an elderly person.
- Second-degree burns.These burns, also known as partial thickness burns, affect the first two skin layers. Signs of a second-degree burn include a deep reddening of the skin, blisters, pain, possibly some skin loss, and a “glossy appearance from leaking fluid.” The treatments should be performed by a trained health professional.
- Third-degree burns.This type of burn, also known as full thickness burns, penetrates the full skin depth and causes permanent tissue damage. The signs of third-degree burns include loss of skin layers. Third-degree burns may be painless (unless the victim also has first or second-degree burns) because the nerves are destroyed. The skin feels dry and leathery. The skin may look charred “or have patches that appear white, brown or black.” Professional treatment is required, and will likely include skin grafts, surgical intervention, and other treatments.
Some medical organizations also recognize fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns, which involve the bones and muscle tissue. Burns this severe are almost always fatal, or likely to result in amputation.
What are the types of burn injuries?
According to Stanford Health Care, burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns. These burns are due to external heat sources such as flames or hot surfaces that come into contact with the skin.
- Scalding burns. These are the result of steam and hot liquids and are likely to occur in kitchens or on worksites.
- Chemical burns.These burns are due to alkalis, strong acids, solvents, or detergents that come into contact with your skin or eyes.
- Radiation burns. Overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun or to X-rays can cause radiation burns.
- Electrical burns. These burns come from electrical current, either AC or DC.
What are serious complications arising from burn injuries?
Aside from the very real issue of damaged skin, nerves, and more, burn injuries have other potential complications.
There is a high risk of infection, especially with any partial thickness or full thickness burn. If an infection does occur, it can easily get into the bloodstream, triggering a potentially life-threatening inflammatory response called sepsis. If sepsis is left untreated, it can cause septic shock, a condition with a mortality rate of about 40%.
Those injured in open flames or by toxic exposure also face additional risks of damage to their lungs. Ash, smoke, and chemicals if inhaled can all cause internal scarring of the throat, esophagus, and lungs, which can lead to permanent respiratory distress.
Partial thickness and full thickness burns can destroy the sweat glands and will not be replaced by new ones when the skin heals. Sweat glands play a role in regulating body temperature, and as a result, the victim can have difficulty in humid and hot situations. These burn victims must be careful and avoid certain exercises, activities or working conditions that might lead to a heat stroke.
In some cases, severe burns can lead to a condition called contracture. Over time, burn scars can get thicker and tighter. If this occurs over your joints, it can reduce your mobility. If it occurs over the chest or throat, it can make breathing difficult. Surgery is then required to release the contracture.
Burn injuries and emotional trauma
Few injuries cause as much emotional, mental, and psychological damage as burn injuries. The scarring and disfigurement can cause depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Victims may become isolated and lonely, or scared to leave their home. Their relationships can suffer, and many find themselves unable to work.
What causes burn injuries?
The most common cause of burn injuries is fire. Residential fires accounted for at least 107 deaths in Texas in 2020. The causes of those fires can be numerous, from grease fires in the kitchen, to fallen candles, to exploding grills, and more.
Another common cause of burn injuries, especially in children, are fireworks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “fireworks were involved with an estimated 15,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments” in 2020. The average sparkler burns at about 2,000°F, which is hot enough to melt metal, yet we give these extraordinarily dangerous products to children.
Other causes of burn injuries include:
Worksite accidents. In addition to fires, chemical burns at work are quite common – especially at industrial sites and in laboratories, or anywhere toxic chemicals are used.
Flammable children’s products. Under US law, children’s clothing and toys should be non-toxic and non-flammable. With the increase of online shopping, we are seeing an influx of products manufactured overseas, where regulations may be less stringent.
Defective products. Malfunctioning smoke detectors, defective gas tanks, broken fire extinguishers: all of these items can increase the risk of a burn injury. One common cause of home fires that can result in injuries are defective space heaters. As many as 300 people die each year because of defective space heaters.
Who is mostly likely to suffer a burn injury?
The people at greatest risk of burns are children. A recent publication for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that children aged 0-5 are most likely to suffer burn injuries, followed by people between the ages of 20 and 59 – what the authors called “working age.” Flame-related burns are the most common, followed by scald burns.
While burns injuries are equally likely between young girls and boys, the number changes as we age; men are nearly twice as likely to suffer a burn injury than women. The reason for this change could be the industries in which people work. For example, less than 2% of women work in construction, an industry that puts people at risk of thermal, electrical, scalding, and chemical burns. Approximately 15% of oil and gas workers are women, another industry that has significant risks of fires and explosions.
Who is responsible for burn injuries caused by negligence?
At Slack Davis Sanger, our experienced burn injury attorneys investigate what caused your burn injuries, and who is responsible. We work with investigators, fire professionals, and burn injury specialists. We research whether any building codes were violated, or other federal, state, or local laws were violated.
Some of the people or companies that may be responsible include:
- A driver or car owner who causes a truck accident or a car accident.
- A residential or commercial property owner.
- An employer.
- A manufacturer of a dangerous product such as faulty smoke detectors, defective electrical wiring or products, flammable clothing, poorly made heaters, and many other defective products.
- Healthcare providers may be liable for radiation burns or other types of burns.
If your employer caused the fire, Slack Davis Sanger may be able to help you bring a personal injury claim against him or her. Contact us to learn more.
Who treats Dallas burn injury victims?
Burn injury victims often need care from many different healthcare providers such as:
- Plastic surgeons
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Infectious disease specialists
- Rehabilitation nurses who specialize in burn care
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Different types of therapists including physical therapists, occupational therapists, vocational therapists, and respiratory therapists
These treatments may continue for an accident victim’s lifetime. The Parkland Burn Center in Dallas is the only burn center in North Texas that has been verified by the American Burn Association for its work with adult and pediatric burn victims.
How can your Dallas burn injury lawyers help me?
Slack Davis Sanger has earned a reputation for its fierce advocacy on behalf of catastrophic injury victims and the families who support them. We have an on-staff Legal Nurse Consultant who can analyze your medical records, which we use to show the severity of your injuries and the lifetime costs – both economic and non-economic – of living with a burn injury. We conduct extensive discovery to help prove fault and justify your claim for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, disfigurement, and all other damages the law permits. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success negotiating settlements for our clients. We prepare each case for trial so we’re ready to present your best case before the jury.
Call our Dallas burn injury lawyers today
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas burn injury lawyers are ready to help you after you have suffered a catastrophic injury. No matter who is responsible for your burn injuries, we will fight to hold them accountable. To discuss how our lawyers can assist you in your efforts to collect damages, or to schedule a free case review, please call 888-340-4028 or complete our contact form.
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Main Dallas Practice Areas