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Chicago Burn Injury Attorney

Fires cause enormous financial, emotional, and physical loss. In 2019, fires caused over $37 billion in property damage, claimed 3,700 lives, and caused more than 16,000 injuries. Those are national numbers, but the ratio of fire-related deaths and injuries is even higher in Illinois.

Many people die in fire-related accidents, but many more suffer serious injuries, including burns. Burn injuries can be devastating, with victims suffering from burn-related infections, disfigurement, and chronic pain, among other conditions.

Unfortunately, many burns are caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, a negligent driver crashes into another car, puncturing the fuel tank and causing a fire that burns the other person.

You can’t go back in time and reverse the damage, but you can give yourself the best chance of recovery by hiring a Chicago burn injury attorney. An attorney will fight to get you the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost income.

Results

  • A jury awarded a verdict of $26.4 million to our client who suffered severe burns in a fuel-fed fire following a car accident.
  • Our client was awarded $12.5 million following the death of his son and parents in a car accident-related fire.
  • A jury awarded $6 million to our client, the family of a 14-month-old baby who died of burns in a fire caused by a defective fan.
  • A Langdon & Emison attorney won a $4 million verdict on behalf of the family of a police officer who died in a fuel tank-fed fire.

Legal Representation

Burn injuries can be excruciatingly painful and expensive to treat. When you or your family member are faced with severe burns and steep medical bills, you need someone to stand in your corner and fight to help you recover.

A Chicago burn injury attorney at Langdon & Emison will assist and support you during every step of the legal process, from filing your lawsuit to meeting the negligent party in court. We will thoroughly investigate your case and gather all possible evidence proving that the other party acted negligently and directly caused your injury.

Langdon & Emison will fight relentlessly for you. We will pursue the maximum amount of compensation to help you recover, and we won’t settle for anything less than what you need. If the other party’s insurance and legal team try to undermine your case, we will be there to protect your rights and hold those parties accountable.

For more information and to schedule your free consultation, call (312) 855-0700.

Causes of Burns

Unfortunately, anything that can heat up, provide electricity, or run on fuel has the potential to catch fire and cause severe burns. Especially in a crowded urban area such as Chicago, burns can occur from any number of sources. Some common causes include:

  • Car accidents – Although modern vehicles are equipped with many safety features, they can easily catch fire during an accident. Vehicle occupants may be trapped inside the car and suffer severe burns from the fire or explosion, creating a deadly situation. In Illinois, 13.3% of fire-related deaths resulted from car accidents.
  • Defective products – Any number of products may spark or overheat, creating a fire. Battery or combustible fuel-powered products are particularly susceptible.
  • Apartment building, hotel, or workplace fires – Fires are common in multi-unit buildings such as apartment complexes or hotels. Faulty wiring can cause a fire, putting tenants of the unit and the whole building in danger. Bad plumbing or water heating can also cause serious burns from scalding. The property owner can be held liable if they failed to perform routine and thorough inspections of all safety measures, wiring, and plumbing in the building.
  • Gas explosions – These accidents are common in construction or industrial sites where workers are exposed to incomplete gas lines and flammable materials. Workers may be able to pursue compensation against the contractor, owner, or manager of a site who failed to properly inspect the area or provide appropriate safety measures.
  • Chemical accidents – Chemicals can cause burn injuries that are just as severe or even worse than fires. Strong chemicals can disintegrate flesh or, if inhaled, can cause burns in the lungs, throat, and sinuses. Common substances that cause chemical burns include chlorine, ammonia, bleach, and battery acid.While chemical burns can be avoided by wearing proper safety equipment and having adequate ventilation and cleansing stations, some workers are forced to use low-quality, old equipment, or are not properly trained to work with chemicals. In these situations, workers can hold their employers liable for their burn injuries.
  • Electrocution – Electrocutions can occur just about anywhere – commercial buildings, residences, and anywhere else electrical currents are present. Construction sites are notorious for electrocutions and electrical burns. When a person comes in direct contact with an unshielded or faulty wire, they can suffer severe burn injuries as well as damage to the respiratory, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.

If your burn injury can be traced back to a person or party who was responsible for the design or maintenance of a structure, appliance, or product that caught fire, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for damages.

Burns are serious injuries, and the people or parties who cause them need to be held responsible. If you or a loved one were injured in any of the above accidents, contact a Chicago burn injury attorney at Langdon & Emison to get the money you need to recover.

Types of Burn Injuries

Doctors categorize burns based on how deeply the skin is harmed. They are grouped as first, second, or third-degree. Third-degree burns are the most severe.

First-degree burns

First-degree burns are also called superficial wounds, as they affect only the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Although these are considered the mildest burns, they can still be painful and may require medical care.

It’s important to note that electrical accidents can cause first-degree burns, and although redness may be the only visible damage, there may be underlying injuries beneath. If you were electrocuted or shocked, you should visit a doctor, even if you don’t have visibly severe injuries.

Treatment for first-degree burns may include:

  • Soaking the burned area in cool (not cold) water
  • Applying topical antibiotics
  • Wrapping the area in clean, dry gauze

Second-degree burns

Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and part of the dermis underneath. They are also called partial thickness burns, and the burned area of skin will usually appear bright red, blistered, swollen, or shiny and wet.

Because they affect more than one layer of skin, these burns can be extremely painful, especially if they cover a large area of the body. Recovery can take weeks or even months. Treatment may include:

  • Soaking the burned area in cool (not cold) water
  • Cleaning and dressing the burned area
  • Applying topical antibiotics
  • Receiving a tetanus shot

Third-degree burns

Third-degree burns, also known as a “full thickness” burn, are the most severe. Third-degree burns destroy both the epidermis and dermis and reach the fat layer beneath the skin. These burns can also destroy nerves, leading to potential neurological problems such as numbness and sensory issues.

Burned skin may appear black, brown, or white, and could look leathery or dry. Treatment for third-degree burns depends on the severity and may include:

  • Cleaning and removing dead skin and tissue from the burned area
  • Skin grafting
  • Taking pain medications
  • Receiving intravenous (IV) or oral antibiotics
  • Receiving a tetanus shot
  • Reconstructive surgery

If you were severely burned you should visit your doctor or the emergency room immediately. The chances of recovery can be vastly improved if you receive prompt treatment. If you need help finding a doctor, contact a Chicago burn injury attorney at Langdon & Emison.

Symptoms of Burn Injuries

Anyone who’s touched a hot cooktop or spent too much time in the sun knows how uncomfortable a burn can be. However, burns suffered in an accident such as a car crash, gas explosion, or chemical fire can have serious complications, including infections, circumferential burns, and hypovolemic or hypothermic shock.

Keep reading to learn some of the most common symptoms of burn injuries, but keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. You should speak with a doctor if you suffered a burn and are experiencing these symptoms.

Symptoms of first-degree burns

  • Redness
  • Dry or peeling skin that is painful to touch
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Pain that lasts around 48-72 hours
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Itching

Symptoms of second-degree burns

  • Bright red skin on affected area
  • Blisters on affected area
  • Swelling
  • Skin that is painful to the touch
  • Splotchy or discolored skin
  • Skin that appears wet or shiny

Symptoms of third-degree burns

  • Skin that is white or charred black
  • Skin that has a dry or waxy appearance
  • Numbness or lack of pain (this signifies nerve damage)

Burn Injury Lawyers in Chicago

At Langdon & Emison our lawyers are fortunate to work with skilled doctors and medical teams to get our clients the best possible care and treatment. A Chicago, IL personal injury lawyer will speak with your doctor for an estimated future cost of care to get you the maximum amount of compensation in court.

Our goal is to get you the money you need to recover from your injury. We won’t settle for anything less than what you need, and we won’t get paid until you do. To learn more about your legal options and to schedule a free case consultation, call (312) 855-0700 today.