Has your child suffered a burn injury due to someone’s negligence or carelessness? If so, you may be entitled to compensation to help with your child’s medical treatment and any necessary future or ongoing care.
It is every parent’s and guardian’s nightmare to see their child injured and in pain. Burn injuries can be particularly painful and traumatic. Infants and young children must rely on others to act responsibly and with extra caution to protect them from situations that can cause burn injuries. It’s often not the child who is at fault when they get a burn injury. It’s the adult who was supposed to keep their environment safe or the manufacturer who should have provided safe products, and they should be held accountable for the result of their negligence.
Children in Birmingham need and deserve our protection. When they don’t get it, the Birmingham child injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP are ready to step up to get them the justice these innocent lives deserve. You have every right to expect that another responsible person will exercise the level of care necessary to keep your child safe from burn injuries. You purchase toys and other items marked safe for children with the confidence that they won’t malfunction or create a hazard to your child and cause a painful burn injury.
Don’t wait any longer to pursue justice in your child’s burn injury case. Contact us through our website or call (205) 324-1212 to set up your free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to talk to us and let us review your child’s burn injury case. You and your child have paid enough, and if we take your case, our goal will be to make the responsible party pay you.
Why Do I Need a Birmingham Child Burn Injury Lawyer?
If you believe or have evidence that another individual or company caused your child’s burn injury in Birmingham and try to seek justice on your own, odds are high that you will receive denial after denial. In the best-case scenario, you may receive a call from the responsible party’s insurance company. They will probably talk to you with kindness and compassion, but they must act in a manner that most benefits their client, and that is not you and your child.
The other party’s insurance adjuster is likely to try to convince you to take a settlement. When you are faced with the financial stress of mounting medical bills from your child’s care and know that more bills are on the way, you may be tempted to accept what may seem like a lot of money. However, depending on the severity of your child’s injury, it may not be enough to even cover medical costs, much less any future needs.
Severe burn injuries require highly specialized medical care and rehabilitation that can take months or even years of ongoing care and physical therapy. Many severe burns cause secondary infections, which complicate treatment. The psychological effects of your child’s severe burn injury may require mental health treatment. As a family, your lives may be forever changed, and you may even have to quit your job or take a leave of absence to care for your child.
Many advances have been made in burn treatment, but they come with a high price that can be far more than a typical insurance settlement might provide. The insurance company is more concerned with how little they can get away with paying out than they are with paying what is fair and necessary for your child’s burn injury.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we have a track record of successful insurance company negotiations that result in settlements for our clients of hundreds of thousands of dollars, with many in the millions. We deal with large insurance companies across the country on a daily basis, and they know that we are not afraid to take a case to court and present damaging facts to a jury. That’s the last thing they want, as they may lose more money at trial than if they negotiate fairly with us.
If you try to settle your child’s Birmingham burn injury case on your own, you may say something to the insurance company that implies you were partially to blame. This is not uncommon for parents and guardians because they often second guess their decisions and may feel guilty even when they are not. However, in the state of Alabama, if you’re even one percent at fault for the injury, you are not eligible to get compensation. An admission like that to the insurance company can wipe out any hope of compensation.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we want to make something perfectly clear. You are not responsible for someone else’s negligence or carelessness that led to your child’s burn injury. You have a right to expect adults to act in the best interests of helpless children and for manufacturers who market to children to make those products safe for them. If they don’t and are held accountable, they may act more responsibly in the future and keep this from happening to another innocent Birmingham child.
Some Common Causes of Birmingham Child Burn Injuries
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, toddlers and children under the age of 5 get burns most often from flames, like from playing with matches or a lighter, or from a hot liquid, most commonly water. Most hospitalizations and even deaths occur as a result of burns that happen from hot water directly from a faucet.
Some families live in apartments or homes that don’t have the required smoke detectors that could save a child from deadly flames, and research shows that hot tap water temperatures are even higher in rental homes than in family-owned homes.
Both these types of burns, from flames and hot water scalding, are most often the result of improper supervision.
Other causes of child burn injuries include:
- Thermal Burns – Touching a flame or hot steam or touching a hot surface like a hot stove, barbecue grill, or coffee pot. Fireworks can also cause thermal burns, as can an exploding battery.
- Electrical – Burns from electrical currents that can come from improper electrical wiring, overloaded outlets, sticking objects in an outlet or appliance, like a toaster or microwave. It’s also important to keep children indoors and away from doors and windows during a severe lightning storm.
- Radiation – Sunburns, or burns from too much exposure to other radiation sources, such as x-rays.
- Chemical – Contact with acids, detergents, bleach, and solvents. Common sources for children include toilet cleaners and other common household cleaners. If a child swallows these substances, they can burn their throat or esophagus.
- Friction – Contact with a hard surface like a road or sidewalk or even being dragged across a carpet or floor.
The severity of the burn depends on how deeply it penetrates the skin. First-degree burns are typically superficial, meaning they aren’t as severe because they only affect the outer layer of the skin, and you don’t see blisters. A mild sunburn with a slight change in skin color is an example of a first-degree burn.
Second-degree burns are also referred to as “partial thickness” burns. They go through the first layer and part of the second, or dermis layer. These burns are painful with red skin and blisters.
Third-degree burns are referred to as “full thickness” burns because they go through both skin layers, destroying nerve endings and can even damage bones and muscles. Extensive damage to muscle, bone, and area tendons may be classified as fourth-degree burns and will likely cause permanent disfigurement and disability.
Your child needs to go to a hospital If any of these types of burns cover ten percent of their body. If the same amount of hot liquid spills on an adult as on a child, the child will burn a larger portion of their body due to their smaller size. This is one of the reasons why scald burns in a child can be so serious and deadly.
Child Burn Injury Statistics
According to the World Health Organization, burns rank as the fifth leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children worldwide. Children aged two and younger are at the greatest risk, and since their skin is thinner than that of older children and adults, they often suffer more serious burn injuries. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that 300 children are brought to the emergency room each day for treatment for burn injuries, and every day two children will die from their burn injuries.
26% of all burn center hospital admissions are children under age 16. Children’s undeveloped motor skills and inability to reason or help themselves get out of a dangerous situation places them at a high risk for burn injuries, which is why adults must supervise properly and get them away from potentially dangerous situations. Even being around hot coffee, which is typically served at almost 180 degrees F, can cause a serious child burn injury.
We are fortunate in Birmingham to have the Children’s of Alabama Burn Center, and 97% of burn injury patients who receive advanced burn treatment at one of our nation’s burn centers will survive. However, many won’t recover without painful scars and trauma, and many suffer from permanent disabilities.
Don’t Wait – Call Today
Inadequate supervision is the number one factor in the incidence of child burn injuries. Even children as young as two years old can open a microwave door and remove hot contents. If you leave your child in someone’s care, you expect that care to be adequate for your child’s age and ability.
Don’t let someone’s negligence and a lack of accountability continue to make it harder for your child to recover from their injury.
Contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP through our website or call (205) 324-1212 today for your free consultation.