Oklahoma City Burn Injury Lawyers
Helping workers, residents, and visitors who suffer severe burns due to negligence
Most burn-related deaths are due to residential fires and vehicle crashes. Sadly, too many burn victims die causing their loved ones a lifetime of pain. Survivors of serious burn injuries often require multiple skin graft surgeries. Even in the best circumstances, many survivors suffer permanent disfigurement which often can’t be hidden with clothing or makeup.
Our Oklahoma City lawyers understand how devastating burn injuries can be. The attorneys at Cunningham & Mears fight to get burn injury victims and their families the full compensation they deserve. While money can never replace a life or take away your pain, damages do compensate victims for their financial loss and their medical bills, and can help you protect your family. Let us put our 105 years of combined experience to work for you, so you can focus on a better future. Our personal injury results include a $3+ million settlement on behalf of a young girl who suffered burns on more than 95% of her body and required more than 30 surgeries.
How can we help?
- How common are burn injuries?
- How are burn injuries categorized?
- Why do burn injuries happen in Oklahoma City?
- What are the treatments for burn injuries in Oklahoma City?
- What are the long-term consequences of burn injuries?
- Who is liable for your burn injuries?
- Do you have an Oklahoma City burn injury lawyer near me?
How common are burn injuries?
According to the American Burn Association, 486,000 fire or burn injuries were admitted to emergency departments between 2011 and 2015. In 2016, 3,390 civilians died from fires including, 2,800 deaths from residential structural fires and 355 deaths were from vehicle fires
Sadly, many survivors live with severe scars, life-long physical disabilities, and emotional difficulties.
How are burn injuries categorized?
There are four different degrees of burns, which are categorized by their severity. They are:
- First-degree burns. This type of burn affects the skin’s top layer and the epidermis. First-degree burns should heal within a week or two.
- Second-degree burns. This kind of burn penetrates down into the underlying skin layer – the reticular dermis. Signs include severe redness and blisters. Most patients feel intense pain because the burns affect the nerves.
- Third-degree burns. Signs include charred skin. The burn goes deep down into the subcutaneous tissue level. In one sense, they are less painful than second-degree burns because the burns often kill the underlying nerves. Victims shouldn’t be fooled, though. Third degree burns are more serious than second-degree burns. Victims of third-degree burns usually require multiple skin grafts.
- Fourth-degree burns. These are often fatal. They often reach into the bone and may necessitate an amputation if the victim survives.
Why do burn injuries happen in Oklahoma City?
Determining how the accident caused your burns is necessary to determine who should pay for your burn injuries. At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City burn injury lawyers work with investigators, fire officials, private experts, and the police to show what type of accident caused your burn injuries, and why your accident was preventable.
Some of the common reasons burn injuries happen in residential areas, at work, and on the road are:
- Fire. Many deaths and injuries happen because a homeowner fails to properly maintain or use a home fireplace, a grill, propane gas, heaters, and other flammable devices.
- Scalding. Exposure to excessively hot liquids such as hot coffee or boiling water can cause severe burns. Exposure to gases or steam can also scald someone. Deaths due to the scalding of infants are all too common. Contact with hot glass or metal can also cause scalding.
- Electrical burns. If an electrical current strikes any part of the body, the victim can die or suffer severe shock. Electrical failures often happen because a product was defective, improperly used, or because the user wasn’t properly trained. Electrical burns often happen at construction sites, other work sites, and the home.
- Chemical burns. If toxic or hazardous materials contact your skin, the burn injuries can be catastrophic.
- Vehicle crashes. If a fuel line erupts, the gas can ignite causing a fiery explosion.
- Ash and soot inhalation. It is possible to inhale embers and hot ash, which can lead to permanent scarring in the nose, throat, and mouth. If the throat swells shut because of the injury, a person can suffocate if not treated quickly.
What are the treatments for burn injuries in Oklahoma City?
According to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, the goals of treatment for severe burns are controlling the pain, preventing infections, removing dead tissue, reducing the risk of scarring, and helping the patient regain function. Many burn injury patients are treated at specialized burn centers such as the INTEGRIS Paul Silverstein Burn Center in Oklahoma City.
After receiving initial first aid, the treatments often include:
- Water-based treatments such as ultrasound mist therapy to clean and stimulate the wound tissue
- Fluids to prevent the burn injury victim from becoming dehydrated which may include intravenous (IV) fluids
- Pain and anxiety medications which may include morphine and anti-anxiety medications
- Burn creams and ointments – generally, for patients who aren’t being transferred to a burn center – to prevent infection
- Dressings to help the wound heal
- Drugs to fight infection, including the possible use of IV antibiotics
- A tetanus shot
Many burn injury victims require physical therapy to help stretch the skin and improve muscle strength and coordination. Occupational therapy helps Oklahoma City burn injury patients perform normal daily activities.
If surgery is required, burn injury patients may need breathing assistance, a feeding tube, procedures to ease the flow of blood around the wound, skin grafts, and plastic surgeries. For severe burns, multiple surgeries may be required.
What are the long-term consequences of burn injuries?
Many burn injury victims suffer depression and other emotional disorders as they attempt to manage their pain and live with their disfigurement, especially if their face is scarred. Oklahoma City burn injury victims may benefit from psychological help to cope with any scarring especially if the scars are visible. Many burn injury victims find support groups with other people who have had severe burns helpful.
Severe burns also pose a risk of infection. Scarring can lead to contracture – a condition where the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, etc.) shortens and hardens, leading to decreased mobility and deformity.
Who is liable for your burn injuries?
When you sustain a severe burn injury because of the negligence of another person, you can make a claim for compensation against the responsible party. Our Oklahoma City burn injury lawyers file claims against every person and company responsible for your burns. The defendants may include:
- Property owners and operators. We bring negligence claims against people and companies that fail to follow safety guidelines, building codes, and fail to take reasonable steps to protect their occupants. Whether it is an unsafe store or a dangerous workplace, we can file a premises liability claim alleging negligence.
- Manufacturers and sellers of defective products. If a product was poorly made, improperly designed, proper warnings were lacking, and these failures caused your burns, we bring lawsuits against the makers of the product. This could include faulty electrical wiring, defective smoke detectors, flammable children’s clothing, defective grills and barbeques, and so forth.
- Employers. If you were burned due to a workplace accident, you have the right to claim your Oklahoma workers’ compensation benefits if you are an employee.
If a fire was started intentionally or recklessly, we demand that the wrongdoers pay punitive damages.
Do you have an Oklahoma City burn injury lawyer near me?
Our Oklahoma City burn injury lawyers meet clients at our two Oklahoma City offices located at:
- 5104 N Francis Ave., Suite 102, Oklahoma City, located four minutes by car from Penn Square Mall. There’s lots of parking.
- 9428 Westgate, Suite 102B, in the Brookhaven West part of Oklahoma City. We’re near Resurrection Cemetery and off the Northwest Expressway.
There’s plenty of public transportation. If you are immobile or too upset to come to our office because of your scarring, we will meet you at your home or in the hospital. We also conduct consultations by video conference.
We understand the physical and emotional needs of burn injury victims. We’ll fight for all the compensation you deserve.
Speak with a respected Oklahoma City burn injury lawyer today
We are compassionate about helping burn injury victims. At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City burn injury lawyers work with experienced burn professionals who are dedicated to helping burn injury victims heal, work, and enjoy their lives. We are respected by former clients, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for our impressive record of successful settlements and verdicts. We have the experience, tenacity, and resources to help you obtain justice. To assert your rights, please phone us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.