Motor vehicle accidents are famous for different types of injuries. But most times, little attention is paid to burn injuries and their impact on a person’s life. This is because improvements in federal safety regulations in the manufacture of vehicles have significantly reduced fiery accidents except in high-impact crashes.
Auto accidents that end in flames have devastating effects on the human body and the car or cars involved. The vehicle occupant with a burn wound faces months or years of treatment, including surgery, skin graft, and therapy. In addition, the vehicle involved would be unrepairable, and any personal effect damaged.
All these lead to significant financial hardships for those involved. Thus, it is essential to know if you can receive compensation for a burn injury in an auto accident. Our expert Baltimore burn injury lawyers discuss this and more in this article. In addition, we offer excellent legal advice and representation to burn injury victims.
What Are the Causes of Burn Injuries in an Auto Crash?
Burn injuries in an auto crash happen in one of the following scenarios:
- Leakage in the fuel system
- Puncture in the gas tank
- Contact with hot water or steam from a damaged radiator
- Electrical burns caused by contact with downed power lines
- Accidents involving semi-truck carrying hazardous materials
- Burns from airbag deployment
Burn injuries are rated based on their severity. A first-degree burn affects the outer skin layer. It is treatable with antiseptic ointments, topical analgesics, and clean bandages. Most first-degree burns from a car crash heal within seven to 10 days.
Second-degree burns affect both the dermis and epidermis and can cause blisters and scarring. They will likely heal within two to three weeks and are pretty painful. Although it rarely requires significant medical attention, the victim needs narcotic pain medication to comfort the burn.
Third-degree burns affect the fatty tissue layer beneath the dermis. It penetrates the body and damages the nerve, leaving the skin black, white, or leathery. There is no general prediction for how long a third-degree burn injury lasts, as the victim requires skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
Fourth-degree burns are pretty rare, and it’s the most severe burn injury type. It damages the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones completely and is mostly fatal. However, victims who survive end up feeling no pain because of extensive nerve damage.
Can You Get Compensation for a Burn Injury in a Car Accident?
Whether or not you can receive compensation for a burn injury depends on your role in the accident. Generally, drivers owe each other a duty of care to drive carefully, obey traffic rules, and prevent acts that cause an accident. When a driver breaches this duty and causes an accident, they will pay damages to the victim.
The preceding is because Maryland practices a fault-based compensation system that allows victims to get damages for their injuries and financial losses from the fault party. Since burn injuries result in severe complications like hypothermia, limited motion range, and breathing problems, you are entitled to get the following compensation:
- Medical bills for emergency care, specialist visits, surgical care, rehabilitation, and pain medication
- Any future medical care like medications, physical therapy, and surgical procedures
- Lost wages during the recovery process
- Loss of earning capacity if the injury makes it hard to return to work or you’re working a lower-paying job
- Pain and suffering covering physical pain, emotional pain, and physical disfigurement caused by scarring
How Maryland Contributory Negligence Law Affects Your Case
Maryland is one of the four states in the U.S. practicing pure contributory negligence. The remaining states and the District of Columbia are comparative negligence states. So, how does Maryland being a pure contributory negligence state affect your compensation for a burn injury?
Pure contributory negligence bars a victim from receiving compensation if they played any role in the accident that caused their injuries. Simply put, even if you have only 1% fault in the crash, you cannot recover compensation. The rule is quite strict and lets drivers with a high fault degree off the hook for their negligent acts. Your best option at this point is to involve an experienced personal injury lawyer who’ll try to get you any compensation possible.
Let Experienced Injury Attorneys at Pinder Plotkin, LLC, Help You!
As a burn injury victim from a car accident that is not your fault, you need excellent and expert legal representation to get the maximum compensation. This is what we offer you at Pinder Plotkin, LLC. Our personal injury lawyers have helped several burn injury and car accident victims get compensation, and we can do the same for you. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.