Serious burn injuries are among the most painful and costly injuries a person can suffer. Burn victims often need to spend weeks or months in a special burn unit to recover, and treatment can include multiple surgeries, skin grafts, or induced comas. If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury in Morgantown due to another’s fault, West Virginia law may permit you to seek compensation.
The experienced legal team at Wagoner Desai, PLLC is ready to help burn victims and their families seek justice for their injuries. Compensation will not take away the pain or the scars, but it can help pay for costly treatment and alleviate some or all of the financial burden burn victims often face in the aftermath of your injury. Contact us today online or at (304) 470-2056 for a free consultation to discuss your burn injury case and how you might recover compensation for your injuries.
About Wagoner Desai, PLLC
Wagoner Desai, PLLC, proudly represents individuals who have sustained burn injuries in Morgantown. We have experience negotiating favorable settlements and securing compensation at trial. While we recently opened our doors, our founding partners, Eddie Wagoner and Chirag Desai, have years of experience representing individuals who have sustained injuries in the Morgantown area, and we always strive to recover maximum compensation on our clients’ behalf. If you need a Morgantown burn injury lawyer, we invite you to review testimonials from our past clients, which we proudly include on our website.
Because of the high-quality legal services that we provide, our legal team has earned significant recognition, both local and national, including from the National Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, Avvo, and U.S. News & World Report.
We are a young law firm, and we bring our youthful energy and passion for legal advocacy to every case that we handle. We provide the high-quality services of a large firm with the accessibility and compassion of a boutique practice. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to prospective clients, during which they can ask questions about their legal options, so reach out today to discuss the details of your accident and determine your eligibility to seek compensation for the full cost of your burn injuries.
Why Hire Us?
If you or a loved one sustained severe burn injuries in a Morgantown accident, reach out to Wagoner Desai, PLLC, today to discuss your circumstances and legal options. We have experience representing injured individuals in a variety of different cases, including those involving burn injuries. Our experience representing large corporations provides us with an important perspective when negotiating with insurance companies and other powerful at-fault parties, such as oil and gas companies, and our trial skills make us confident if your case proceeds to trial. We know how they’ll try to defend their clients—and how they’re legally vulnerable.
You may have even read about some of our past results when they made the news.
Our past success in representing injured individuals in personal injury cases has prepared us well to represent you in your burn injury claim. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, as each case depends on its specific circumstances, we can point to some of our recent results to indicate our experience and skill.
Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients over the years. Call us now to see how we can help you.
Common Causes of Preventable Burns
Every year, tens of thousands of people in the United States sustain burns requiring treatment in the hospital burn unit. The source of a burn gives doctors the information they need to treat the injury and may dictate whether the injury will heal or be permanent. People suffer burns from five main sources: sun, heat, radiation, corrosive substances, and electricity.
Here are more specific details about common burn sources:
Scalding From Hot Liquids
Some of the most severe burn injuries come from hot steam or hot liquids. Anyone can suffer these types of burns, but those who work in the service industry or cook frequently suffer them most often. Children and babies also suffer scalds from bathwater that is too hot, or from being left unattended in the kitchen around hot liquids. Those responsible for hot liquid burns may include restaurants, daycare providers, and landlords.
Sometimes fires and explosions are intentional and controlled, while others are accidental. But even controlled fires can involve negligent actions leading to burn injuries. People who get trapped in a fire typically suffer catastrophic burn injuries, if they do not die from inhaling smoke. Some common causes of fires include bonfires, burning cigarette butts, traffic accidents, electric sparks, gas leaks, and arson.
Hazardous substances may cause injury in many different ways, but hazardous materials with corrosive properties often cause painful chemical burns. Inhalation of corrosive substances may cause internal damage to the lungs. Corrosive substances coming into contact with skin can eat away at the skin and even bone. Examples of hazardous materials that sometimes cause burns include ammonia, bleach, battery acid, and teeth whitening products.
Radiation is a powerful and beneficial medical tool, but can also cause internal damage to patients when misused. Medical professionals use radiation to take x-rays and perform other imaging scans. Oncologists use radiation to shrink tumors in cancer patients. A patient may suffer internal and external burns if a medical professional overexposes them to radiation.
Even skilled electricians who know how to work around electric currents experience burns. The average person who encounters an electric current often doesn’t realize it, and thus faces a higher risk of injury. Poor and old electrical work can cause fires and burn injuries. Children are especially vulnerable to electrical burns if they come in contact with unprotected outlets or other exposed electrical wires.
Understanding How Doctors Evaluate Burns
The severity and extent of your burns affect how much compensation you could receive for your Morgantown burn injury claim. Medical professionals evaluate the severity of burns based on how deep they penetrate through the body. Most people have heard burns referred to by degree, but might not know exactly how injury differentiates between the degrees.
Here is a quick overview:
- First-degree burns impact the top layer of skin and typically only require first aid.
- Second-degree burns penetrate through the top layer of skin and require medical attention. Some second-degree burn victims need skin grafts.
- Third-degree burns are excruciatingly painful and penetrate through all skin. Burn victims typically require surgery, skin grafts, and aggressive pain management. Permanent scars are likely.
- Even more catastrophic are fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns. These burns can extend into the fat and muscle layers, and some expose the skeletal system. These burn victims typically go into shock, remain in a coma to heal, and are at greater risk of dying from infection.
Recovering Damages After a Morgantown Burn Injury
Taking legal action after a burn injury may lead to compensation for your expenses and harms, either in the form of a settlement amount or a damages award after trial.
Any money that you receive could include compensation for these damages or losses related to your burn injuries:
- Emergency medical treatment costs, including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, pain medication, lab testing, and X-rays
- Estimated future medical expenses, if your burn injury led to a permanent disability or condition that requires ongoing treatment
- Costs for rehabilitation, including specialized treatment with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and psychologist to deal with the emotional distress of permanent scarring
- Lost wages for time away from work for treatment and recovery related to a severe burn injury
- Estimated future lost wages if the burn injury prevents you from working
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
Morgantown Burn Injury FAQs
If you or someone you love has suffered burns because of another’s negligence, you immediately face many critical decisions involving matters you’ve never had to think about before. You likely feel overwhelmed, upset, sad, and other emotions that can leave you paralyzed with uncertainty about what to do next. An attorney can provide guidance to handle all of these pressures and to seek the justice you deserve. Contact an attorney to figure out what to do in light of the specifics of your case. In the meantime, read below for answers to some of the frequently asked questions our firm gets about burn injuries in Morgantown.
How much time do I have to take legal action after a Morgantown burn injury?
The statute of limitations for burn injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. In most cases, you must bring a lawsuit within this deadline, with some exceptions. Failure to bring a lawsuit within the statute of limitations puts burn victims at risk of missing the opportunity to recover compensation for their injuries. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced burn injury attorney as soon as possible so you do not miss out on receiving compensation for your burn injuries.
How do I know if my burns are severe enough to take legal action?
During a free consultation with Wagoner Desai, PLLC, the attorney you speak with will evaluate your case and may predict how viable your claim is. A general rule of thumb is that first-degree burns typically heal completely without scars. Unless they cover a large portion of your body, forcing you to miss work, you likely will not take legal action.
Anything more than a first-degree burn has a chance for permanent scarring and severe economic impact from things like medical expenses and missing work. These cases almost always warrant legal action if the burns were due to negligence. Consulting with an attorney is one of the best ways to determine whether you can take legal action in your Morgantown burn injury case and how much you may stand to recover.
How long before my Morgantown burn injury case settles?
Each Morgantown burn injury case involves different facts and circumstances that impact its timeline. Sometimes, burn victims reach an agreement with defendants fairly quickly. In other cases, negotiations fail, and victims must take their case to a final trial in court. You can expect to wait longer before your case goes to trial and the court makes a final ruling and award of damages—but you might collect substantially more than in a settlement.
Some common factors that affect burn injury lawsuits include:
- Liability. Sometimes determining the cause of a burn and who is liable is an easy task for investigators. When liability is clear, a claim may be resolved more quickly, as you avoid the liability disputes that typically slow down the negotiation process. You identify the potentially responsible parties and can bring a lawsuit against them. In other cases involving multiple defendants, matters can become more complicated and can give insurance companies grounds to shift blame back and forth. Serious disputes over liability often result in having to go to trial, which adds to the time someone must wait to resolve their claim.
- Injuries. Your attorney must know the full scope of your burn injuries before placing a value on your claim. Thus, you may need medical examinations and monitoring of your injuries to find out their full impact. This adds time to the process. Whether you have permanent scars or a chronic condition because of your burns will greatly affect the amount of money you might receive. Those who suffer the most serious burns sometimes need to before doctors can give a realistic long-term prognosis and your personal injury lawyer can accurately value your burn injury claim.
- Litigation. Many factors impact whether your attorney will need to take your case to trial. If that happens, you can expect to wait longer to resolve your claim. Preparing for trial, scheduling witnesses, and a host of other technical processes can add months or longer to go to court. Multiple defendants increase the wait time. Trying to schedule eyewitnesses and expert witnesses from multiple parties is challenging and sometimes takes longer than anyone involved would like.
Can I collect punitive damages in my Morgantown burn injury case?
Punitive damages—as opposed to compensatory damages, which make a victim whole—punish a defendant for especially egregious conduct. Courts sometimes award punitive damages in burn injury claims. Recovering punitive damages, however, is generally much more difficult. Under West Virginia law, you must provide a higher level of evidence, and show that your burn injuries occurred because of intentional harm or reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of others. West Virginia limits punitive damages to the greater of four times your compensatory damages or $500,000.
Can I afford to hire a Morgantown burn injury attorney?
Don’t let worries about cost prevent you from getting the legal help you need. Our burn injury attorneys at Wagoner Desai, PLLC, do not charge anything upfront. Instead, we represent clients on a contingent fee basis, meaning we deduct their attorney fees and other costs of representation from any compensation we secure in a settlement agreement or jury verdict in your favor. If we cannot recover compensation for you, you will generally owe us nothing.
How can a Morgantown burn injury lawyer help me?
An attorney can take care of drafting documents, filing paperwork, and other bothersome details of your burn injury case. An attorney can be a strong advocate for you through every step of the legal process. Once your attorney determines you have a viable claim, they can dig deeper into the event that led to your burn to collect all the relevant evidence to support your claim.
They also handle communications with insurance adjusters and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. When settlement is not an option, your attorney can bring your case to trial to fight for you. If you’ve suffered serious burn injuries, contact the experienced attorneys at Wagoner Desai, PLLC today.
Get the Legal Help You Need from a Morgantown Burn Injury Lawyer
You and your family shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden that comes in the wake of a Morgantown burn injury caused by another’s wrongdoing. At Wagoner Desai, we understand the physical, emotional, and economic burdens you face, and we are here to help you seek justice and pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible for your circumstances.
Morgantown accident victims are in good hands with Wagoner Desai, PLLC. Our client-centered practice focuses on personal injury victims, and we always seek maximum compensation on behalf of our clients, whether through settlement negotiations, or if those fail, through litigation. We offer free consultations, so that prospective clients have the opportunity to meet us, discuss the details of their injuries, and determine their legal options.
If you or a loved one sustained burn injuries in a Morgantown accident, whether in a car accident, while on private property, or in an oil and gas accident, you should contact the experienced legal team at Wagoner Desai, PLLC or call us at (304) 470-2056. We are available 24/7, ready to answer your questions and help provide you peace of mind. Let us handle the legal complexities of your personal injury claim while you focus on your recovery.
Wagoner Desai, PLLC
265 High Street, 3rd Floor
Citizens Bank Building
Morgantown, WV 26505
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