Burn Injury Attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia
Burn injuries can come from many cases with different circumstances. This includes coal mine explosions, industrial workplaces, motor accidents, and electrical accidents among others. Regardless of the cause, burn injuries should not be undermined. It can cause extreme physical pain, suffering, or even psychological trauma. If you or someone important to you recently sustained burn injuries, you need the assistance of an experienced burn injury attorney.
At Ghaphery Law Offices, we handle clients’ concerns to the best of our abilities. We fight for you to help you get compensated. We have extensive experience practicing personal injury in West Virginia. This allows us to be familiar and skilled with the state’s personal injury laws. If you need help, set up a free legal consultation today!
Basic Rules of Legal Responsibility
Before any decision is made about who is legally liable or responsible, it must first be determined whose fault it was or who caused the accident. Whoever caused the damage will be held accountable for the injuries.
Although personal injury attorneys and insurance companies emphasize that legal liability or responsibility is a complicated case, it can typically be answered by simple common sense. Legal liability will always revolve around the little facts of the incident due to someone else’s carelessness. Or, in the language of the law, “negligence.”
Furthermore, regarding the careless, the applicable laws have basic rules. If the injured person was less careful than the other, then the less careful person should have a portion to pay for the damages sustained by the more careful person.
The Determination of Liability
A minimal percentage of personal injury claims are settled in court rather than beforehand. Inside the court, the injured victim must prove the following:
- The individual who caused the damage had a legal liability, or in other words, the duty of care – to prevent the person injured from being harmed.
- The individual who caused the damage is unable to fulfill their legal liability, thereby committing a “breach of duty.”
- “Causation” is when the accident is caused by another person’s breach of duty.
- “Damages” are the injuries sustained from the accident.
If you negotiate your reparations with the insurance company, you will not be allowed to utilize these legal terminologies to inform them about the accident. The cause of your injury might be apparent; thus, the question will focus only on the amount of appropriate compensation. If one of these circumstances is present in your case, there is a slim chance that you will hear the insurance adjuster apply any of these legal concepts. You will neither use any of them. You will instead talk and negotiate using common language regarding whose fault it was and how much you are claiming for the accident.
However, it is noteworthy that even if you refrain from using any of these legal terms, having a basic legal background may provide little help in processing your claims. Contacting a competent personal injury lawyer can be extremely beneficial.
Duty of Care
The duty of care is considered a legal obligation to prevent yourself from injuring another person or putting their lives in danger. In almost all cases, every individual has the same level of duty of care to other people. The questions remain: how extensive is the duty of care, and to whom do you owe it?
One general instance in which a duty of care should be exercised is when hazardous chemicals are being mixed. Everyone inside the laboratory should ensure no unnecessary burns happen to other people. By common sense, every person should act reasonably to stay safe.
However, in circumstances like this, identifying the duty of care can be complicated. Because, unlike the vehicle code, there are no laws that stipulate how everyone should act inside the laboratory. Although there is a duty of care to ensure the customers’ safety in a grocery store, there are no specific legal rules dictating what the store owner must do to fulfill that duty. As previously mentioned, the law only requires that you act reasonably safe to ensure your safety.
Breach of Duty
It is imperative to understand that every burn injury situation involves a duty of care. The question is whether the individual has fulfilled it. If the answer is no, the law will regard the individual’s actions as careless or negligent. Simply put, an individual can be considered to have breached the duty by allowing a dangerous circumstance to exist that is greater than the usual amount of risk we are supposed to encounter. In all cases, it is critical to determine whether the duty of care was achieved.
In other cases, knowing whether or not a duty of care was breached is not confusing. In a car crash, it is not difficult to prove if the driver did not obey the speed limit and went over it. The witness can attest to the speed of the vehicle. If the court accepts the witness’ testimony, they will conclude that the driver was negligent.
In legal language, the term “damages” refers to physical or emotional injuries. It can also include lost wages, property damage, and others, which someone can suffer from due to accidents.
Regardless of how obvious it is that another person is legally liable for your burn injuries, you can only demand compensation for your pain, suffering, injuries, and monetary losses resulting from the accident. This may appear easy, but many claims are being contested because the liable individual claims that the damages were not caused by the burn accidents. Some might argue, through their insurance company or personal injury attorney, that the damages were pre-existing or had been imagined or exaggerated.
Normally, once you successfully demonstrate that someone breached their duty of care, such as someone who failed to repair the electrical wiring and caused electrical burns to another person, you can establish that person’s liability for your injuries. While this is the situation, consider that the person retains the right to defend himself. Thus, he can legally deny all of your allegations and stand for himself.
The person may claim that he repaired the electrical wiring and that you caused the damage that resulted in electrical burns. Everything can happen; causation is not an all-or-nothing matter. It usually revolves around the person’s negligence, how it contributed to your burn injury, and how much compensation he should pay for it.
Miscellaneous Other Rules on Liability
In most burn injury cases, the liability is determined by the rules discussed in the preceding sections. Any of the following propositions may occasionally guide the basic principles:
- If the negligent individual caused the accident while working for somebody else, his employer might also be held legally liable.
- If the accident is due to a property that is poorly maintained or built, the property owner may be held accountable for the carelessness. It makes no difference whether or not they created the hazardous condition.
- If the defective product caused the accident, the seller and manufacturer are possibly liable if the accident victim has no idea who was negligent in allowing or creating the defect or how it occurred.
- If the accident victim contributed negligence to the situation, his or her compensation may be lowered depending on the degree of carelessness.
Common Causes of Burns
- Hot shower, burn from steam, tipped on hot beverages, or cooking fluids
- Contact with hot objects or flames, such as a fireplace, curling iron, stove, and candles
- Burns from chemicals such as drain cleaner, batteries, or other hazardous synthetics that cause burns to the skin
- Burns from electrical outlets and cords
- First Degree Burn – These burns will turn your skin reddish and sensitive. When that skin area is touched, you will sense pain and irritation. This causes less tissue damage and only affects the top layer of your skin. Nonetheless, it can cause redness, pain, and even swelling. Sunburn is the best example of this category.
- Second Degree Burn – A first-degree burn affects only the top layer of skin, known as the epidermis, whereas a second-degree burn affects the underlying layer next to it, known as the dermis. It will cause not only pain, redness, and swelling, but also blisters. It also causes harm to your hair follicles and sweat glands. Second-degree burns must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can impede blood flow and cause swelling. It could get worse if it does not get treated immediately.
- Third Degree Burn – This type of burn affects not only the epidermis and dermis but also the hypodermis. This can cause blackening of the surface of your skin with a semi-transparent white color and clots of blood vessels perceptible on the upper surface of the skin. Third-degree burns are so severe that they will cause numbness to your skin. The healing process can take time because the structures and tissues of the skin are being destroyed. Moreover, third-degree burns also result in scarring.
In representing you, our experienced burn injury attorneys at Ghaphery Law Offices will execute a comprehensive and thorough investigation of the incident to determine what happened, who made it happen, and, most of all, who can be held legally liable. Our injury law firm will collaborate and coordinate with various investigators to work on your case.
Typically, the investigators will be specialists, such as engineers and fire experts. We can also employ an investigation by state agencies, such as OSHA, for any cases involving explosions or fires in work offices. Our personal injury lawyers will keep an eye on your case during the investigation and get as much information as is sufficient to strengthen the merits of your case.
Why Do You Need A Burn Injury Attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia?
Here are six reasons you should hire an experienced burn injury lawyer for your case:
The case is too much to handle
At the start of the procedure, you might realize that your case is too confounding or too big to handle without a burn injury lawyer. Usually, legal complications and technical processes are very confusing for a regular person to handle. Another reason may be having a severe injury that causes permanent disability. In cases like these, you must ensure you get your compensation justly. Therefore, hiring a lawyer to do the work for you is helpful.
Stalemate With the Insurance Company
In rare cases, you may be able to handle your case competently and comfortably. But you will still need to hire an attorney if your insurance company made the settlement unfair. If you are unwilling to accept the amount they offer and believe your claim is worth more, you will need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
It is relatively common for insurance companies to initially deny that their insured was responsible for the accident. Most of the time, the insurer will argue, hoping you will agree or become so stressed that you will drop and give up your claim. Typically, if you do not allow them to fold your tent, they will make a considerable settlement offer.
However, if your insurance company refuses to relent after the initial denial of all liability, you will require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. You may receive a portion of the compensation if a burn injury lawyer can persuade the insurance company to pay some money.
Your insurance company may also contend the accident is not covered by your policy. In such cases, you should request a copy of your contract or policy and confirm whether or not they cover it.
Although you may see your coverage in your insurance policy, this does not automatically solve the problem. Insurance companies frequently have different interpretations of their documents, and courts will interpret them so that the accident victim will be covered. Hence, if your insurance company denies coverage, seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Suing a government entity, such as a city, town, country, state, transportation, school, or any other local district, is governed by state law. If one of their employees caused the accident, you should follow the doctrine of sovereign immunity and the tort claims statute. It is a fundamental law that you cannot sue the government unless you have successfully established the necessity for doing so. Thus, you must comply with all the pertinent rules and specific procedures governing it.
Even if you complete all the necessary processes, the government might reject any compensation and exercise their immunity against your case. Similar to the insurance company’s coverage denial, a government’s immunity from suit is sometimes used to escape liability. They will suddenly disappear following your negotiation.
It is worth noting, however, that public entities do not disburse public funds easily, and they sometimes rely on immunity in court as a defense. Because the rules governing this process are complex, if the claims adjuster refuses to make a fair settlement due to government immunity, you should consult a burn injury attorney to determine your next legal step.
You Need Prudent Advice
A reasonable interpretation of a particular legal rule applying to your case is essential. For instance, your chances of getting insurance from a company may depend on whether the employee was performing their duties when the injury occurred. The applicable laws and regulations have technical guidelines about the scope and course of employment. Another situation is when you are injured on a distorted sidewalk. Before identifying who may be legally liable, one must look at the tree roots, water damage, or other nearby property.
In either of these cases, it is prudent to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for diligent legal advice and opinion on how the laws on legal responsibility may apply. If the merit of your claim appears to be losing in critical legal questions, you should have a personal injury attorney handle your case.
Call our Burn Injury Attorney in West Virginia Now!
The entire process of seeking compensation for a burn injury is exhausting and challenging. When you have a grave injury, it will be challenging to handle your claim by yourself because you will have to deal with the government or the insurance company. Getting legal assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer is highly recommended.
In Ghaphery Law Offices, we are not just helping you to relieve your stress, but also to help you obtain just compensation. We can guarantee diligent legal service with our years of experience assisting clients with burn injuries. Aside from burn injuries, we also cater to other cases of personal injury, such as but not limited to Car Accidents, Boat Accidents, Dog Bites, Nursing Home Abuse, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury, Back Injury, Insurance Bad Faith, Pedestrian Accidents, Premise Liability, and a lot more!
If you need assistance, schedule a free consultation now!