Burn Injury Lawyers in Chicago, IL
Victims of accidents that involve fire, often suffer severe if not fatal burn injuries. At Willens & Baez our Chicago burn injury lawyers can help you understand your legal options and rights.
Burns from accidents involving fire can result in life-changing disabilities. Recovery time can mean lost wages and serious burn injuries can mean lost earning potential, medical bills, and long-term medical treatment. Although monetary compensation cannot undo the scars of a burn injury, it can help you and your family with the financial burdens of being involved in such a catastrophic car accident.
At Willens & Baez, with the help of a burn injury attorney in Chicago, we can help you understand what your legal options and rights are. We charge no legal fees unless and until we obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve.
Types of Burn Injuries
Federal regulations for car safety have changed so much over the years that there are fewer fire-related car accidents than there used to be. The issue of fuel containment has drastically improved. However, car fires do still occur and according to the United States Fire Administration, 14.3% of fires that occur are vehicle-related. Of those fires, roughly 20% are because of equipment failures.
There are other instances where a victim comes into contact with hot metal, hot water, or the steam from a radiator. Additionally, there are car accidents involving tractor-trailers containing flammable materials. To reduce risk from these types of injuries, always wait until your car has cooled down and avoid tractor trailers with hazardous warnings on them. Finally, do not carry flammables, especially gasoline, in your vehicle.
Burn injuries differ in severity and type. Managing the pain for a burn can be difficult. According to WebMD there are 3 types of burns:
- First-degree burns – they are considered mild in comparison to other burns. The symptoms of this kind of burn include pain and reddening of the outer layer of the skin. These types of burns should still be documented but can be treated with burn cream or antibiotics.
- Second-degree burns – these affect the outer layer of the skin as well as the lower layer or dermis. The symptoms include pain, redness, blistering and swelling. These can be treated by a doctor.
- Third-degree burns – these go through the dermis and affect deeper tissues in the body. These are severe, causing charred skin that may turn white or black and may also cause numbness. Doctors will treat these more intensively.
If you sustain serious a burn, seek immediate medical care as burns can lead to more serious infections. If you are in doubt regarding the severity of your burn, it is always better to be safe and seek a medical opinion.
If you have suffered a burn injury in a Chicago car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you should be receiving benefits for all of your injuries. A burn injury lawyer in Chicago can help ensure you get full and fair compensation for all your damages.
Burn Injuries Resulting From an Auto Crash
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more automobile fires occur on highways than on streets or roads because of high speeds and congested traffic conditions. Burn injuries often have long-term effects and leave permanent scars.
Common Causes of Automobile Fires
There are various factors that can cause a motor vehicle fire including car defects, driver error, and several other conditions. Driver education can play an important role in avoiding motor vehicle fires. By being aware of the factors that lead to fires, drivers can prevent them from starting in the first place.
- Vehicle collisions: When two motor vehicles collide with one another, the fuel tank of one or both vehicles can rupture and cause a fire. This type of a fire spreads fast and can cause injury to the driver, passengers, and even to others in the vicinity. Car collisions with other objects such as light poles and trees can also cause a fire to spark.
- Fuel tank leakage: Many motor vehicle fires are caused when the fuel tank suddenly leaks or explodes. A leaking fuel tank can trap the driver and passengers inside the car and can cause catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.
- Smoking: Ash from a lighter or cigarette can cause a fire and pose a serious threat to the driver as well as the passengers. It is important never to smoke in the closed confines of the car as it can suddenly cause a fire.
- Defect in the motor vehicle: A defect in one of the auto parts can also cause a motor vehicle fire. Faulty wiring, electrical malfunction, a short circuit, and flammable liquid spills are some of the defects that can cause a motor vehicle fire.
Electric Vehicle Fires
One special type of crash that could cause a serious fire is when an electric vehicle is involved. Electric vehicles present firefighters a unique problem because the batteries can continually spark even after the fire has been put out. Let emergency responders know if your vehicle is electric.
Preventative Steps for Automobile Fires
- Do not transport gasoline in your vehicle
- Keep your car up to date on all the required maintenance
- If there is a gas or oil leak, have it fixed immediately
- Any wiring that is faulty should be fixed
Drive safely even when it is a sunny day. People tend to drive more aggressively when they are not more aware of the necessity of being cautious (i.e. when there is snow, ice, or fog). Trying to get somewhere quickly can lead to an accident and a potential vehicle fire. Add an additional ten minutes to your morning commute to ensure safety in your travels.
What to do If An Automobile is on Fire
- If possible, pull over to the side of the road, park your car, and turn off the car
- Get out of the car as soon as possible and move at least 100 feet away from the car and traffic. Explosions can occur and fire can cause parts of a vehicle to fly off, so consider that possibility when retreating from the fire.
- Call 911
- Do not return to the burning vehicle for personal items
- If there is a fire under the hood of your car, do not open the hood
- Document everything from a safe distance. Take pictures of the scene and the surrounding area. If there was a witness, get their contact information. Do not attempt to get close to the fire to take pictures. A fire investigation unit will do that when it is safe.
- After the accident, make sure to document any injuries you suffered. Take photos of your injury and see a doctor immediately. Inform your doctor of what injuries you sustained from the accident.
Liability for Burn Injuries Caused by a Car Fire
A good Chicago burn injury lawyer will tell you that establishing liability in case of a car fire can be extremely difficult as it is very difficult to examine the burned parts and determine the exact cause. It would take an expert to tell if the design or construction of the fuel system was poor and could not withstand the impact of the collision. An expert can determine if there is any design or manufacturing defect in one of the car components including the electrical wiring, exhaust systems, or other sources of heat.
Knowing Your Rights
A reckless or negligent driver can cause a car wreck that in the course of a few seconds can change your life for week, months or for the rest of your life.
Insurance companies make billions of dollars each year by collecting as much as they can in premiums, then paying out as little as possible when there is a claim. They are notorious for their deny, delay, and defend tactics. To aid your case and ensure fair compensation, make sure to see a doctor regarding the injuries you suffered from the accident. Listen to your doctor and ensure you follow their instructions for caring and treating for all injuries.
No matter what type of automobile accident you have been involved in, contact a Chicago burn injury attorney from Willens & Baez. We want to help and we have the knowledge and experience you need on your side.
Contact a Chicago Burn Injury Lawyer
Call us as soon as possible following your car crash. You may be faced with huge medical bills and lost wages. Talk with a Chicago burn injury attorney from Willens & Baez to learn about your legal options. Call us today at (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form.