A burn is one of the most difficult and traumatic injuries a person can suffer. But when a child is the one that suffers a burn injury, the complications and ramifications are often much more serious. Data from the Children’s Safety Network found that fires and burns to children and adolescents result in nearly 300 fatalities and over 100,000 injuries per year.
Such data shows just how dangerous and life-altering a burn injury can be for a child, but it also demonstrates the importance of getting the proper care and guidance when one of these extremely unfortunate accidents happens to your child.
Contact an Experienced Kentucky Burn Injury Lawyer For a Free Consultation
When your child suffers a serious burn injury, it can be difficult even to know what to do next. Depending on the severity of the burn, its placement on the child’s body, and other factors, your child may be in for years of treatment and surgeries to repair the damage from a burn.
While this is certainly daunting, it’s important to realize that you have options and are not alone. A skilled Kentucky burn injury lawyer at Kaufman and Stigger can work to make sure your child and the rest of your family have what they need to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.
Our firm serves clients in Lousiville, Lexington, and throughout Kentucky. Contact us today for a free consultation if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you through this difficult time.
How Are a Kentucky Child’s Burn Injuries Assessed?
Any understanding of burn injuries should begin with how they are assessed. A burn injury in a child is often much more severe, as a child’s body–including its skin and tissue–is still developing and is thinner than that of an adult. Not only that, but there are several factors that go into assessing the severity of a burn, including:
- Type of burn
- Degree of the burn
- Percentage of the child’s skin that is burned
- Where on the child’s body is the burn is
- Whether the child inhaled toxic gasses or smoke
- Whether the child suffered other traumatic injuries, such as broken bones
- Complicating health issues the child may have, like asthma or allergies
Once a child’s burn injury is properly assessed, a treatment plan and prognosis can be put in place. In most cases, this plan will consist of giving your child medications, surgery to repair burned skin or tissue, wound dressings, and physical therapy. If the child suffered more severe burns, you may have to seek treatment for them at a specialized burn center. Treatment plans at these facilities can include pain management, removal of dead skin, and procedures to reduce scarring as much as possible.
Types of Child Burn Injuries and Common Causes in Kentucky
Because there are several different causes of burn injuries, there are also a few distinct types of burns. The most common, especially for children, are thermal burns. These burns occur when the child’s skin is exposed to an excessive amount of heat, such as an open flame or hot surface. Scalding burns from steam or electrical burns are other common types of child burn injuries.
Of these various types of burn injuries, many occur in the following situations:
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Hot metal or other objects
- Electrical currents
- Open flames or heated elements from cooking implements
- Scalding water
When your child is burned, it may not be instantly clear who the at-fault party is or if there even is one. Our team of experienced Kentucky burn injury lawyers have extensive experience when it comes to figuring out who is liable for a burn injury and can use that experience to help determine the next steps legally for you and your child.
Who Is Liable for a Child Burn Injury in Kentucky?
Determining liability for a child’s burn injury in Kentucky is not unlike other injury claims in that it rests on negligence. Proving negligence is the key to any injury claim, but as it relates to a child’s burn injury, it includes two other very important factors: where the burn occurred and how the burn occurred.
- Where the Burn Occurred – The site of your child’s burn injury is important in not only determining liability, but the type of claim you could bring. For example, if your child was burned while you’re shopping at a store, you may have a premises liability claim on top of your personal injury claim. Businesses have a duty of care to keep all their customers, including children, safe while they are on the premises. When they fail in that duty, either through negligence or by accident, and your child is burned by an open flame or unmarked heat source, the store owner and company could be held liable for your child’s burn injuries. By failing to properly warn you about the potential danger, the business was negligent in protecting you and your child against avoidable harm.
- How the Burn Occurred – Obviously, a child doesn’t have the same level of awareness and instincts that an adult does. But what if you are at home and your child is burned by a malfunctioning stove or a furnace? Very likely, you will have a “defective product” claim. If you are able to prove that you were using the product as intended, and the child was simply a victim of a design defect or other malfunction of the product, the manufacturer of that product could be held liable for your injuries.
Child Burn Injuries and Kentucky Injury Claims
Like any injury claim, the state of Kentucky has laws on the books that govern burn injuries and how you can go about securing damages for your child’s injuries. Obviously, a child suffering a burn injury will likely have long-term ramifications for them that will last the rest of their life. These are factored into any damages that you can pursue on your child’s behalf, which include:
- Medical bills, both present, and future
- Future lost wages, should your child be permanently injured or disabled by the burn.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Another factor that is consistent in a Kentucky burn injury claim for your child is the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the legally mandated timeframe in which you can properly file a lawsuit for damages for an injury. Kentucky differs from most states in that its statute of limitations in an injury claim is one year from the date the injury occurred.
However, an injury to the child is different. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations for an injury to a child–including a burn injury–is paused until the child turns 18. This means that you have until your child turns 18 to file a lawsuit. But you don’t have to wait that long.
Consulting with our team of Kentucky burn injury lawyers can get everything in order to file a claim for your child’s injuries and hopefully recover damages for them and your family much more quickly.
Consult an Experienced Kentucky Burn Injury Lawyer
Suffering a burn injury, no matter the cause, is a scary and distressing experience that can leave you feeling hopeless against the circumstances. But when your child is the one that suffers the burn injury, this feeling of hopelessness and guilt can be seriously amplified.
At Kaufman & Stigger, we know how devastating these accidents can be on your child and the rest of your family. Throughout our years of practice, we’ve helped hundreds of Kentucky burn victims through these challenging times. Our compassionate, client-focused approach will allow you to focus on getting your child the support and attention they need to recover from their burn injuries, all while we handle the legal representation against the at-fault party.
If your child has suffered a burn injury in Kentucky, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.