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Fire and Burn Injuries

Houston Burn Injury Lawyer

A severe burn can be one of the most painful injuries one can ever have to endure. Burns are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Burn trauma can cause lifelong scars and other devastating effects on the victim. Many times, multiple surgeries and continued rehabilitation are needed. The medical bills for a burn injury are extensive and may continue for years to come. At Wilhite & Associates, we understand that this is a devastating situation and our attorneys are ready to help you through this difficult process.

If you or a loved one has been seriously burned or injured in a fire, it’s important to speak with a burn injury lawyer to advise you of your legal options right away. Even if you are unsure whether or not negligence was a factor, or if a personal injury claim is even necessary, it’s best to speak with an experienced burn injury attorney about the specific facts involved with your case. There may be many unforeseen factors that contributed to the accident. A lawyer who is knowledgeable in working burn injury cases can advise you of your rights and help you achieve financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.

Attorney George W. Wilhite is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our firm has been representing seriously burned and injured Texans for over 40 years. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you. At Wilhite & Associates, we provide free consultations to victims who have been seriously burned or injured in a fire anywhere in the greater Houston area, including Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Waller, Grimes, and Washington Counties.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Serious burn injuries can be caused by a variety of different accidents or contributing factors, including:

  • Structural fires
  • Residential house or apartment fires
  • Commercial building fires
  • Outdoor fires
  • Kitchen and grease fires
  • Fires caused by defective products
  • Scalding burns caused by hot liquids
  • Chemical accidents
  • Petrochemical fires
  • Refinery accidents
  • Industrial accidents
  • Electrical burns caused by electrocution
  • Chemical burns caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Motor vehicle explosions
  • Car, truck , SUV, or other automobile fires
  • Fires due to lack of smoke detectors, fire alarms, or sprinkler systems

When one of these situations results in serious burn injuries, the effects on the victim can be lifelong and devastating. If you or a loved one has been seriously burned or injured due to the negligence of another party; contact the experienced attorneys at Wilhite & Associates to evaluate your case.

Types of Serious Burns

In filing a lawsuit or personal injury claim, the type of burn suffered, the severity, size, and depth of the burn, the location of the burn, and the age, size, and health of the patient all play an important role in determining the damages and amount of recovery. A fire or burn injury can result in a variety of different types of burns to the victim, including:

    First-Degree Burns – These burns involve damage to the epidermis or surface of the skin and little or no damage to the internal tissue. The skin will be red and very sensitive to touch or heat.

    Second-Degree Burns – These burns involve damage to the superficial or papillary dermis and may involve the deep or reticular dermis layer. Symptoms include serious redness or erythema, swelling, and blistering of the skin. Treatment for deep dermal burns should always involve attention from a surgeon who is familiar with burn care, skin grafting is sometimes utilized for burns that involve severe hypertrophic scarring or take more than 3 weeks to heal.

    Third-Degree Burns – These burns occur when the epidermis is lost and the underlying subcutaneous tissue is damaged. These burn victims will experience charring, extreme damage to the epidermis, and may exhibit hard eschar or dead tissue. Treatment should always involve attention from a surgeon who is familiar with burn care and will usually require skin grafting. Third-degree burns are always surrounded by first and second-degree burns.

    Fourth-Degree Burns – This is not a medical or technical term. The term “fourth degree burn” is used to describe catastrophic burns that reach the muscle or bone. Third-degree burns will also encompass burns of this nature.

    Smoke Inhalation – The primary cause of death for victims of indoor fires. Smoke inhalation injuries are serious due to the damage and burning of the respiratory system. Victims of smoke inhalation may be overlooked in a rescue situation due to more apparent burn victims; however, these patients may collapse or die due to major smoke inhalation injuries if not immediately treated. These victims are also at serious risk due to possible heat inhalation, thermal injuries, or toxic chemical inhalation.

    Heat Inhalation – Heat inhalation involves serious burning of the respiratory system, lungs, mouth, nose, trachea, and throat. Thermal injuries can be devastating to the upper airways and mucus membranes.

    Toxic Inhalation – This type of injury can result from inhaling systemic toxins such as carbon monoxide. Hydrogen cyanide gas is another toxin that is present in fires and may due to the use of synthetic polymers in building materials. Toxin poisoning may cause permanent damage to internal organs, including the brain.

    Chemical Burns – Injuries resulting from chemical burns can vary from severe skin and tissue injuries, respiratory damage, pulmonary damage, myocardial depression, blindness, to liver and kidney damage. These burns occur when exposed to a corrosive substance, usually a strong acid, base, or hydrocarbon. The most common chemical burns occur from exposure to:

      Acids, oxidizing, or corrosive agents, such as sulphuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrochloric acid, or phosphoric acid. These acids may be found in rust removers, industrial cleaners, car battery fluid, fertilizers, tile cleaners, refrigerants, disinfectants, or detergents.

      Bases (alkalis), such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hypochlorite, ammonia, or phosphates. These bases may be found in oven cleaners, denture cleaners, pool chlorinating solution, household bleach, or many other household detergents or cleaners.

      Hydrocarbons, such as gasoline, degreasing agents, and solvents. These chemicals are protoplasmic toxins that kill cells.

    Electrical Burns – Can be caused by exogenous electric shock or uncontrolled short-circuit due to a high voltage current entering the body. Causes include workplace accidents, being defibrillated without a conductive gel, and lighting. Both external and internal burns may be present. Electrocution Injuries and electrical burns may lead to significant tissue damage, nerve damage, or brain injury.

    Radiation Burns – These burns are caused by exposure to UV light, including sunburns, tanning booth burns, radiation therapy, sunlamps, x-rays, and microwaves. Most common type of radiation burn is sunburn due to exposure to UVA, and the more dangerous UVB wavelengths. Symptoms include: skin irritation, redness, swelling, and inflammation.

    Scalding Burns – These types of burns are caused by hot liquids, water, oils, or steam. Most often, these burns result from exposure to high temperature tap water in baths or showers, or from hot drinks. Also referred to as immersion burns, these injuries may occur when an extremity comes into prolonged contact with scalding hot water. The skin will blister or bubble and fill with fluid as a reaction to the heat and nerve damage suffered by the victim.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a fire, chemical accident, or other situation that may result in any of these type of injuries, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention, even if there are no immediate symptoms. The effects of these types of injuries are serious, life altering, and potentially fatal. When these injuries occur due to the negligence of someone else, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best method of attaining proper financial compensation.

The information provided in this webpage is only meant to provide people with general information about burn injuries and personal injury cases. There is no substitute for speaking directly with an experienced attorney about your own individual situation.

Child Burn Injuries

When children suffer from serious burns, the effects are even more devastating. The road to recovery is usually a much longer and painful process. Children may also face severe scarring, surgery, or rehabilitation therapy. Parents of burn injury victims will also suffer the pain and anguish of having to aid their child through the physical and emotional pain and suffering that will accompany a severe burn injury to a young child. At Wilhite & Associates, we are experienced child burn injury attorneys who care about the recovery process as well as the financial compensation that will aid a young child in leading a fulfilling life after a life-altering injury. If your child has been severely burned or injured in a fire, it’s important to speak with an attorney soon after the injury to assure that your legal rights are protected.

Burn Treatment and Recovery

Short-term treatment for a severe burn may include antibiotics, bandages, escharectomies, or pressure garments. Long-term treatment and recovery may require skin grafts, multiple surgeries, or continued rehabilitative therapy. Severe burns may result in a long-term hospital stay with continued visits and rehabilitation to heal the severe damage of serious burns and scarring. Long-term effects may damage sweat glands and the ability to sweat or cool the body, cause heat stroke, or damage the sebaceous glands, which will affect the skin’s ability to produce vital oils that lubricate and moisten the skin. Severe dryness and the need for clinical lotions may be needed for years to come. Other long-term affects include skin discoloration or changes in sensation.

The most devastating long-term affect of serious burns is pain. Burn patients often experience excruciating pain. Continued pain treatment is necessary to aid the healing process. Skin tightness, numbness, tingling, itching, and burning will accompany a severe burn for months or sometimes years to come.

Treatment for burn scarring may include dermabrasion, dermaplaning, chemical peels, or surgical scraping, where a surgeon will scrape away the outermost layer of skin. This form of treatment may require multiple sessions and is often needed to smooth away scars suffered from severe burns.

Houston Area Burn Units and Resources

The John S. Dunn Sr. Burn Center – The only comprehensive burn treatment center in Houston. This facility provides treatment for patients from around the world who suffer from serious chemical, thermal, and electrical burns.

Blocker Burn Center – The Blocker Burn Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch provides provides comprehensive care to patients with debilitating burn injuries.

Shriners Burns Hospital – The Shriners Burns Hospital provides specialized care to children suffering from complex burn-related problems.

American Burn Association – The ABA is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by serious burn injuries through patient care, education, research, and advocacy.

Wilhite & Associates | Texas Burn Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious injury due to a fire, explosion, auto accident, chemical exposure, or other severe burn injury, contact us to schedule an immediate, free consultation with an experienced attorney. When negligence causes severe burns or other catastrophic injuries that threaten the lives and well being of Houston area citizens, our attorneys are ready stand up for victim’s rights and seek justice. Burn patients will usually require long-term care that can cause physical, emotional, and financial hardship.

At Wilhite & Associates, we’re ready to represent you in a burn injury related case anywhere in the greater Houston area, including: Harris, Montgomery, Fort Bend, Grimes, Waller, or Washington Counties. Contact us today to discuss your case and find out how we can help you achieve fair and just compensation for the damages you have suffered due to a severe burn injury.

Wilhite & Associates, P.C. represents clients from all over Southeast Texas, including:

Harris County - Aldine, Atascocita, Barrett, Barker, Baytown, Bellaire, Brownwood, Bunker Hill Village, Channelview, Clear Lake, Cloverleaf, Crosby, Cypress, Deer Park, East Houston, El Lago, Galena Park, Hedwig Village, Highlands, Hilshire Village, Houston, Hudson, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Jacinto City, Jersey Village, Katy, Kingwood, Klein, La Porte, Louetta, Lynchburg, Nassau Bay, North Houston, Pasadena, Piney Point Village, Seabrook, Sheldon, Shoreacres, South Houston, Southside Place, Spring, Spring Valley, Taylor Lake Village, Tomball, Webster, West University Place

Montgomery County - Conroe, Cut and Shoot, Magnolia, Montgomery, Oak Ridge North, Panorama Village, Patton Village, Roman Forest, Shenandoah, Splendora, Stagecoach, Willis, Woodbranch, Woodloch, The Woodlands

Fort Bend County - Arcola, Beasley, Fairchilds, Fulshear, Kendleton, Meadows Place, Missouri City, Needville, Orchard, Pleak, Richmond, Rosenberg, Simonton, Stafford, Sugar Land, Thompsons

Waller County - Brookshire, Hempstead, Pattison, Pine Island, Prairie View, Waller

Grimes County - Anderson, Bedias, Iola, Navasota, Todd Mission

Washington County - Brenham, Burton, Chappell Hill

The hiring of a personal injury attorney or other civil law attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide which Houston attorney to hire for your case, ask us to send you free written information about our legal experience and qualifications.

This site is sponsored by George W. Wilhite, P.C. Our principal office is located in Harris County, Texas at 17101 Kuykendahl Rd., Houston, TX 77068.

The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own particular situation. The content of this site, including but not limited to written text, images, videos, and informational articles, has not been prepared, endorsed, or reviewed by any form of licensed medical professional, doctor, or physician. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, medical advice. All visitors are encouraged to consult with a physician or other licensed medical professional for any form of medical advice.

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