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Burns and Scars

Burns, while a common household injury, frequently occur in the workplace. This type of injury is characterized by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.

Most people suffering burn injuries recover without serious health consequences, depending upon the cause, and the degree of injury. Serious burns require immediate emergency medical care. Complications and death can result from serious burns.

Burn severity is described as either first, second, or third degree, or a combination of all three. Each degree is based on the severity of damage to the skin, with first-degree being the most minor and third-degree being the most severe. Damage includes:

  • first-degree burns: burn area is red, with no blistered skin
  • second-degree burns: blisters in area of burn with some thickening of the skin
  • third-degree burns: widespread thickness in burn area which has a white, leathery appearance

There are also fourth-degree burns, includes all third-degree symptoms and in addition also extends beyond the skin into tendons and bones.

Burns can be caused by many agents, including:

  • scalding by hot, boiling liquids
  • chemical burns, usually in the workplace
  • electrical burns, usually in the workplace
  • fires

Chemical and electrical burns warrant immediate medical attention because they can affect the inside of the body, even if skin damage is minor.

First-degree burns most often leave no scars. Second and third-degree burns will most likely cause a certain amount of scarring. Some scars will probably fade over time on their own, while other scars will require treatment, including a skin graft.


Where burns and scars, however caused, was the result of another person’s negligence, the injured party will most likely have a claim in law for damages.
In California, a person is liable for injuries caused by his or her failure to exercise reasonable care, in the circumstances, towards another.

Time is of the essence as there are statutes of limitations applicable to all civil claims against in California, whether the responsible party is an individual, a corporation, or a governmental agency, through an employee, such as a bus driver, heavy equipment operator, or police officers. Generally, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury in California. However, if the injury was caused by the State of California, any of its Counties, Cities, any of their agencies, and/or by any employee/s, it is mandatory to give notice of your intent to file a lawsuit as required by statute. This has to be done no later than six months after you were injured. Unless filed in a timely manner you will forever lose your ability to file a lawsuit for damages.

It is important that you consult as soon as possible with an attorney who understands this complex area of the law, who can review issues of liability and damages with you, and make recommendations on the best course of action you can follow. Call to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys.

Pruitt v Alexander

Represented client injured by custodial staff while in prison. Case settled for $500,000 before trial.

Riley v Orange County

Represented client injured by custodial staff while in jail. Case settled for $335,000 before trial.

Confidential Settlement.

Represented client subject to unreasonable search and seizure, and then subject to excessive force, being Tased by a police officer. Case settled for $400,000 before trial.