Burn Lawyer

Lawyers for Second, Third and Fourth-Degree Burns

Lawyers and Best Law Firm Logo

When someone suffers second, third and fourth-degree burns in a fire or explosion, the settlement payout can be in the millions, depending on the severity of the injuries. In severe cases, most of the affected body area has second and third-degree burns, and there may also be areas with fourth-degree burns. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman recently won over $10 million for a man who was severely burned when a propane tank exploded.

Contact a Pritzker Hageman Lawyer

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Burn Compensation

In a burn injury lawsuit, compensation is called “money damages.” One aspect of this is amounts for physical pain. Although no amount of money can make up for the horrific pain suffered, getting a significant recovery from a settlement or jury verdict holds corporate wrongdoers accountable and provides needed funds to the victim and his or her family.

The pain in these cases is incomprehensible. In many cases more than the skin is damaged. Fire and smoke can damage the eyes, lungs, brain and kidneys. Hands, feet, arms and legs can be so badly burned that amputation is necessary.

Burns from FireThe following damages can usually be claimed:

  1. Compensatory –  This includes medical expenses, pain and suffering (physical pain, suffering, emotional distress, disfigurment, disability, mental impairment), lost earnings, cost of care and other expenses.
  2. Punitive – This is an amount awarded to a burn victim as a means of punishing the person responsible.

If the victim does not survive, the the family may have a “wrongful death” claim.

Severity of Burns

The severity of a thermal injury is determined by looking at a 4-part burn classification and the total body surface area affected.

Burn classifications include the following:

  • First-degree affect the outer layer of skin.
  • Second-degree go deeper into the dermis layer of the skin.
  • Third-degree destroy all layers of the skin.
  • Fourth-degree affect the muscle, tendons and bones.

A Lawsuit Holds a Company Accountable

In one of our law firm’s multi-million-dollar cases, our investigation found that the owner of an apartment building did not repair smoke alarms in the building prior to the fire. When a fire broke out, the fire alarm in one apartment did not sound. Two people died, a mother and her son. Two members of the same family survived, but the surviving daughter was severely brain damaged.

The landlord had a legal duty to maintain the alarms. When that duty was breached, we fought for justice and won. Other companies can similarly be held accountable:

  • The owner of a vehicle that causes a crash resulting in a fire;
  • The manufacturer of a product;
  • A gas company that causes an explosion;
  • A propane company;
  • A maintenance company.

One of the many things we do is find all of the companies legally responsible.

Expert Witnesses

These lawsuits can require the expert testimony of medical doctors, biomedical professionals and engineers. Because of our past successes, our law firm has the resources to get qualified expert witnesses and pay for visuals that will make their testimony come alive in court.

Our lawyers understand the science behind these cases and have successfully used complex, science-based testimony of expert witnesses in court, in pre-trial motions and during negotiation settlements. Our fire investigation lawyers have decades of collective experience.

More Information

What Kind of Lawyer Should I Hire for Explosion Burns?

You should hire a lawyer that has won explosion cases involving severe burns and other injuries from the blast and fire. This is more than just having experience handling these kinds of cases. You want a successful lawyer that can win your case.

Defective Smoke Alarm Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a husband and wife who claim to have been seriously injured after a smoke detector in their apartment failed to work. Injuries include severe burns, smoke inhalation, kidney failure, amputation.

Thermal Burn Lawsuit

Compensation usually includes medical expenses, loss of earnings, disability, pain and suffering, emotional distress and any other amount that would be considered necessary to compensate for losses.

Victim Pain and Suffering

In a lawsuit “pain and suffering” would include any pain, disability, disfigurement, embarrassment, or emotional distress that the person has experienced up to the time of your verdict or will experience in the future.

Third-Degree Burns Lawyer

When someone is injured in this way due to the negligence of another, that person can sue the negligent party and others who are liable under the law.

Chemical Burns

These are caused by substances such as acids, bases, and hydrocarbons.  The severity depends on the concentration of the substance, the length of exposure, and the type of chemical causing the damage.

Electrical Burn

When electricity passes through a resistant material such as the human body, energy is given off in the form of heat.  The extent of the injury depends on the size of the current, the pathway (i.e. head to toe, hand to hand, etc.), and the length of exposure.


In a significant number of these cases, bacterial infection causes partial thickness burns to become full thickness.  Infection of the wound area can lead to sepsis and septic shock.  Septic shock is extremely dangerous for the patient, because their blood pressure begins to drop rapidly.

Brain Damage

Brain damage associated with fires is usually cerebral hypoxia (also referred to as cerebral anoxia), a condition where there is an absence of oxygen to the brain.

CO Poisoning Inhalation

The most common source of fire-caused inhalation injuries caused by an asphyxiant are those caused by carbon monoxide.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is released during the burning of all organic materials.

Cyanide Poisoning

A common asphyxiant associated with inhalation injuries is hydrogen cyanide.  It is typically produced from the combustion of polyurethane (foams), wool, silk, and paper, all of which are commonly found in homes.

Chemical Inhalation Injuries

Chemical inhalation injuries are highly varied and completely dependent on the toxin causing the injury, the concentration inhaled, and the length of exposure.  The size of the particles inhaled also affects the type of injury.  Larger particles remain in the nasopharynx and major airways.  Small particles that can diffuse easily can move into smaller airways and alveoli, potentially causing more severe damage than larger particles.

Inhalation Injury and Respiratory Failure

Inhalation injury occurs in between 2.5% and 15% of victims.  It can even be present if no burn has occurred, merely through exposure to inhalants.

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is a major complication, particularly for thermal and electrical burn victims. Our lawyers are some of the very few in the United States who have successfully handled numerous kidney failure cases.

Scald Injury

Children are particularly at risk for these. It only takes a few seconds to get severely injured.

Natural Gas Explosion

We recognize the horrible pain and disfigurement resulting from gas explosion injuries and the legal and financial needs of survivors and their families. Additional information includes the following: Lawsuit, Pain and Suffering Compensation.

Our law firm has won personal injury and wrongful death cases against national companies that do business in every state: Alabama AL, Arizona AZ, Los Angeles, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Iowa IA, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Kansas KS, Louisiana LA, Massachusetts MA, Maryland MD, Maine ME, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wyoming WY.