If your loved one has suffered brain damage and severe burns from a fire or explosion, we understand that your family needs help. Attorney Fred Pritzker has experience with these cases, and you can contact Fred for a free, no-obligation consultation. We understand that this is an extremely hard time for you and your loved ones and want to help.
Oxygen Deprivation during Fire
Brain damage associated with fires is usually cerebral hypoxia (also referred to as cerebral anoxia), a condition where there is an absence of oxygen. With oxygen deprivation, the cells of the brain die within several minutes.
Recovery depends on how long the brain has been deprived of oxygen and how much damage has occurred. Even if there is “recovery,” there may be permanent psychological and neurological damage.
Extensive hypoxic may occur from:
asphyxiation from smoke inhalation;
cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the scene of the fire, which may result in massive cerebral edema (swelling) and brain death several days later;
carbon monoxide poisoning;
prolonged delay in fluid resuscitation, part of treatment.
Electrical Burn Injury
Direct electric shock (electrocution) of the brain and/or spinal cord can occur when the body comes in contact with a live electrical circuit. In this case the body completes an electrical circuit or acts as a conduit from a circuit to ground.
When the electrical contact (often prolonged) arrests the respiratory muscles or circulation the blood and oxygen supply to the brain can be interrupted, resulting in ischemic injury.
An arc flash (or arc blast) is a short circuit that flashes from one exposed live conductor to another, or to ground. The explosion takes less than one second and produces a brilliant flash, intense heat, and a pressure blast equivalent to several sticks of dynamite. The intense pressure wave can exert a force on the human body that is capable of causing death or severe bodily harm. These arc-blasts can cause a concussive blow to the head.
If you retain an attorney at our law firm, we will immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the injury. Because it is best to gather evidence soon after the injury, it is important to contact us as soon as possible.
Compensation may include the following:
Pain and suffering
Loss of quality of life.
The compensation package should reflect the full extent of the injuries and how they will affect the person’s life.
1. Herndon, David, Total Burn Care, 3rd edition, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007, p.575.
2. Mozingo DW, Barillo DJ, Ruitt BA Jr: Acute resuscitation and transfer management of burned and electrically injured patients, Trama Q 11(2):94-113, 1994.
3. Carrougher, Gretchern J. (1998). Burn Care and Therapy. St. Louis: Mosby Inc.
4. (1999) Annals NY Academy of Sciences 888:19-32.
5. (2000) South Med J 93(12):1165-1168.
6. Cerbral anoxia brain damage image used on this page:http://www.med.harvard.edu/AANLIB/cases/case25/mr1/012.gif .