Chicago Burn Injury Lawyer

Severe burn injuries can result in a lifetime of chronic pain, disability, and expensive medical treatment. When someone else’s negligence is the cause, the Chicago burn injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti will help you fight for justice.

Approximately 414,000 burn injuries are treated annually in emergency departments throughout the United States, according to 2019 statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When these injuries are severe, they are life-altering.

When burn injuries are caused by someone else’s carelessness, the Chicago burn injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti help victims and their families fight for the compensation they need and deserve.

Why trust Levin & Perconti with your burn injury case?

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti are nationally acclaimed with over 200 years of combined experience. Our compassionate and skillful team has won more than one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients who were injured because of the carelessness of others.

Burn Injury Settlements

  • $1.5 million settlement against a nursing home for failing to monitor a mentally impaired resident’s cigarette smoking, leading to severe burns and death
  • $1.5 million settlement for an 87-year-old nursing home resident who suffered severe burns when seated in a steaming-hot sitz bath
  • $2.3 million settlement for the family of two boys severely injured in a Chicago Housing Authority fire
  • $6 million settlement for the families of six children who died in an apartment fire due to non-working smoke detectors

$6 million

Settlement

for the families of six children who died in an apartment fire due to non-working smoke detectors

$2.3 million

Settlement

for the family of two boys severely injured in a Chicago Housing Authority fire

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Our burn injury lawyer Chicago practice handles burn injury cases that originate from virtually any cause. The most common causes of burn injuries include the following:

Damages Available for Burn Injury Victims

Burn injury victims and their families may be eligible for substantial compensation. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti are committed to pursuing maximum compensation from the responsible parties by any means necessary, even if the case must be litigated in court.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the actual monetary losses that stem from your injuries. These losses include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and future lost wages. If you are permanently disabled because of your injuries, your future lost wages can include your projected income over your remaining lifetime.

Wrongful Death Economic Damages

In the devastating loss of a loved one, you may be entitled to recover the economic losses the decedent could have claimed by filing a survival action. You can also recover the financial losses the death caused your family through a wrongful death lawsuit. The availability of both actions allows families to recover the following:

  • Costs associated with loss of life, such as burial costs
  • Loss of income to the family because of the death
  • The projected future income of the deceased had they survived
  • The medical expenses of the deceased

Non-Economic Damages

Severe burn injuries can cause impairments to your quality of life that cannot be measured monetarily. While no amount of financial compensation can make up for a lifetime of pain or disability, it can provide a sense of justice and financial security. Non-economic damages in Chicago may include the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of bodily functions
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of consortium

Wrongful Death Non-Economic Damages

In wrongful death cases, your family may be able to recover non-economic damages on behalf of the deceased in a survival action and on behalf of your family in a wrongful death action.

Non-economic damages in a survival action include the pain and suffering of the deceased. In a wrongful death action, the family can claim such non-economic losses as the following:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Loss of parental guidance

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are available only in rare cases where you can show by clear and convincing evidence that the conduct by the defendant that precipitated your injuries was willful and wanton, deliberate, fraudulent, or flagrantly reckless, according to Illinois state law.

Punitive damages are not awarded for the purpose of compensating the victim, but to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

What are the different types of burn injuries?

Johns Hopkins Medicine categorizes burns into the following categories:

  • Thermal burns – Caused by heat, including fire, hot surfaces, and scalding water
  • Radiation burns – Caused by radiation, such as X-rays or sunburn
  • Chemical burns – Caused by caustic chemicals such as acids and solvents
  • Electrical burns – Caused by electrocution

What are the signs and symptoms of burn injuries?

The symptoms from burn injuries are specific to the severity of the burn, the percentage of your body that is burned, and the parts of your body that are burned. When a large portion of your body has been burned, you are more likely to experience shock and long-term complications.

If you are burned on the face, you may also experience burn injuries inside your esophagus, lungs, and other internal structures, impairing breathing, swallowing, and bodily functions.

The severity of burns is measured in degrees, with first-degree burns being the most mild.

First-Degree Burns

Also known as superficial burns, these burns are painful, dry, and red with no blistering. These burns typically only impact the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.

Second-Degree Burns

Also known as partial thickness burns, second-degree burns impact the epidermis and penetrate into the dermis, the layer beneath the epidermis. Second-degree burns are very painful and appear red, blistered, and swollen.

Third-Degree Burns

Also known as full-thickness burns, third-degree burns destroy both the epidermis and dermis. These burns may penetrate into bones, muscles, and tendons, in which case some practitioners refer to them as fourth-degree burns.

Third-degree burns destroy nerve tissue, resulting in a lack of pain associated with these burns. Skin with third-degree burns has a charred or white appearance.

Complications of Burn Injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine, patients with significant burn injuries can face a variety of complications due to the damage burns cause the skin. The skin is home to a significant portion of the body’s blood vessels and also regulates the body’s hydration and temperature.

Deeper burns can also impact muscles, bones, and the organs.

Infections

Burn injuries are prone to bacterial infections, and the skin damage makes it easy for these infections to enter the bloodstream, where they can travel throughout the body. This occurrence is a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.

Dehydration

The human body relies on continuous blood flow and an adequate level of hydration in order to function. The skin holds in moisture. If large areas of skin are damaged through burns, the body can easily lose fluids and become dehydrated. Complications of dehydration include the following:

  • Urinary and kidney complications, including kidney failure
  • Seizures as a result of the loss of electrolytes
  • Low blood volume, which can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure and oxygen supply

Hypothermia

Widespread burn injuries can impair the skin’s ability to regulate heat and cold, leading to a dangerously low body temperature.

Breathing Difficulties

Scar tissue in the lungs and airway can lead to an overly narrow airway and scar tissue in the lungs, making breathing difficult.

Scarring

Burn injuries that have healed lead to permanent scars, including an overgrowth of scar tissue. Scar tissue can be physically disfiguring and cause bone and joint issues. This occurs when scar tissue contracts and causes the skin, tendons, or muscles to tighten.

Psychological Distress

The psychological toll of burn injuries cannot be overestimated. Burn injuries leave victims with severe disfigurement, especially if the burns occurred to facial areas. These injuries can also lead to chronic pain, health issues, and permanent disability. The emotional effects of these quality- of- life impairments include the following:

  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks

What is a burn injury case worth?

The value of a severe burn injury case may be substantial due to the high cost of medical care and the physical and emotional toll of these types of injuries. Burn victims need lifetime medical care and may face severe work limitations. When calculating the value of a burn injury case, the following factors must be considered:

  • Your lifestyle, earning, and earning potential before and after the accident
  • Your projected medical costs
  • Your degree of disfigurement
  • Your prognosis

However, case value is also determined by the available insurance and assets of the liable parties.

John J. Perconti working at desk

Who may be liable for your burn injuries?

Multiple parties may be liable for your injuries, including:

Time Limit to File a Burn Injury Lawsuit in Chicago

The Illinois statute of limitations for most personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury or the date you reasonably discover the injury, or two years from the date of death in wrongful death cases. However, this could vary depending on individual circumstances surrounding your injury.

Insurance companies also have filing deadlines. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury is the best way to determine the deadlines for your case and ensure your claim is filed on time.

How can a Chicago burn injury lawyer help?

Personal injury cases are complex, requiring knowledge in both the legal and medical fields. They also require access to expert witnesses, accident reconstructionists, and financial consultants. An experienced personal injury attorney has the necessary knowledge and access to resources.

Levin & Perconti was established in 1992 and has since grown to a firm that employs more than 30 attorneys. During the several decades that we have been in business, we have built an in-depth network of resources that allows us to perform the following services for our clients:

  • A detailed investigation of the incident
  • A thorough review of your medical records
  • Case filing
  • Settlement negotiations
  • Trial preparations

With the legal team at Levin & Perconti on your side, you can trust that your case is in the hands of attorneys who care and know how to get results. Time is limited. Contact us today for free consultation.

Partners at Levin & Perconti in a meeting

Burn Injury FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive.

Every case is unique and may resolve in a matter of months or it could take several years. The time frame depends on several individual factors, including the following:

  • The cooperation of the insurance company and the opposing party
  • The length of time needed to fully assess the lifetime cost of your injuries
  • The number of liable parties involved
  • The type and complexity of your burn injury case
  • Whether your case settles or goes to trial

At Levin & Perconti, we take the necessary time to ensure maximum compensation and don’t quickly settle cases for less than they are worth.

Always direct the insurance company to your lawyer without further comment. No matter what the insurance company tells you, it is working to further its own interests, not yours.

Levin & Perconti will work to procure a reasonable and just settlement. If the liable party fails to offer fair compensation, we may advise you to let us take your case to trial.

Levin & Perconti offers a contingency fee arrangement, which means you pay nothing up front. Levin & Perconti will advance all court costs and fees on your behalf, and these will be deducted from your recovery, along with our fee, which will be disclosed up front. If we fail to recover compensation for you, you pay nothing.

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