In just a few seconds a serious burn injury can change a victim's entire life. Burn injuries not only destroy the integrity of the affected skin and the tissues below it but can leave notable scars. Such injuries often cause psychological damage that can also be devastating, both as a result of scarring and as a result of the memory of the event that caused the burn. The emotional and physical pain can be intense and long-lasting.

To endure such a traumatic event and fight a legal battle for compensation at the same time is asking a lot. At John M. O'Brien & Associates, an experienced Sacramento burn injury lawyer can reduce the anxiety and help you navigate the road to physical, psychological, and economic recovery.

Causes of Burns


While most people think of open flames when they hear about burns, many burn injuries occur completely in the absence of flames. According to the 2016 National Burn Repository Statistics, the most common causes of burns are:

  • Flame injuries (41%)
  • Scald injuries (33%)
  • Contact with a hot object (9%)
  • Electricity (3%)
  • Chemicals (3%)

Short-Term Recovery and Complications

The unusual nature of burn injuries is the reason severe burns are generally treated in specialized burn units rather than in a general hospital setting. The specialized units are better equipped to deal with the unique combination of skin and tissue damage, pain, and psychological trauma.

The 2016 National Burn Repository Statistics report indicates that:

Causes of burns

The same report indicated how expensive just the time in the burn unit can be, with costs ranging from $35,000 to more than $1 million, not even counting ongoing surgeries and care.

Long-Term Consequences

consequences of burns

Even after the burn injury itself has healed, victims tend to experience:

  • Pain.
  • Impairment of function, especially movement of joints that are near the burn area.
  • Emotional and psychological trauma that may qualify as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Scarring, which can be extreme and can also, when it is very visible, add to psychological distress.

Scarring Has a Major Impact

One of the jobs of an Elk Grove burn victim's lawyer is making sure that defendants, judges, and jury members understand how scarring impacts the victim's life. The impact that scarring has on the victim varies based on a lot of different factors, such as:

  • How extensive and visible it is
  • Whether the victim is an adult or a still-developing child
  • Whether the victim is male or female (social values hold women to a higher standard of appearance)
  • The victim's personality, occupation, and available support from family, friends, and others

Contact a Sacramento Burn Injury Attorney if You Have Been Burned

At the law firm of attorney John M. O'Brien, we understand exactly what severe burn injuries mean for both the victim and the family. We also know that recovery for a burn injury usually involves more than just proving the injuries and their impact on the burn victim. If the injury resulted from a home appliance, for example, was the appliance defective? Who is liable for a defective product? If it resulted from a motor vehicle accident, what caused the accident? Who is at fault for the motor vehicle accident?

At John M. O'Brien & Associates, our Sacramento & Elk Grove personal injury lawyers have 25 years experience in these kinds of cases. Our firm knows the ins and outs of the injuries but we also know how to identify the causes and establish who should be legally responsible for the pain, suffering, medical expenses and many other costs that inevitably follow a severe burn.

If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury and need legal help in Sacramento or the surrounding counties, contact us today. We prepare every case carefully and completely as if it was going to end up at trial, although that often makes the defendants realize that settling before trial is the best option. Time is important, so don't risk losing your right to compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.


Call us 916.714.8200