Posted on Burn Injury Blog / Blog / Burn Injury Pathophysiology

Burn Injury Pathophysiology – A Legal Perspective


The aftermath of a severe burn can leave the victim with many issues. For one, trying to zealous medical and legal pros is tough. After all, these panicked, disfigured burn victims are seeking to assess their legal and therapeutic options. And they are also trying to treat the horrible and agonizing physical problems after suffering a severe burn injury, as they try and get back on their feet and heal up.

Often, the defense will argue that doctors could have saved the tissue. So they will allege the plaintiff sued the wrong party. So they assert you should have sued your doctor for medical malpractice. In other words, your lawyer screwed up. But your attorney must claim this was “dead tissue.” Because of this, defendant alone must pay.

Many past cases with burned patients arise from scalds and burns. And these may get cataloged by medical doctors and hospitals as case studies. Most of all, that information helps primary care providers understand the underlying issues of medicine better. But it also contributes to the best care.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has relevant data. And that could help to determine the severity of the burn and its constituent parts. Tort lawyers will often hire experts. And retaining the ones who write these treatises is possible in many instances.

Experts help guide client case files, discovery, and trial. First, functional changes from burns have a direct impact on the severity of the injury. The victim’s lawyer must demonstrate the victim’s pain and suffering. Of particular concern, this remains a significant component of damages in a PI claim.

After all, injuries impact the victim’s ability to hold a job. And this is without mentioning the future agony. This all affects how much money the victim will get.

This is the reason for a negligence lawsuit. It is a lawsuit against the person who negligently caused the damage to the victim. And the bad actor must pay for their bad acts in cold, hard cash.

What is the Zone of Coagulation?

The most severely damaged part of the burn is in the area where blood coagulates. This region can get affected by exposure to fire, electricity, heat, or chemicals. Saving this area is not always possible.

This is because tissue necrosis is permanent. How large this zone is and the tissue to remove depends on a few factors. Typically it is based on the extent and duration of such exposure.

Can The Jury See Your Gruesome Pictures and the Rules of Evidence?

Most of the time, gruesome photographs of burns are not shown to juries. Often they are too prejudicial in stirring up emotions. So the probative value is not enough to get them into evidence.

But when courts put them in evidence, the court agrees it is vital for fact finders. That way, they can corroborate the science. An excellent trial lawyer who knows how to use records and conditions helps.

That way, you can effectively get exclude-able, probative evidence admitted into the trial. And that can often make or break the value of a case. There are common agents, and there are great ones. In a victim’s burn claim, you have to make sure you are getting a pro. The margins of error are too thin.

What About Potentially Savable Tissue?

Often, the defense will argue that doctors could have saved the tissue. So they will allege the plaintiff sued the wrong party. So they assert you should have sued your doctor for medical malpractice. In other words, your lawyer screwed up.

But your attorney must claim this was “dead tissue.” Because of this, the defendant alone must pay. Beyond the zone of coagulation and dead tissue, or will be dead shortly, layers exist that are savable. Just outside of this zone is the zone of stasis.

This tissue may be save-able but requires immediate medical attention to determine how best to do so. Outside of this is the area of hyperemia. Normally, this will recover as long as there are no outside factors. And this includes infection or sepsis. The field around these several regions will bring blood and nutrients to the area to aid in recovery.

However, the two sectors around the zone will suffer a reduction of circulation, or ischemia. If not treated properly, these regions could end up with permanent scarring. Also, they can get infected and increase in burn depth. Last, the body will kick in a systemic response to the burn if it affects more than 30% of the body. Because of the deadly residual nature of burns, proper treatment remains vital for all burn victims.

How Do You Get Medical Care for a Burn Injury?

Of course, being able to afford medical care for these wounds is not always possible. And this also holds for the well off. Unless you have fantastic health insurance, the chances are you will be left will some or all of the medical bills.

It could be that you will require lifetime treatment and in-house care. You certainly will need money to survive. What if no fault of your own caused your burn? Well, consulting with competent legal counsel is incredibly essential. Enormously, it matters for the rest of your life and well being.

You need to be able to argue the extent and severity of the insurance company(is). Also, you must civilly interact with the defense attorney that picks up the file. So assuming you decide to sue in pro-per, or pro se, you have to be a pro. Laypeople typically do not have medical knowledge. And this is one of the reasons you should hire a lawyer with experience.

Preferably you hire one who understands burn injury claims. Getting excellent legal and medical help is of utmost importance. So now you know why. 

What Do I Do Legally To Protect My Medical and Legal Rights With Respect to a Bad Burn?

In short, most physicians recognize that burn patients have as much a right to the best medicine as anyone else. Unfortunately, bad actors and at fault defendants often look down on burn victims, blaming them for the disfigurement or wrongful death claims. This attitude often leads to dangerous results, as their insurance companies tend to deny, delay and defend, rather then help the victims get the medical treatment they need right away, making lifetime pain and suffering more likely.

If you are a burn injury victim, you have options. At Ehline Law, our personal injury lawyers are accomplished representing burn patients and presenting a strong case against their employer, or other party who acted negligently. Our superior legal team knows how severe burn injuries can be, and our veteran advocates at Ehline Law are ready to fight for you and help your receive the compensation award you or a close loved one deserves. Contact us today to discuss your potential burn injury lawsuit more.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
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Michael P. Ehline Esq,
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