Edison Burn Injury Attorney
Unexpected injuries of all kinds can wreak havoc in the lives of northern New Jersey residents. The physical, emotional, and financial toll caused by severe burns, however, can feel especially overwhelming. Burns inflict extreme pain on their victims. Recovery can involve months of excruciating surgeries and frustrating therapy. Even when fully healed, a severe burn will often leave behind disfiguring scars and lingering emotional trauma.
Preventable severe burns should never happen. When they do, burn victims deserve to recover compensation from anyone whose actions or decisions contributed to their injury. The experienced Edison Burn Injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP in Edison, New Jersey has the resources and know-how to help severe burn victims and their families pursue that compensation and accountability. Call Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation.
Table of Contents
- What Are Severe Burns?
- Settings and Circumstances of Severe Burns
- How Our Edison Burn Injury Lawyers Can Help
- Burn Injury Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact an Edison Burn Injury Lawyer
Our Edison Burn Injury Lawyers
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is a Tri-State area personal injury law firm serving clients in Edison. Our law practice exclusively represents persons injured by the careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful actions of others.
Our Edison offices are located on Route 27/Lincoln Highway, just south of the Crowne Plaza hotel. We take pride in providing top-flight legal services to Edison-area residents from a location that is convenient for them. Severe burn victims in North Jersey do not need to head into Manhattan to find a sophisticated attorney to help them recover the compensation they deserve (although we have offices there, too). By opening offices throughout the Tri-State region, we make it easy for our clients to find the legal representation they need, right where they need it: in their own communities.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has served clients for decades. Over that time, we have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injured New Jersey residents, including substantial recoveries for burn victims. We can never guarantee the outcome of any particular case, of course. Every client we represent and case we handle is unique. Still, every Jacoby & Meyers client can rest assured that their severe burn injury case will always receive the individualized attention and commitment it deserves.
“Great experience with skilled legal individuals that know what they are doing.” -Nesha G.
About Severe Burns
Most burns are preventable. Yet, burns continue to constitute “one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States,” according to the American Burn Association. In one five-year period, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated almost half a million fire or burn injuries. Children under 15, sadly, accounted for an outsized proportion of the burn victims.
The Tri-State area is home to some of the finest medical professionals in the world. In North Jersey, victims of severe burns frequently receive treatment at the state’s only certified burn center, located at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Livingston. The general information about burns summarized below is drawn from the online Health Library published by another local burn center.
Burns are skin injuries that affect one or more layers of skin and the tissue below it. Many different types of burns exist:
- Heat burns (or thermal burns) are caused by exposure to intense heat, such as an open flame, explosion, steam, scalding liquid, or touching a hot object, like a dish that has been baking in an oven.
- Cold burns occur when extreme cold damages skin, such as in frostbite or wind burn.
- Electrical burns result from an electrical current, such as when someone touches a live wire or gets hit by lightning.
- Chemical burns consist of damage to the skin done by caustic materials, liquids, or gases. The skin irritation that results from spilling household drain cleaner on your hands, for example, is a chemical burn.
- Radiation burns occur when the skin is exposed to high intensity energy. X-rays from an X-ray machine, radiation from a cancer treatment device, and the sun’s rays, all constitute radiation that can burn skin.
- Friction burns happen when the skin (or material in contact with the skin) slides along a surface, generating heat and causing abrasion. Road rash is a type of friction burn.
Degrees of Burns
Medical professionals rank burns by their degree of severity.
- A first degree burn is a relatively minor injury that you can treat at home. It damages only the outermost layer of your skin. Sunburns and the burn you get from touching a hot pan on the stove, are types of first degree burns. Most first degree burns heal in about a week when treated with over-the-counter ointments.
- A second degree burn (also called a partial thickness burn) causes damage to multiple skin layers. A wide range of second degree burns exist. Some are difficult to distinguish from first degree burns. Others are more obviously-serious. Spotted, blistered, or white skin may indicate the presence of a second degree burn. These burns also risk getting infected, and so may require medical attention.
- A third degree burn (or total thickness burn) damages all of the skin’s layers, and possibly the tissue beneath. A third degree burn will make the affected skin appear tough and leathery. All third degree burns require immediate medical attention, particularly because infection is a real risk.
- A fourth degree burn causes catastrophic damage to all layers of skin, the tissue beneath it, and muscle, bone, ligaments, tendons, and organs beneath that. This is a life-threatening injury. It requires immediate emergency medical care to save the victim’s life from either the direct effects of the burn or from the extreme danger of infection.
Not sure what degree of burn you have sustained? Go see a doctor. Do not risk a dangerous infection by deciding you can live through a burn without medical treatment. Not only will seeking medical care protect your health, it will also generate important medical records that may prove crucial to recovering damages in a later legal action.
How Doctors Treat Burns
Doctors decide how to treat burns based on their type and severity. One burn type, such as chemical burn, may not respond well to treatment that proves effective for another burn type. As one might expect, however, as a general matter the intensity of treatment rises with the degree of burn sustained.
As we said, you can treat many first degree burns at home with over-the-counter remedies. More-severe burns, however, may require surgical intervention (to remove, replace, or reconstruct tissue), intensive care, isolation in a burn unit to prevent infection, medication, and long-term physical and occupational therapy. Making a full recovery from a burn does not necessarily mean healing completely. Severe burns tend to leave permanent scars and may cause physical disabilities.
Settings and Circumstances of Severe Burns
The American Burn Association reports, at the link above, that most burns happen at home. Do not be fooled, however. The vast majority (although not all) of those in-home injuries consist of first degree burns. The types of preventable incidents that lead to second, third, and fourth degree burns happen in a wide variety of settings. Here are some of the most common:
A large percentage of severe burns treated in U.S. hospitals result from fires in homes, workplaces, and other structures. Fire burns have a high rate of fatality, according to the American Burn Association, which reports that one American dies every 2 hours 35 minutes because of severe burns suffered in fires, on average.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Occupants of vehicles sustain severe burns in a wide variety of circumstances when their vehicles collide with objects and each other. Bad crashes routinely result in explosions or fires. Chemicals from vehicles can spill, causing burns. And motorists can be thrown from their vehicles—particularly from motorcycles—in an accident and sustain serious road rash.
Construction and Workplace Incidents
Even the most ordinary work setting can see severe burns happen. Office workers can spill scalding hot coffee on themselves or others. A worker using heavy equipment can sustain a bad burn by accidentally touching overheated engine parts or from exposure to high-pressure steam. Electrical burns can result from preventable incidents involving inadvertent contact with live wires.
Defective Consumer Products
Many of the products we use in our homes every day get dangerously hot and contain potentially caustic chemicals that can burn. For the most part, the benefits of these products outweigh the risks of using them. But not always. Some consumer products—household cleaners, appliances, even children’s toys—leave the factory in a condition that makes them unreasonably dangerous because they will likely spill, catch fire, or overheat, and cause severe burns as a result.
How Our Edison Burn Injury Lawyers Can Help
Severe burns cause chaos in the lives of victims and their families. Unexpectedly, medical needs take over their lives. Victims endure intense physical pain and emotional suffering. Burns also cause significant financial strain, especially when a victim or a family member must miss work to attend to the requirements of recovery.
North Jersey residents in and around the Edison area often come to us after a severe burn injury has upended their lives, wondering whether they need a lawyer and, if so, what a lawyer can do to ease their difficulties. Here is what we generally tell them about what an experienced Edison burn injury attorney can do to help:
Lawyers Investigate Burn Incidents to Find the at-Fault Parties
Burn victims can usually pinpoint how they got burned; a piece of equipment caught fire, a chemical spilled, and so on. However, in our experience, victims frequently do not fully appreciate how other peoples’ poor decisions or dangerous actions may have led to that burn occurring.
The job of figuring out who made choices or engaged in conduct that made a severe burn likely usually falls to the victim’s lawyer. The goal is to identify individuals or entities that may have a legal liability to the burn victim for damages. Hiring an experienced burn injury attorney gives the victim the best possible chance of targeting all of the parties who may have liability for paying the victim compensation.
Lawyers Tally a Client’s Damages
Burn victims and their families also usually have a clear sense of the negative impact of the injury on every aspect of their lives. Some of those impacts come with a price tag attached; medical bills come rolling-in, paychecks dry up. Other impacts, however, take a heavy toll that is harder to translate into dollars and cents. How do you put a value on physical and emotional pain, or on the damage a severe burn injury can do to intimate relationships?
Experienced burn injury lawyers spend a significant amount of time evaluating the full impact of a burn on a client’s life. They investigate and keep a tally of the out-of-pocket costs of an injury, and collect evidence to support an appropriate calculation of the quality of life toll a severe burn injury exacts. The purpose of this analysis is to come up with a valid and fair amount of money the victim can seek from legally-liable parties as compensation.
Lawyers Negotiate for Fair and Just Settlements
Money, of course, cannot take away the pain and suffering caused by a severe burn. However, in the American legal system, money—however imperfect a substitute it is—constitutes the most effective means of putting wrongs right. Experienced burn injury lawyers take what they have learned from investigating a client’s case, and calculating a client’s damages, and seek to convince the parties with legal liability for the client’s injuries to pay a settlement. Typically, although not always, the negotiation over a settlement happens between the lawyer and an insurance company that issued a policy to the legally-liable party. In a negotiation, the lawyer’s job is to convince the other side to pay compensation that is fair and appropriate.
Lawyers May Take Legal Action in New Jersey Courts
Most personal injury matters end in a settlement. But not all of them. Oftentimes, a lawyer and client find it necessary to file a lawsuit in New Jersey courts to force the parties with liability to pay what they should. A lawsuit, if it does not settle somewhere along the way, culminates in a trial at which the lawyer presents the facts to a judge and jury, seeking a verdict directing the legally-liable parties to pay damages.
Edison Burn Injury Frequently Asked Questions
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) reported that New Jersey is below the national average in fire casualties, including residential fire casualties. Yet, dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries involve burns in the state each year.
If someone else’s carelessness burned you, you likely have questions about seeking compensation for your injuries. Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about burn injury claims.
Edison Burn Injury FAQs
No. Most burn injury claims begin as a demand to the insurance carrier of the at-fault party’s liability policy, such as their automobile, homeowners, or business policy. If the insurance provider fails to pay the valued claim or to offer a fair out-of-court settlement, the victim can file a lawsuit and allow a judge or jury to determine liability and damages.
The statute of limitations for filing a burn injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of injury. However, there are exceptions to this deadline, such as if the claimant is a minor or the at-fault party caused the injury while committing a crime, and they must first undergo the criminal process. Additionally, claims filed against a local, state, or federal agency require a slightly different process and a much shorter deadline. Your attorney will advise you of the deadline to file a lawsuit.
While the victim must file their lawsuit within the statutory deadline, it does not need to resolve within that time frame. Settlement negotiations can continue even after the victim files a lawsuit, and the parties can reach a settlement agreement any time before a judge or jury decides the matter.
Most claims—as many as 96 percent—resolve in an out-of-court settlement. However, because your claim might not resolve through settlement, obtain an experienced attorney who understands both processes.
To prove liability for your burn injury, you must show:
- The at-fault party had a duty under the circumstances to take reasonable actions to avoid causing harm to others.
- The at-fault party breached this duty by taking steps contrary to avoiding harm.
- The breach resulted in an accident in which you incurred a burn injury.
Without studying all details of the case, it is impossible to determine liability. However, under premises liability law, landlords must regularly inspect their property for hazards that can cause injuries to tenants.
State law requires all rental units to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you rented a dwelling without a working smoke detector, the landlord might be liable for your injuries and losses.
Individuals who suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence can seek compensation for their expenses.
This type of compensation is known as economic damages and includes:
- The cost of all injury-related medical treatment, including treatment at a specialized burn center.
- Wage loss from being too injured to work or missing work to attend injury-related medical appointments.
- Loss of future earning capacity if your burn injury results in permanent disabilities, and you can no longer earn in the same capacity as you did before the injury.
- Property damage from the accident, such as property loss in a residential fire or the cost of replacing your car or motorcycle after a traffic-related accident.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the quality-of-life effects they’ve experienced from the injury.
This compensation is known as non-economic damages and includes:
- Physical pain and suffering, treatment, or complications from the injury.
- Emotional distress from the accident, missing work and inability to pay bills from the injury, or other distressing issues.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, inability to enjoy activities and events that were previously important before your injury.
- Loss of consortium, which is the loss of physical intimacy and companionship.
Yes. Family members of an individual who suffered fatal burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence can seek compensation through New Jersey’s wrongful death claims process by having the executor of the estate file a claim. Only family members and the deceased’s estate are eligible to benefit from this type of claim, which one must file in court within two years of the date of the decedent’s death.
Wrongful death claimants can recover economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the deceased’s fatal injuries.
- The value of household services performed by the deceased, such as laundry or lawn care.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Edison wrongful death claimants can also seek non-economic damages, such as the loss of comfort and society resulting from the wrongful death.
The wrongful death claims process is similar to the personal injury claims process, with a two-year statute of limitations for filing the claim in court and the opportunity for the at-fault party’s insurance provider to offer settlement out of court.
Our Edison burn injury lawyers can:
- Investigate the case to determine all sources of liability and associated insurance resources to provide compensation. Generally, burn injury claims are against the at-fault party’s liability policy, such as an automobile liability policy, homeowners or renters insurance, or a business liability insurance policy.
- Establish a claim value that accounts for the liable party’s insurance coverage, the severity of the injuries, and the past, present, and future expenses and effects from those injuries. Burn injuries often result in expenses for skin grafting and other treatments long after the initial wound heals.
- Gather the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove the claim. Burn injuries occur in different types of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, house or business fires, exposure to caustic chemicals, and more.
- Manage the deadlines of the claim to protect the client’s right to use the court system to seek compensation. Failing to file the claim in court within New Jersey’s two-year statute of limitations usually bars the claim from going to court. If the claimant no longer has the option to file the claim as a lawsuit, they will likely not have much success negotiating a settlement with the insurance provider.
- Manage communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect from common insurance tactics, such as convincing a claimant to accept a low settlement offer in exchange for a quick resolution.
- Litigate your claim by preparing evidence exhibits, delivering opening and closing arguments, and examining witnesses.
- Collect the settlement or award for you.
Attorneys have a lot to offer personal injury claimants with their experience and understanding of the legal process to seek compensation after an injury. Many attorney services require extensive time and expertise. While not legally required, a claimant without legal experience or education should not pursue compensation for a burn injury alone.
Too many people fail to pursue the compensation they deserve because they are afraid they can’t afford an attorney.
However, we offer:
- A free case evaluation that provides prospective clients with the opportunity to discuss their claim with an attorney and learn more about the process and the firm without a financial obligation to continue legal services.
- A contingent fee billing method allows the claimant to wait until they’re compensated through a negotiated settlement or a court reward to pay for their attorney’s legal services. When a prospective claimant begins working with an attorney, they will enter into a contingent fee contract. This contract allows the attorney to begin working on the case in exchange for a percentage of any award. After the claim, the proceeds go directly to the attorney, who deducts their percentage and provides the remaining compensation to the client.
Our Edison Burn Injury Lawyers Want to Help You
If a preventable, severe burn harms you or your family, you may have rights to compensation under New Jersey law. Reach out to the experienced burn injury lawyers in the Edison office of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today at (732) 287-6890, begin a secure live chat with one of our representatives, or write us through our confidential email form for a free case evaluation. We look forward to seeing how we can serve you and help you recover from your injuries.
Have you suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence? If so, let one of our Edison burn injury lawyers help you understand the process of seeking compensation for your injury. Contact us online or call (732) 287-6890.
Edison, NJ 08817
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I’m really grateful for the settlement my lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers helped me to obtain. I was badly hurt when another driver crashed into my card. The driver was carelessly. My team at Jacoby & Meyers didn’t let the reckless driver get away with it. I’m really glad I made the call to Jacoby & Meyers and would suggest anyone hurt in a car crash do the same.”
Review by: Jose V.
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