Hempstead Burn Injury Attorneys
Life can feel hopeless after an unexpected injury. However, few of the injuries the lawyers at the Hempstead office of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, help clients recover from take a toll as extreme and heart-wrenching as severe burns. These are agonizing injuries for our clients. They cause lifelong impacts on a victim’s physical, emotional, and financial health. And, worst of all, in most cases, they are preventable and caused by someone else’s negligence.
No one should suffer a severe burn that could have been prevented if only someone else had not taken careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions. If a preventable severe burn has caused devastation in your life, call the experienced Hempstead personal injury lawyers in Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s Hempstead office for a free case evaluation.
Our Hempstead Burn Injury Law Practice
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is a personal injury law firm that serves our clients from several offices, including in Hempstead. We only represent victims of preventable injuries caused by someone else’s wrongful actions, because we believe those victims deserve skilled, sophisticated legal advice to help them recover the compensation they deserve from those who did them wrong.
Our Hempstead, New York, offices are located at 13 Front Street, near the Fulton Avenue crossroads. The firm’s Hempstead presence reflects our commitment to serving clients locally throughout the Tri-State area. We believe Hempstead-area burn victims should not have to travel into the city to find a top-notch lawyer who will fight for their rights to receive compensation. Instead, we opened offices throughout the region so that clients can connect with us in the communities where they (and we) live.
Over its decades of law practice, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has represented numerous victims of severe burns in seeking justice, accountability, and compensation. Our recent case results include several multi-million-dollar outcomes for victims of severe burns. Of course, no severe burn injury case in Hempstead or anywhere else has a guaranteed outcome. Still, Hempstead burn victims and their families who retain a Jacoby & Meyers, LLP personal injury lawyer can always rest assured that their attorney has the skill, experience, and know-how to hold anyone who causes a preventable severe burn accountable.
How Severe Burn Injuries Happen
Severe burns represent “one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States,” according to the American Burn Association. They are shockingly common. U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated nearly half a million fire or burn injuries during the span of just four years. Children represented a disproportionately large share of those burn victims.
Living in the greater New York area at least gives our clients access to some of the world’s finest doctors. In Hempstead, burn victims often receive treatment at Nassau University Medical Center’s burn center in East Meadow. Another local burn center, New York Presbyterian, publishes an online Health Library that contains basic information about burns and their treatment. We summarize some of the information found on that site below.
In the broadest sense, a burn is a skin injury that can affect one or more layers of tissue. A burn can result from any of the following conditions:
- Heat causes a thermal burn, such as the type you can get from an open flame, steam, scalding liquid, or touching a hot object like a pan on the stove.
- Cold damages skin in much the same way heat can. Wind burn and frostbite are considered cold temperature burns.
- Electricity can burn the skin like heat. Electrical burns often result from coming into contact with a live wire or getting struck by lightning.
- Chemicals burn the skin through a reaction with skin tissue or other environmental factors. Solid, liquid, and gaseous chemicals can all cause chemical burns.
- Radiation burns the skin by subjecting it to high-intensity energy. The sun’s rays constitute radiation that can burn. So does the radiation emitted by an X-ray machine or by precision cancer therapy treatments.
- Friction causes heat and abrasion that results in a form of burn. Road rash is one common type of friction burn.
Burns Ranked by Degree
Doctors refer to burns by a degree of severity. The higher the degree assigned a burn, the more dangerous and potentially life-threatening it is.
- First degree burns are considered minor, albeit painful, injuries. They only damage the outermost layer of skin. A sunburn or the burn you get by momentarily grabbing a hot pan on the stove constitutes a first degree burn. You can treat first degree burns with home remedies and over-the-counter medicines, and they will typically heal on their own in a few days.
- Second degree burns (or partial thickness burns) damage skin several layers deep. Sometimes it can be difficult, initially, to tell first and second degree burns apart. Signs of a second degree burn may include swelling, blistering, spotting, or skin that looks white and stays white even when pressed and released. You may need medical treatment for a second degree burn, particularly if it gets infected.
- Third degree burns (a.k.a. total thickness burns) damage not just all of your skin’s layers, but also the tissue beneath. It is generally easy to recognize a third degree burn because it turns skin hard and leathery. These burns require medical attention and pose a high risk of infection.
- Fourth degree burns are catastrophic. They cause damage down to the muscle and bone. A fourth-degree burn is a life-threatening condition that could well prove fatal without immediate emergency care.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we always encourage our clients and potential clients to seek medical care for any burn other than one that is obviously a first degree burn. If you aren’t sure, go to the doctor and get a burn checked out, if for no other reason than to rule out a potentially deadly infection.
How you treat a burn depends on its mode and severity. Minor first degree burns will heal with ointment and (if appropriate) a bandage. Higher-degrees of burns may require more intensive medical intervention. Doctors may, for instance, need to debride (or remove) dead tissue from around a burn to prevent infection, and may take skin grafts to replace skin that has burned away. Third and fourth degree burns may necessitate hospitalization in a burn unit where a patient remains on 24-hour care to prevent infection. Physical recovery from a bad burn can include plastic surgery and various forms of physical, emotional, and occupational therapy. Even full recovery from a burn may leave a burn victim with disfiguring scars, however.
Preventable Scenarios Leading to Severe Burns
According to the American Burn Association data linked above, most burns happen in the home. However, that statistic is a little misleading. Most (but by no means all) at-home burns constitute the first-degree variety. Higher-severity burns tend to happen in a more diverse array of settings and scenarios, many of them completely preventable, such as:
Fires in homes and workplaces cause a high percentage of the severe burns that U.S. hospitals treat every year. Many of the burn injuries inflicted by building fires prove fatal; in fact, the American Burn Association reports that on average, one American dies every 2 hours 35 minutes from fire-related burns.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
A car accident can leave occupants of vehicles badly burned in several ways. A collision can spark a fire or explosion. It can also cause the release of caustic chemicals. And it can leave motorists – particularly motorcycle riders – nursing severe friction burns (or road rash).
Incidents at Workplaces and Job Sites
Any type of workplace can witness severe burns. Anywhere workers use heavy or mechanized equipment puts them at risk of thermal burns from touching overheated engine parts. Construction sites put workers at risk of burns from open flames from welding equipment or from preventable contact with live power lines. Even an ordinary office environment can hide burn dangers, such as burns that happen when someone spills scalding coffee on themselves or others.
Manufacturers of the everyday products we use in our homes and workplaces have a special obligation not to sell items that cause unreasonable danger to the public. A defective product can burn an unsuspecting consumer in any number of ways, from chemical burns to unexpected fires.
How Our Hempstead Burn Injury Lawyers Can Help
Severe burns often send the burn victims and their families into a tailspin. Suddenly, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation take over their lives. They suffer through every imaginable type of pain—physical, emotional…and financial (which can become compounded if the burn keeps the victim out of work and unable to earn a living).
“Great experience with skilled legal individuals that know what they are doing.” -Nesha G.
Hempstead burn victims frequently realize they might need a lawyer to help them address the financial impact of their injuries, but may not always understand how an experienced burn injury attorney can help. Simply put, a burn injury attorney’s job is to help victims and their families recover compensation from the parties whose dangerous actions or poor decisions led to an otherwise preventable burn.
How do attorneys manage that feat? Here is a quick overview:
Investigating Burn Incidents To Identify the Party At-Fault
To burn victims, it might seem like the incident that led to their burn just happened. In our experience here at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, however, burns rarely happen because of a single decision or action, but instead represent the culmination of a series of events that led to someone getting badly burned. An experienced burn injury attorney often investigates that series of events to identify every bad decision or dangerous action that contributed to a client’s burn injury, and every person responsible for those decisions or actions. Each of those persons (or companies) may have a legal liability to the lawyer’s client for damages.
The damages a Hempstead burn injury client might recover from the parties whose decisions caused a burn vary from case-to-case. They typically include, however, compensation for the client’s medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other negative life impacts.
Some of those items are easy to calculate, because they come with a price tag attached. Others, like pain and suffering, require a more detailed and nuanced approach to translate into dollars and cents. An experienced burn injury attorney typically works carefully to identify and calculate all items of damage an injured client should receive as compensation, so that when the time comes, the lawyer can seek the maximum amount of money appropriate for the client’s situation.
With the identity of parties with potential legal liability to a client, and an amount of money those parties should be required to pay the client, in hand, an experienced Hempstead burn injury attorney will also typically engage in negotiations with those parties in hopes of achieving a settlement. Those negotiations often take place between the attorney and representatives of the legally-liable party’s insurance adjusters.
Taking Burn Cases to Trial, if Necessary
The reality of our legal system is that most cases settle through negotiation. Sometimes, however, the party with legal liability refuses to offer a reasonable payment as settlement. In that case, an attorney and the injured client may agree to pursue the claim all the way to a trial in New York court, to let a judge and jury decide how much money the client should receive as damages.
Your Dedicated, Local, Hempstead Burn Injury Lawyers
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP takes pride in being a personal injury law firm with local roots. Our attorneys commit their careers to fighting for the rights of their neighbors in Hempstead and across the Tri-State area who have suffered severe burns and other catastrophic injuries through no fault of their own.
If a preventable burn has caused havoc in your life or the life of a loved one, you may have the right to obtain substantial compensation. Contact the burn injury lawyers in the Hempstead office of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free case evaluation or call us at (516) 542-0931 for live chat.