Newark Burn Injury Attorneys
Severe burn injuries may make you feel as though you’re living in the middle of a nightmare. Not only do burns cause substantial physical pain throughout your recovery, but also they can restrict your mobility and leave you struggling with serious scars long after you recover from your injuries. If you suffered burns due to another party’s negligence, you may need legal assistance as you seek compensation for your injuries. If you suffered from a burn injury contact a Newark personal injury attorney at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today.
Why Jacoby & Meyers, LLP,?
When you contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, you will find an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who have worked with burn victims and their families in the past to maximize the compensation that they ultimately received through their personal injury claims.
Take a look at our past clients and the rewards that some of them have received:
- $4.2 million to the family of an infant burned due to unsafe conditions
- $3.25 million to the family of a fire death victim
- $950,000 to the family of a baby burned due to landlord negligence
- $550,000 settlement due to burns from a gas leak
While these results cannot guarantee a favorable result in your personal injury claim following a burn, when you work with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, you get an experienced team of attorneys dedicated to ensuring that your legal rights are enforced and protected.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
Understanding Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can vary widely in severity based on the type of burn and how deep the burn progresses through the surrounding tissues. Doctors usually divide burns into four categories, worsening in severity as they progress.
First-degree burns involve only the outer layer of skin, the dermis. First-degree burns usually involve significant redness but no blistering. While victims may have ongoing sensitivity in the skin and may need to avoid heat, sun, and chemical exposure during recovery, they can often make a full recovery.
Second-degree burns involve both the dermis and the layer of skin beneath it, the epidermis. Second-degree burns usually leave victims with redness and some blistering. While second-degree burns do not progress beyond the epidermis, they can still pose a substantial danger to victims. If second-degree burns cover a large percentage of the body, they can lead to a victim’s death. Second-degree burns also have a greater risk of complication if:
- They involve the face
- They occur near joints, which can inhibit mobility both during and after recovery
- They occur in the genital area
Third-degree burns involve both the dermis and the epidermis and may enter the underlying tissue. Third-degree burns cause the greatest physical pain for the victim. Skin may appear charred and black around the burn. Third-degree burns almost always leave substantial scarring behind, even after recovery.
Fourth-degree burns go beyond skin and tissue and may involve muscle and/or bone, depending on the severity and location of the burn. Often, victims of fourth-degree burns feel little to no pain due to the nerve damage that occurs following the burn.
Types of Burns
Burns can occur due to a variety of causes. The type of burn and how it occurs can help you determine who bears legal liability for your accident and injuries.
- Heat burns occur due to exposure to heat or flame. Fires, including fires from improperly maintained buildings, can lead to substantial heat burns. Heat burns may also occur due to exposure to hot or boiling liquids.
- Electrical burns occur when electricity comes into contact with the human body. In some cases, electrical burns can cover a large percentage of the body in a matter of seconds. Electrical burns often include internal injuries as well as the visible external burns.
- Chemical burns occur due to exposure to hazardous chemicals. Many chemicals can cause immediate corrosive damage on contact. Other chemicals can cause burn symptoms simply by being present in the air, especially after continued exposure.
- Friction burns typically occur due to repeated friction in a specific area of the body. Victims of auto accidents with road rash, for example, may experience friction burns as they are dragged across the pavement. Victims may also experience friction burns from harnesses or poorly-maintained equipment on construction sites.
- Radiation burns occur due to exposure to radiation. Often, radiation burns continue to show increased symptoms well after initial exposure.
- Cold burns occur when your skin suffers exposure to extremely high levels of cold. Often, cold burns show much the same symptoms as heat burns. If cold exposure continues long enough, the results can cause symptoms just as severe as heat burns.
Not only do burns cause a high degree of pain and suffering on their own, but they also carry a substantial risk of complication. In many cases, complications from burns can prolong the recovery period and increase the victim’s suffering.
- Hypothermia. Often, burn victims struggle to properly maintain body temperature following an accident, which can lead to hypothermia. Prolonged hypothermia can cause organ damage or even complete organ failure.
- Infection. Burns often expose a great deal of tissue, which makes it easy to introduce infection into a victim’s body. Infection can prevent a wound from healing, raise the victim’s temperature, and even lead to death in extreme cases.
- Skin breakdown. Many burn victims suffer from skin fragility or skin breakdown around the location of the burn.
- Contracture. Sometimes, during healing, a burned individual’s skin contracts, rather than stretching at its normal elasticity. This can decrease the victim’s mobility and lead to considerable complications.
- Scarring. Severe burns often result in substantial scars. Plastic surgery can help treat those scars, but it does lengthen the duration of the recovery process.
- Psychological complications. Many victims suffer serious psychological complications from their burns: both trauma from the accident itself and complications associated with scarring after the recovery. Many victims have a permanently changed physical appearance due to burn scars.
Seeking Compensation After a Burn Injury
When you suffer a burn injury, your medical costs may mount quickly; in extreme circumstances, including severe burns with infections and other complications during recovery, it may cost more than $10 million to treat your burns. Seeking compensation from the person legally liable for your accident can help provide vitally-needed funds during your recovery.
How Much Compensation Should You Expect to Receive?
Following serious burns, you may need substantial compensation to help you cover your medical expenses. However, two factors may limit the compensation that you can receive for your burns.
1) How much does the insurance policy that covers the liable party offer? Many entities have coverage through an insurance policy that will help provide payment for your injuries. Unfortunately, that policy may also significantly limit the compensation you can receive—particularly since burns often have such high medical costs. If you suffer burns in an auto accident, for example, New Jersey minimum car insurance may provide only $15,000 of coverage for your injuries. Other policies, including premises liability policies and medical malpractice policies, may have higher limits.
2) How much did your burn injuries cost? Even minor burns can have a steep cost of recovery, and the more complications you face, the more the cost of your treatment may rise. You should also consider all of the costs associated with your burns. When filing a personal injury claim following a burn, you will want to consider these expenses:
Medical expenses, including:
- Emergency care and transport
- Hospitalization, which may drag on for a long time for victims of severe burns. Some may require a stay in a special burn unit, where doctors can monitor the risk of contamination and infection.
- Surgeries and treatments. Severe burns may require skin grafts, which may fail in as many as one-third of cases, requiring repeat treatments.
- Occupational therapy, when burn injuries occur around joints or prevent burn victims from moving as freely as they did before the accident
- Physical therapy to help restore mobility and strength, especially after a long hospitalization
- Psychological therapy to cope with trauma from the accident or to help victims learn to cope with the impacts of scarring following their burns.
- In-home assistance to help burn victims care for themselves and their injuries, even after they return home
Lost wages: When you suffer serious burns, it can prevent you from returning to work for a long time. Even relatively minor burns may take up to four weeks to heal. Victims who suffer complications may find themselves out of work even longer. Victims with fresh burns may need to avoid exposure to heat and chemicals as well as engaging in any type of heavy labor. In addition, while you remain hospitalized, you may not complete any of your work responsibilities at all. Even after you return home, you may need time to continue healing before you can return to your full work schedule.
Lost earning potential: Some burns may prevent you from returning to your former profession. For example, if you model or act, scarring from burns could prevent you from fulfilling those roles. Likewise, burns that restrict mobility around joints could prevent you from participating in highly physical jobs to the fullest extent. Claiming lost earning potential can enable you to return to school or gain new certifications, so you can choose a new profession.
Pain and suffering: Burn victims often face significant pain during their recoveries. Burns, especially extensive burns, can cause ongoing pain that victims may struggle to escape. Not only that, victims may suffer significant trauma due to the accident itself or struggle with scarring, which can impact self-esteem and victims’ opinion of themselves or their futures. Burn victims may feel isolated or miss out on activities that they previously enjoyed. Talking with an attorney can help you better understand how your pain and suffering influences your personal injury claim and what you should claim in compensation for your injuries.
Who bears legal liability for my injuries?
Burn injuries may stem from a variety of sources. Who bears legal liability for your injuries following a burn accident will depend on where and how you suffered your burns, as well as what factors contributed to your accident. Burns can come from:
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Auto accidents
- Construction accidents
To determine who bears legal liability for your injuries, your attorney will ask several key questions, including the following:
Who owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident? If, for example, you suffered burns on a construction site, the construction company responsible for that site, the owner and manufacturer of any equipment on that site, and the owner of the site all owe a duty of care to anyone who uses or moves through that site.
Who violated that duty of care? Suppose you suffered burns due to an injury on a construction site; you, through no fault of your own, came into contact with exposed electrical wiring. No one turned off the electricity. Who violated a duty of care? In some cases, the premises owner might not leave electricity turned off or might provide inaccurate information concerning the location of those open electrical connections. In others, the construction workers might fail to turn off the electricity before working on a specific area.
How did that violation lead to your injuries? To file a personal injury claim, you must prove that the defendant’s breach of his or her duty of care caused or contributed to your accident, leading to your injuries. Sometimes, multiple parties might contribute to your accident.
Working with an attorney can help you identify all parties liable for your injuries. You can then put together a personal injury claim against each one, increasing the compensation you may receive for your injuries and helping you pay your bills following the accident.
Do You Need a Newark Burn Injury Lawyer?
If you suffered serious burn injuries in Newark, having our experienced personal injury attorneys on your side can provide you with advantages: increased peace of mind, an advocate to fight for you, and the knowledge you can move forward efficiently with your claim. Chat with one of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP’s live representatives right now, call us at (973) 643-2707, or send us a message by clicking here for your free case evaluation.