Bronx Burn Injury Attorneys
Life for Bronx residents can change in an instant because of a sudden, unexpected injury. Among the devastating, life-altering injuries a Bronx resident can suffer, severe burns stand out as some of the most tragic and painful. Burns cause extreme physical, emotional, and financial suffering. As largely preventable injuries, they can feel even more excruciating when they result from someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional actions.
As “one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States,” according to the American Burn Association, burns sent nearly half-a-million Americans to hospital emergency rooms between 2011 and 2015, and there is no reason to think that pace has slowed in the ensuing years. Tragically, children under 15 make up a disproportionately large portion of burn victims.
No one should ever have to suffer the agony of a severe burn caused by someone else’s poor decisions or dangerous actions. If a catastrophe does occur, however, then burn victims have rights to compensation that our attorneys can help protect. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we fight to hold individuals and companies accountable for causing an innocent person’s severe burns. Call our Bronx office today at (718) 294-0813 for a free case evaluation.
A Bronx Law Firm for Burn Victims
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is a New York law firm that represents Bronx residents who have suffered tragic injuries because of someone else’s poor decisions or dangerous actions. We exclusively represent victims of preventable injuries, because we believe no one should go without experienced, diligent legal representation after some other individual’s or company’s careless, reckless, or intentionally-harmful conduct upends their lives.
We are a New York City law firm with deep roots in the Bronx. It’s not just that many of our attorneys are also die-hard Yankees fans. It’s that our team lives here, too. We opened our office at 656 East Fordham Road (near the Botanical Garden) because the Bronx is our community, and we believe our Bronx clients, especially those struggling with the tragic aftermath of a severe burn injury, deserve a lawyer who lives and works in their community.
Our track record in burn injury matters speaks for itself. Over the years, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has recovered millions in settlements and jury verdicts for burn injury victims and their families. There is never a guarantee we, or any lawyer, can recover compensation for a client in any particular case, of course. However, our clients take comfort knowing their lawyer has a hard-earned reputation for getting results in the toughest, most emotionally-charged burn injury cases.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
Overview of Severe Burn Injuries
Bronx-dwellers have access to some of the finest doctors in the world. Many of our clients who suffer severe burns receive treatment in the burn units at Jacobi Medical Center on Pelham Parkway, Harlem Hospital in Harlem, and New York Presbyterian on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The online Health Library featured on the New York Presbyterian website serves as the source of the general information about burns below.
Types of Burns
Burns are injuries to one or more layers of skin and, in severe circumstances, tissue, structures, and organs beneath the skin. They result from a variety of causes.
- Heat. So-called thermal burns result from exposing the skin to extreme heat. Flames, steam, hot liquids, and hot objects can all inflict a thermal burn.
- Cold. Exposing the skin to extremely cold temperatures can also cause severe damage, such as when a victim suffers frostbite or windburn.
- Electricity. Skin exposure to a live wire, an arc, or lightning, can result in a serious burn akin to a thermal burn.
- Chemicals. When the skin comes in contact with caustic solids, liquids, or gases, the resulting chemical reaction can cause a severe burn.
- Radiation. High energy waves and particles damage skin unless it is shielded by protective equipment, such as a lead blanket. The sun’s rays, X-rays, and certain cancer therapies can all cause radiation burns.
- Friction. Skin rubbing against a surface generates heat and causes abrasion, both of which damage skin layers and surrounding tissue. Road rash is a common form of friction burn.
Burns Measured by Degree
Medical professionals assess burns by assigning them a degree of severity:
- First degree burns injure only the top (or outer) skin layer. They are considered “minor” injuries that will generally heal on their own within a week, and can be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies.
- Second degree burns cause damage to more than one of the skin’s layers. Although at times difficult to distinguish from first degree burns, at least initially, some signs of second degree burning include blisters, spotting, or a white appearance. Second degree burns sometimes require medical care, particularly if they get infected.
- Third degree burns harm all layers of skin in the area affected, as well as frequently the tissue beneath it. These burns are characterized by a tough, leathery appearance. They require immediate medical care, and carry a high infection risk.
- Fourth degree burns result in catastrophic damage to skin layers, tissue, and structures beneath them (bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and organs). These are life-threatening injuries that require immediate emergency medical care and (likely) long-term care.
Never underestimate the severity of a burn. Consult a doctor right away. Second, third, and fourth degree burns come with serious risks of infection. Seeing a doctor will help protect against that outcome, and will also generate important medical records that you may need later if you take legal action for damages against the person or company who caused your burn.
Treatment of Burns
A burn’s type and degree determine how a medical professional will treat it. First degree burns, as we said above, typically heal quickly with the help of over-the-counter remedies. Any other degree of burn, however, may require more intensive medical intervention. These treatments include courses of antibiotics to ward off infection, long-term hospital stays in specialty burn units, surgical procedures to remove, replace (or a graft), or reconstruct damaged skin and tissue, long-term physical and occupational therapy, and mental health care. Frequently, making a full recovery from a burn still leaves a burn victim with disfiguring scars and physical disabilities, not to mention severe emotional trauma.
Settings and Circumstances for Severe Burns in the Bronx
The American Burn Association data above reports that most preventable burns occur inside the home. Most of those burns, however, are first degree injuries. Higher-degree burns, in contrast, occur in a wider range of settings and circumstances, such as:
The most common circumstance leading to severe and fatal burn injuries is a building fire. Thousands of Americans, including many here in the five boroughs, die in fires every year. Preventable fires, in fact, result in fatal burn injuries every 2 hours 35 minutes on average, according to the American Burn Association.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
We tend to think of car, truck, and motorcycle crashes as causing injuries through violent impacts, and that certainly is one way catastrophic injuries happen. Crashes, however, also frequently cause severe burns, such as when the impact of a collision causes a fire or explosion, spills toxic chemicals that burn vehicle occupants, or throws victims from vehicles (particularly motorcycles) and leaves them with severe road rash.
Construction Site and Workplace Incidents
Virtually any workplace you can imagine hides severe burn dangers. Manufacturing facilities contain hot-running machinery and steam pipes that can inflict a severe burn just by touching them. Construction sites put workers at burn risk from welding equipment and working around power and gas lines. Catastrophic burns can even happen in a typical office setting when someone spills scalding liquid on themselves or someone else.
Unreasonably Dangerous Consumer Products
As consumers, we should be able to trust that the products we buy will not injure us during ordinary use. Unfortunately, appliances, household cleaners, children’s toys, and a host of other products pose potential burn risks when they overheat, explode, or spill. Some of the most traumatic and devastating burn injuries we have seen as lawyers have resulted from unreasonably dangerous products.
How Burn Injury Attorneys Help Bronx Residents
If a severe burn causes devastation in your life, do you know who to turn to for help? Family and friends, certainly, can help you with the day-to-day tasks of recovering your physical health, at least for a while. But as recovery stretches out into weeks and months, and you cannot return to work even as bills pile up, you may find you need additional assistance. People may even tell you to call a lawyer. But what can a lawyer do for you exactly?
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our Bronx-based attorneys serve many of our burn injury clients by:
Investigating Burn Incidents and the Parties At-Fault For Them
Ask a burn victim what happened, and you are likely to hear about a specific incident involving one of the six types of burns listed above. Odds are lower, however, that the victim will be able to tell you details of the cascade of events, decisions, and actions that ended with the victim getting severely burned.
That is where our experienced Bronx burn injury lawyers can help. Our attorneys understand the modes and mechanisms of burn injuries and can take a hard look at the facts and circumstances that led to your burns. We aim to identify individuals or companies who made poor decisions or took dangerous actions that led to the injury. Those parties who could have, and should have, prevented our client’s burns have potential legal liability to our client for damages.
Evaluating How a Burn Affected a Client’s Life
The law entitles victims of other people’s wrongdoing to seek compensation (or damages) through legal action (suing or filing a lawsuit). In many such cases, the point of dispute is not so much that one person’s careless or reckless actions caused another person’s severe burn, but instead the amount of money the wrongful actor should pay.
Experienced burn injury lawyers spend a substantial amount of their time gathering evidence to prove the amount of money that would be fair for the legally liable party to pay. Some of this evidence constitutes documentation of out-of-pocket expenses and costs inflicted by a severe burn, such as medical copays, deductibles, and other expenses, and the amount of income a burn victim lost by missing work while recovering.
Other evidence relates to the harms done by a severe burn that does not come with a price tag attached: the suffering of physical and emotional pain, the ways a burn interferes with intimate relationships and a person’s quality of life, and so on. These harms are no less real or costly than out-of-pocket expenses, and it is a lawyer’s job to evaluate them, understand them, and assign them a dollar-value that reflects a fair payment to make up for them.
Armed with that information—the identifies of who caused harm to a client, and the amount of money that approximates that harm—an experienced Bronx burn injury lawyer frequently enters into negotiations with insurance adjusters and defense lawyers representing legally-liable parties. The goal of these discussions is to settle the matter by convincing the legally-liable party to make a payment to the client. Most, but by no means all, severe burn injury cases settle in this manner.
Going to Court
Some severe burn injury cases, however, do not settle. This can happen because the legally liable party may deny liability or may dispute the appropriate amount of money to pay, for example. Whatever the reason for a settlement not developing, an experienced burn injury attorney and the injured client may instead decide to take the case to a trial, where the lawyer explains to a judge and jury why the client should receive damages from the liable parties. If the lawyer’s argument proves successful, the jury delivers a verdict directing the liable parties to pay those damages to the burn victim.
Bronx Burn Injury Attorneys
The attorneys in the Bronx office of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, commit their careers to fighting for the rights and interests of injured New Yorkers. If a severe burn injury devastates your life, you can send us a message here, start a live chat with us, or call us today at (718) 294-0813 for a free case evaluation.