New York Burn Injury Attorneys
When you suffer severe burns due to another party’s negligence, you may find your life changed, often permanently. Even minor burns can cause significant, long-term pain and suffering, while more serious burns can cause lifelong scarring and disfigurement. If you suffered burns in an accident caused by another party, you may need legal assistance pursuing compensation. Contact the New York personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Experienced Burn Injury Lawyers
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have experience handling a wide range of injuries, including burn injuries. In a past case, we secured a $4.2 million settlement when a two-year-old suffered severe burns after a pot of boiling water fell on her from an improperly secured stove, as well as a $3.25 million wrongful death payout from a fire in a Bronx apartment. We also helped a client acquire a $925,000 settlement when an infant received severe burns to the bottoms of her feet due to improper hot water regulation in the building.
Our results in past claims cannot guarantee that you will receive compensation for your severe burn injuries. However, with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, you get an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who understand an individual’s legal rights following serious burn injuries. We fight to maximize our clients’ compensation.
Retaining an experienced burn injury attorney to handle your burn injury claim helps:
- Prevent you from missing out on certain types of compensation for your burn injury.
- Demonstrate to a court the full extent of your injuries and everything that you’ve suffered because of your burns.
- Offer peace of mind throughout the claims process, as you can feel confident that you have an experienced negotiator who will handle many of the difficult conversations.
If you suffer serious burn injuries, you should focus your efforts on your physical and mental recovery. Often, working with an experienced burn injury attorney can help alleviate some of the stress associated with your claim, including ensuring that you have a representative on your side throughout the entire claim process. Your attorney will keep your best interests in mind; whereas, insurance companies often have other concerns.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
Understanding the Basics of Burn Injuries
Every year across the United States, more than 1.1 million burn victims receive emergency treatment services. More than 180,000 victims also die of their burns each year. Typically, doctors define burns according to their severity, using a numbered rating system: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, etc.
First-degree burns usually cause comparatively little long-term hardship. While they may leave some reddening of the skin behind, leaving the victim with some skin sensitivity, they usually resolve quickly and with little to no scarring. First-degree burns do not leave blisters behind, but victims may suffer sensitivity to heat and sunlight while first-degree burns heal.
Second-degree burns leave some blistering behind. They involve the top layer of the skin and part of the dermis, which is the layer just beneath the top. Even second-degree burns can cause life-threatening complications in some cases, such as when they cover a large percentage of the body, when such burns occur around sensitive areas, like joints or around the genitals, or when they occur in an individual with a weakened immune system. Second-degree burns can take some time for a victim to recover from completely and may, in some cases, leave some permanent scarring behind.
Third-degree burns do not just impact the epidermis and the dermis. Often, third-degree burns, which usually involve substantial blistering, go into the subcutaneous tissue below the skin. Third-degree burns may look charred or white in appearance. Victims of third-degree burns usually experience significant scarring and may have a much higher risk of infection. Third-degree burns usually cause the highest degree of pain in victims.
While fourth-degree burns cause more substantial damage than third-degree burns, often impacting all three layers of skin and even reaching muscle or bone, fourth-degree burns may actually cause less pain than third-degree burns due to the destruction of tissue. Fourth-degree burns usually cause substantial scarring and long-term pain and suffering for a victim.
Types of Burns
Burn injuries can occur for a variety of reasons. When most people think of burn injuries, they think of burns that occur due to heat. Burns, however, can have many different causes. Burns can occur at home or at work, as well, and can result from a wide range of accident types, from product liability accidents to construction site accidents.
Chemical burns typically occur due to exposure to dangerous chemicals. Often, these chemicals continue burning despite a victim’s best efforts to remove the chemical from his or her skin. Some corrosive chemicals can cause burn damage with only minor exposure, while other burns slowly damage the skin through continued exposure. Improper chemical disposal or improper handling procedures can quickly cause chemical burns.
While electrical burns often look much like heat burns, they can occur in a flash, with just a few seconds of exposure to electricity causing substantial burns. Exposed electrical wires or failing to properly turn off electricity before working on electric systems can quickly lead to severe electrical burns for the victim.
Like continued exposure to heat, repeated or intense friction can quickly cause a burn reaction on the skin. Some victims of auto accidents, for example, may have friction burns that accompany the rest of their injuries from the accident.
Exposure to some types of radiation can cause burns in the immediate aftermath of the exposure. Other types of radiation exposure may cause burn symptoms over time.
Common Burn Complications
Along with the symptoms of the burn itself, burn injuries can also quickly lead to complications, especially if the victim does not receive appropriate treatment. In some cases, these complications can lead to long-term difficulties or even death.
- Infection. Because burns strip away the protective layers of skin intended to protect the rest of the body, bacteria can quickly enter the open wound and pass into the bloodstream. Infections can, in many cases, lead to death.
- Fluid loss. Following a burn, many victims struggle with blood volume and may require transfusions to help in their recovery.
- Hypothermia. Burn victims’ body temperatures often drop sharply. This difficulty with temperature regulation can cause organ failure and, in many cases, death.
- Severe scarring. Burns, in many cases, leave a victim with substantial scars that will last for a lifetime. Some victims may require skin grafts to help repair some of the damaged tissue. While plastic surgery can help improve the appearance of some scars, it may not entirely return the victim’s appearance to normal.
- Decreased mobility. When burns occur near joints, tight skin can cause decreased mobility throughout those areas. Burn victims may require physical or occupational therapy to help them relearn how to perform tasks in spite of this decrease in function.
Seeking Compensation for Your Burn Injuries
After your burns, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses. Even minor burns can leave victims with substantial expenses that continue to mount as time passes. When burn victims turn to experienced personal injury attorneys, they can help answer many of the victims’ questions. Consider the following:
Who bears liability for my burn injuries?
To determine who bears legal liability for an individual’s burn injuries—and who, therefore, bears financial responsibility for the injuries and related expenses—consider these key factors:
- Who owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident?
- Did that party violate the duty of care? How?
- Did that violation lead to your accident and thus your injuries? How?
Burn injuries can occur in a variety of settings: auto accidents (including big truck accidents), construction site accidents, product liability accidents, and premises liability accidents, for example. If someone else caused your burn injuries, consult an attorney to help determine who caused or contributed to those injuries. In many cases, you may identify multiple parties who share legal liability for your injuries and who, therefore, may owe you compensation.
How much compensation should I seek for my burn injuries?
Severe burns, treated with no complications, may leave you with medical costs of more than $1.6 million. If you suffer complications during the healing process, you may face costs that total $10 million or more. How much compensation should you seek for your burn injuries? Several factors may limit the amount of compensation that you receive for your burns. Consider the following:
Who caused your burns? To seek compensation for your injuries, you must identify who caused your injuries. In many cases, the liable party may have an insurance policy that covers your injuries. If this is the case, you may receive compensation only up to the maximums of the policy, even if the cost of your injuries substantially exceeds that amount. In the case of burns, with their high price tag for treatment, you may want to consult an attorney to help identify any other parties who might have contributed to your burns, which can help you increase the amount of compensation that you ultimately receive.
What do your expenses look like? When you file a personal injury claim, you must identify the expenses related to your injuries. If you have first-degree burns with few medical expenses, for example, you may not receive as much in compensation as you would if you suffered more serious injuries. When seeking compensation, most burn victims claim:
- Compensation for medical expenses related to the accident. This includes all of your medical expenses, from your emergency transport and treatment to long-term medical treatment or a long stay in the hospital. If you have other medical expenses, including the cost of therapy, you can also include them in your demand package. Also, consider any prosthetic or mobility devices that you need to assist you during or after your recovery.
- Compensation for lost wages. Burn injuries often cause substantial pain and require long-term hospitalization and treatment. Immediately after your burns, you may have to remain in a sterile environment to decrease the risk of infection. As your recovery progresses, continuing pain or inability to handle exposure to heat or chemicals can also prevent you from returning to work. You can include compensation for that lost time at work as part of your demand package.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. Burn injuries cause a great deal of pain. Not only that, but also you may suffer long-term isolation during your recovery. Many victims also face serious emotional distress due to scarring from their burns. Talking with an attorney can help you better quantify the pain and suffering associated with your injuries, so you can include such expenses as part of your demand package.
If an insurance company offers compensation for my burns, will it provide a fair offer?
In many cases, an insurance company, or multiple insurance companies, may bear financial liability for your injuries. The representatives for that insurance company, however, usually have the company’s bottom line in mind, not your best interests. The insurance company will likely attempt to minimize payment as much as possible. It will employ defensive legal tactics to minimize its liability.
One tactic that many insurance companies employ involves offering injured individuals a quick, low-ball settlement immediately after their accidents, before they have a chance to calculate their total expenses or have any idea how long their recoveries will take.
Consulting an attorney can not only help ensure that the insurance company does not attempt to minimize your injuries, but also it can prevent you from accepting an offer that does not fairly reflect your expenses after your injuries.
Our New York Burn Injury Attorneys Are Ready to Talk to You
If you suffered serious burns due to another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Having our experienced burn injury attorneys on your side can help. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today in one of three easy ways. You can open a live chat with one of our representatives, contact us by clicking here, or call (877) 565-2993 to learn more about your legal rights and determine your eligibility to seek compensation following a burn injury.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
39 Broadway Suite 1910,
New York, NY 10006