Staten Island Burn Injury Attorney
On average, across the United States, someone suffers a burn injury every 23 minutes. The majority of those injuries occur at home and at work, often due to preventable circumstances. Unfortunately, many burns occur due to the negligence of another party: improper chemical disposal or safety that leads to chemical burns, a lack of fire safety precautions, or exposed electrical wiring, for example.
If you suffered serious burn injuries due to the negligence of another party, you should seek compensation for your injuries. Contact Staten Island Burn Injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today to learn more about your legal rights and to determine your eligibility to file a personal injury claim.
Jacoby and Meyers, LLP: Handling Burn Accident Cases for Many Satisfied Clients
When you need a burn injury attorney, you want an experienced attorney who can help with every step of your burn injury claim. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have successfully helped many of our past clients successfully resolve their burn injury claims.
Consider the following:
- When an infant suffered serious burns due to an unsafely-secured stove falling, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, helped the parents secure a $4.2 million settlement.
- When a tenant died in a fire due to a landlord’s decision to ignore safety precautions, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, helped the family of the victim acquire a $3.25 million settlement.
- When a baby suffered injuries after washing her feet in water that was far too hot due to a landlord’s negligence, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, helped the family acquire a $950,000 settlement.
- Following a gas leak that left the victim with serious burns, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, helped the victim secure a $550,000 settlement.
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled burn injuries in the past can make it easier for you to file your personal injury claim and seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries. While you do not have to retain a burn injury attorney to legally file a burn injury claim after you suffer burns, having an attorney on your side can provide many advantages.
Consider the following:
- A burn injury attorney can help determine the full value of your claim and advise you on how much compensation to seek. A burn injury attorney can often help identify special damages related to your claim that you might not have realized you could include in your claim. Your attorney can also advise you on how much your severe burn injury has already cost you and will continue to cost you in the future.
- A burn injury attorney can take care of negotiations on your behalf. In many cases, working with a burn injury attorney can help increase the compensation you receive for your burns. Many insurance companies, for example, may offer more compensation when they know you have chosen to work directly with a burn injury attorney. In other claims, you may find that an attorney can help negotiate for higher levels of compensation than you would have sought on your own.
- A burn injury attorney can reduce your stress as you file a burn injury claim for your burns. When you suffer severe burns, you have enough to deal with as you recover from your injuries. When you have a burn injury attorney on your side, you know you have someone who will put your best interests at the forefront. This can decrease your stress and free up your time to focus more fully on your recovery.
Understanding Burn Injuries
- First-degree burns generally impact only the top layer of skin. Typically, victims with first-degree burns face some redness and tenderness in the surrounding skin, sometimes accompanied by minor swelling. First-degree burns usually heal fairly quickly and without scarring, though they may cause substantial pain and sensitivity for the victim in the meantime.
- Second-degree burns encompass the first and second layers of the skin. Usually, second-degree burns show signs of blistering and significant redness. Second-degree burns often cause significant pain for a victim and can leave scarring behind.
- Third-degree burns go below the layers of skin and can enter the tissue beneath. Third-degree burns may cause some blistering, but they typically have a black, charred appearance. Third-degree burns typically cause the highest amount of pain for victims. Usually, third-degree burns, which may require skin grafts for treatment, leave significant scarring in their wake.
- Fourth-degree burns encompass skin, the tissue beneath, and often impact muscle and bone, depending on the location of the injury. Victims of fourth-degree burns may not experience as much pain as other burn injury victims, since the burns often destroy the nerves around the injury. Fourth-degree burns may leave behind scars that permanently change a victim’s appearance.
Burns can occur from a variety of different sources. Most people assume that burns come predominantly from heat. Many stimuli, however, can lead to burns.
- Thermal burns occur from a heat-based source. While flames can cause thermal burns, thermal burns can also result from boiling liquids or exposure to extreme heat sources, including stoves or heaters. Thermal burns can increase in severity with higher levels of heat or with continued exposure to that heat.
- Chemical burns occur when the victim suffers exposure to corrosive chemicals. While some chemicals lead to burns after prolonged exposure, others may burn the victim after even incidental contact. Chemical burns often occur due to improper chemical disposal methods or chemical safety procedures at construction sites or warehouses. To stop the burn from spreading, victims must stop their exposure to the chemical, which can prove difficult in some environments. As a result, chemical burns can quickly get out of control and lead to severe injuries.
- Electrical burns. When the body faces exposure to high voltages of electricity, the victim often receives electrical burns from that exposure. Electrical burns can go through the entire body, even causing damage to organs and underlying tissue. Electrical burns can cause serious complications in the victim, including death.
- Friction burns occur when the body faces extreme friction, which removes layers of skin and underlying tissue from the body. Friction burns usually occur when the victim gets dragged across a rough surface or when the rough surface drags across the victim. Friction burns commonly occur in auto accidents and on construction sites.
- Radiation burns. Radiation burns occur as a result of exposure to extreme radiation. Radiation burns commonly occur as a result of improperly-administered medical treatments. Radiation burns may also occur in some work environments.
Potential Side-Effects and Complications of Severe Burns
During burn recovery, many victims face significant pain and tenderness in the affected area. Victims may require treatment to remove burned skin and foreign matter from the burn, as well as skin grafts to help recover the burned area and introduce uninjured skin to the injured tissue. In addition, many burn victims face severe complications from their injuries that can prolong recovery time, increase medical bills, and introduce further pain and suffering.
Consider the following complications:
- Infection. Burns remove the protective layer of skin on top of vulnerable tissues, leaving the victim more open to infections. In some cases, victims may face severe infections, sepsis, and even death. Most hospitals keep their severe burn victims in special sterile environments to help reduce the risk of infection; however, an infection can enter the victim’s body in spite of taking the best precautions. Victims with infections may struggle with slower healing or suffer significant health complications.
- Skin breakdown. Following serious burns, skin breakdown may occur around the site of the burn. The victim may struggle to have healthy skin recover the area around the burn.
- Scarring. Many burn victims find that they have severe scarring even after their burns heal. In many cases, burn victims struggle with the impact of that scarring on their bodies, including their changed appearance following the accident. Severe scarring may cause self-consciousness or difficulty participating in social activities. While some victims turn to plastic surgery to help reduce the appearance of scars after a burn, many victims find that plastic surgeons cannot fully restore their original appearances.
- Hypothermia. Severe burns can make it difficult for victims to regulate body temperature. Often, body temperature drops substantially following those burns. If hypothermia continues, it can cause severe organ damage.
- Mobility challenges. When burns occur near joints, scarring may tighten the skin around the joint, decreasing mobility and making it difficult for the victim to move normally. Severe burns can also cause shortening of muscles or tendons beneath the skin, offering further mobility challenges. Physical therapy can sometimes help restore normal movement, while occupational therapy can help victims learn to cope with those restrictions.
Burn victims who suffer burns over large percentages of their bodies or who have burns around joints, their faces, or their genitals may face a higher risk for complications from their burns. Any burn victim, however, can face complications during recovery.
Filing a Burn Injury Claim After a Burn
When another party’s negligence causes your burns, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to help you seek compensation for your injuries. That personal injury claim can help you get much-needed funds to pay your medical bills and other expenses after your burn.
How much is my burn injury worth?
When you file a claim for compensation for your burn injury, your compensation will depend on two factors: (1) the severity of your injuries, and therefore the extent of your expenses related to the burn, and (2) the party legally liable for your injuries. Many entities, including many premises owners and operators, construction companies, and private individuals operating motor vehicles, carry liability insurance designed to protect them when unintentional negligence causes injury to other individuals. When an insurance policy covers your injuries, the limits of that policy may determine the amount of compensation that you can seek for your burns.
Your compensation will also depend on the severity of your injuries and the expenses you face as a result of your injuries. Most burn injury victims claim compensation for:
Medical expenses. Following a serious burn, your medical expenses may increase quickly. Many burn victims face tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. If you face complications during your recovery, your medical bills could rise into the millions of dollars.
Working with an attorney can help you fully calculate all medical expenses associated with your burn, including:
- The cost of emergency medical care
- Hospitalization, including a stay in a special burn unit, if needed
- All procedures to help you recover, including skin grafts
- Observation of your burns by your doctor through the recovery period
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy, if needed to aid in your recovery.
Lost wages. Following your accident, you may struggle to return to work. Burns often require delicate handling. If you suffer serious burns, you may need to stay away from heat sources and avoid chemical exposure more stringently than usual. You may also need to avoid some types of physical activity, especially anything that could scrape up against the burn and interfere with your healing. Some burn victims cannot return to work until the later stages of their recovery due to the risk of infection or continuing pain from the injury. If your burns cause scarring or limitations that prevent you from returning to your previous profession, you can also claim lost earning potential.
Pain and suffering. Not only do burns cause significant pain, but they can also leave you with ongoing psychological trauma. Consulting a burn accident attorney can help you quantify your pain and suffering for inclusion in your claim.
Who bears legal liability for my burn injuries?
The entity that bears legal liability for your burns will depend on where and how the accident occurred. Some possibilities include:
- The other driver in an auto accident
- Manufacturers of defective equipment or parts that caused a fire or explosion
- Construction companies and electricians who caused electrical burns
- Negligent premises owners
- Negligent businesses
- Landlords who failed to take proper cautions to prevent fires and burns
Do You Need a Burn Injury Attorney in Staten Island?
If you suffered burns in an accident, and you didn’t cause them, you shouldn’t bear the financial responsibility of paying for the treatments, let alone the pain and suffering that comes with burns, skin grafts, plastic surgery, and infections.
“After my accident I contacted a law firm and explained the situation. They told me about cases they’ve had in the past and the most compensation they got for clients. They made me aware that they were not interested at the time but, I could contact them in the future if anything changed. After my surgery 2 years later my wife suggested I contact an attorney. Since it happened in a different state I contacted an attorney in that state and was told the statute of limitations was up. My wife told me not to give up, that’s when I contacted Jacoby & Meyers. They were able to figure out how to proceed with the case and settled it for 15 times the amount that the original law firm had said might be possible. I highly recommend Jacoby & Meyers, they were professional and kept me informed throughout the entire process.” -Charles D.
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Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
26 Watchogue Rd Suite 1
Staten Island, NY 10314