A burn injury can be serious and can take weeks or months to heal. They often leave scars, as well as significant medical bills, for their victims. In many cases, a victim is burned because of an automobile accident, a defective product, or someone’s negligence. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Scaffidi & Associates understand the pain that burn victims experience. We also understand that these injuries are typically preventable. If you’ve suffered a burn injury, talk to our team about possible legal compensation.
What Are The Different Types Of Burn Injuries?
Human skin is sensitive and cannot tolerate extreme conditions. There are many different types of burn injuries one can suffer, including:
- Open flame injuries
- Scalding and exposure to steam
- Radiation burns
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Friction burns
- Burns from hot metals and other objects
- Burns from explosions
What Are The Symptoms Of A Burn Injury?
Every burn injury is different. The exact symptoms will depend on the cause, the type, and the degree of the burn. The more common ones include the following:
- Discolored skin
- Peeling skin
- Shock (pale, clammy skin; bluish appearance in lips and fingernails; weakness and lack of alertness)
- Extreme Pain
Deep burns that severely discolor the skin, produce swelling and shock are indications of an emergency. If the victim displays these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. In any event, you should see a doctor even if your burn injury seems to be more minor to make sure that the full extent of your injuries are properly diagnosed and documented, and so that the necessary treatments can begin.
What Are the Different Degrees of a Burn?
There are at least three recognized degrees of burns:
First-degree burn: the outer layer of the skin is affected and may display redness but not blistering.
Second-degree burn: the first and second layers of skin are affected and display blistering and swelling. These burns may also cause red, white, or splotchy skin. Victim will experience extreme pain.
Third-degree burn: burn reaches the layer of fat beneath the skin. The burned areas may be black, brown, or white. Nerves may be destroyed and the victim will likely require skin grafts.
Some authorities recognize fourth-degree burns. These can cause damage to tendons and bones, extensive hospital stays, skin grafts, and rehabilitative therapy.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
A great many accidents can result in burns. Car accidents, exposure to chemicals, exposure to extreme heat, and product malfunctions are some of the more common causes of burn injuries.
But these are only the immediate causes of such injuries. Typically, negligence is the root cause of a burn injury. Negligence can reveal itself in many ways, such as:
- Running a stop sign, speeding, and other examples of reckless driving
- Negligently designing or manufacturing a defective product
- Overloading electric circuits or using old, worn, or exposed wiring
- Failing to maintain or inspect equipment
- Failing to properly store or safeguard caustic, dangerous chemicals
The facts of each burn injury will determine whether someone is liable for the victim’s injuries. If the victim was careless – for example, by disregarding warnings about how to properly use chemicals – then it will be more difficult to show someone else was at fault. Where another party was responsible for the burns, it’s important to let your lawyer know all relevant facts about how the injury occurred.
How Are Burn Injury Victims Affected?
Burns can cause life-altering consequences. Beyond the immediate need for medical attention – including hospitalization – a burn victim may require skin grafts, plastic surgery, continued treatments, medication, and/or rehabilitation. One common complication of burns is infection. If bacteria enter the bloodstream through broken skin, serious and potentially life-threatening problems may result.
Scarring and disfigurement are common in higher degree burns. These can affect the victim’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. Depending on the person’s occupation, these psychological consequences can impact the victim’s ability to work.
Obviously, serious burn injuries will cause medical bills and related costs to start piling up. They can also cause victims to miss significant amounts of time from work, or even lose the ability to work at the same level. While receiving hospitalization or therapy, victims who are parents may need to hire someone to look after their children.
What Compensation May A Burn Injury Victim Expect?
In general, the amount of compensation a burn injury victim may receive depends upon such factors as the nature of the injuries and the negligence of the responsible party or parties. Higher degree burns, and more negligent behaviors, will usually result in more compensation.
The jury in your case may award such compensation as:
- Medical costs, including past, present, and future treatment, rehabilitative therapy, surgery, skin grafts, prescription medication, and nursing care
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a loved one (in wrongful death cases)
- Damage to or destruction of personal property
In rare cases, punitive damages may be available. As the term implies, these are intended to punish the responsible party for particularly egregious behavior. Your burn injury lawyer can assess whether punitive damages are appropriate in your case.
Are There Time Limits for Filing My Case?
In New York, most personal injury cases – including those involving burns – are generally governed by a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you have three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. Therefore, If you have suffered burn injuries, it is important to contact an attorney promptly, especially because there may be special circumstances where the time to sue is shorter than three years.
Contact Our NYC Burn Injury Lawyer Today!
Let the experienced burn injury attorneys at Scaffidi & Associates go to work for you. We will investigate your case and let you know what legal options you have. If a fair settlement can be reached, we will make sure it covers all aspects of your injuries. And if necessary, we will take your case to court and fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us for a consultation regarding your case.