An estimated 450,000 burn injuries occur each year in the U.S. that require medical treatment, including 40,000 that involve hospitalization, according to the American Burn Association. In many of these cases, the victims’ burn injuries resulted from the negligent or reckless conduct of another.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we understand how a serious burn injury can drastically alter the life of a victim and his or her family. Since 1987, our law firm has been committed to doing all we can to help burn injury victims in Albany, Syracuse and New York State to recover and move on in their lives.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to another’s wrongful conduct, we invite you to contact our firm for a review of your case. We believe it’s important for you to have a full understanding of your legal rights and the options that may be available to you for seeking just compensation.
Why Do Burn Injuries Occur?
Burns can be caused by contact with thermal, electrical, radiant and chemical sources. These injuries commonly result from:
- Residential fires – An individual may carelessly leave on a stove or neglect a lit item such as a candle or cigarette, leading to a fire in a home or apartment. In some cases, a fire may be caused by faulty electrical wiring. Smoke alarms and escape routes should be provided by landlords. Those involved in residential fires may also be harmed by smoke inhalation.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Motorists may suffer burns from fires caused by the impact of a crash. In some vehicles, a flawed design may trigger a gas tank explosion. Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians may suffer friction burns in a collision with a car or truck.
- Workplace accidents – Those who work in manufacturing or construction face an increased risk of suffering burn injuries due to exposure to flames, chemicals, electricity or radiation. New York employees who suffer burn injuries in workplace accidents are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If someone other than an employer or co-worker is responsible, the employee may also pursue a personal injury claim. New York labor law provides an additional option for recovery if the burn happened to a worker at a construction site.
- Medical malpractice – Patients and hospital staff may suffer burns due to improperly used medical equipment, including electrical stimulation devices or radiation equipment. Doctors, nurses, hospital staff or the medical facility may be held responsible. The mistreatment of a burn injury patient may also constitute medical malpractice.
- Defective products – Defectively designed or manufactured products can cause individuals to suffer burn injuries, including defective household appliances, propane gas grills, space heaters and motor vehicles. In some cases, a product may be defective because it easily catches fire or is not flame-resistant as advertised. The manufacturer and others in the distribution chain may be held liable for the harm caused.
When reviewing your case, an attorney from Powers & Santola, LLP, can look to police accident reports, fire department investigation results, work accident reports, medical records and other sources to determine the cause of your burn injury and whether someone should be held responsible for your losses. It will also be important for our firm to conduct an independent investigation and consult with our highly qualified fire and burn injury experts.
What Are the Consequences of Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries can lead to painful, permanent and potentially fatal injuries. The burn may damage skin tissue, muscle, ligaments, tendons and nerves. In some instances, the burn may cause damage to the lungs and other organs. Complications such as arrhythmia, infections and organ failure may arise.
Additionally, a burn injury victim may be left with scarring or disfigurement. An extremity may need to be amputated in order to save the victim’s life. Victims may also bear emotional scars from the experience.
Any claim for damages resulting from a burn injury should take into consideration all related costs and losses, including:
- Medical expenses – This includes emergency procedures, debridement, skin grafts, plastic surgery, compression garments, medication and any assistive devices or long-term care a victim needs to fully recover.
- Lost income – This includes any wages, commissions, bonuses and other compensation that is lost while recovering from the burn injury. It also includes any income that will be lost in the future due to a disability that prevents one from working or diminishes one’s earning capacity. A claim should also cover any vocational rehabilitation that may be required.
- Pain and suffering – A burn is one of the most painful and traumatic injuries that an individual can suffer. A claim should account for this harm.
If the burn injury causes a victim’s death, eligible family members may be able to seek just compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer Serving New York State
If you or your loved one has have suffered a serious burn injury through another’s negligence or other wrongful activity, an experienced lawyer from Powers & Santola, LLP, would like to help you. We can review your case and explain your options under New York workers’ compensation, labor, personal injury and wrongful death laws. Contact us today to discuss your case. We represent victims of burns and other personal injury accidents throughout the state of New York.
Sources / Additional Information
- Fact Sheet, American Burn Association