Treatments of Burn Injuries and Related Expenses
A person who suffers a serious burn injury due to the reckless or negligent conduct of another has the right to pursue compensation for all past and future medical expenses connected to the injury as well as other losses.
These costs will largely depend on the severity of the burn injury and whether any complications arise. The degree to which a victim requires psychological counseling, rehabilitation therapy and occupational therapy also will factor into the financial impact.
The attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, can conduct a careful review of the medical records and other evidence in your case and consult with highly qualified medical experts, life care planners and economists to help you understand the full amount of compensation you are due for the treatment of the burn injuries in your case.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Albany, Syracuse and across New York State.
The Impact of Burn Injuries
To understand the potential medical costs of burn injuries, it is important to understand the types of injuries that can be suffered.
For instance, a burn may result in:
- Skin damage or skin loss
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Muscle, tendon, ligament and other soft tissue damage
- Bone damage or bone loss
- Vision loss
- Lung and other internal organ damage
- Contracture (tightening of soft tissue which restricts movement)
- Scarring and disfigurement.
A burn injury victim may also experience physical complications that include:
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Renal failure
- Respiratory failure
- Wound infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Cellulitis (bacterial skin infection)
- Pneumonia (lung infection)
- Septicemia (bacterial blood infection)
- Bacteremia (non-infectious presence of bacteria in the blood)
In addition to physical complications, a burn injury may result in emotional harm. The victim may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is triggered by the fire, explosion or other incident that caused the burn injury. Additionally, the victim may suffer from anxiety and depression caused by living with scarring and disfigurement.
Medical Costs of Burn Injuries
The medical costs of a burn injury will include initial medical care to relieve pain and repair tissue damage. A patient may also be administered topical creams or medication for pain, including morphine. Intravenous (IV) solutions may be ordered to prevent dehydration.
Compression therapy, or the use of burn garments, may be undertaken to prevent contractures. Additionally, doctors will remove loose, dead, debris-ridden or contaminated skin and other tissue in the wounded area. This procedure is known as debridement.
Later, the patient may undergo skin grafts to replace scar tissue with healthy skin or cosmetic (plastic) surgery to repair scarring and disfigurement. Multiple surgical operations may be required.
A patient with a severe burn may be transferred to a burn center for specialized care. For instance, The Clark Burn Center of SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse is one of 11 burn care centers in New York recognized by the American Burn Association.
If complications arise, they will increase the time that a burn injury victim must stay in the hospital. In its latest annual survey, Kaiser State Health Facts reported that the average cost per inpatient per day at a New York hospital ranges from $1,780 at a state / local government hospital to $1,906 at a non-profit hospital.
Additional Costs of Burn Injuries
A severely burned patient will eventually require vocational and occupational therapy and psychological counseling.
For a burn victim who has been disabled, a full life care plan should be developed to project costs for future medical care and needs that may include personal assistance, assistive devices, prosthetics, adaptive devices (walkers or wheelchairs) and home renovations.
A severe burn injury victim may be unable to return to working for a living. The victim’s loss of income and projected future loss of income should be incorporated into any claim for compensation.
Contact a New York Burn Injury Attorney
The personal injury attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, work with individuals and families throughout the state of New York to seek proper compensation for catastrophic injuries, including severe burn injuries. To learn how we can put our decades of combined experience to work for you, contact us today.
Sources / Additional Information
- Fact Sheet, American Burn Association
- Burns – Treatment and Drugs, Mayo Clinic
- Average Cost Per Inpatient Day Across 50 States in 2010, Becker’s Hospital Review