Legal Representation for Victims of Serious Burn Injuries in New York

There is nothing easy about recovering from a burn or scald injury. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we have seen the damage an out-of-control fire, a spilled chemical, or a live wire can inflict. It is nothing short of torture. We're determined to help those who have been burned get the money they need to recover.

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Approximately 450,000 people in the U.S. receive medical treatment for burns annually.

Maybe one of your worst fears has come true—you’ve been terribly injured and are losing the ability to care for yourself and your family. Medical bills are stacking up, and you're not sure whether you have the finances to afford what you and your loved ones need.

Our New York burn injury attorneys have the skill, the focus, and the experience that you'll need to take on the at-fault party. There are many personal injury lawyers in New York–but few have the specialized knowledge and extensive resources needed to tackle burn injury litigation. WRSMH is fully prepared to help you secure the funds you need to pave the path to recovery. For a free and comprehensive case evaluation, call our office at (212) 986-7353 today.

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Different Types of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can be categorized into several types based on the source of the injury and the severity of the damage. The main types of burn injuries include thermal burns, chemical burns, electrical burns, and radiation burns.

  • Thermal burns: Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injury and occur when the skin comes into contact with flames, hot objects, steam, or hot liquids.
  • Chemical burns: Chemical burns occur when the skin or eyes come into contact with acids, alkalis, solvents, or other corrosive substances. The severity of chemical burns depends on factors such as the type and concentration of the chemical, duration of exposure, and amount of skin surface affected.
  • Electrical burns: Electrical burns result from contact with an electric current, such as electrical outlets, appliances, or lightning. Electrical burns can cause damage to the skin, muscles, blood vessels, and internal organs. The severity of electrical burns depends on factors such as the voltage, duration of exposure, and pathway of the current through the body. In addition to visible burns, electrical injuries can also cause internal damage, such as cardiac arrhythmias, muscle damage, and neurological problems.
  • Radiation burns: Radiation burns occur as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation from sources such as X-rays, radiation therapy, or nuclear accidents. The severity of radiation burns depends on factors such as the dose of radiation, duration of exposure, and area of the body exposed. Symptoms may include redness, blistering, ulceration, and tissue necrosis.

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How Is Burn Severity Determined?

Severity levels of thermal burns are typically categorized into the following three degrees:

  • First-degree burns: These affect only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and are characterized by redness, pain, and minor swelling. They usually heal within a few days without scarring.
  • Second-degree burns: These burns affect both the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the underlying layer (dermis). They cause redness, blistering, swelling, and severe pain. Healing may take several weeks, and scarring is common.
  • Third-degree burns: These burns extend through the entire thickness of the skin and may also damage underlying tissues, such as muscles, bones, and nerves. The skin may appear charred or white, and there may be little to no pain due to nerve damage. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention and often require skin grafts to heal properly.

It's essential to seek medical attention for burn injuries, especially for second-degree burns or higher, as they may require specialized care to prevent complications and promote proper healing.

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Causes of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can stem from various sources, including car accidents, workplace incidents like fires or chemical exposure, defective products like faulty electrical appliances, and even recreational mishaps such as scalds from hot beverages. Identifying responsible parties is crucial for legal recourse and ensuring adequate compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering.

This may involve employers, manufacturers, property owners, or negligent individuals. Holding responsible parties accountable not only assists victims in obtaining justice but also encourages safety measures to prevent future incidents, fostering a safer environment for all.

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What To Do After a Burn Injury

After sustaining a burn injury, immediate action is crucial. First, remove the source of the burn, if possible, and cool the affected area with cold water to alleviate pain and prevent further damage. Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth to reduce the risk of infection.

Seek medical attention promptly, especially for severe burns or those affecting sensitive areas like the face, hands, or genitals. Preserve evidence by documenting the scene, taking photographs, and collecting witness information. This documentation can be invaluable for legal proceedings or insurance claims. Prioritize personal safety and medical care to ensure the best possible outcome.

Once you’ve received immediate medical attention, contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP for a New York burn injury attorney who can help you take legal action and pursue the compensation you deserve.

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Long-Term Implications of Burn Injuries

Serious burn injuries can have lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Beyond initial pain and scarring, survivors may face long-term challenges such as disfigurement, limited mobility, and chronic pain, impacting quality of life.

Psychological trauma, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety, often accompanies such injuries, requiring ongoing therapy and support. The financial burden of medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages can be substantial. Additionally, continued medical care for wound management, surgeries, and therapies may be necessary. Recognizing these implications is crucial for providing comprehensive support to burn survivors addressing their holistic needs for recovery and adaptation.

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What Kind of Compensation Can You Expect?

There are a number of factors that make up the final amount, but ultimately, it comes down to two key components: how significant are your wounds, and how negligent was the person who caused them? So, an individual recovering from third-degree scalds on her feet, legs, and hands will almost certainly be able to collect more than someone suffering from a second-degree arm burn. There are exceptions to the rule, but in general – the greater the damage, the bigger the payout.

Compensation is divided into a few distinct categories. Courts usually consider the hard costs involved with burn victims first and then work their way into "soft" expenses. The following are some of the damages awarded by a judge and jury:

  • Economic damages: Any costs associated with medical bills, emergency care, rehabilitation, surgery, life-sustaining efforts, and any long-term treatments that may be necessary fall under economic damages. This also extends to other factors, such as lost wages, physical damages to personal property, other third-party bills, and any expenses associated with the accident.
  • Non-economic damages: These are the more "intangible" damages involved in civil suits – pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress are placed into this category. Amounts can range and depend greatly on the damage inflicted and gross negligence displayed.
  • Punitive damages: If the courts view the action surrounding your case as egregious, they may award punitive damages. These types of rulings are designed to "punish" the at-fault party for incredibly reckless actions. It is entirely at the discretion of the courts. However, punitive damages are typically hard to assess and are rarely applied to cases.

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Burn Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have a viable burn injury lawsuit?

A: Anyone who has sustained serious burn injuries due to the negligent actions of another party may be entitled to compensation for all related damages. Parents can file on behalf of their children. However, to have a strong case, you must take the proper steps after an accident to ensure that you retain supporting evidence for your claim. The first step is to get medical help. The second is to talk to a New York burn injury attorney.

The circumstances surrounding your burn will have a considerable influence on your legal options. For instance, if you were injured at work, you may file a workers’ compensation claim to receive medical coverage from your employer’s insurance. If you were injured due to a hazard on someone else’s property or a defective product, you may file a lawsuit against the property owner or product manufacturer. As for car accidents, you may be limited to filing a claim with your own insurance provider since New York is a no-fault state.

Q: What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

A: Your amount of fault in the accident may affect how much compensation you receive (barring workers’ compensation and most traffic accident cases, which exclude fault as a deciding factor). The amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive will be reduced by an amount that is proportionate to your percentage of fault in the accident.

Q: How soon should I file my burn injury claim or lawsuit?

A: As soon as you can. It is important to note that no matter how you have been burned, New York State has a time limit within which you may file your suit. This is a three-year window known as the statute of limitations and it begins from the moment of the accident. Failing to file your suit in that time can lead to a complete forfeiture of your right to seek damages. Don't let this happen to you.

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Cases of Serious Scalding Burn Injuries

When hot water or steam makes contact with skin, the results can be quite severe. Scald injuries can be incredibly painful and traumatic, and the associated medical costs can be sky-high. In many cases, victims are unable to return to work and lose out on much-needed pay during recovery. Furthermore, scald injuries are, for the most part, preventable.

If you have suffered a scald injury due to another party, you should not have to empty your savings account to pay for their mistake! Ask yourself: did the accident that led to the scald take place in a restaurant, in a motel or hotel, or on someone else’s property? If so, you may have a viable liability claim against the:

  • Building/business owner or landlord
  • Any hired personnel
  • Leasing agent
  • Maintenance company
  • Others

Scald injuries are also commonly caused by rapid and unexpected changes in water temperature, which can occur due to:

  • Malfunctioning thermostats
  • Defective water heaters
  • Other shoddy water-based equipment

If the above applies to your case, you may bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the involved product.

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Call a New York Burn Injury Attorney to Protect Your Rights

The experienced litigators at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP have the experience, the determination, and the resources to help you get justice for your burn injury. Don't let those responsible for your scars walk away; you and your loved ones deserve more than that. Let our team of dedicated New York personal injury lawyers represent your interests and obtain the compensation you need to fully recover.

Reach out to us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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