Burn Injury Lawyer in Queens, NY
A burn injury is one of the most painful injuries a person can endure. The medical treatment required to care for a serious burn is often as much of an ordeal as the initial trauma. A serious burn can require months of specialized treatment, multiple surgeries, and skin grafts. Severe burns that are not fatal can lead to psychological issues including depression, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Unfortunately, accidents that lead to serious burn injuries are quite common. The American Burn Association says more than 400,000 Americans receive treatment for burn injuries each year. Nearly 300 children and adolescents die from fires or burn injuries each year. More than 100,000 are admitted to a hospital or treated in an emergency department, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City says it treats more than 700 inpatients and 4,000 outpatients each year. In New York in 2021, 122 home fire fatalities were reported by news media, the U.S. Fire Administration says.
At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., in Queens, we fully understand the seriousness of burn injuries. When they occur because of another party’s negligence, burn victims deserve to be fully compensated for their losses, including their pain and suffering.
We offer burn injury victims our compassion and a no-obligation case review with a burn injury lawyer in Queens. Our personal injury attorneys can review the circumstances of the accident that caused your injury and discuss your legal options. You will not be charged any fees for legal work unless our burn injury attorneys recover compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or a burn injury lawsuit. To arrange a free legal consultation, contact us today.
Types of Burn Injury
Burns injuries are described according to the source of injury. We normally think of fire – open flame – as causing burn injuries. But there are multiple ways to cause cell death in soft tissue or charring of skin, muscle, and bone:
- Thermal burns. This is contact with excessive heat, which may come from numerous sources, including:
- Open flame
- Scalding liquids (food, beverages, grease, bath water)
- Hot metals (stoves, grills, pots and pans, automotive parts, industrial machinery, and equipment)
- Radiation burns. These burns are due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, or to other sources of radiation, such as an X-ray or a tanning bed.
- Chemical burns. These burns can be caused by the skin or eyes coming into contact with strong acids, detergents, or solvents, such as gasoline, lye, or paint thinner.
- Electrical burns. These burns are from electrical currents, such as from frayed cords, power lines, or faulty or damaged machinery, power tools, or appliances.
- Friction burns. When contact with a hard object or pavement results in loss of skin, it is known as an abrasion or a friction burn. They are common in motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents. Carpet burn is a type of friction burn.
Effects of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are also described according to the tissue damage that has occurred:
- First-degree burn – damage to the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, without blistering. A typical sunburn is considered a first-degree burn.
- Second-degree burn – damage to the epidermis and the underlying dermis with blistering. Deep second-degree burns can leave scars.
- Third-degree burn – the destruction of both layers of skin and underlying tissue, which may include nerve damage. Repairing the damage of a third-degree burn usually requires skin grafts.
- Fourth-degree burn – damage to muscle, tendons and bone, and possibly blackened or charred skin. Ironically, a fourth-degree burn may cause little to no pain because of extensive damage to nerve endings. Fourth-degree burns are usually fatal.
A first-degree burn may be treated by applying cold water or ice to the wound and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Treatment for a second-degree burn is the same, but a doctor should see a second-degree burn to prevent infection. A third- or fourth-degree burn or a burn that covers a large portion of the body, a large joint, the face, or the groin is a medical emergency.
In some burn cases, skin damage continues to spread and the injury becomes deeper, so the degree of burn diagnosis will change. Many people who suffer severe burns go into shock after the accident and die.
Severely injured burn victims require hospitalization and then transfer to a burn injury center, where a team of specialists will be assigned to the patient’s case. Several rounds of surgery may include:
- Debridement, which is the removal of dead, loose, or contaminated skin and other tissue
- Skin grafts involving the removal of healthy skin from other sites on the patient’s body to replace lost tissue in the area of the burn
- Cosmetic surgery to repair scarring and disfigurement.
After house fires and similar accidents, the patient is also likely to have breathing problems from the intake of hot air or smoke. A patient with deep or widespread burns may develop pneumonia or other infections; fluid loss, including low blood volume; or dangerously low body temperature. Any of these may prove fatal.
Burns can cause disfiguring scars. Scar tissue that is irreparable may cause contractures of the skin, muscles, or tendons. An individual’s badly burned limbs may require amputation. A burn victim may be totally disabled and require assistive or adaptive mobility devices.
A severely burned patient will require physical therapy to regain the use of damaged limbs, as well as occupational and vocational therapy to learn to cope with disabling injury. The patient and family members may enter psychological counseling to learn to deal with the new life this accident has thrust upon them.
Proving Negligence in a Burn Injury Claim
In New York, you must prove four elements for a successful personal injury claim:
- Some party – a person or organization – had a legal responsibility to look out for your safety and well-being
- That party failed in their duty to keep you safe and was negligent
- That party’s failure is the cause of your injury
- You suffered an injury that can be made better with compensation
There are multiple possibilities for how an accident that leads to burn injury may occur.
Unfortunately, many burn victims are children hurt in accidents that are caused by negligent childcare, whether by a babysitter, daycare organization, school, or camp.
Just a few potential burn accident cases include:
- Dwelling fires (house, apartments, motel, inn, Airbnb rental, daycare) caused by a resident or guest smoking in bed, leaving a burning candle unattended, or placing a space heater too close to flammable fabrics.
- Inability to escape a burn injury in a dwelling fire, store fire, or night club fire because a landlord or building owner failed to install required smoke alarms or sprinklers, or emergency exits were blocked.
- Car accidents or truck accidents, which may result in fire or burns caused by contact with hot metal, liquids, or steam.
- A faulty or damaged product, such as an electrical tool that shorts out and causes an electrical burn or fire.
- A faulty tanning bed or owner’s failure to warn of potential dangers leads to a patron’s radiation burns.
- A construction site burn injury due to the employer’s failure to adhere to OSHA guidelines and other safety regulations.
To prepare a case for you to recover compensation after a burn injury, our attorneys will review reports filed by local fire, police, and/or other first responders about the accident and investigate independently as required. We will seek evidence to show the cause of the fire that caused your burn injury or your loved one’s injury and who or what organization should be held accountable.
Seeking Burn Injury Compensation
At the same time as we investigate to determine liability for your burn injury, we will calculate your monetary losses as well as your personal pain and suffering to determine the compensation to seek on your behalf.
In a burn injury claim, we would expect to seek compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or income, including from lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death case
In cases of permanent disability, we can work with life care planning consultants to develop projections for the cost of ongoing medical care, medical supplies and equipment, and other needs.
We will present our evidence of liability and demands for damages to insurers for the parties who injured you and negotiate aggressively for full compensation for you. If we are unable to negotiate an appropriate settlement agreement, we will be prepared to file a burn injury lawsuit in your name and present a persuasive case in court.
Talk to a Burn Injury Attorney in Queens Now
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury in Queens due to another party’s negligence, contact The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., today. Our legal team understands the terrible losses suffered due to burn injuries. We can’t change what has happened, but we will develop a strong claim and negotiate to recover the full compensation you need to move forward with your life.
The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., is here to make sure you have the personalized service and advocacy you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation.