When you are the victim in a burn injury, it may take weeks or even months for you to get over the initial shock of your injury. Even if your injury was relatively minor, you may still need surgery to treat your burn and allow it to heal as completely as possible. Additionally, you may be dealing with lasting pain at the burned area even after it appears to be healed. Being overwhelmed at this point is normal. However, it is important not to wait any longer before you schedule a consultation with burn injury lawyers in Pennsylvania.
If you are the victim of a burn accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for the medical bills or live with the pain and suffering without access to proper compensation. Your legal options may become more limited over time, so it is important to speak with the legal team at Wieand Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible. That way, you will have the possible opportunity to make informed decisions about your legal situation. You may be eligible to receive compensation from a burn injury lawsuit.
What are the Different Degrees of Burns?
When you go to see a doctor after your injury, they will categorize your burn into one of three categories:
- First-Degree Burns. The least severe type of burn that only damages the top layer of skin. When you get this type of burn it is usually accompanied by pain, redness, and inflammation. While it hurts when you get it, you typically only need a topical treatment and it should heal in a matter of weeks.
- Second-Degree Burns. A second-degree burn is no longer just a superficial burn. Instead, it does damage under the top layer of skin. When you get this type of burn, it usually has inflammation, pain, and blisters and will likely take weeks or months to heal.
- Third-Degree Burns. If you are suffering from a third-degree burn, the injury not only does damage to your skin, but it does damage to other organs in your body as well and in more serious cases it can even do damage to your bones. If you sustained a third-degree burn, you might even have nerve damage.
No matter what kinds of burns you have sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may have solid grounds for a legal claim or burn injury lawsuit. Please consider connecting with burn injury lawyers in PA as soon as you possibly can, in order to explore your legal options.
What are the Factors That May Impact Your Burn Injury Settlement?
When you work with burn injury lawyers in PA, you will quickly realize there are certain factors that will determine if your burn injury lawsuit will be successful and how much compensation you may be eligible to obtain. Some of these factors include:
- The Burn Location. The location of the burn is extremely important. A very obvious place (like the face or neck) is generally considered much more disfiguring than a burn injury that has occurred on the back or legs.
- The Extent of the Damage. The compensation a court awards you will also depend on what degree of burn you got. For example, a first-degree burn is still a personal injury, but it would likely not get the same amount of compensation that a permanently disfiguring third-degree burn would get.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries continue to be a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. In fact, during the 4-year period between 2011 – 2015, nearly 486,000 burn injuries received care at emergency departments. While the home is the most common setting for a burn injury, 8% of burn injuries occurred in the workplace. Children are more especially vulnerable to burn injuries, with 24% of burn injuries occurring in children under the age of 15.
Burn injury lawyers in PA litigate several types of burns, which include:
- Thermal burns – a thermal burn can occur by direct contact with a heated object, such as steam, cooking oil, grease, hot surface, hot water, and fire. Injuries from grills, stovetops, and fireworks are common causes of a thermal burn. Thermal burns can also occur if you come into contact with a personal heater or an overheated electric blanket.
- Electrical burns – these burns are common in construction site accidents. Exposed wires may expose workers and visitors to burn risk. Electrical burns can cause severe damage, as electricity pulses through the body and can injure the heart and other internal organs. Some electrical burs can result in severe injuries or death.
- Chemical burns – chemical burns occur when the skin, eyes, or internal organs come in contact with a corrosive substance. These burns can happen during use of chemicals in the workplace, such as manufacturing plants. Chemical burns most frequently happen on the face, eyes, arms or legs and include symptoms such as redness, irritation, blisters, pain or numbness. Seek medical care immediately if you suspect a chemical burn injury.
How Our Burn Injury Lawyers in PA Represent Your Case
The Philadelphia burn injury attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm understand the serious and long-term consequences of a severe burn incident. We take the time to discuss and fully understand the physical, emotional, and financial impacts that your burn injury has had on you and your family. This helps us to start building a claim against the party responsible for your burn injury.
The Philadelphia burn injury attorneys at our firm will obtain documentation regarding the incident that resulted in your injuries. These documents may include:
- Medical records
- Fire and police reports
- Photos and videos from the accident scene
- Expert projections on future procedures and rehabilitation
- Expert testimony to determine the cause of the accident
After reviewing all aspects of your potential claim, our lawyers will represent you through each step of the burn injury lawsuit and help determine the damages you may be able to recover. You may be eligible to receive economic and/or non-economic damages. Non-economic damages (like pain and suffering awards) are not easy to calculate objectively, while economic damages are generally tied to specific financial losses, like medical bills and lost wages. If you have questions about what kinds of damages you may be entitled to, please connect with burn injury lawyers in PA today.
Burn Injury Lawyers in PA will Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
Many burn injury victims suffer from extreme pain, disfigurement, and other injuries such as paralysis near the area of the burn. If your injury was due to negligence of another party, our Philadelphia burn injury attorneys can seek compensation for your damages.
How Much Compensation Can I Anticipate?
Settlements and verdicts for burn injury cases can range from thousands to millions of dollars. There are many factors that will impact the amount of damages you receive. These factors may include:
- The extent and permanence of your injuries
- How the accident occurred and who was at-fault for causing it
- The number of victims involved in the accident
- If you will need ongoing medical or supportive care
- Whether you will be able to return to work
Victims who have sustained serious burn injuries may be able to pursue significant compensation for their injuries. Many burn victims have tissue damage extending down to the bone, that creates intense, chronic pain, loss of mobility, numbness, and disfigurement. These severe injuries often require long-term physical therapy and medical procedures that include skin grafts and expensive cosmetic surgeries. Burn injuries have a secondary impact to your family members, such as a spouse, child, or parent who is helping you through this difficult time.
Our burn injury lawyers in PA will generally seek the following types of damages in a burn injury lawsuit:
- Medical Expenses – these may include costs from treatments such as surgeries, skin grafts, prescription medications, ambulance transportation, physician visits, hospital bills, and diagnostic testing.
- Rehabilitation expenses – costs from inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation to help you regain function and mobility following a burn injury
- Lost wages – compensation for missed days at work due to your injury
- Loss of future earnings – compensation for the effect that your injury has on your future earning capacity. For example, your injury may prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity as before. You may be entitled to compensation to make up for the difference in earnings you loss due to the limitations created by your burn injury
- Cost of property damage – compensation to repair or replace damage to your personal items that were damaged at the time of the incident
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Quality of Life
Awarded in some cases in which gross or willful negligence caused the burn injury. These damages are intended to punish a defendant who acted in wanton disregard for the safety of others.
Proving Negligence in a Burn Injury Lawsuit
To win your case, the burn injury lawyers in PA at the Wieand Law Firm will need to prove that your injuries were caused by negligence of another party. There are four elements to prove that a defendant is liable for negligence:
- Duty – the defendant owed you a duty of care
- Breach – the defendant breached the duty of care
- Cause – the breach of duty caused your injuries
- Damages – As a result, you suffered damages
Proving negligence is critical in a personal injury claim. Not all burns are eligible for personal injury claims. For example, you would not be able to pursue a claim for a self-inflicted burn injury or a burn that is not the result of someone else’s negligence. However, many burn injuries may have one or more parties that are at-fault. A Philadelphia burn injury attorney will investigate the claim to identify all the at-fault parties.
Examples of burn injuries caused by negligence may include:
- Reckless driving by a truck driver that results in a motor vehicle accident
- Dangerous products, such as home appliances or equipment used on construction sites
- Faulty wiring or incorrectly installed wiring that resulted in a fire
- Nursing homes that fail to institute and follow safety protocols, such as blocking an exit that should be unobstructed
Defective products can cause severe burn injuries to consumers. In these cases, it may be possible to hold the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the product liable for your injuries. Defective products that can cause burn injuries include:
- Automotive Parts – tires, brakes, air bags, fuel systems, and accelerators
- Electric Heating Pads – defective or incorrectly manufactured heating pads can fil to turn off automatically and cause burns while the user is sleeping. Other defects may include inadequate instructions for use or warning labels
- Home Appliances – space heaters and other major appliances can cause residential fires and burn injuries.
- Beauty Products – skin care products, hair products, and nail products can cause burns, nerve damage and scarring
- Children’s Products – bottle warmers, motorized ride-on toys, and flammable clothing
If you suffered severe burns from a defective product, speak with a Philadelphia burn injury attorney at the Wieand Law Firm about filing a burn injury lawsuit.
Workplace Burn Injuries – Construction Site Accidents
Burn injuries can happen with a negligent party fails to maintain safety standards in the workplace. Burn injuries in the construction industry are both common and preventable. Common causes of workplace burn injuries include:
- Explosion accidents
- Concrete burns
- Explosions from lithium batteries
- Welding, soldering, or grinding activities that produce sparks that cause a fire
- Burns from steam or hot liquids
- Electrical burns from exposed wires or lighting
- Unsafe welding practices
- Chemical spills
- Defective fuel lines or tanks
These burns can cause physical trauma as well as emotional trauma, disfigurement, and scarring.
While workers compensation may not allow an injured worker to recover for non-economic damages from workplace burn injuries, a victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if a third party caused the accident. Third parties may include:
- General contractor
- A Subcontractor
- Vendor who provided materials or supplies
- Owner of the property
- Manufacture of defective equipment
- Engineer or designer
Burn injury lawyers in PA can help victims of workplace accidents seek full compensation for their injuries. Call today for a free consultation to understand your legal rights.
Burn Injuries from House and Apartment Fires
Landlords are required to maintain safe conditions on their property. Faulty wiring, lack of fire barriers, or failure to equip a premises with functioning smoke alarms or fire suppression systems may be reasons to file a burn injury lawsuit after severe burns or a fatal house or apartment fire.
Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions for Burn Injuries
Some burn injuries are so severe, that the victim will ultimately succumb to those injuries. In those situations, a personal representative of the deceased family member’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. This claim is similar to a negligence lawsuit, but the award of damages goes to the survivors or estate of the deceased to compensate for their losses suffered as a result of the death. Survival actions permit the representative of the deceased to make a claim for compensation for injuries that were suffered by the deceased between the time of the accident and their death.
Reach out to the burn injury lawyers in PA at the Wieand Law Firm about wrongful death claims. Certain steps, such as opening an estate, must be completed to initiate a claim. Speak with a Philadelphia burn injury attorney to understand the steps involved in a wrongful death lawsuit and if you may be eligible for compensation.
The Philadelphia burn injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve to help you rebuild your life. In Pennsylvania, there is a 2-year statute of limitations when filing a burn injury lawsuit, so it’s important to reach out to an attorney to protect your rights. Call 215-666-7777 or send a message via the online form to speak directly with an attorney.