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Have you suffered a burn injury in a car accident or on a construction site in New York City? Contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC for immediate assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, and suffering – and our NYC burn injury lawyers can help you fight to maximize your recovery.
Our award-winning legal team has more than 25 years of litigation experience, and we’ve won millions of dollars for injury victims just like you. We’re ready to help you walk away with the win you need and deserve.
Severe burns can cause disfigurement, generate tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and leave victims unable to work or enjoy their lives. When a burn injury could have been avoided, those responsible must be held fully accountable. The New York personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC, are here to make that a reality for you.
We’re award-winning attorneys that insurance companies don’t want on the other side of the negotiating table. When you turn to us for help, you’ll have 25+ years of experience and millions in successful financial recoveries behind you.
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Nearly every person has suffered a burn injury at some point in their life. You might scald your tongue with hot coffee. Perhaps you grab a drill bit before it has fully cooled. But these minor burns usually heal with no long-term effects.
But what about more serious burn injuries? Severe burn injuries can occur in car accidents, workplace accidents, and accidents with defective products. These burn injuries can leave the victim disabled and scarred.
A victim might suffer permanent damage to the muscle, nerves, and blood vessels around a burn wound. The source of the burn might cause other injuries, like lung damage, heart arrhythmia, or eye injuries.
Here are the important things to note about burn injuries, along with an overview of the ways to obtain compensation for their effects.
Burn injuries happen when the skin undergoes a molecular reaction, causing damage to the skin and underlying tissue. Burns can happen in many ways, including:
Combustion happens when fuel burns in the presence of oxygen and heat. Combustion creates flames.
The skin and hair can ignite, providing fuel for flames. These flames will burn as long as they have oxygen and fuel.
Burn injuries caused by combustion leave charred skin and singed hair. Combustion can also cause smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
When you touch a hot solid, liquid, or gas, the heat transfers to your body. This heat damages cells by rupturing the cell walls.
The severity of a thermal burn depends on the temperature of the object, liquid, or gas, along with the duration of the exposure. A very hot object like an oven rack could burn on contact.
Caustic chemicals can cause burn injuries by reacting with the cells and damaging them. Acids, alkalis, and solvents react strongly with the skin.
Chemical burns happen most commonly in the workplace. Cleaners, pesticides, and batteries contain caustic chemicals that can cause severe burns. The most dangerous chemicals include lye, drain cleaners, and other powerful alkaline chemicals.
Radiation burns happen when energetic rays interact with the skin cells, causing molecular damage. The most common radiation burn is sunburn caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Burns can also happen from radiation sources like X-ray machines or radioactive materials used in power generation, laboratory testing, and medical treatment.
Electrical burns occur when an electrical current enters the body and superheats the conductor touching the skin. Electrical burns can also happen when the current creates sparks.
Electrical burns usually happen in the workplace. An electrical hazard in a home or business can also cause electrical burns. Electrocution commonly causes heart arrhythmia and nerve damage, in addition to electrical burns.
Friction burns happen when the skin rubs across an object fast enough to generate heat. Some common causes of friction burns include moving machinery and road rash during a motorcycle accident.
Burn injuries can happen in any type of accident. But certain types of accidents create an increased risk of burns.
Cars contain fuel and caustic chemicals like brake fluid and battery acid. During a car accident, the fuel can ignite and set the car on fire. Fluids can also leak, causing chemical burns.
Motorcycles contain caustic and flammable fluids. They also pose a risk of friction burns called road rash. These burns result when a motorcyclist’s body slides along the pavement.
Many jobs involve dangerous chemicals, open flames, hot equipment and tools, radioactive materials, and electricity. Burns can also result when defective equipment breaks.
Products may have a defective design. For example, the product might have a hot surface near where the user grips the product.
The manufacturer might have produced a flawed product that breaks and exposes live wires, caustic chemicals, or hot surfaces.
The manufacturer could also neglect to include instructions or warning labels that explain how to use the product safely.
Any of these defects could render a product dangerous to users.
Doctors classify burn injuries using a three-degree scale. The classification describes the extent of the damage, the treatment, and the prognosis.
A first-degree burn only affects the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. First-degree burns cause redness and pain but usually heal without any permanent damage.
Treatment for first-degree burns includes cooling the burn wound to stop cell damage and keeping the wound clean to minimize the risk of infection.
Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and the lower layer of skin, known as the dermis. Second-degree burns cause redness, pain, and blistering. Second-degree burns usually heal with minor scars.
The blisters associated with second-degree burns can become infected. Doctors typically recommend cooling and cleaning the wound without opening the blisters.
Third-degree burns affect the epidermis, dermis, and underlying fat, muscle, nerve, and blood vessels. When caused by open flames, third-degree burns can produce charred skin and singed hair.
Doctors may need to debride the wound to clear away any dead tissue that can inhibit healing and create a risk of infection. You might also need skin grafts to prevent moisture loss and reduce the risk of infection.
Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, affecting the skin, deep tissue, and potentially even muscle and bone. Nerves are typically destroyed, which means that victims will likely lose sensation in the affected area.
First- and second-degree burns can cause extreme pain. But these burns usually do not cause long-term damage apart from minor scarring or peeling of the skin.
Third-degree burns can destroy nerves. As a result, third-degree burns may result in numbness and loss of sensation. Skin grafts can help the body heal the burn wound, but skin grafts almost always leave scarring and disfigurement.
The other symptoms that accompany burn injuries can cause long-term health problems. Lung damage from smoke or chemical fumes can lead to permanent breathing problems. Heart arrhythmia from electrocution can continue long after the accident.
Severe burn injuries might require extensive medical treatment. You might also need physical therapy and mental health counseling after an accident that causes burn injuries. As a result, you may need compensation for your injuries to pay for the medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering you experience.
Under New York’s no-fault insurance system, a burn injury received in a car accident could entitle you to escape the no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver. Under the no-fault statute, significant disfigurement and permanent injuries qualify as serious injuries that justify a lawsuit.
This means you could seek both economic and and non-economic damages for your burn injury.
Economic damages are paid to cover your out-of-pocket costs and injury-related expenses, such as:
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for consequences that don’t have a set financial value, like:
If you were injured at work, you might be entitled to compensation through the workers’ compensation system. Our NYC personal injury attorneys can help you identify the options that are available to you.
Contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC, for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you might be able to receive from your burn injuries. Our New York City burn injury attorneys will review your case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
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