May 6, 2016
Can I sue for my burn injury?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), over two million burn injuries occur in the U.S. each year, and of those two million, approximately eight to ten thousand result in death. Burn injuries can occur on the job, in the home, or during leisure activities. Burn injuries occur due to a number of causes and vary in severity.
Types of Burns
- Thermal Burns: Thermal burns often result from household (particularly kitchen) accidents, fires, and auto accidents. These types of burns are caused by contact with a hot substance, including flame, hot water, steam, dry heat, and heated objects. Exposure to these heat sources can cause blistering and scarring of the skin, inhalation injuries, and other damage.
- Chemical Burns: A chemical burn results from a strong acid or base coming into contact with the skin. Common sources of acids and bases include bleach, ammonia, and other household cleaners (for example, toilet bowl, drain, swimming pool, oven, rust, and metal cleaners). The extent of the injury depends on how long the skin was in contact with the acid and which part of the body was affected.
- Electrical Burns: Electrical burns are a common workplace injury, occurring in construction sites, offices, restaurants, agricultural sites, and other places of employment. Electrical burns occur when an electrical current comes into contact with the body; for example, when an appliance is dropped in water, when a child chews on an electrical cord, or when an object is inserted into an outlet or electrical appliance. The degree of injury depends on the type of current, the voltage, and the pathway the current takes through the body.
- Radiation Burns: Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause burn damage. Sunburns are the most common type of radiation burn. Alternatively, X-rays and radiation therapy can also cause injury, in which case the patient may be eligible to file medical malpractice charges. Radiation burns can cause redness and, potentially, cancerous growths and internal damage.
Types of Burn Injuries
While the cause and type of a burn (thermal, chemical, or electrical) is important in determining how to treat the injury, it is also important to know the severity of the burn.
- First Degree Burns: First degree burns damage the outer layer of skin and will usually heal in a few days. These are the least painful, yet most common types of burns. Sunburns are the most frequent causes of first degree burns.
- Second Degree Burns: In a second degree burn, the first layer of skin is burned through, and second layer is affected but not completely destroyed. A second degree burn is considered “minor” if less than 15 percent of the body is burned.
- Third Degree Burns: Third degree burns damage all layers of the skin, and sometimes the blood vessels and muscles as well, often leaving the skin charred black with white patches. These types of burns can be very painful, although, in severe cases, the nerve endings may be numbed.
Can I Sue for My Burn Injuries?
Anyone who is burned as a direct result of another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing can file a burn injury lawsuit. However, while burn victims are entitled to compensatory damages for medical expenses, pain, and suffering, there are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to press charges. Charges must be filed within the statute of limitations, and the injured should make sure that he or she has a case before starting the legal process. An experienced burn injury lawyer can determine whether you have a case, and help you file your lawsuit before the filing deadline.
Contact The Levin Firm
When you experience a burn as a result of the actions of another person or a company, you have the right to recover for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Our lawyers understand the different diagnoses of burn injuries. We work with physicians and specialists to assure that clients receive the finest legal representation, as well as the finest support and medical care.
Representing clients with burn injuries requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury attorneys work together with a team of investigators and support staff to investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member or friend who has suffered a burn injury, contact The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183.