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March 21, 2018

Burn Injuries From Traffic Accidents

Car Accident Lawyer PA

Burn injuries are especially traumatic, but most people equate them with house fires, faulty electronics, and cooking accidents. Traffic accidents, however, also commonly—if unexpectedly—cause burns. Traffic accidents are hard enough to endure, but burn injuries makes them that much more difficult, dangerous, and devastating.

Traffic Accidents and Fires

Because the vehicles we drive run on fuel, they are capable of bursting into flame in the impact of an accident. A collision can cause a car’s fuel tank to leak or gush gas, which can ignite if it strikes a hot surface. Burn injuries are also commonly caused by accidents that involve trucks hauling combustible cargo or chemicals. The fires and chemical burns resulting from these terrifying accidents can trap drivers and passengers in their vehicles and can also burn victims as they attempt to escape.

If you suffered a burn injury in a traffic accident that another drivers negligence caused, you need experienced legal counsel. Burn injuries are serious, and they often lead to long-lasting damage, including disfigurement. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia understands the harrowing injuries such accidents can leave, and we have the experience, skill, and compassion to fight for your claims best possible resolution.

Burn Injuries

Burns can range from quite mild to extremely serious and even life-threatening. If you suffered a burn, seek immediate medical treatments. Burn injuries require skilled medical care with a quite lengthy healing process. The severity of your injury will determine whether you sustained:

  • First-degree burns. A first-degree burn only damages your epidermisyour skins outer layerwhich usually entails swelling and reddened skin. Though first-degree burns are the least damaging, they can cause significant pain.
  • Second-degree burns. Second-degree burns damage both the epidermis and the dermisyour skins inner layer. These burns cause reddened skin, swelling, blisters, and considerable pain.
  • Third-degree burns. A third-degree burn is the most serious of all, and it can involve damage to both of your skins layers and to the tissue underneath your skinas well as your nerves, muscles, and bones.

Burn injuries often heal slowly and cause extremely dangerous secondary infections.

Most significantly, perhaps, burns may cause considerable psychological trauma that leads to mental health issues, including depression and increased anxiety. Victims of burn injuries caused by car accidents, for example, may suffer from an ongoing fear of driving. A highly visible burn injury, such as on or near your face, can also lead to significant, lifealtering disfigurement. Due to how closely our appearance is tied to our sense of who we are, some victims even experience an altered sense of self, which can lead some burn victims to engage in self-isolation.

Treating Burn Injuries

Burns necessitate immediate medical attention, so if you suffered a significant burn, youll need both emergency transportation and treatment. If you suffered firstdegree burns, apply cool (not ice-cold) running water to the wounds for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also apply over-the-counter pain medications. If any foreign objects lodged in your burns, such as melted plastic or debris, leave those foreign objects in place and allow a medical professional to attend to them. Removing them by yourself can lead to further complications.

  • Your Burn Injury Claim
  • Burn injuries are some of the most difficult injuries to recover from, and they are often result in extraordinary costs:
  • Emergency transportation
  • Emergency medical care
  • Surgeries (including reconstructive surgery and skin grafts)
  • Aftercare
  • Medical care from doctors, specialists, and therapists
  • Prescription medications
  • Ongoing medical treatments and therapies
  • Medical adaptive devices
  • Mental health care

These extensive medical expenses dont take into consideration:

  • The wages you lose due to time off from work
  • Your diminished earning potential (if your injury precludes you from returning to your job at your previous level), which will affect your ability to earn during your lifetime
  • Your pain and suffering, including your psychological damages

Never discount the pain and suffering that ensues from the terror of fires and the injuries associated with them.

Protect Your Claim

  • If you suffered a burn injury in a traffic accident that someone elses negligence caused, protect your claim.
  • If youre able, take pictures that document the scene of the accident from every angle. (If your injury prevents this, try to enlist a bystander.)
  • Keep and compile all documents related to the accident, including medical costs, property damage, and ongoing treatments.
  • Sketch the scene of the accident, including vehicle locations and any mitigating factors such as inclement weather or obstacles in the road.
  • Jot down everything you remember about what contributed to and caused the accident as soon after the accident as you possibly can. The chaos of traffic accidents can upset anyone, and your accurate memories can fade quickly.

Traffic accidents are overwhelming. If you also suffered a burn injury, you may not know where to turn, but an experienced car accident attorney will help guide your claim toward the just compensation to which youre entitled.

If You Suffered a Burn Injury in a Traffic Accident, Consult an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

If another drivers negligence has left you with a burn injury, you need a skilled car accident attorney. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our dedicated car accident attorneys are here to help guide your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled. Your claim matters, and we careso please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.

January 15, 2018

Traffic Accidents Can Cause Serious Burn Injuries

 

Burn Injury Lawyers in PA

Many people are burned by defective products or overly hot food or beverages, but traffic accidents also cause their fair share of burns. The effects of burns can be devastating, causing serious pain and injuries that require a long rehabilitation period. In particularly serious situations, burns can even lead to death. If you or a loved one has been burned in a traffic accident, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia traffic accident lawyer today.


What Causes Burn Injuries in Accidents

Almost any vehicle that runs on fuel could potentially burst into flames if it is hit in the right way. After the fuel tank ruptures, gas spills out and can ignite whenever it hits something hot. The resulting fire can trap victims in their cars or burn them as they flee to safety.

Burn injuries can also occur when large trucks are carrying toxic or flammable material in its cargo. For example, a truck could be carrying corrosive chemicals, which leak after a bad crash, burning victims. Large trucks can also cause fires when their fuel tanks rupture, just as smaller vehicles can.

Types of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can range from minor to severe, and each requires different levels of treatment. If you’ve been burned in an accident, you should seek medical treatment right away. Your attending physician will study the burn to determine its severity and order an appropriate course of treatment. Typically, burns fall into one of three categories:

  • First-degree burns only cause damage to the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). You’ll typically experience swelling and redness, along with pain.
  • Second-degree burns damage the epidermis as well as the layer underneath (the dermis). Second-degree burns cause redness and swelling but also result in blisters.
  • Third-degree burns damage both layers of skin as well as bones, nerves, muscles, and the tissue underneath the skin. Third-degree burns often appear black or white.

Furthermore, burn injuries aren’t only physical. Victims can suffer a variety of mental health problems including depression, sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, and fear of driving. Burns are also particularly traumatic when a visible part of the body is burned, such as a person’s face. Because our faces are tied to our sense of selves, burn victims can lose their sense of identity and begin to withdraw from society.

Treating a Burn

After an accident, attempt to apply copious amounts of water to the burn but don’t aggravate the skin or try to pull off foreign objects, such as melted plastic. If you do, you might end up making things worse by tearing away skin or tissue. Instead, call emergency services as soon as possible. The doctor at the hospital will assess the burn and order an appropriate course of treatment.

First-degree burns often require running under cold water for 10-15 minutes. To help with healing, you might apply aloe vera gel, and you can use over-the-counter medication to manage your pain.

Second-degree burns should be covered with a cool, moist cloth or bandage. The injured area should be elevated above the heart while you ride to the hospital. Second-degree burns that cover a large area of the body are quite serious and will need to be looked at by a doctor.

Third-degree burns might need a skin graft. With this procedure, the burned and deadened skin is removed from the wound and skin is taken from elsewhere on the victim’s body. This skin is then grafted to cover the wound. If you’ve suffered muscle, bone, or nerve damage, you might need additional surgery or rehabilitation (or both).

All burn injuries also create a risk of infection, which must be treated before the infection spreads or enters the bloodstream. In particular, look for oozing from a wound as well as any increase in swelling or pain or redness. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics to take.

Holding Someone Responsible

The fact that you were injured in an accident doesn’t automatically mean someone is legally to blame. Instead, you’ll probably need to show that someone was negligent (careless) and that this negligence caused your burn injuries.

Most accident victims probably have no idea who is to blame, so your personal injury attorney will analyze the surrounding circumstances by reading the police report, interviewing witnesses, and visiting the scene of the accident. As soon as possible, you should write down your own memories while they are fresh because that is helpful information as well.

Typically, your lawyer will be looking for a traffic violation that another driver committed, such as speeding, running a red light, or failing to yield. These violations will help convince a jury that the other driver was driving negligently and must be held responsible.

Getting Compensation for Your Injuries

If someone else is at fault for the accident, you can hold them legally responsible for your injuries. Burn victims typically receive compensation for the following:

  • The costs of medical care and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering, which includes mental anguish

Many factors go into determining how much your injuries at worth. After receiving medical treatment, make sure to hold onto all paperwork, including medical bills and prescription drug expenses. Keep copies of your medical records, which will give your lawyers some sense of the severity of your injury. Also, find proof of income if the burn has caused you to stop working. Wage earners should find a recent pay stub or W-2 form, while self-employed victims can use a recent profit-and-loss statement.

To prove pain and suffering, you should hold onto all prescription drug bottles and also keep a diary of the pain you feel each day. Also, describe how your burns have disrupted your daily life. For example, many people can no longer enjoy hobbies or time with family, particularly if their burns are severe. The more proof you have, the more likely you are to be compensated for pain and suffering.

Contact a Philadelphia Traffic Accident Lawyer Today

Traffic accidents can seriously disrupt your life, and burn injuries can be particularly painful. At The Levin Firm, we help burn victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 215-825-5183 or fill out our online contact form.

May 6, 2016

Can I sue for my burn injury?

Philly burn victim lawsuit

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.

Sources

1.      http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/the-mcdonald-s-coffee-cup-case-separating-mcfacts-from-mcfiction.html

2.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31109

3.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/settlement-value-burn-injury-claim.html

4.      http://hospitals.unm.edu/burn/types.shtml

5.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36208

6.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/catastrophic-lawsuits-severe-long-term-permanent.html

7.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=29725

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/damages-compensation-formula.html

April 22, 2016

Should I Settle my Burn Injury Claim?

Philly burn victim

As with any personal injury, it’s very difficult to make an accurate prediction as to what a burn injury settlement will turn out to be. The biggest factors are the severity of the injury, the intentions of the person who caused the burns and the extent to which a defendant can pay a settlement. Burn injuries tend to have higher settlement value due to the pain and permanent scarring.

Where and How Did the Accident Happen?

In reaching a settlement, both sides will negotiate based on what they believe the plaintiff will be awarded at trial. How and where the burn injury occurs is important because the degree of the defendant’s liability can affect how much a jury might be willing to award at trial. Obviously, there is no one kind of burn injury case. They can happen in a variety of ways, including workplace injuries, faulty consumer products, arson or other intentional burning, and any kind of accident caused by negligence.

Availability of Punitive Damages

If the defendant acted intentionally or very negligently the burn victim may also be able to receive punitive damages.  Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant that acted in a reprehensible manner, therefore a wealthy defendant will have to pay higher amounts in order to “feel the sting.” A defendant that intentionally burned a plaintiff will almost always be exposed to punitive damages.

But punitive damages for gross negligence are harder to predict. An example of gross negligence would be a product manufacturer not conducting any testing on a product, even though the product was sold to be used in situations that could involve exposure to flame. If a plaintiff uses the product (an oven mitt, for example) and is badly burned, the oven mitt manufacturer could potentially be required to pay thousands or millions of dollars in punitive damages. Therefore, the threat of punitive damages will generally make a defendant (especially a wealthy one) more likely to settle the case at a higher amount than otherwise.

Compensation for Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

Compensation for burn injuries will involve the same types of damages that are on the table in other personal injury cases. However, burn injuries in particular can be extraordinarily painful and can lead to permanent, severe disfigurement.

A liable defendant must not only compensate a plaintiff for the physical pain the burn caused and will continue to cause, but also any emotional pain a disfigured burn victim has suffered and will suffer in the future. An emotional pain and suffering award will take into account the extent and nature of the disfigurement, since it is based on the likelihood of the plaintiff being embarrassed, depressed, or experiencing any of the other emotional reactions likely caused by a disfigurement. A plaintiff with a badly burned face, for example, will receive a much higher damage award than a plaintiff with a permanent scar in the middle of his or her back.

Examples of Burn Injury Settlements

  • Product Liability Settlement:

o    A patient in a hospital was burned when his bed caught fire due to a product design defect. The bed manufacturer settled for $1,000,000.

  • General Negligence Settlements and Verdicts:

o    A hotel allowed its hot water system to produce scalding hot water. An already-disabled plaintiff lowered himself into a bathtub and received second degree burns. The hotel settled for $275,000.

o    In a famous case, a woman received a $640,000 verdict from McDonald’s when she suffered third-degree burns from scalding hot coffee.

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.

Sources

1.      http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/the-mcdonald-s-coffee-cup-case-separating-mcfacts-from-mcfiction.html

2.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31109

3.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/settlement-value-burn-injury-claim.html

4.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36208

5.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/catastrophic-lawsuits-severe-long-term-permanent.html

6.      https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=29725

7.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/damages-compensation-formula.html

November 6, 2014

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

flamesAccording to statistics published by the American Burn Association (ABA) [1], an estimated 450,000 people in the United States received medical treatment for burn injuries in 2013. Furthermore, approximately 40,000 patients required extensive treatment that required prolonged stays in burn centers or hospitals. Though most burn victims ultimately survive their injuries, burns and the necessary surgeries and other procedures can be extraordinarily painful and expensive. If a burn occurs because another party acted in a negligent manner, the burn victim should be able to recover for their losses from the responsible party.

Where do most burns occur?

The ABA also reports that the large majority of burn injuries (72 percent) take place in the victim’s home. In addition to the home, Americans are most commonly burned while at work (9 percent), while on the highway or other roadway (5 percent), while participating in a sport or other recreational activity (5 percent), or other miscellaneous locations (9 percent). In short, burns can happen almost anywhere, so you should always be aware of common causes or risks for burns so that you may avoid this type of painful injury.

Common causes

When you think of burns, you most likely think about fire. However, burns can be caused in a wide variety of ways, many of which do not involve any type of flame. The following are some of the most common ways [2] that victims suffer burn injuries:

  • Fire or flame
  • Scalding from hot steam or liquid
  • Contact with hot glass, metal, or other objects or surfaces
  • Radiation burns from cancer therapy or x-rays
  • Ultraviolet burns from tanning beds or lamps
  • Chemical burns due to contact with lye, acid, or other toxic substances
  • Electrical burns

All of the above types of burns have the potential to be severe and damage many layers of skin, muscle, nerves, or other tissue, sometimes even exposing the bone. Burns may require skin grafts, surgeries, and more to try to replace the damaged tissue, and many burn victims suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement. Burns also commonly cause psychological damage in victims due to the severe pain and scarring that can occur. Any burn victims should consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss how they can recover.

[1] http://www.ameriburn.org/resources_factsheet.php

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burns/basics/causes/con-20035028

October 10, 2014

What are my Options if I have been Burned?

burn scarBurns are some of the most painful injuries a person may suffer. Burns often require extensive medical procedures and long recovery times. Depending on the location of your burn on your body, the burn may permanently affect your ability to perform certain tasks or suffer major disabilities. On top of your potentially huge medical expenses, you will likely lose wages while you recover or may even never be able to work again. If you sustained your burns because of another person or company’s mistake, you deserve to be fully compensated for all of your financial losses and pain and suffering, and should contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as possible for help.

Common burn accidents

Burns can happen in a wide variety of situations and accidents. Some examples of common burn accidents include:

  • Car or truck accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Chemical spills
  • Contact with hot liquids, such as boiling water or hot coffee
  • Scalding from contact with hot surfaces
  • Electrical burns from electrocutions
  • Fires caused by faulty products, wires, or stoves

Burns often require weeks or months of recovery, and they may require painful procedures such as skin grafts or even amputations. Severe burns may cause permanent disfigurement or loss of mobility or feeling in some parts of the body.

 

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