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Have you or a loved one suffered serious burn injuries?

Burn injuries at workBurn injuries are painful and can leave long-lasting physical and psychological scars. Whether it is a chemical burn from an unsafe product, a burn caused by a hazard on poorly kept property, or an accidental burn at a bonfire or gathering, you may need an experienced burn injury lawyer to make sure you are compensated for your medical costs and suffering.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious burns as a result of negligence, contact Munley Law today to speak with one of our experienced burn injury lawyers or call us at (855) 866-5529.

Burn Injury Facts and Figures

Burn injuries are, unfortunately, an all too common occurrence across the nation.

According to the American Burn Association, there were 486,000 burn injuries that received medical treatment in the United States in 2011. In 2013, 334 children under the age of 19 had died because of fires or burns as a result of residential home fire. In fact, 126,035 children were seen in emergency rooms for burn injuries in 2013. Victims who are in a situation that causes severe burns are also at risk of experiencing other health complications, such as those caused by smoke inhalation. In fact, one civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 41 minutes, and many of these are caused by smoke inhalation.

While it’s possible to obtain a burn injury in a wife variety of places, the most common place for victims to experience a burn injury is in the home; in fact, the American Burn Association notes that between 2005 and 2014, 73% of burn injuries occurred in the home. Some things that could potentially cause a fire and/or burn in the home include:

  • Flammable clothing
  • Heating pads
  • Ammonia and other household chemicals
  • Home appliances
  • Unsafe outlets or extension cords
  • And more

Types of Burn Injuries

There are five main types of burns:

  • Thermal burns – caused by contact with fire, steam, hot liquids, or other sources of extreme heat
  • Light burns – caused by  sunlight or  ultraviolet light
  • Chemical burns – caused by chemical exposure to acid, alkali, or chemical explosion
  • Radiation burns – caused by contact with nuclear radiation
  • Electrical burns – caused by an electrical current

There are four categories of burn severity:

  • First-degree burns – only the top layer of skin is damaged. First-degree burns are characterized by redness, minor inflammation. These burns cause minimal damage, and usually heal within a week. They can often  be treated with aloe vera gel and cool water – not with ice!
  • Second-degree burns –  damage goes beyond the top layer of skin, also impacting the dermis, which lies just beneath the skin’s outer lawyer.. Second-degree burns are characterized by extremely red, blistered skin. These burns may take weeks to heal, and should be properly bandaged.
  • Third-degree burns – sometimes referred to as a “full thickness urn”. The damage extends through two full layers of skin. While a second-degree burn typically turns the skin red, a third-degree burn often turns the skin black, brown, white, or yellow. This level of burn also causes damage to nerve endings.
  • Fourth degree burns – the deepest and most severe type of burn, which can often be life-threatening to burn victims. Damage reaches all layers of skin, moving through to the deeper tissue beneath. Organs and bones can also be impacted. Due to the damage to nerve endings, there will usually be no feeling in the affected area. It’s important to seek medical care immediately if you have experienced or suspect you may have experienced this level of burn.

In addition to the initial and immediate trauma a burn can cause, a severe burn injury can also cause lasting impact. A 2016 study titled “Long-Term Study Of Health And Quality Of Life After Burn Injury” from the National Library of Medicine noted that longterm affects of burns can include “scarring, contractures, weakness, thermoregulation, itching, pain, sleep, body image and psychosocial wellbeing.” This study looked at the ability for burn victims to reach full health in the aftermath of their injury, and defined health as going beyond just a lack of infirmity, but also including true wellbeing, independence, access to a social life, and more.

Types of Fires That Can Cause Burn Injuries

  • House fires.

    • As noted above, fires in the home are the most common source of burn injuries. The majority of house fires are caused by cooking.
  • Recreational fires

    • Recreational fires include things like campfires, bonfires, and any other outdoor fire that is not contained by a grill or fireplace.
  • Refinery Fires

    • Oil refinery fires are not uncommon, often caused by an explosion and resulting in substantial damage.
  • Apartment building fires

    • These can be caused by any number of things; the most deadly apartment fire since 1978 occurred in California and resulted in 24 deaths.
  • Chemical plant explosions

    • Chemical plant explosions usually occur when a chemical mingles and reacts with a heat source.

Burns resulting from any of these sources or incidents can be a catastrophic injury. Contact a Munley burn injury lawyer today to begin your path to justice and learn how we can protect your interests.

Compensation for Your Burn Injuries

Burns are one of the most expensive and traumatic injuries to treat. In fact, research has shown that total hospital costs can reach more than $125,000 per patient. This, of course, accounts just for the treatments of the burns, and not for any other healthcare the victim may require. Even a simple first degree burn can become infected and  require medical treatment. Third degree burns can take years of treatment in order to heal, and usually have a significant impact on the victim’s quality of life and ability to work.  Extensive burns can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment, repeat admission, and rehabilitation.

Filing a burn injury lawsuit may be your best path to attaining the compensation you need in order to care for yourself. Compensation in these kinds of cases comes in two forms: economic damages, and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are specific, measurable damages, designed to compensate the burn injury victim for the losses they endured. This can cover things like hospital and medical bills, lost wages, lowered earning capacity due to the injury, and more. These damages are intended to restore the victim to their pre-injury status.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate for slightly more abstract things like mental and emotional pain and suffering, emotional distress, PTSD, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. . These kind of damages are not measurable in the way economic damages are; you can’t tally up bills and receipts to understand the extent of someone’s general pain and suffering. That’s why it is the job of a burn injury attorney to review their client’s case in great detail and determine how much they should reasonable expect in non-economic damages.

If  you have been the victim of a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you should not have to bear the added weight of worrying about finances. You deserve both justice and compensation for what you’ve endured, and we’re here to help you achieve it.

You will need an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Serving Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law will fight to recover the damages you are owed for your burn-related trauma. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so we do not collect a fee unless we win for you. At Munley Law, we work as a team, so you will have the benefit of having several lawyers working on your case.  We are among the best law firms in the nation, and we have been named as the Best Lawyers in America by our peers.  We have had many of the leading settlement and verdicts in the country, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you. Contact a Munley Law burn injuries attorney today.

Determining and Proving Fault In a Burn Injury Lawsuit

With most personal injury cases, one of the first important steps is to determine who is at fault. In cases that would warrant a personal injury suit, the burn must be caused by someone else’s negligence. The negligent party can be anyone — although, as you’ll see later in this article, things are more complicated if the negligent party is an employer. In that case, the victim will likely seek worker’s compensation instead of filing a suit.

Many parties can be responsible for a burn. Many people may have heard about the infamous 1994 case in which a woman sued McDonald’s after she was scalded by a cup of hot coffee. At the time, and for years after, this case was a punchline. But in reality, the plaintiff had a right to demand justice, and most definitely experienced the blunt end of a massive corporation’s negligence. In fact, the coffee was 190 degrees F — nearly at boiling point — and what’s more, McDonald’s knew the product was unsafe, having received hundreds of complaints about burns from this coffee. In the end. the plaintiff received a settlement of nearly $600,000.

Other potentially liable parties can include:

  • A manufacturer, if a burn was caused by a defective product
  • The individual who installed an electrical device, if the burn was caused by improper installation
  • Landlord, if the burn occurred due to negligence behavior on their part
  • Healthcare provider, if the burn occurred during medical treatment
  • And more.

Proving liability in a burn injury lawsuit

In order to prove liability in any kind of a personal injury case, including those that involve burn injuries, the plaintiff must work with their burn attorney in order to establish a few key items.

There was a duty of care

First, the victim and their burn injuries lawyer must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the victim. A duty of care is a legal responsibility that one party owes another, to act with a reasonable amount of care and safety in order to prevent causing harm an injury. Let’s think, for example, about cases that involve apartment building fires. In these cases, the owner or landlord owes a duty of care to tenants to keep their environment safe.

The duty of care was breached

Second, the victim must prove that the duty of care was breached. With the apartment building fires examples, the duty would be breached if, for instance, the owner of the building had electrical wiring unsafely installed, causing electrical cord fires. This, of course, is just one example — a duty of care can be breached in any number of ways.

The breach resulted in damages

Lastly, the victim must show that this breach of the duty of care directly resulted in damages. This could be done by showing that the electrical cord fires, for instance, caused the victim to experience fourth degree burns, and those burns required medical attention that the victim had to pay for. The burn injury victim may also have needed to take time off work in order to recover, resulting in lost wages.

This can be a lot of information to take in, and injury lawsuits can be very complex. But working with a burn injury attorney can help ensure that the right person is held responsible for your injuries.

Burn Injury FAQ

Q: What if I sustain a burn injury at work?

Everyone should have the right to feel safe, in all senses, while at their workplace. Unfortunately, the reality is that injuries do happen in the workplace, and some workplaces have a higher risk of possible injury than others.

Across the nation, worker’s compensation exists as an alternative to injured employees seeking legal action against their bosses. In most cases, rather than filing a personal injury suit against their supervisor, coworker, or company for an injury, an injured worker would be expected to file for worker’s compensation. This applies in the case of a burn injury as well.

However, if the burn injury occurred as the result of a third party (ie, someone other than your boss or coworker), you may also be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit.

If you have experienced a burn injury at work and aren’t sure where to turn, contact a burn accident lawyer today. Working with burn injury lawyers ensures that you have the best chance of achieving the justice and compensation you so very much deserve.

Q: Why should I work with a burn lawyer?

A: When it comes to burn injury claims, and all manner of personal injury claims, for that matter, the legal framework that individuals have to navigate can be incredibly complex. This can be a lot to take on, especially if you or a loved one is simultaneously trying to recover from severe burn injuries. This is just one reason why working with a burn injury law firm or burn injuries lawyers can be incredibly beneficial. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can focus on recovery and getting back to the things you live, while knowing that your lawyer is working tirelessly on your behalf.

Another benefit to working with burn injury lawyers is that you’ll know you are fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve. Your attorney will examine every aspect of your case, from the medical bills you may have wracked up to the work you may have missed to the emotional suffering you’ve very likely gone through. All of this will be used to reach a settlement number that accurately reflects what you’ve been through. What’s more, if and when the other side pushes back with a lowball offer, as they likely will, your attorney will take the lead on negotiating and will never let you accept an unfair offer.

Your burn injury lawyer will work to gather evidence, will advocate for you throughout the legal process, and more. Call Munley Law today to set up a free case evaluation and begin your road to justice.

Q: Are there ways to prevent burn injuries?

A: There are many ways you can work to prevent burn injuries from occurring. The American Burn Association provides a list of prevention resources, including things like how to decorate your home safely for the holidays, how to heat your home, and more. You can visit their website here for more information about how to keep you and your loved ones safe from burn and fire injuries.

Q: What is a friction burn?

A: The BRCA (Burn and Reconstruction Centers of America) defines a friction burn as “a hybrid of blunt trauma and heat that is worsened by high speed.” This can be caused by road rash, which occurs most commonly when a motorcyclist experiences an accident and collides with the road. In the home, exercise equipment and certain carpeting can potentially cause friction burns in children, so supervision is encouraged. Sports that involve sliding or diving to catch a ball can also cause a this kind of burn when the player rubs against the turf or ground.

Q: What should I do if my child experiences a burn injury?

A: Child burn injuries are not uncommon; in fact, fires and burns are the fifth leading cause of injury related death to children. Children who experience burn injuries can also have lasting complications, both physically and emotionally. Work with a child burn injury attorney to ensure your child gets the justice and compensation they need in order to live a long and healthy life. Munley is a reputable burn law firm, ready to provide you with an injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process from start to finish.

Q: What does it cost to work with a Munley burn injury lawyer?

A: Experiencing a catastrophic injury can do more than cause physical harm – it can also place a massive financial burden on you and your family. You may be worried about working with a lawyer, and what that entails payment wise during an already stressful situation. Here is the good news: my let burn lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay us a cent unless we win your case. If we win, our fee is typically taken as a percentage of the amount you were able to recover.

If you have questions about payment or any other aspect of your case, do not hesitate to contact us.

Why Munley Law?

Munley Law Wilkes-Barre Law OfficeIf you have experienced a burn injury or fire injuries, you very well may be entitled to compensation. No matter what type of burn have have endured, you have been through a devastating and traumatic experience, and for that we are so deeply sorry.  We cannot take that pain away. But you should not have to carry the additional burden of navigating your rights in the legal system alone. There is a way through, and Munley Law is always here to help you find it.

The burn attorneys here at Munley Law are experts in the field, and will fight tirelessly to make sure your personal injury claim is a success. We have your best interests at heart, and our burn lawyers have a stellar record when it comes to winning cases for our clients.

At Munley Law, each of our lawyers has over a decade of experience, as well as hands-on trial and courtroom experience.  We do not get paid unless we win your case, and we will be by your side as you fight to make things right in the wake of your car accident.

If you are seeking legal representation, or simply want a free case evaluation, please reach out to an injury lawyer here at Munley Law. We are a premiere law firm with experience dealing with burn injuries and accidents, and can provide you with an experienced attorney who will be by your side every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help protect your interests.

If you or a loved one have been seriously burned, you may be legally entitled to damages for your personal injury.  Call us today for a FREE consultation and evaluation or your burn injury case.

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