The threat of burns can be more common than you think. In 2020 alone, more than 60,00 Pennyslvanians suffered a burn-related injury at their workplace. In the same year, The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that more than 1,500 people in the state were admitted to hospital due to injuries sustained from hot objects, corrosive substances, or flames and fire. These injuries can be life-altering and require the utmost attention and care.
Burns damage our tissue, often due to heat, chemical contact, overexposure to the sun or other radiation, or electrical interaction. Burns can be a minimal inconvenience, but sometimes they can be deadly. You may not know for a day or two how severe a burn is, as it takes this amount of time for the signs and symptoms to fully develop. The treatment of burns can vary greatly, too. Sunburns and small scalds can more likely be treated at home, however a deep or widespread burn will require professional medical attention. If it is substantial enough, the patient could require a longer-term treatment in a specialized facility. But whatever the case may be, you will likely want to seek compensation for your suffering, and Munley Law is here to help with that.
If you or a loved one have sustained a burn injury at work, the Workers Compensation and personal injury lawyers at Munley Law are experienced, dedicated, empathetic, and ready to fight on your behalf. Contact us today to have your claim evaluated and start your journey to justice and the deserved compensation.
Types of Burn Injuries
There is a major difference between spilling a drop of your coffee in the morning, versus working with hazardous materials. There are three primary categories for differentiating the severity of burns:
- 1st-degree burn – You may feel redness and discomfort to the outer layer of the skin.
- 2nd-degree burn – This can cause swelling and splotchy skin. Sometimes blisters can develop and the pain is severe. This will often lead to scarring as the burn itself damages the first and second layer of the skin.
- 3rd-degree burn – The burn area may be black, brown or white and cause the skin to appear leathery. This can cause numbness and ultimately destroy nerves as the impact of the burn can reach the fat layer under the skin.
As for the type of burn, these are the most common causations:
- Light burns – Caused by sunlight or ultraviolet light.
- Chemical burns – Caused by an acid, alkali, or chemical explosion/incident.
- Thermal burns – Caused by fire, steam, hot liquids, or other sources of extreme heat.
- Electrical burns – Caused by an electrical current.
- Radiation burns – Caused by contact with nuclear radiation.
Consequences of a Severe Burn
Complications of deep or widespread burns can include:
- Bacterial infection.
- Fluid loss.
- Dangerously low body temperature.
- Breathing problems from the intake of smoke.
- Amputation, though rare, can be required for particularly serious electrical burns.
The Risk of Skin Cancer:
Many forms of labor and outdoor employment can lead to a higher risk of sunburn for the worker. Aside from the more common short-term pain, redness and discomfort from a sunburn, after the burn fades, lasting damage can remain. Sunburn increases skin aging and is a leading cause of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the most life-threatening type of skin cancer.
What are the Costs from a Burn Injury?
The cost in treating a burn injury can be overwhelming for the patient and the patient’s family. The worst case scenario is that someone is injured due to negligence of another party, but they still are left to pay the immense medical bills.
Burn injuries are easily susceptible to infections. This can add up to $120,000 in costs. Skin grafts can be anywhere up to $110,000 while the treatment of fragile skin and skin breakdown can run to $107,000. Aside from the physical damages that can lead to expensive treatment, the PDST and mental health repercussions can add up to $75,000 in some cases.
Getting to know the Workers Compensation process at Munley can help you avoid any of these crippling fees.
Was Your Burn Caused by Negligence?
Sometimes, burn injuries are caused by one party’s negligence or lack of care. These are the common parties that could be at fault for a negligent practice that resulted in any workplace burn injury:
- A company or employer.
- A product that is defective.
- Premises liability, for instance in the case of a building fire.
If you suspect that negligence played a role in your injury, we can evaluate the full facts of the case.
Workers Compensation Versus Third Party Claims
If you suffered an injury at work, you will most likely want to pursue workers’ compensation. This state mandated insurance system is set up to help victims of workplace injuries cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. In order to be eligible to receive workers’ compensation, you should report your burn injury to your employer as soon as possible, as waiting to do so can impact your ability to receive compensation. It’s always best to navigate the complex process with an experienced attorney who can advocate for you as you focus on recovery, so you should seek a Munley workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible as well.
In most cases, workers’ comp is set up so that no one is in the awkward position of needing to sue an employer or coworker. However, there can be a suit filed against a third party if we believe that the injury was due to the negligence of a third party company. For instance, if the injury was due to a faulty piece of machinery, it might be appropriate to sue the machinery manufacturer.
Filing a third party claim is usually the right step if you and your lawyer believe a third party to be negligent, and estimate the compensation from that party to be higher than your workers’ comp payments. Get in touch with a Munley personal injury lawyer today to assess your case and figure out what’s best for you.
What Compensation Could You Expect?
If you and your attorney decide to pursue workers’ compensation, there are some regulations around what amount of compensation you can receive and for how long. In most cases, you will receive compensation for the vast majority of your medical bills. In addition to that, most burn victims who pursue workers’ compensation receive wage loss benefits at a weekly rate of ⅔ of their pre-injury salary.
No matter where the burn is on the body, the injury can be grounds for total disability or partial disability claims. For scarring, the maximum duration of time to receive benefits is 275 weeks. The Workers Compensation Judge will weigh in on the severity of the scarring in order to determine how long these benefits last.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the burn must have been suffered on the head, face, neck or caused the loss of a limb or body part in order to be considered for specific loss benefits. This is in addition to the general workers’ compensation.
At Munley Law, we are ready to ensure that you are satisfied with our services to get your Burn Injury case handled. Jeffrey, a Personal Injury Client at Munley, gushed about the ‘professionalism’ that his attorney showed. He said his representation was ‘not missing a detail about the facts of the case’ before obtaining the ‘very fair settlement’. Here is where to find our information regarding the Burn Injury Lawyer for you.
Why a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Munley Law?
We are proud to have a team of brilliant, experienced lawyers that will doggedly work to make sure you get the justice you’re seeking. The legal team does not get paid unless you win, so we hope you trust our fair practices, committed process and work ethic. We are also prepared to go to court if need be to make sure you and your loved ones are fully satisfied.
We’re ready to handle your case. Use the Contact Us page here to start the process with us.