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Many New York City burns injury accidents are preventable because they happen due to negligence on behalf of a vehicle owner or operator, a building owner or management, or another responsible party. New York law states that a reasonable party must use ordinary care in maintaining a vehicle or property so as to not result in a fire or burn injury. Too often an owner may not act reasonably and display ordinary care in maintaining their property thus leading to a fire and burn injury. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Types of Burns include
Chemical burns caused by contact with chemicals including battery acid, oils, and gases.
Inhalation burns caused by inhaling or breathing in chemicals or other dangerous or toxic substances which can cause severe lung damage. These often happen in house fires or apartment building fires due to malfunctioning smoke alarms.
Ultraviolet burns may happen due to tanning booths.
Contact burns and thermal burns happen when an individual touches an extremely hot surface such as an uncovered steam pipe, hot metal, glass, or another surface.
Electrical burns occur when a person suffers electric shock from a faulty outlet, electrical current, or similar problem.
Radiation burns can be extremely serious including thermal radiation, radiofrequency energy, ultraviolet light, and ionizing radiation.
Burns from explosions
Explosions particularly those that happen on industrial worksites are often caused by some sort of negligence such as a motor vehicle accident. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable or ordinary care in maintaining a worksite, handling flammable liquids, or taking other fire safety & prevention precautions.
Examples of explosions in the workplace include the following:
Transportation of flammable liquids such as oil, gas, or other fuels.
Oil Refinery storage and transportation of flammable liquids or materials
Use of flammable liquids to produce electricity by public utilities; explosions can occur if safety procedures and standards are not met
Propane tanks used to heat homes if the refilling and reconnect safety rules are not strictly followed
A punctured, leaking, or defective gas tank in any motor vehicle such as a truck, bus, or car can cause an explosion; Car fires lead to explosions following an accident especially when leaking fuel may ignite.
Skin graft surgery
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and provides a protective barrier from foreign substances that can cause infections. The skin helps regulate body temperature.
A surgical procedure employed by physicians is called skin graft surgery. Medically there is a strong preference to take donor skin from the injured person since his or her body is much more likely to accept skin from other parts of the body as opposed to skin from a different individual altogether.
Common types of skin grafts:
Pinch grafts: usually take a “pinch” or a small piece of skin from a new site and transplant it onto the injured area. This type of surgical procedure is often used in parts of the body having poor blood circulation.
Split thickness grafts transplant the outer layer of skin together with deep skin or inner layers.
Full-thickness grafts transfer all skin layers together with accompanying blood vessels in the area. This type of graft is frequently used by surgeons for weight-bearing portions of the body such as burns to the soles of the feet. The most serious type of graft, a full-thickness skin graft, may also be used for severe burns involving the dermis or deep tissue areas of the inner skin. Donor sites used by surgeons for full-thickness grafting may include the stomach wall or a piece of skin from the back or hip area.
Pedicle grafts are used to treat injuries to the face or hands. When performing a pedicle graft, doctors do not remove all the skin from the donor site but rather leave a small flap to confirm strong blood supply and circulation. The removed portion will assist with healing the burn injury in the new transplanted location of the body.
An autograft is when a doctor transplants skin from another portion of the same patient’s body.
An allograft is when the skin from a different patient or source is transplanted onto the burn victim.
Scar injury from burns
Burn injuries frequently lead to scarring which can be improved through surgical procedures such as skin grafting or debridement but often cannot be completely cured. Leaving a victim of a burn injury with a permanent scar is devastating and leads to post-traumatic psychological injuries including emotional distress and depression.
Human skin is made up of layers. A thick layer of skin is the dermis followed by an exterior layer of skin known as the epidermis. Burn injuries to the epidermis or outermost layer may heal when skin tissue rebuilds. If the injury only affected the epidermis, the resultant scarring may be mild or may completely heal. On the other hand, damage to the dermis is likely to be permanent. When the inner layer or dermis is burned healing process is much more complex because our body naturally produces a protein called collagen fibers which results in severe scars.
Keloid: where the scar tissue grows beyond the original site of the injury turning red or pinkish in color. Over time this scar tissue will turn dark.
Hypertrophic: are similar to Keloid in their appearance but these scars are confined to the injury site and do not overgrow.
Contracture scars: a tightening of the skin that is permanent; the contracture affects the nearby muscles, tendons, and ligaments depending on the severity of the burn and scar. A contracture scar limits mobility and range of motion of the affected area. It may also cause nerve damage.
After a burn injury it can take up to 1-2 years for the injury and scar to stabilize. Surgery may be required including plastic surgery to improve the mobility of the area injured by the scar and improve the scar’s appearance.
What is a Burn Injury?
When you are exposed to fire, flames, heat, electricity, chemicals your skin and tissues can be damaged. A burn injury is damage to your skin tissue that is so bad the tissue dies. Burn injuries vary in degrees from minor to severe burns. The permanency and severity often depend on the type of burn suffered and the size of the affected skin area.
How Should I Respond to a Burn Injury?
Prompt medical care and treatment is essential. Treatment can come in many forms from simple at-home pain medications or creams to surgery and the use of special medical devices. In addition to skin, a severe burn injury can damage organs and lead to infections. Immediate medical treatment is essential.
Make sure your burn injury attorneys have handled all types of burn injury cases including defective products, fire, chemical burns, natural gas explosions, electric burn, electrocutions, car, truck, and motorcycle explosions and fires.
What Can I recover in a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
Damages recoverable in a burn injury case are itemized in the summoning and complaint by an injury attorney.
pain and suffering due to serious burns or smoke inhalation
loss of enjoyment of life due to permanent injuries, emotional trauma, scarring, disfigurement
Medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses such as hospital bills, nursing care, rehabilitation, and other costs of past and future medical care and medical treatment. This includes both past and future medical costs.
Wrongful Death damages if applicable
Punitive Damages if gross negligence or malice can be proven
According to the American Burn Association, approximately 486,000 Americans suffer from burns which require them to seek medical attention. Nearly 75% of all burn accidents occur at home, with an additional 10% happening in the workplace. Though burn accidents occur frequently, many are preventable. Here’s what you should know about burn injuries and the steps you can take to prevent accidents from happening.
When we typically think of burns, the first thing that comes to mind is the sensation that we feel when we touch something hot, or our skin comes into contact with fire. While this is true, burns are more specifically defined by damage to the skin severe enough to cause the cells to die.
How Serious are Burn Injuries?
It really depends on the type of burn and how much of the body it affects. Even small or minor burns, such as first-degree burns, can be serious as they can cause blisters, pain, scarring, which can turn into lifelong ailments. Serious burns can cause infections and loss of feeling, damage organs, and nerves, and lead to wrongful death.
There a four “types” or degrees of burns that vary in severity of damage to the body.
First-degree burns result in a reddening of the skin absent any blisters.
Second-degree burns result in blistering and in some cases thickening of the skin
Third-degree burns tend to be widespread across the body and cause the skin to take on a white leathery appearance
Fourth-degree burns: Though rare, fourth-degree burns can occur. In addition to the symptoms of third-degree burns, fourth-degree burns more deeply affect a person’s bones and tendons.
What Causes Burns Injuries?
In addition to more common causes like fire and hot liquids, there are other causes of burns, including:
Exposure to the sun (sunburn)
There is no correlation between the type of burn and its cause or the need to seek medical attention. For example, although chemical burns may show little obvious signs of damage to the skin, one should seek medical treatment immediately to assess any potential internal damage.
Workplace Accidents with Burn Injuries
Accidents that occur in the workplace are unfortunately typically caused by the negligence of another party. Filing a personal injury claim can help obtain full justice. Common causes of occupational burns include:
Working conditions that are unsafe
Lack of well-trained staff on the handling of flammable materials
Failure to properly store chemicals in a warehouse, construction site, or another area.
Inspect electrical cords and discard those with exposed wires
Test smoke detectors regularly, but no less than once a month
Install covers on electrical outlets
Wear gloves when using products that contain chemicals
While prevention is helpful, it is in some cases not enough to prevent burns resulting from manufacturing defects, including defective camping equipment, stoves, and ovens.
If you have any questions about burn injuries or would like to discuss your case with one of our dedicated attorneys, please feel free to contact us today for more information.
We can help
If you or a loved one suffered a severe burn injury, explosion, or fire accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates. With offices in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan, our personal injury attorneys serve all of New York City including Staten Island, Westchester, upstate New York, Nassau, and Suffolk counties on Long Island.
We help maximize your compensation by hiring fire experts, engineers, electrical, and other safety experts for your personal injury case. Our injury attorneys will maximize your compensation by hiring damages experts such as plastic surgeons, top medical specialists, economists to recover medical expenses and lost wages, and occupational rehabilitation experts.
Our main goal is helping serious injury victims and family members. The insurance company only cares about avoiding responsibility and protecting its bottom line so it is very important to obtain a free case evaluation from an experienced burn injury trial attorney. Call us at (866) ATTY-LAW.