What Should I Do After a Burn Injury?
Unlike many other accident victims, burn injury patients are often more quickly rushed to nearby trauma hospitals for treatment. Therefore, they rarely have the chance to remain briefly at their accident scenes to try and preserve useful evidence or speak with witnesses. Due to this difference, it’s crucial for such survivors (or their close relatives) to hire an experienced burn injury accident attorney without delay.
Once we accept your case – or that of your loved one – we can visit the accident scene and try to secure important evidence and speak with potential witnesses. If any type of accident report has been filed, we will obtain a copy so we can swiftly take action to preserve and protect all your legal rights.
- 1. Responding properly to construction and workplace fires & other burn injury events
- 2. What are your legal rights in case of Burn Injury?
- 3. Workplace conditions that can often lead to avoidable burn injuries
- 4. Car, truck, or motorcycle accident burn injuries
- 5. Psychotherapy may constitute an important part of your overall treatment plan
- 6. Upon completing all required treatment â watch out for these burn injury complications
- 7. Get legal help for burn injuries in New York
Responding properly to construction and workplace fires & other burn injury events
Although the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) knows to carefully preserve all useful evidence while putting out fires, most burn injury survivors are not harmed in building fires. Besides construction site injuries, many employees suffer burns while handling common workplace jobs involving dangerous tools, volatile chemicals, or overheated pipes or machinery. Others suffer major burns when involved in motor vehicle accidents that end with car or truck fires. Of course, everyday office workers can also develop burn injuries.
This article looks at specific burn injury settings to help remind survivors of the types of evidence they may need to discuss with their lawyers while explaining how they suffered harm. As your attorneys, it’s also part of our job to help determine if your employer negligently ignored OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) standards, directly increasing your chances of suffering dangerous burns. Once you’re able to fully talk with us, we will ask you about any damaged electrical equipment, flying sparks, overheated machinery, or other risky conditions that may have directly or indirectly caused your burn injuries.
Our investigators will also try to photograph the accident scene so we can better understand the specific dangers you faced. Hopefully, you will have preserved the work clothes, gloves, and boots that you were wearing when you suffered your burns since they can provide straightforward evidence of all that you’ve had to endure. We will also ask you what specific training if any, you received to help you avoid incurring the type of burn injuries you sustained.
What are your legal rights in case of Burn Injury?
Workplace conditions that can often lead to avoidable burn injuries
- Failing to provide workers with adequate hazard warnings. All employees must be trained to recognize certain hazard codes and signs on equipment and chemicals. Both initial training sessions and refresher ones are crucial to keeping employees safe.
- Improper handling of boiling water or heated pipes. Workers must wear proper gloves and other protective gear when handling tasks near hot water and steam.
- Requiring employees to work too close to overheated machinery
- Unsafe welding practices and allowing other workers to labor too close to those handling welding tasks. Sparks can travel a long distance to start a fire.
- Chemical spills that aren’t cleaned up immediately
- Explosions of recharged lithium-ion batteries that must often be used in various work tools
- Improperly handled cement products can cause second-and third-degree burns Employers must provide adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) to prevent these types of burns.
- Poorly managed portable heaters or kitchen ovens
- Allowing flammable substances to be disposed of along with paper products. All dangerous workplace debris must be regularly sorted and separately removed from the job site, preferably daily.
Hopefully, this list has helped you recall the various job dangers you may have encountered prior to suffering your burn injuries. Please be prepared to fully discuss all these conditions with us so we can properly prepare your case for settlement negotiations and trial.
Car, truck, or motorcycle accident burn injuries
If your burns were all caused by being in a motor vehicle accident, please be ready to answer questions about any hot or burning vehicle parts that may have directly caused your burns. Also, try to recall any harmful, leaking chemicals that touched your skin. Gasoline and other highly volatile liquids often inflict serious motor vehicle burn injuries. When these substances are suddenly released into the air, they may also cause you to suffer lung damage – just while simply breathing. Friction burns can also cause “road rash” skin burns.
Five common types of workplace burns
Once you reach the emergency room, doctors will be carefully examining you to determine which of these types of burns you have incurred.
These types of burns are often caused by direct contact with heated items or fires. Workers may often be exposed to the extreme heat of burning flames, hot metal conduits, steam, hot water, and hot pipes and furnaces. These types of injuries are often inflicted upon people working in industrial plants or in food service jobs.
Unfortunately, these types of burns can cause far more internal damage than thermal burns and they often leave little evidence of the degree of injury on the surface of the skin. Sometimes, these burns involving electricity that passes through the body can cause severe damage and even scar the flesh.
Workers injured by these types of burns have usually been exposed to alkalis or acids that directly damaged the deepest skin tissues. Sadly, these types of injuries can grow worse until the person treating them properly neutralizes and removes the chemicals from the skin.
- Cryogenic skin burns.
Even contact with very low temperatures can damage the skin, much like exposure to hot objects. In fact, skin that touches refrigeration units can develop frostbite. Furthermore, the human skin of unprotected body parts exposed to liquid air or liquid nitrogen (sometimes referred to as supercooled fluids), can be instantly frozen, often requiring emergency medical attention to save the victim’s life
Individuals working with ultraviolet light, x-rays, microwaves, and nuclear radiation can develop this type of serious skin damage.
All these conditions are fully diagnosed during a thorough physical examination. Doctors also seek to determine the accurate degree of your burn to prescribe proper treatment. Be sure to follow through with all suggested burn injury and rehabilitative treatments, as this will lead to your best outcome — and clearly demonstrate all that you have suffered during your recovery.
The three CDC burn injury ratings have separate treatments prescribed for each
Since you may have more than one of the following types of burns, it’s best to have all of them looked at by the same doctor or other healthcare professional. When pursuing a lawsuit, you should never try to treat any of these yourself. You can potentially speed up your recovery by following all this advice.
- First-degree burns.
Patients coping with this type of minor, top layer (epidermis) skin injury usually heal within a week. Symptoms may include mild swelling and some painful red areas. Treatment often only involves applying cool, wet compresses. It also helps to immerse the burned skin in cool, freshwater. The burn should normally be covered with a clean cloth or a sterile, non-adhesive type of bandage.
- Second-degree burns.
Unfortunately, the top two layers of skin are involved in this type of injury. It’s easily recognized by the deep red color of the skin, as well as the degree of pain. No one should ever try to break these types of blisters. Ointments should be avoided since they can cause infection. Cool compresses can help relieve pain if applied for about 10 to 15 minutes. Common, additional treatment steps are set forth within this CDC pdf information sheet.
- Third-degree burns.
Sadly, these burns penetrate the entire thickness of your skin. Also, a significant amount of tissue is permanently destroyed. The damaged skin will often look dry and have a leather-like feel to it. Your skin may also have patches in it that look charred — or appear black, white, or brown. Special treatments like skin grafts are required for these types of burns that can become easily infected.
- Fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and other government medical groups also recognize categories for fourth, fifth, and six-degree burns. As stated simply, fourth-degree burns extend down into the skin’s fat; fifth-degree burns extend down into the muscle, and sixth-degree burns reach all the way down to the bone. As might be expected, these last three levels of burns may require extensive stays in special burn treatment units.
Psychotherapy may constitute an important part of your overall treatment plan
Always be ready to ask a close family member or friend to help you through every stage of your burn injury treatments so that your pain can more quickly subside. This approach can also increase your chances of a higher level of recovery while we manage the legal side of your case. Obtaining psychotherapy’s will often be an important part of your overall treatment plan, especially if your burn injuries require extensive physical treatment and rehabilitation.
Upon completing all required treatment – watch out for these burn injury complications
Please allow yourself to get the best care available since burn injuries can require major adjustments to your life. Here are some of the complications you’ll need to watch out for and alert your doctor to them if they appear.
- An unusual degree of dehydration. Be sure to ask your main physician exactly how much liquid you should consume in a day during each new treatment phase. Allowing your skin to dry out can quickly lead to unexpected infections and other complications.
- Oddly enough, edema can also pose unique threats at certain recovery stages. As you’ve now learned, keeping your body properly hydrated will require careful attention to all your changing life circumstances and needs.
- Disfiguring scars and uncomfortable contractures of the skin
- Unexpected organ failure
- Severe infections that may require amputation of a body part — or can cause a serious blood disorder called sepsis.
- Hypotension that can sometimes lead to shock.
If you carefully follow all your treating physicians’ recommendations, most of these added problems are far less likely to occur. However, if signs of these new ailments do appear, you should immediately contact your doctor.
Get legal help for burn injuries in New York
If you have suffered serious burn accident injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our burn injury accident law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.