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New Jersey Burn Injury Attorney

Many burn injury victims claim that burns cause more pain than any other type of injury. Burn injuries have high complication rates and, in many cases, cause lifelong scarring and disfigurement. As a result, burn injuries can change every aspect of an injured individual’s life.

If another party’s negligence caused your burn injuries, working with an experienced burn injury lawyer can help. A burn injury lawyer cannot roll back the clock on your injuries, but an attorney can help you better understand your legal rights after your accident, including your potential right to compensation. If you suffered severe burns due to the negligence of another party, contact Console & Associates, P.C., today for a free consultation and to discuss the details of your accident.

Types of Burns

New Jersey Burn Accident LawyersTypically, when you imagine burn injuries, you may think of heat burns, including burns that result from hot water, open flame, or touching something too hot for a prolonged time. Heat burns can occur due to explosions, improperly maintained water heaters, and even grease fires in kitchens.

Other types of burns, however, can cause equal devastation.

  • Cold burns. Exposure to extreme cold for too long can cause many of the same symptoms as a heat burn. Cold burns can cause deep damage to the skin and the tissue beneath it. If not treated properly, the victim may suffer even more serious injuries.
  • Radiation burns. In some cases, radiation burns may occur in an industrial or scientific setting, often due to improper equipment use. In other cases, radiation burns can result in a medical setting due to improper equipment setup or lack of knowledge by the doctor or nurse administering the treatment.
  • Electrical burns. Exposed electrical wiring, which can lead to electrical burns, occurs most often on construction sites. Direct exposure to an electrical current may cause damage to exposed flesh and the skin beneath. In some cases, however, exposure to electricity may not show immediate burn damage to the skin. Instead, it may cause damage underneath the surface. The victim may have severe tissue damage or suffer organ damage, including heart and lung damage, from exposure to electricity.
  • Friction burns. Friction burns occur when something rubs across the surface of the skin rapidly or repeatedly. Friction burns may, for example, occur on construction sites. Heavy equipment that malfunctions or is used without appropriate safety measures can keep spinning or running rapidly, even with a person’s body in the way. Friction burns may also occur in the form of road rash, which involves the skin dragging across the ground during a pedestrian accident.
  • Chemical burns. Chemical burns may occur due to exposure to caustic chemicals, including chemicals commonly used on construction sites or even chemicals present in usual cleaning supplies. Most of the time, chemical burns occur on exposure and will continue to worsen as exposure increases. In some cases, however, chemical burns may continue to worsen over time, with the worst symptoms not appearing until several hours after exposure. Exposure to such chemicals can also cause severe damage to the eyes and lungs, so if you experience chemical burns, you should seek medical attention promptly.

Grading Burns by Degree

Most often, doctors grade burns based on their severity. Doctors have established a scale for determining the depth of burn damage and the extent of its impact.

  • First-degree burns. In most cases, first-degree burns involve redness and pain. They often heal very quickly, since they involve only the first layer of the skin. In many cases, you can treat first-degree burns at home; however, you should always have severe burns evaluated by a doctor, especially if they cover a large portion of your body or occur around the face and/or genitals.
  • Second-degree burns. Second-degree burns include both the outer layer of the skin and the dermis beneath. They may appear red or show signs of blistering. Second-degree burns typically cause more serious pain and have a higher likelihood of leaving scars behind as they heal. Extensive second-degree burns may increase the risk of complications.
  • Third-degree burns. Third-degree burns go beyond the skin and into the tissue beneath. In some cases, third-degree burns may cause excruciating pain. In other cases, victims may have such severe nerve damage that the nerves can no longer send signals throughout the body, which can reduce the severity of the pain suffered by the victim. Third-degree burns may turn red, black, or white, depending on the extent and location of the damage. Often, third-degree burns cause severe scarring.
  • Fourth-degree burns. Fourth-degree burns, the most severe burns, often include muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bone. Most of the time, victims with fourth-degree burns do not feel them because of the extensive nerve damage. Fourth-degree burn victims suffer a high rate of complication and may even die from their injuries. Injured individuals may need a long stay in a burn unit and multiple procedures to help treat the injuries.

Pursuing Compensation Following New Jersey Burn Injuries

If you suffered an accident in New Jersey that involved severe burns, you likely want to recover compensation as soon as possible. Burn victims often have substantial medical bills from their injuries. The high risk of infection associated with burns, especially those over a large portion of the body, may require burn victims to spend a long time in a special burn unit in the hospital.

Burn units get sealed to help keep out bacteria and germs, creating a more sterile environment with a lower risk of complications for burn victims. Despite these careful treatments, however, burn victims can experience substantial complications that may further increase their medical bills.

Contact a personal injury attorney in New Jersey to determine whether you may pursue compensation for your New Jersey burn accident.

Determining the Liable Party in Your New Jersey Burn Accident

Who caused your New Jersey burn accident? Sometimes, you can clearly identify the party that caused your accident and your injuries. For example, if your landlord installed a water heater that warmed the water in your apartment to an unsafe temperature, you may know that your landlord caused your burn injuries. You may need an attorney to investigate your claim and confirm the circumstances that led to your accident.

Your attorney will consider:

  • Who bore a duty of care to you at the time of the accident? You have the right to expect that certain individuals and entities will do their best to protect you and decrease your risk of serious accidents and injuries. For example, you have the right to expect that other drivers on the road will exercise every precaution to avoid an accident. If a driver’s negligence causes an accident, that driver will likely face liability for any resulting injuries.
  • Who violated that duty of care? To bear liability for your accident, at-fault parties must have violated their duty of care in some way that ultimately led to your burns. For example, the landlord mentioned above bears a duty of care to all of his tenants, and he may have violated that duty of care by turning the temperature on the water heater too high or by rigging the system illegally to bypass its usual temperature controls. The landlord may also have violated his duty of care by ignoring past complaints from tenants or by failing to repair the water heater promptly, despite knowing about the problems with it.
  • How did that violation lead to your injuries? In some cases, you may note that someone violated a duty of care to you in some way, but that violation did not contribute to your accident. For example, suppose you noticed that a fire pit did not have adequate protections around it while you went out to a hotel. The hotel may bear liability if you sustained burns by the fire pit, but not if your burns occurred elsewhere on the premises, where there was no violation of the duty of care.

In some cases, multiple parties may share liability for your accident. An attorney can go over the conditions that led to your accident, evaluate what may have caused it, and identify all parties who may have contributed to your injuries. The liable party might include a driver who struck a pedestrian, causing friction burns; a construction company or electrician that failed to properly cover wiring; or a hotel that ignored potential fire hazards and put together wiring improperly, leading to a severe accident. An attorney can evaluate your specific accident and help determine all parties who may have contributed to it.

Determining How Much Compensation to Seek for Your Burn Injuries

An attorney can give you a solid assessment of how much compensation you may expect for your burns but cannot provide you with any guarantees about the funds that you will ultimately receive.

In most cases, burn victims seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. You may incur extensive medical expenses following your New Jersey accident. Burn injuries often require a long recovery time and extensive medical treatment. You may have a long stay in a burn unit to pay for or need to cover the costs of repeated follow-up visits with your doctor. You may need to go through physical therapy to increase your odds of making a full recovery, or you might need occupational therapy to help you learn to cope with limitations created by injured limbs. You can include the cost of your medical bills as part of your burn injury claim.
  • Lost wages. Severe burns often prevent their victims from working during the recovery process. The skin covering the burn often remains fragile for a long time. You may not tolerate heat well for some time. If you work in an environment that exposes you to extreme heat or that may expose you to further levels of friction, you may not have the ability to go back to work. You may also not have the ability to complete your usual work tasks while in the hospital. Sometimes, your employer will make modifications to your responsibilities to allow you to work from home. Other times, you may need to remain out of work until you recover. These lost wages may leave you struggling to pay your bills following an accident. You can, however, include compensation for those lost wages as part of your New Jersey burn injury claim.
  • Pain and suffering. Not only do burns cause immense physical pain, but they can also cause substantial emotional anguish. Many burn victims have severe scarring that lasts for the rest of their lives. For some victims, this can cause a considerable psychological impact. Beyond the physical and emotional suffering, you may also experience distinct losses during your recovery. You may, for example, miss out on activities you had looked forward to and planned for, or you might lose relationships with people who do not understand what led to your accident or what your recovery requires. An attorney can help you determine how to include those challenges as part of your claim.

How Can Your New Jersey Burn Injury Lawyers Help Me?

Richard P. Console Jr.

New Jersey Burn Injury Lawyer, Richard P. Console Jr.

Our New Jersey burn injury lawyers can help you fully understand your legal rights and, if needed, fight for you. You may need to negotiate with the insurance company that covers the liable party or, in some cases, take your claim to court. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help alleviate stress, ensure that you have a clear, coherent claim put together, and prevent you from mistakenly accepting a settlement offer that fails to consider your full right to compensation.

Did You Suffer Severe Burns in a New Jersey Accident?

If you suffered severe burns in an accident in New Jersey, an experienced attorney can give you a better idea of your legal rights to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact Console & Associates, P.C., today at (862) 300-4519 to learn more.

 

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“I would highly recommend Console and Associates, PC for their expertise and quality of work for personal injury claims.” A. Corrado / Client

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