Have You or a Loved One Suffered From Burn Injuries?
Burns are some of the most painful injuries a person can experience. They have a wide variety of causes, from house fires to car accidents. In some workplaces, people experience chemical or electrical burns. In the home, risks can include cooking accidents and defective products. Even with proper treatment, severe burns can cause devastating effects, and in some cases require hospitalization. They can cause damage to other organs and frequently cause the victim to have lifelong scarring.
In many cases, burns are preventable. Workplaces, product manufacturers and homes that follow common sense safety procedures can greatly reduce the risk of burns. Unfortunately, some people are negligent about safety, which puts others at risk of being injured by preventable burns. If this has happened to you, you may be eligible for financial compensation for the pain you suffered — and the medical bills that are yet to come.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
Types of Burn Injuries
According to the United States Fire Administration, burns account for about 30 percent of fire-related deaths and injuries. When most people think about burn injuries, they imagine injuries caused by open flames, like fire, or contact with scalding hot liquid. However, other types of burns, like cold burns from exposure to extreme weather, can cause deep tissue damage and be equally devastating.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the most common types of burns include the following:
- Heat burns. Also known as thermal burns, heat burns can be caused by things like grease fires, explosions, improperly maintained water heaters, and hot liquids.
- Electrical burns. Direct exposure to an electrical current can cause damage to the skin and organs. Exposed electrical wiring and ungrounded outlets are common causes of electrical burns.
- Chemical burns. Caustic agents like acids or detergents commonly used on construction sites and in batteries, whitening agents, and cleaning supplies can cause burns if they touch your skin or eyes.
- Radiation burns. These types of burns may occur in an industrial, scientific, or medical setting from improper equipment setup, lack of professional knowledge, and when receiving certain cancer treatments.
- Friction burns. When skin rubs against a surface too roughly, it can cause an abrasion called a friction burn. Bicycle and motorcycle accidents often cause friction burns, as do many construction accidents, sliding down a rope too quickly, and falling off a treadmill.
Identifying the type of burn you suffered can help your New Jersey burn injury lawyer determine who might be responsible for your injury.
Causes of Burn Injuries
- Contact Burns. Contact burns happen when skin comes into contact with a hot item, such as a curling iron, clothing iron, oven, hot pan, or skillet.
- Scalding. When hot liquid, such as water or coffee, is spilled on the skin, it can cause burns. Burns can occur after just a six-second exposure to 140-degree water or at even lower temperatures for children.
- Vehicle collisions. Flammable fluids can ignite after impact as they flow over a hot car engine or are ignited by a spark from a vehicle’s electrical system. A damaged or ruptured fuel tank can also ignite a fire.
- Defective products. Anything from improperly designed electrical cords to faulty pilot lights can cause fires that result in devastating burns.
All burns can cause excruciating pain, but not all burn injuries are caused by negligence. For instance, if you are burned touching an activated curling iron sitting on a hairdresser’s counter because you wanted to see if it’s hot, you are to blame. On the other hand, if your hairdresser burns you with a scorching flat iron while styling your hair or a server scalds you by accidentally dropping hot coffee in your lap, you may have grounds for a burn injury case. If you’ve suffered a burn injury, an experienced New Jersey burn injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options.
Arc Flash Electrical Burns and Safety
Arc hazard is a shock, flash, or blast from excessive heat exposure caused by arcing faults in electrical power systems. It occurs when rapid pressure buildup causes an explosion hot enough to melt, vaporize, and throw nearby material, such as copper, into the air, which is also superheated.
An Arc hazard strikes when a flashover of electrical current leaves its intended path and travels in the air from one conductor to another. It can occur spontaneously or result from inadvertently bridging electrical contacts with a conducting object such as a human. When the electrical current reaches the second conductor, it releases large amounts of energy, putting everyone in proximity in danger of suffering severe injury or death. In fact, an Arc flash can reach 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing shocks and burns that can permanently change a person’s quality of life.
Types of Arc Flash Injuries and Causes
Arc flashes can also result in the following:
- Fires that can spread through a building;
- A blast pressure upwards of 2,000 lbs. per sq. ft.;
- Flying objects such as molten metal;
- Sound blasts that reach decimal levels as loud as a gun;
- Intense light that can damage eyesight and cause blindness,
- The creation of poisonous gases that, if inhaled, can cause lung damage; and
- Heat that is as much as four times hotter than the sun's surface.
Common causes of Arc Flash electrical shocks and burns include:
- Operator error,
- Material failure,
- Static electricity,
- Dropping tools,
- Faulty installation,
- Exposed live parts,
- Incorrectly grounded power tools,
- Insulation gaps that cause sparking,
- Water or liquid near electrical equipment
- Overhead transmission lines, and
- Accidental touching.
Arc flashes often happen faster than a blink of an eye and can result in extreme medical costs and income losses. Arc flash injury victims also commonly suffer terrible scarring, chronic pain, and even severe psychological symptoms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. And sadly, workers’ comp typically pays only a portion of those costs.
Burn Injury Compensation
Every burn injury case comes with a different set of facts and circumstances. For this reason, consulting with an experienced burn injury lawyer in New Jersey will give you a better idea of how much compensation you can receive. Generally, most injury victims are entitled to economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages, otherwise known as special damages, are easily quantifiable because they have a defined monetary value. Economic damages often include the following:
- Hospital and ambulance bills;
- Current and future medical bills for things such as tests, surgeries, and skin grafts;
- Prescription medicines;
- Mobility aids, such as wheelchairs or crutches;
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity; and
- Damaged property.
Noneconomic damages, also known as general damages, are less concrete and do not have defined monetary values. These damages compensate you for the emotional and mental harm caused by your injury. For this reason, they can be harder to prove. Generally, noneconomic damages include things like:
- Physical pain,
- Physical disfigurement,
- Physical impairment,
- Emotional suffering,
- Loss of quality of life, and
- Loss of companionship.
During recovery, you may also encounter other specific and unexpected losses. An experienced burn injury attorney can help you identify and calculate all of your damages so that you are fully compensated for your losses.
Statute of Limitations for Burn Injury Claims
Every type of legal claim has a certain deadline by which a case must be filed. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. New Jersey’s personal injury statute of limitations states that claims must be filed within two years of the date of injury. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will likely be prohibited from doing so. It’s important to consult with a skilled burn injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure you file your case on time.
How an Experienced New Jersey Burn Injury Attorney Can Help You
Working with an experienced advocate can make all the difference in successfully resolving your claim. When you choose O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, we will work tirelessly to make the legal process as easy for you as possible and help you maximize your compensation. When you hire us, we can:
- Explain your legal rights,
- Conduct an extensive investigation of the cause or origin of the fire,
- Compile all relevant evidence about the accident and your injuries,
- Negotiate with insurance companies,
- Demand fair compensation,
- Take your case to court if a settlement is not reached or the offer falls short of what you’re entitled to, and
- Stand by you every step of the way until your case settles out of court or a verdict is reached.
At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, we have won millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We are dedicated to helping every client get the compensation they need to move forward with their life. Our team will use our years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and trying cases in court to fight for the justice you deserve.
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Discuss Your Case with Our Burn Injury Attorneys Today
If you are searching for a New Jersey bun injury attorney, at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, we believe that property owners and manufacturers who are negligent about safety should be held accountable. If their negligence has already caused you to experience a burn injury, someone else could be injured next. Our experienced attorneys will help you explore your options, possibly including negotiating a financial settlement. It is important to contact an attorney early to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact the attorneys of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble today to discuss burn injuries and potential negotiations. Contact us online or call (908) 928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817.