Burn Injury Lawyer Helping Residents in Bergen County
The American Burn Injury Association estimates that about 450,000 patients are treated in emergency departments for burns each year in the United States. Of these, about 3,400 people who suffer a serious burn injury will die each year. Burn injuries leave victims with chronic pain, scarring, and disfigurement. But the consequences go beyond physical trauma, and many victims must contend with the psychological effects of what they experienced. No one should have to experience severe burns because of someone else’s negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered burn injuries, the personal injury attorneys of Levin & Malkin can help.
What Are Some Common Causes of a Burn Injury?
Burns are typically associated with fire or flames, but these are not the only sources of injury. Among the most common causes of burns are:
- Appliance, water heater, or gas grill explosions or fires
- Scalding and injuries from excessively hot substances
- Fires in homes, offices, and other buildings
- Defective household products
- Electric shock
- Chemical burns
What Are The Different Degrees of Burns?
Many people are familiar with phrases like “third degree burns” when it comes to these sorts of injuries. Understanding all of the degrees can help victims or their families anticipate the potential level of care they will need:
- First-degree burns damage the top layer of skin. Typically these do not require extensive treatment and can often be handled with first aid. Redness, blistering, and minor to moderate pain are common.
- Second-degree burns affect the first two layers of skin. These can cause significant scarring and in some cases require skin grafts.
- Third-degree burns penetrate all layers of skin and destroy tissue. These result in permanent scarring and require skin grafts to repair. These burns are also susceptible to infection during the healing process.
What Are the Medical Consequences of Burn Injuries?
Burn victims must typically undergo extensive hospitalization and painful recovery. In many cases, the individual must have skin grafts and reconstructive surgery, either of which can leave permanent scars. Burn victims also run the risk of developing serious infection or sepsis, which can cause additional complications and potentially death. Even after someone leaves the hospital, they may require plastic or revision surgeries to continue treating the damage.
Not all burn injuries are physical. Depending on the circumstances that led to the burn, the victim could suffer a variety of mental and emotional complications. It is not unusual for individuals to be traumatized by their experiences, and to require therapy or other psychiatric treatment. Just as physical consequences can last a lifetime, so can the non-physical ones.
How Do Defective Products Cause Burn Injuries?
Many burns are caused by common household items. Product defects can be the result of improper design or improper construction. Design defects occur when products are inherently unsafe. A product with a design defect will be virtually impossible to use safely, and can cause burn injuries. The other type of defect has to do with the item’s construction. It can be safely designed, but the actual manufacturing of the product makes it dangerous. This often happens because the manufacturer used cheap or faulty parts.
What Is The Manufacturer’s Liability For Defective Products?
Manufacturers have a responsibility to sell reasonably safe products to the public. Unfortunately, many do not. For instance, a manufacturer may not install a critical safety component. Or it fails to do adequate testing to ensure the design of the product is safe. Another way that manufacturers are held liable is if they fail to provide adequate safety warnings on their products.
How Might Negligence Be Responsible For My Burn Injury?
Burn injuries may also be the product of negligence. Here are some examples of negligent behavior that can result in burns:
- Failure to use proper safety protocols on a construction site, such as carelessly leaving live electrical wires for someone to touch
- A daycare that fails to supervise children and allows them to touch a hot stove or other source of heat
- Poor electrical work in a house or commercial structure that causes electrocution
- Blocking or locking a fire exit, causing patrons of a restaurant to burn in a fire
How Do I Hold a Negligent Party Responsible For My Burns?
In cases of negligence, the accident will typically be treated as a personal injury case. There are several elements of a personal injury case that must be established:
- Duty of care. The first step is showing that the responsible party owed the victim a duty of care. This means the party had a legal requirement to act with reasonable care to prevent harm or injury to the victim.
- Breach of duty of care. Next, you must show that the liable party breached its duty by some sort of reckless or even intentional act.
- Causation. Here, you have to establish that, but for the negligence of the liable party, you would not have been injured. The negligent party’s breach must have directly caused harm to you.
- Damages. These are the consequences to you, the injured party. Typically these include expenses related to medical treatment, lost time from work, decreased earning capacity, mental or emotional trauma, and more. Wrongful death is one category of damages when the victim dies from his or her burn injuries.
Contact Our Hackensack Burn Injury Attorney
If you have been burned because of another party’s irresponsible behavior, you deserve compensation for your damages. But you should act quickly to retain legal representation. Product liability and personal injury cases, including those which involve burns, are governed by a two year statute of limitations in New Jersey. This means that in most cases, you have two years from the date of injury to take legal action.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. The attorneys of Levin & Malkin have experience with burn injury cases and are dedicated to recovering the maximum amount of compensation for their clients. Contact us today to get started with your case.