At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, we recognize victims of burn injury victims are often left not only with painful physical and psychological injuries, but also with staggering medical bills and financial difficulties due to lost wages.
Insurance companies actively work to minimize payouts to burn injury victims. That’s why it’s imperative to contact Massachusetts burn injury attorneys with experienced and proven results.
Different types of burn injury claims include:
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Motor vehicle accident burns
- Defective products
- Scalding water and pipes
- Apartment building fires
- Locked fire exits
- Construction accidents
- Premises Liability Claims
- Fireworks Injuries
- Radiation accidents
- Recreational fires (nightclub, hotel, restaurant, retail outlet)
- Workplace burns/ workers’ compensation
- Boating accident burns
- Gas explosion
The American Burn Association reports some 450,000 Americans suffered burn injuries in 2013 requiring medical treatment. Approximately 40,000 were hospitalized and 3,400 died.
Of those who suffered fatal burns, 2,500 deaths were attributed to residential fires, 300 from motor vehicle crashes and 550 from other sources, including 400 attributed to contact with electricity, scalding liquids or hot objects. In some cases, burn fatalities are difficult to classify because it’s not clear whether a person died from inhalation of toxic smoke or other non-burn causes.Understanding Burn Injuries
Burns are some of the most medically complicated injuries in that they affect not just the skin, but also muscles, nerves, blood vessels and even bones. Effects of a severe burn can last years.
These types of injuries generally stem from one of four sources: Thermal heat, chemicals, radiation or electricity.
Thermal burns are caused by a myriad of heat sources. It could be flash heat, such as an explosion of natural gas, gasoline, propane or other flammable liquids. It could also result from flames in house fires, auto accidents and ignition from improper use of flammable liquids. Scalds, too, would be in this category and are caused by contact with hot liquids, such as water, oil, grease or tar. Consider that most coffee when first brewed reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Contact with water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for three seconds will create a deep burn.
Chemical burns, meanwhile, are typically caused by acids or alkali substances, often in industrial accidents. One may also suffer chemical burns through inhalation of toxic fumes, steam or smoke.
Electrical burns also often result from industrial accidents, resulting from contact with damaged electrical cords, electrical outlets or high-voltage wires. In addition to causing thermal injury to the skin, electrical burns may also result in severe internal injuries.
Radiological burns are those caused by X-rays or in radiation therapy often used in cancer treatments. Sunburns and tanning bed burns also fall into this category. Specifically, radiation burns are caused by gamma, beta or alpha radiation. In some cases, decontamination may be necessary to halt injury.
Burns are generally classified by severity. Those categories are:
- First-degree burns. These are superficial wounds resulting in damage to the first layer of skin and resulting in redness, swelling and minor pain. These generally heal on their own and don’t cause permanent damage.
- Second-degree burns. These damage two layers of skin: The epidermis and the dermis. These usually don’t require surgery, but scarring is possible and pain is likely, as is sensitivity, redness and blisters.
- Third-degree burns. These are very serious burns in which all layers of skin are affected, as well as underlying tissue. It may result in a brown or leathery appearance, and usually requires skin grafting surgery or transplantation.
- Fourth-degree burns. These can be fatal, as the burn extends into muscle and bone.
Types of compensation available to burn injury victims will depend largely on the circumstances precipitating injury.
For example, a construction worker who suffers a severe electrical burn may first secure workers’ compensation from his or her employer, but may also pursue third-party litigation against the site owner or general contractor. In a case of severe, long-term injury in which that worker is unable to return to the job, he or she may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.
A child injured as a result of an apartment fire may be able to secure compensation (through his parents or guardian) from the property owner and/or insurance company through a personal injury lawsuit.
Our Boston burn injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for clients facing recovery from burn injuries. We understand that our early involvement in a claim can improve chances of securing full compensation for burn victims.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
Call (617) 367-2900 – NO FEE UNLESS SUCCESSFUL