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New York Burn Injury Lawyer

Burn Injury

Burn injuries are among the more common types of injuries that occur across the nation. Victims may sustain burn injuries in a range of incidents from getting scalded at home or in the shower to suffering them in a structural fire or due to a chemical spill at a construction site. When discussing such injuries, the term “burn” refers to conditions experienced by victims that are more severe than the mere burning sensation. Burn injuries are usually characterized by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.

While some people may recover from burn injuries without experiencing serious health consequences depending on the cause and the extent of the injury, most burn injury victims, however, require immediate medical care to prevent severe health complications or even death. If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity, it is important that you contact an experienced New York burn injury lawyer to explore your legal rights and options. You may be able to seek and obtain valuable compensation needed for treatment, surgery and other expenses.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

According the American Burn Association (ABA), 2,745 people died from residential fires and 310 from vehicle crash fires in 2015. One civilian fire death occurs every two hours and 41 minutes. The odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames or smoke is one in 1,442. During the same time 486,000 victims sought medical treatment for burn injuries. About 40,000 people were hospitalized for burns including 30,000 in specialty burn centers.

Building fires: These are among the most common causes of burn injuries in New York City. The taller the building the greater the risk of fatalities during fires, as it becomes more challenging for firefighters to rescue victims. When a building catches fire, many occupants get trapped between burning stairways and windows forcing them to jump and become seriously injured. Spending an extended time inside a burning building also causes smoke inhalation injuries, which may prove fatal.

Gas explosions: Explosions caused by gas leaks have claimed a number of lives over the years in New York City. UCSD’s Regional Burn Center reports that a majority of adults were burned in their homes as a result of propane or natural gas explosions. These catastrophic incidents may occur as the result of a faulty line, due to the negligence of a utility company and/or because of a defective product or appliance.

Hot liquids and scalding: Children are at a much higher risk for hot liquid burns because a child’s skin is much thinner than adult skin. Liquid burns, which may barely harm an adult, can injure a child’s skin deeply and at lower temperatures, even from only a few seconds of exposure. The elderly are more vulnerable to hot liquid and scalding burns as well due to sensitive skin and slower reaction times. In addition to hot water, hot drinks and oils can also cause scalding burns.

Burns caused by electrical accidents: There are more than 400 electrocutions each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and an estimated 180 electrocutions are related to consumer products. Wiring hazards such as damaged or exposed commercial and household wiring together accounted for 20 percent of electrocutions. Ladders coming in contact with power lines, power tools and other equipment can also lead to electrical accidents that result in severe burns to the victims. Burn injuries caused by electrical accidents may lead to nerve and tissue damage as well.

Home appliances: A number of fires and burn injuries are caused by home appliances from defective heaters to coffee makers. In such cases, the manufacturers of the defective products can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused.

Car fires: Motor vehicle fires kill at least 500 people and injure thousands more each year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One of out every five fires involves an automobile. One out of eight fire deaths results from car fires. Car fires tend to occur because of a collision, a defective part or vehicle malfunction.

Water heater fires: Water heaters these days are equipped with sensors that detect burning vapors unlike older models. However, there are dangers of newer-model water heaters catching fire as a result of lint, dust and oil collections. Water heaters must not only be updated but be properly maintained by being kept clear of dust and lint. If you live in an apartment or rental property, your building manager and/or building owner are responsible for maintaining the water heater. Defective or poorly maintained water heaters can cause severe burn injuries.

Workplace accidents: Workplace fires and explosions result in hundreds of fatalities and burn injuries each year. Some common causes of work-related fires include chemical hazards, spontaneous combustion of chemicals or rags and weak fuel pipes. Burn injuries suffered on the job especially in a construction or factory setting can prove devastating for workers and their families.

Seriousness of Burn Injuries

The severity of a burn injury depends on the extent of damage to the skin, muscles, tissues, bones and other internal organs. Burn injuries are divided into four categories depending on their severity.

First-Degree Burns: These are the burn injuries that cause minimal skin damage. They are superficial burns because they affect the outermost layer of the skin. Common symptoms include redness, minor inflammation and pain. Since this type of burn injury only affects the top layer of the skin, the signs and symptoms disappear once the skin cells shed. First-degree burns usually heal within seven to 10 days or more. First-degree burns are usually treated with home care and the healing time is quicker here relative to the other categories.

Second-Degree Burns: These burn injuries are more serious because the damage extends beyond the top layer of the skin. The skin blisters and becomes red and sore. Some blisters may even pop open giving the burn a wet appearance. Some second-degree burns take longer than three weeks to heal, but most will heal within two to three weeks or more. In some severe cases, skin grafting may be needed to fix the damage.

Third-Degree Burns: These are extremely severe burn injuries. This is when the damage extends through every layer of the skin. The skin may appear white or waxy, charred or leathery. These wounds can cause severe scars.

Fourth-Degree Burns: These injuries damage the skin, underlying tissue, nerve endings and may reach all the way to fat, muscle or even to the bone. These burn injuries look black or charred and dry. There is no healing with this type of burn. In most cases amputation is required and often, patients die.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

In burn injury cases, liability often depends on who or what caused the injuries. For example, if a property owner and/or property manager fails to install smoke alarms or sprinklers in an apartment complex or rental property, or if the alarms or sprinklers are not working, then the owner and/or manager can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused. New York law requires all property owners and/or property managers to install and maintain these safety systems to protect their tenants and visitors.

Property owners and/or property managers can also be held liable for scalding burn injuries that occur due to hot pipes or faulty water heaters. In cases where a defective product such as a space heater caused or contributed to the fire accident, the manufacturer of that faulty product can be held liable. In incidents where gas explosions causes burn injuries, negligent utility companies can be held financially responsible for the victims’ injuries, damages and losses. One of our clients recovered $2,500,000 for burns from a space heater.

What is Your Burn Injury Claim Worth?

If you have suffered severe burn injuries, you may be wondering what your claim might be worth. The value of your claim will depend on the seriousness of the injuries and the extent of losses you have sustained. You need to take into consideration the types of physical, financial and emotional damages you may have suffered. In a personal injury case, monetary damages are paid to the injured person or the plaintiff by the party that is found legally responsible or liable for the incident. Your case may go to a jury trial or like a majority of personal injury cases, get settled out of court.

Here are some of the types of losses and damages that often determine the value or worth of a personal injury claim:

Medical expenses: A victim who has suffered burn injuries is likely in need of intensive treatment and rehabilitative care. Often, burn injury victims require skin graft surgery where skin is taken from one part of the patient’s body and grafted on to the portion that has been damaged by the burn. These are considered cosmetic procedures (as opposed to life-saving) and are often not covered by insurance. Medical expenses will also include medication, medical equipment and rehabilitation. Often, plaintiffs will be awarded damages for cost of future treatment as well. This is particularly true in cases where patients have suffered permanent injuries or disabilities.

  • Lost wages: You can seek and obtain compensation for workdays lost. If your injuries have proved disabling, you may seek compensation for lost wages and loss of earning capacity, or in other words, income you might have earned in the future, but cannot because of your injuries and disabilities.
  • Past and future pain and suffering: You can seek compensation for the physical pain and suffering you have had to endure during the incident and in its aftermath. Burn injuries can be particularly painful and the recovery process can be extremely slow and costly.
  • Emotional distress: In addition to the significant physical pain, there is also a significant amount of stress and psychological effects because the victims have suffered a traumatic event. Patients may suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment: When injuries caused by a fire or any accident keep victims from enjoying their everyday pursuits and hobbies, they may be entitled to “loss of enjoyment” damages.
  • Loss of consortium: This refers to the impact the injuries have on the plaintiff’s relationship with his or her spouse or partner. The loss of companionship or the ability to have a sexual relationship can cause significant issues for couples.

Getting Results in Burn Injury Cases

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm has had significant success representing burn injury victims. Here are a few settlements we have helped secure for our seriously injured clients:

$2,500,000: Burn Injury from defective space heater.
$2,250,000: Toddler burned by hot water in a bathtub.
$1,170,000: Settlement of burn injury case.
$985,000: Settlement in a fire accident case where injuries were sustained because the homeowner did not have smoke detectors installed in an apartment.
$850,000: Settlement for a child who suffered serious burn injuries on his leg due to medical negligence.
$850,000: Slip-and-fall burn at workplace.
$750,000: Hot water burn injuries suffered by a 3-year-old child when he was burned by hot water from the sink.
$670,000: Settlement in a case where a 13-year-old girl was burned with hot water when being cared for at an institution.

Contacting an Experienced New York Burn Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries or if you have lost a loved one in a fire, the experienced New York Burn Injury Lawyer at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com


Client Testimonials

Mr.Wilhelm and Mr. Ginsberg really care about representing people who might otherwise not be represented. They come to your home, if you are unable for whatever reason to meet with them in their office. That is a rare thing in this day and age. They do excellent work and try their utmost to achieve a positive outcome.read more
Veronica B.
I have worked as appellate counsel and of counsel to Mr. Wilhelm for 25 years. Mr. Wilhelm's firm always does an extremely thorough job of working up each client's case in order to optimize the chances of maximum recovery. The Wilhelm firm zealously litigates their clients' claims and, if necessary, will take a case to trial and on appeal to ensure that their clients get the best results possible under the law.read more
Susan N.
Mr. Wilhelm was very helpful and caring the whole step of the way. Also very efficient in handling my case which was very difficult. I could not thank him or his staff enough for their support.
Inawa M
Most helpful and caring law firm! Mr. Wilhelm and Mr.. Ginsberg make you feel right at ease! Happy holidays to all!
Veronica B.
Extremely professional and polite staff. Very caring lawyers and Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Ginsberg made you feel right at ease. Would definitely recommend them to others!
Veronica B.
So thankful Mr. Wilhelm accepted me as a client!!I was first taken in by an attorney that only had his interests first, I can't even imagine how I would live if Mr. Wilhelm didn't get the chance to review my case, use his knowledge and experience and WIN BIG!!I didn't know what to expect as far as compensation but I knew everything was going to be all right when Mr. Wilhelm called me one day and asked is he could settle....WOW!!!Not only did Mr. Wilhelm win a summary judgement for me(in my situation this was very good), Mr. Wilhelm got me more money in my pocket than what the bum attorney I was with first demanded in full resolution.Don't waste your time like I did, talk to Mr. Wilhelm first and you will understand what I already know.I learned from my suit, every decision you make WILL AFFECT YOUR WELL BEING!!read more
I met with an accident and my leg was broken. My friend suggested me to consult Kenneth A. Wilhelm's law firm as my medical bills was more than the coverage limits of the responsible party. Mr. Wilhelm was very friendly and kept me informed about the case progress and the case outcome was exactly what we expected.read more
John C.
Great attorney. Professional and courteous staff. Wouldn't use anyone else.
Joni Cicerale M.
When my daughter was burned in an accident, my husband and I looked for a good lawyer who specialized in burn cases. My husband found Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm, and we called him and met with him. He told us he would do whatever he could for our daughter, and he did! We were very pleased with the work Mr. Wilhelm did for our daughter, and we are glad we chose such an excellent lawyer. We would choose his services again if we had to, and I would recommend his services to my family, friends, or anyone who has need of a lawyer. My daughter is doing well because of him.read more
Stanley G.
My son was born prematurely, and I trusted the doctors and hospital to get him through the first few weeks and out of danger. The doctors made some mistakes in their procedures and my son is now injured for life because of their mistakes. I didn't know what to do. I hired Ken Wilhelm's law office because I heard from someone that Ken Wilhelm is the best. He and his attorneys held the hospital responsible for their errors. We received a very large settlement. It doesn't fix my son's suffering but I feel that my attorneys helped me get what my family deserved for our hardship.read more
Jean S.
I have known Mr. Wilhelm for the past 12 or more years. He represented me for different problems that I had, and he was very successful. I have no problem in recommending him to my friends and neighbors because he is an honest and reliable attorney.
Malcolm N.
I have been a client of Kenneth A. Wilhelm's law firm for many years. I am very pleased with the services that I have received. I have always told my family, friends, and neighbors that if they ever need a lawyer, they should contact Mr. Wilhelm. The employees are not only helpful in assisting your needs, but they are trustworthy and you can be comfortable leaving all matters in their hands. They were very helpful to me and my family when I had my accident, like a second family. Please don't hesitate to call the Wilhelm firm; they will be there for you in your time of need.read more
Guy F.

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*Disclaimer:Some of the verdicts for the cases mentioned on this website were increased or decreased on appeal. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING