Philadelphia Burn Injury Lawyer
Our Philadelphia Burn Injury Lawyers Help Win Compensation
Burn Injuries Can have Severe and Long-lasting Effects.
Severe burns can cause tremendous suffering, extreme pain, disfigurement, and paralysis in the burn area, and can even lead to death. Survivors may be left unable to work and function when medical bills keep mounting, and often do not know where to turn for help.
While some burns are due to unavoidable accidents, others are due to someone else’s negligence or fault. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe burn or someone has died due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit.
While no money can take away your suffering, fair compensation can bring a sense of justice, pay bills such as medical expenses and funeral costs, and remove your financial burdens to help you and your family rebuild your lives.
Pennsylvania laws regarding personal injury are complicated, and making mistakes can be costly, as insurance companies will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from your injuries, the idea of dealing with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, the Philadelphia burn injury attorneys at Wapner Newman are here to take the burden off you by handling all investigations, negotiations, and legal hurdles involved with getting you the compensation you deserve. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Call us today for help at (215) 569-0900
How Our Burn Injury Lawyers Work to Help You
Why Choose Us?
Having the right burn injury attorney on your side can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. There are many attorneys out there, and it’s important to find the right one for you. Here are some reasons why we believe Wapner Newman is the best you can choose:
- We have extensive trial experience, and we get results.
- We have won millions of dollars for our clients, including a $45 million verdict for an abuse victim and a $227 million settlement for deaths caused by a Market Street building collapse.
- Our managing partner, Marc G. Brecher, has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2004 and is listed among the top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and is rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review.
- We have the knowledge, connections, and resources to conduct a full investigation into your case and hire experts to testify on your behalf.
- We offer free initial consultations to get you started.
- We treat our clients like family, as you can see by their testimonials.
When you hire our Philadelphia wrongful death lawyers, we will get to work for you immediately, aggressively fighting for justice and the settlement you deserve.
Our Burn Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia Build Your Case
Our burn injury attorneys at Wapner Newman know what you and your family are going through. We take burn cases seriously and recognize that you could face complications long after the initial incident. During your consultation, we will discuss the physical, emotional and financial impact burn injuries might have on you and your family and help you build a case against the party responsible for your injuries.
To make a strong claim on your behalf, our burn injury attorneys will assess multiple aspects of the incident that caused your injuries, such as:
- Your medical records, including reports on emergency treatment, hospital care, surgeries, etc.
- Expert medical evaluations of future procedures and rehabilitation you might have to undergo to facilitate your recovery
- Fire and police department reports
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Expert testimony from safety inspectors and other professionals determining the cause of the accident.
After reviewing aspects of your case, our attorneys will be able to guide you through each step of your claim and help determine what types of damages you might be able to recover. We will handle all negotiations with insurance companies, who have high-powered lawyers on their side, to come up with a fair settlement. Should negotiations break down, we are fully prepared to take your case to court and argue before a judge or jury.
Compensation Our Burn Injury Attorney Will Seek
Compensation is Based on Damages
Depending on the severity of your burn, you may suffer from extreme pain, disfigurement, and even paralysis surrounding the burn area. If your injury was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you might be entitled to compensation from those responsible in the form of an award for damages.
Amounts of Damage Awards
There is a wide range of settlement amounts that can be awarded in a burn injury case, from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances involved. The amount of damages you may receive in a burn injury case will depend on factors that include:
- the extent and permanence of your injuries and whether you will need continuing care
- the costs of medical care and expenses
- how the accident happened and which parties were at fault
- your age, family situation, and earning capacity
- lost wages and whether you can return to work and earn a living.
The cause and severity of the accident and the amount of damage the burn created will also have a major impact on the amount of your settlement. Burns may damage tissue all the way to the bone, creating intense, chronic pain, loss of limbs or limb mobility, numbness, secondary infections, and disfiguring scars.
Long-term physical therapy and several expensive cosmetic surgeries and skin grafts may be required to restore some quality of life. The worse the accident and the resulting damage, the more you may be able to recover, and emotional and psychological damages from disfigurement and scarring will be considered as well.
Serious burns can be an overwhelming problem for your family members also. A major burn can change your personality and affect your relationship with your spouse, children, parents, and friends. You may be facing long-term rehabilitation and be unable to carry on socially and resume family duties. You may be plagued with depression and nightmares and need more care than your family can provide.
Our Philadelphia burn injury lawyer will carefully calculate your damages by taking into account the answers to questions such as:
- Will your injury prevent you from returning to your previous job or from working again in the future, and what would be the projected loss of earnings?
- Are your injuries visible and disfiguring, such as facial scarring? Have you lost the use of a limb?
- How are you affected mentally and emotionally; are you suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nightmares, etc.?
- How much medical treatment — such as surgeries, physical therapy and rehabilitation, skin grafts, etc. — have you undergone and what do you expect to face in the future?
- Are your marriage, family life, and social life affected by your injuries?
In burn injury lawsuits, our lawyers generally seek the following types of damages:
Economic damages for your monetary losses and costs such as:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Property damaged by a fire.
Non-economic damages for restitution for damages that do not have a specific dollar value, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life.
Punitive damages. In some rare cases where there was gross or willful negligence that caused the burn, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish a defendant that acted in a willful, malicious way and with a wanton disregard for others’ safety.
The experienced burn injury lawyers at Wapner Newman can help you carefully assess the full extent of your economic or monetary damages, as well as the non-tangible costs such as pain and suffering that a severe burn injury can bring.
Burn Injury Wrongful Death Compensation
Our Burn injury Lawyers Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim
If a burn injury resulted in the death of a close family member, the personal representative of the deceased family member’s estate might file a wrongful death claim. This is similar to a negligence lawsuit, but the settlement goes to the survivors or estate of the deceased to compensate for the losses suffered as a result of the death.
According to Pennsylvania law (Title 42, Chapter 83 of the Pennsylvania General Statutes, Section 8301), a wrongful death is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” To win a wrongful death case, Pennsylvania law requires proving that the other party was at fault and was responsible by showing the following:
- The party who caused the injuries resulting in death had a responsibility to not injure the deceased, failed to live up to that responsibility, and death occurred.
- There is a connection between the other party’s irresponsibility and the death due to negligence or intent to harm.
- The surviving family members suffered damages, or a financial loss, due to the death.
Wrongful death is caused by an act of negligence, not a criminal act like murder. If you lost a loved one in a tragic burn accident that was another party’s fault, contact our wrongful death lawyers at (215) 569-0900. We will handle your case with the skill you need and the compassion you deserve.
Our Burn Injury Lawyers Must Prove Negligence
To win your case, our attorneys would have to show that your burn was caused by another party’s negligence or fault. This means legally proving the following elements:
- Duty: The defendant owed you a duty to take reasonable care not to cause you harm.
- Breach: The defendant breached this duty and failed to exercise this care.
- Cause: The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages as a result.
Proving negligence is a major part of every personal injury claim. Burns that are self-inflicted or that cannot be linked to another party’s negligence or carelessness would not be eligible for a claim. In some cases, there may be multiple parties to blame for the burn, and our attorneys would look to hold them all accountable as defendants in the case as they all may have insurance and assets that could go toward a settlement.
For example, if the burn occurred due to a propane explosion on someone else’s property, the property owner, the company responsible for maintenance on the propane tank, the inspector who didn’t find a leak, and the manufacturer of a valve that leaked may all be held liable.
Burn Injury Attorneys Cite Reasons For Burns
Burns happen for a variety of reasons and in many circumstances. Below are some of the most frequent types of burns.
- Contact with a flame (dry heat)
- Contact with steam
- Contact with hot liquids
- Contact with hot objects
- Contact with certain chemicals
- Contact with electrical circuits
- Exposure to radiation
- Exposure to the sun’s rays
- Friction against the skin.
Although many burns are completely accidental or self-inflicted, others can be caused by unsafe conditions or defective products. In those cases, the burn victim (or his or her family members) may pursue legal means to receive compensation.
For example, a Pennsylvania landlord who does not install or maintain working smoke detectors may be found negligent if a fire occurs and tenants are not warned. The tenant (or visiting guest) with burns–even if they are superficial–or other personal injuries could work with a lawyer to recover damages.
As for defective products that caused not only burns but fatalities, one Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, case that hit the headlines in 2017 illustrates the problem. A house fire broke out, ostensibly from a malfunctioning hoverboard. Not only was property destroyed, but two young girls died in the blaze. Others were hurt, but survived. Additionally, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit charge that the smoke detectors in the building never went off; accordingly, the property landlord is named in the case as a defendant.
Stages of Burns in a Burn Injury Lawsuit
Regardless of how a burn occurs, the immediate damage to the skin and body parts is staged according to seriousness. As with any injury, the more invasive the wound, the longer the healing process.
First-Degree Burns – The least worrisome of burns is the first-degree burn. Generally, the pain and any discoloration of the skin are fleeting. Blistering is not present, and scars are exceedingly rare. However, even first-degree burns can be the basis for a negligence lawsuit. Just because the burn is mild doesn’t negate its effects.
Second-Degree Burns – These burns go deeper into the second layer of skin, the dermis. As such, they can cause swelling and blistering. Typically, the site of the burn heals but may lead to scarring. Plus, second-degree burns can lead to side effects like infections and hypothermia. For workers, a second-degree burn may make going to the office or job site difficult.
Third-Degree Burns – A third-degree burn is the most serious of all burns because it permanently damages not only all the layers of the skin, but often the underlying soft and hard tissues and nerves. Not only can a third-degree burn leave lasting marks, but it can lead to more troubling problems, including brain damage.
Burn Injury Attorneys Help with Brain Damage From Burns
Although most people envision damage to the skin when they picture any type of burn, our burn injury attorneys in Philadelphia know that a burn can go much deeper. In fact, one of the most common impacts of burn injuries sustained in a fire is a brain injury caused by other factors involved in the incident.
Cerebral hypoxia is when oxygen is cut off from the brain, causing brain cells to die. Cerebral hypoxia can result in death, but it more often results in permanent brain damage. Recovery from this type of injury is generally not possible, placing an immense burden on victims of burn injuries and their families.
Burns From Electrical Shock May Cause Brain Injuries.
When your body is exposed to a live electrical current, it can act as a conduit, causing cardiac and respiratory damage that cuts oxygen off from the brain. In other instances, the surge of electricity may cause a concussive shock to your brain, resulting in irreversible damage. In both of these instances, permanent disability may be added to disfigurement, further impacting every aspect of your life.
Burn Injury Attorneys Answer Your Questions
After a burn injury, you are bound to have questions and concerns. While these are best addressed at your free consultation, our attorneys know that you should be as informed as possible. To get started, here are some answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Pennsylvania has a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, called a statute of limitations. According to the law (Title 42, Section 5524), you generally have two years to file or the courts will refuse to hear your case. It takes time to build a case, so it’s best to call our lawyers as soon as possible while witnesses and evidence can be found.
Should I talk with insurance companies?
No. Insurance companies are out for profit and are concerned with their bottom line, not your well-being. They have high-powered lawyers on their side and use tactics such as trying to get you to accept the lowest amount possible or to trick you into saying something that makes it seem as if the burn was your fault.
Just tell the insurance company to speak to your attorney instead. Our Wapner Newman lawyers know how to negotiate and deal with insurance companies, who often come up with better offers when they know you have an attorney willing to take your case to trial.
What are consequences of burn injuries?
Burns can seriously harm the skin, underlying muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and bone. Additional consequences of severe burns include:
- Scars and disfigurement
- Serious emotional and psychological damage
- Infection during treatment
- Respiratory distress in patients with severe burns, which is often fatal.
Financial costs for severe burns can be prohibitive. Initial medical expenses for emergency burn treatment can exceed $200,000, and lost wages combined with rehabilitation and reconstructive surgery can put the total cost of a burn injury into the millions.
What if the burn happened at work?
If you suffered a severe burn while you were on the job, you may be able to recover damages through a workers’ compensation claim. Our Wapner Newman workers’ compensation attorneys can also help you with that.
Is my choice of attorney important?
Your choice of attorney will play a large role in determining your compensation. At Wapner Newman, we have attorneys who focus solely on burn injury cases and have years of experience helping victims of burn injuries.
We have a record of winning large settlements, such as the $227 million and $45 million awards we won for our clients. We have the experience and resources to investigate your case properly, to hire necessary experts, and to make sure everything is done correctly according to Pennsylvania law.
Our burn injury attorneys are here to answer all your questions and will work tirelessly to help ensure you are provided with the full compensation you are due.
Call Our Philadelphia Burn Injury Attorney for Help
Our Philadelphia burn injury attorneys at Wapner Newman know that along with the pain and physical problems, a severe burn brings emotional issues and major fears and worries. Let us take the burden off you and fight for the settlement you deserve so you can go on to rebuild your life.
If you or a loved one has sustained a burn injury in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, or anywhere in the state of New Jersey, please contact Wapner Newman to schedule a free consultation at (215) 569-0900.