Philadelphia Burn Injury Lawyer
Our Philadelphia Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensation
Given the potential severity and long-lasting effects of burn injuries, let our Philadelphia burn injury lawyer help you get the compensation you deserve.
Severe burns can cause tremendous suffering, extreme pain, disfigurement, paralysis in the burn area, and even lead to death. While some burns occur due to unavoidable accidents, others are caused by someone’s negligence, recklessness, 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.
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 and you may be unable to work, 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 Philadelphia Burn Injury Attorney Works to Help You
Our Burn Injury Attorneys Will Take Every Step Needed to Investigate and 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 begin building 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 in front of a judge or jury.
Compensation Our Burn Injury Attorney Will Seek for You
Our Burn Injury Attorneys Will Seek Compensation Commensurate with the Damages You Received
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 may 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, which may range from the 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, how the accident happened and which parties were at fault, the number of victims involved, whether you will need continuing care, and whether you will be able to return to work and earn a living. 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.
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.
Wrongful Death Compensation in a Burn Injury Case
Our Philadelphia burn injury lawyers can bring a claim for wrongful death if the burn injury caused a death.
If a burn injury resulted in the death of a close family member, the personal representative of the deceased family member’s estate may 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.
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 a 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, as a result of 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 Lawyer in Philadelphia Will Determine Whether Negligence Caused Your Injuries
Our Burn Injury Lawyers Know the Importance of Proving Another Party’s Negligence
To win your case, our attorneys would have to show that your burn was caused by another party’s negligence of 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 created 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 is 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 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.
Our Burn Injury Attorneys Help When Brain Damage Plays a Role in Burn Injury Lawsuits
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 brain injury caused by other factors involved in the incident.
Cerebral hypoxia is a condition in which oxygen is cut off from the brain, causing brain cells to die. Cerebral hypoxia can result in death, but 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 caused by electrical shock can also result in 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.
Questions about Your Burn Injury Case
The following are answers to some questions our burn injury lawyers are often asked:
Companies which ignore workplace safety regulations, fail to provide sufficient training, or store chemicals or other materials in an unsafe fashion can be held liable for burn accidents. Even if you are getting workers’ comp benefits, there may be a third party, such as an outside contractor, who can be held responsible for causing or contributing to the injury.
Manufacturers of Defective products which cause fires such as defective gas tanks or fuel lines that cause vehicle fires can be held liable when they produce items that cause injury to the consumer.
Property owners of properties that do not meet current fire codes or which do not have adequate escape routes in case of fire can be held liable if a fire occurs on their property due to these problems.
Who Is at the Greatest Risk for a Burn Injury?
According to the American Burn Association, 68 percent of burn injuries are suffered by men and 32 percent by women. Caucasians suffer 59 percent of burn injuries; African-Americans suffer 20 percent; and Hispanics 7 percent. However, anyone can suffer burn injury and incur the financial costs and physical and emotional suffering associated with them
What Costs Are Associated with Burn Injuries?
The costs associated with your burn injury will be largely dependent on the percentage of your body that was burned and the degree of the burns. Initial medical expenses for emergency burn treatment can exceed $200,000, but these may only be the beginning of your damages. Lost wages combined with rehabilitation and reconstructive surgery can put the total cost of a burn injury into the millions.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
Burn injury statistics from the American Burn Association suggest that a majority (68 percent) of burns occur at home. Fire or flame is the cause of 44 percent of burns; 33 percent are caused by scalds; nine percent by contact; four percent by electricity; and three percent by chemicals.
The cause of your burn injury is immaterial. If you have suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, our experienced burn injury lawyers can help get you the justice you deserve.
While it is possible to receive an insurance settlement without legal assistance, the more serious your injury, the more you may benefit from the legal services of an experienced burn injury lawyer to fight for a fair settlement.
Without a lawyer representing you, the at-fault party’s insurance company is more likely to try to deny a claim or offer a low settlement for less than you deserve. These are common tactics that our Pennsylvania burn injury lawyers have has seen time and again.
According to Pennsylvania statute Title 42, Section 5524, there is a statute of limitations or deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline is generally two years, and if you miss the deadline, the chances are the courts will refuse to hear your case. In addition, the sooner you call our attorneys after your injury, the better, as it takes time to investigate and build your case, and it’s important to get started while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found.
Call Our Philadelphia Burn Injury Attorney for Help with Your Case
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. We are here to help you get the settlement you deserve so you can go on to rebuild your life.
Do not delay, as Pennsylvania has a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. According to Title 42, Section 5524, you generally have two years to file or the courts will refuse to hear your case. 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.