Experienced Pennsauken Personal Injury Attorneys Aggressively Pursuing Maximum Compensation on Behalf of Burn Victims and Their Families
Burns and the subsequent infections that often follow in their wake are responsible for hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. And unfortunately, while most bun injuries are preventable, individuals and businesses don’t always take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of others. By filing a New Jersey burn injury lawsuit, accident victims may be able to recover meaningful damages awards that will cover their medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensate them for the toll the incident had on their life.
At the New Jersey burn injury law firm of Petrillo & Goldberg Law, we have decades of experience handling complex and high-stakes personal injury cases on behalf of clients across South Jersey. We understand what’s on the line in these cases and do everything possible to ensure the best possible result in your case.
New Jersey Burn Injury Statistics
Burn injuries can occur in various settings, including homes, workplaces, businesses, construction sites, and public parks, as well as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Understanding the statistics surrounding burn injuries helps shed light on the prevalence and impact of these incidents.
According to the most recent data released by the American Burn Association (“ABA”), burn injuries are one of the top causes of accidental deaths in the United States. In a joint study with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention, the ABA reported that 486,000 people required emergency care for burn injuries between the years 2011 and 2015. Additionally, approximately 4,500 people die each year as a result of burn injuries. However, this does not take into account those who die due to burn-related complications, most notably infections. The CDC reports that nearly 10,000 people each year die from infections that develop as a result of a burn injury.
Many of these deaths and severe injuries stemmed from residential structure fires, non-residential structure fires, and vehicle fires. According to the American Burn Association, approximately 73 percent of all burns occur at home, 8 percent at the workplace, 5 percent as a result of motor vehicle accidents, and 5 percent as a result of recreational activities and sports.
Common Types of Burn Injuries
When most people think of burn injuries, they think of someone coming into contact with a hot object. This is referred to as a thermal burn. And certainly, thermal burns are among the most common types of burn; however, there are several other types of burns, including the following:
Thermal burns occur when the skin comes into contact with a heat source such as fire, hot liquids, steam, or hot objects. These burns can range from mild to severe, depending on the temperature and duration of exposure. Thermal burns commonly result from house fires, workplace accidents, or incidents involving defective products.
Chemical burns occur when the skin or eyes come into contact with corrosive substances such as acids, alkalis, solvents, or other hazardous chemicals. These burns can be caused by exposure to chemicals in the workplace, accidents involving hazardous materials, or improper use of household products. Chemical burns can lead to long-term damage and complications.
Electrical burns result from contact with electrical currents or lightning strikes. These burns can cause severe internal injuries, even if the external burns are not extensive. Electrical burns often occur in the workplace, construction sites, or as a result of faulty electrical equipment.
Radiation burns are caused by exposure to ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, nuclear energy accidents, or radiation therapy for medical purposes. These burns can have long-term health effects and may require specialized medical treatment. Radiation burns often lead to complex legal cases involving medical malpractice or exposure to hazardous environments.
Friction burns, also known as abrasions or road rash, occur when the skin rubs against a rough surface. These burns are common in motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, or incidents involving sports injuries. While friction burns may be less severe than other types of burns, they can still cause significant pain and may require medical attention.
Inhalation injuries result from breathing in hot or toxic gases, smoke, or chemicals. Inhalation injuries often occur in fires or industrial accidents. These injuries can damage the respiratory system and may lead to long-term complications or even death.
Possible Complications Resulting from a Burn Injury
Burn injuries are not only physically painful but can also lead to a range of complications that significantly impact a victim’s life. As a result, individuals who have suffered burn injuries may face long-term medical challenges and may require ongoing treatment and care. Understanding these complications is crucial for burn injury victims and their families.
Burn injuries create an open wound that is susceptible to infection. Infection risk is particularly high when the burn is deep or covers a large area of the body. Infections can lead to serious complications, such as sepsis, cellulitis, or other systemic infections, and may require aggressive medical intervention.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Severe burns often result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. These physical changes can impact an individual’s self-esteem, body image, and overall quality of life. In addition to the emotional and psychological toll, scarring and disfigurement can limit mobility and affect a person’s ability to perform daily tasks or engage in certain activities.
When the skin is severely burned, it can tighten and restrict movement, resulting in contractures. Contractures occur when the skin and underlying tissues lose elasticity, leading to stiffness and reduced range of motion. Contractures can be particularly problematic if they affect joints, as they can significantly impair mobility and functional abilities.
Inhalation injuries from burns can lead to respiratory complications, such as damage to the airways and lungs or respiratory distress syndrome. Respiratory complications can result in breathing difficulties, chronic coughing, asthma, pneumonia, or other respiratory conditions that require ongoing medical management.
Psychological and Emotional Impact
Burn injuries often have a profound psychological and emotional impact on survivors. The physical changes, pain, trauma, and long-term treatment can lead to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. Rehabilitation and counseling are essential components of the recovery process for burn injury victims.
Depending on the severity and location of the burn injury, individuals may experience functional limitations that affect their ability to perform daily activities, work, or engage in recreational pursuits. For example, burns on the hands or fingers can impair fine motor skills, while burns on the legs may affect mobility and balance.
Burn injuries often result in chronic pain, which can persist long after the initial injury has healed. The intensity and duration of pain can vary, but it can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, limit activities, and require ongoing pain management.
Long-Term Medical Care
Severe burn injuries frequently require long-term medical care, including surgical procedures, skin grafts, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. The costs associated with these treatments can be substantial, and individuals may require ongoing medical support for years to come.
Understanding the potential complications that can arise from burn injuries is essential for burn survivors and their families. By evaluating the physical, emotional, and financial impact of burn injuries, the Pennsauken burn injury lawyers at Petrillo & Goldberg Law can effectively advocate for fair and just compensation to support your long-term needs.
What Damages Are Available to New Jersey Burn Injury Victims?
When someone suffers harm due to another’s negligence or intentional actions, they may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their injuries. New Jersey personal injury law allows victims to pursue various types of damages to help restore them to their pre-accident condition in an effort to “make them whole again.” Understanding the different types of personal injury damages available is essential when seeking fair and just compensation. Here are some common categories of damages in personal injury cases in New Jersey:
Economic damages aim to compensate the victim for financial losses resulting from the injury. These may include:
Medical expenses: This includes costs for hospitalization, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments related to the injury.
Lost wages: If the injury causes the victim to miss work or experience a reduction in earning capacity, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages they would have earned during that time.
Property damage: In cases where personal property is damaged or destroyed due to the accident, the victim may be eligible for compensation to repair or replace the damaged items.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the victim for the emotional and psychological impact that the accident and their injuries had on their life. While non-economic losses are hard to quantify, they can also make up a large percentage of a victim’s overall damages award. The various types of non-economic damages that may be available in a New Jersey burn injury lawsuit may include the following:
Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress endured as a result of the injury.
Emotional distress: Damages awarded for the psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by the accident or injury.
Loss of enjoyment of life: If the injury significantly impairs the victim’s ability to engage in activities they previously enjoyed, they may be compensated for the loss of quality of life.
In certain cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages aim to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. However, punitive damages are relatively rare and generally require a showing of egregious misconduct.
New Jersey’s Modified Comparative Negligence Law
It’s important to note that New Jersey follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means that if the victim is found partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced in proportion to their level of responsibility. However, if the victim is determined to be more than 50% responsible, they may be barred from recovering any damages.
Calculating the appropriate amount of damages requires a thorough assessment of the specific circumstances of the case, including medical records, expert opinions, and evidence of the impact on the victim’s life. It is recommended to consult with an experienced burn injury attorney who can evaluate the details of your case, determine the applicable damages, and advocate for fair compensation on your behalf.
Every personal injury case is unique, and the damages available will depend on the specific facts and circumstances. Seeking legal advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer in New Jersey is crucial to understanding your rights and pursuing the maximum compensation you deserve.
Have You Suffered Burn Injuries Resulting from Another’s Negligence?
If you recently suffered serious burns because of another’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation from the at-fault party. The dedicated New Jersey wrongful death lawyers at Petrillo & Goldberg can help you understand your rights and effectively bring a claim designed to maximize your chance of success as well as your recovery amount. At Petrillo & Greenberg Law, we’ve been successfully representing families in New Jersey burn injury lawsuits since 1993 and know what it takes to build a successful case. Our skilled negotiators resolve the vast majority of cases without the need for litigation, so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible. However, we’re equally comfortable taking our clients’ cases to trial when a fair settlement isn’t offered. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of our New Jersey personal injury lawyers, call 856-249-9288 today. Calling is free, and because we take all cases on a contingency basis, we won’t bill you for any of our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.