The Reiff Law Firm is a personal injury law firm focused on providing strategic and aggressive litigation skills for people harmed in severe accidents. We understand that recovery from a severe injury is expensive and fight to secure the compensation you need to recover. Our firm’s Martindale-Hubbell AV rating for outstanding legal ability and ethics is well-deserved as we have successfully represented burn injury victims from throughout Pennsylvania. As part of our commitment to injury victims, we provide a free consultation so that we can better understand your injury and its circumstances.
Burn injuries are some of the most painful injuries a person could suffer. A burn victim often requires months of hospitalization, specialized care, and surgeries to repair damaged tissue. The cost of treatment and rehabilitation could be astronomical. If another person, business, or entity is to blame for your injury, they should be held financially liable for the costs you incurred.
The Bucks County burn accident injury attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm are dedicated to holding negligent parties responsible for the harm they cause. Call (215) 709-6940 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.
Proving Liability in a Burn Injury Case in Bucks County
When all the available evidence points to a defendant’s negligence in a burn accident case, an insurance company is likely to settle the case for a reasonable amount. When this is the case, you should still have the assistance of our experienced Bucks County personal injury lawyers to ensure your claim is properly valued. For a settlement to be reasonable, it must cover your medical costs, lost income, and your pain and suffering. If an insurance company is unwilling to do the right thing, then it is time to take the gloves off and take them to court. Because trials are unpredictable and costly, many insurance companies will work to avoid the additional risk.
However, there are times when a defendant and an insurance company will dispute that they are liable for your injuries. Insurance companies lose money when they are required to compensate an injured victim. When an insurance provider believes it could minimize or deny a claim, it is likely to put up a fight.
To prevail in a burn injury case, our Bucks County attorneys will have to fight for you. Our office will have to gather and present evidence to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent. What evidence is required will depend on how the injury occurred. However, whether you suffered burn injuries in a car crash or an industrial accident, you will have to prove four elements to hold the defendant liable.
Duty of Care
To hold a person, company, or entity liable for your burn injuries, you must demonstrate that they owed you a duty not to cause you harm. This duty of care depends on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. For example, if you were injured in an industrial accident, our office would have to prove that the workplace, machine operator, manufacturer, or other party owed you a duty of care. Typically, this is not a difficult element to prove.
Violation of the Duty
Proving a violation of the duty of care could become tricky. You will have to demonstrate that the defendant’s conduct deviated from what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances. As with the duty itself, this also depends on the relationship between the parties and the defendant’s role. For example, if you suffered burn injuries in a car accident, our office would have to prove that the other driver’s conduct deviated from what a reasonable driver would have done at the time.
The Violation Caused Your Injuries
Your burn injuries must have resulted from the defendant’s conduct. Think of this as presenting a story to the court or jury. The defendant truck driver ignored a red light, slamming into your vehicle, igniting a fire when the truck’s cargo spilled onto the road and your car. Trapped in your car, you suffered burn injuries while trying to escape. The job of our Bucks County personal injury attorneys is to link the defendant’s conduct to your injuries.
To be awarded compensation in a personal injury case, a burn victim must have suffered actual damages. Unfortunately, burn injuries usually result in a substantial amount of financial, physical, and emotional damages.
Understanding the Degree of Severity of a Burn Injury
According to statistics compiled by the CDC, on average in the United States, a person died in a fire every 169 minutes and one was injured every 30 minutes. The leading causes for burns include:
- House fires
- Car fires
- Chemical burns
- Cooking accidents
- Electrical accidents
- Spills of coffee or teas
Regardless of the source of the burn, the severity of a burn is determined by its depth. There are three degrees of burns of progressively intensifying severity:
- First-degree burnsare minor burns that produce redness and swelling in the top layer of skin. Although most first-degree burns heal on their own, they still can cause significant pain, discomfort and embarrassment.
- Second-degree burnsare more serious. They produce redness and blistering in the first and second layers of the skin. Second-degree burns may heal by themselves but often require medical treatment due to the severe pain and blistering.
- Third-degree burnsare the most serious. These burns affect not only of all layers of skin but also the tissue underneath. A sufficiently severe third-degree burn will result in tissue death necessitating intensive, expensive medical care.
Serious burn injuries invariably cause severe pain and mental anguish. In particularly severe cases, permanent disfigurement, nerve damage and death can occur. Full recovery from a third-degree burn injury may not be possible and even partial recovery can require lengthy rehabilitation and reconstructive surgeries.
Damages Available in a Bucks County Burn Injury Lawsuit
It is not uncommon for burn victims to be unaware of the full extent of damages they could claim in a personal injury lawsuit. Burn injuries often result in long-lasting physical and emotional harm. Insurance companies rarely offer settlements that properly compensate victims of burn accidents.
In Bucks County, there are typically three types of damages you could recover: financial, physical, and emotional. Our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys will help you determine your damages given the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury.
If you suffered a severe burn injury, you would likely require an extended stay in a hospital burn unit. These specialized units provide round-the-clock medical treatment and care. This level of care comes with a significant financial burden.
In addition to a heightened level of care, many burn victims require several surgeries to treat the damaged area. Even with the most generous insurance plans, burn victims will often face hefty copays.
Your medical treatment does not usually end with caring for the damaged skin and muscle. Many burn victims need numerous sessions of physical therapy to regain the use of damaged limbs. This long-term aftercare comes with an expensive price tag.
While you are in the hospital, receiving treatment, or going through physical therapy, you are not working. Depending on your employment situation, you might lose your job and your insurance. If the injury is very serious, you might never work again. You could recover your lost income through a personal injury lawsuit.
Burn wounds are prone to other medical complications. For example, a burn could easily become infected, leading to sepsis, a potentially fatal condition. Burns also result in keloid formations or hypertrophic scarring. Keloids are hard, smooth growths that grow over injured areas that have healed. A burn victim could require surgery to remove these formations for mobility or cosmetic purposes.
Burn injuries are serious and sometimes result in the premature death of the victim. If you have lost a family member or loved one due to a severe burn injury, you might have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Despite how often people hear the phrase “pain and suffering,” many burn victims still are unaware that they can receive monetary compensation for their emotional pain as part of their personal injury claim. While these damages tend to be subjective, they also tend to have a significant impact on burn victims and their families.
Burn victims sometimes experience post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), depression, or other mental health problems following a horrific accident. This emotional trauma is often aggravated if the victim is permanently scarred or disfigured.
In addition to the burn victim, their loved ones and family members also experience emotional distress and grief – especially if the victim dies due to their injuries. While a financial settlement will never replace the person you lost, it could be helpful to move forward.
Our Bucks County Attorneys Can Help Secure Compensation for Costly Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be extremely costly to recover from due to the extensive therapy that can be required. However, not every fire requires a call to the fire department. Statistics compiled by the CDC estimate that the yearly cost of fire and burn injuries is about 7.5 billion dollars. Of those accidents, fatal burn accidents account for 3 billion dollars. Burn and fire injuries inflict not only physical damage, but financial pain as well. Our attorneys are dedicated to securing the compensation you need to recover from your injury and compensate you for your suffering.
Contact Our Experienced Bucks County Burn Injury Attorneys Today
If you or someone you love suffered a burn injury in a fire or other accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the negligent party. We are dedicated to providing experienced, aggressive counsel for accident victims. Call the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 to request your free consultation.