Boston Lawyers Fight for Compensation for Serious Burn Injuries
There is no easy way to put a price tag on the debilitating effects of severe burns
Most of us have accidentally touched a plugged-in iron, experienced a too-steamy shower or spent too much time in the sun and know how much that hurt. So, if we understand the pain of a minor burn, imagine the agony of a burn so serious that it puts a victim in the hospital for weeks or more.
Throughout Massachusetts, 358 people suffered serious burn injuries in 2012, most of those in Suffolk and Middlesex counties. As personal injury attorneys at Swartz & Lynch LLP in Boston, we work to ensure that people whose burn injuries resulted from the negligence of others get justice. That includes the families of those who have lost a loved one to a wrongful death.
We can’t take away the pain, but we can help obtain compensation for the expenses and the suffering associated with a severe burn injury. Nationwide, the annual healthcare costs resulting from burns is $3.8 billion. We’ve successfully obtained high awards for our clients, including a $3.2 million verdict for burns associated with a flammable hair product.
The many causes and types of burns
Most people assume that the majority of burn injuries are caused by fire, but according to the 2012 annual report by the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System, nearly half of all burn victims never go near a flame.
There are three major sources of burns:
- Thermal burns — Burns caused by fire or hot objects or scalding caused by hot liquids
- Electrical burns — Burns that result from exposure to electricity or lightning
- Chemical burns — Burns that come from exposure to caustic or acidic substances, whether in liquid, solid or gas forms
Burns can also be caused by friction, radiation (from sunburn, tanning booths, X-rays and radiation therapy) and even exposure to extreme cold.
A burn is categorized by its severity:
- First-degree burns are those in which only the first layer of skin is affected. These are generally minor burns.
- Second-degree burns include those in which both the first and second layers of skin are injured or are deeper partial-thickness burns that can worsen, even after treatment.
- Third-degree burns injure all layers of the skin: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis or subcutis.
- Fourth-degree burns injure all three layers of skin and also damage bone, muscle tissue, ligament and tendons, nerves and blood vessels.
How most burn injuries happen
According to the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System 2012 Annual Report, burns caused by scalds were far and away the most common burns, accounting for 46 percent of all burn injuries and 83 percent of serious burns in young children.
Burns caused by the negligence of others include those suffered in gas explosions (explosions overall account for 8.1 percent of burn injuries), particularly those that are work-related. Burn injuries are also the result of some car and other motor-vehicle accidents. Burns may also be related to defective products, including flammable materials. Our lawyers have an especially high rate of success in obtaining maximum compensation for burn victims injured by defective products, including a $2.6 million award for our client who was harmed by a flammable bathrobe and $900,000 for another who suffered serious injuries as the result of a flammable sweatshirt.
Our lawyers review all evidence related to your burn injury to ensure that no stone is left unturned in finding every potential source of compensation, including liable third-party entities, manufacturers of faulty products and others.
It costs you nothing to speak to an experienced Boston burn injury attorney
Learn more about your rights and how you may be able to recover damages for your burn injury when you schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers at Swartz & Lynch LLP. To make an appointment, please contact an injury lawyer online or call our office at 857-250-0664. We understand that you may be unable to travel, so we can also meet with you at your home or in the hospital. All burn injury cases are taken on contingency.