Burn Injury Lawyers Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Burn Injuries Are Devastating
If you or a family member has ever suffered a burn injury, you know how painful they can be. Even something as minor as touching a hot pan, for just a second, really hurts!
Unfortunately, burn injuries occur regularly and they are often severe. Your skin is your largest organ and burns can cause significant scarring, loss of sweat gland function, cold and heat intolerance, altered sensation, contractures, sensitivity to sun exposure permanent pain and other problems. When you combine the physical trauma associated with burns with the often lengthy and expensive recovery process, you may become overwhelmed.
Even more distressing is the fact that the majority of burn injuries are avoidable — they are due to accidents that could have been prevented. This means that many of the burn injuries that take place in the Buffalo Niagara Region are caused by negligent behavior, sometimes on the part of another party.
If you suffered burns because of the negligent action (or inaction) of an individual or organization, you may be entitled to sue for damages to cover current and future medical bills, lost wages, permanent injury, periods of disability, and past and future pain and suffering.
While you are recovering, dealing with doctor’s visits, insurance companies, and lost income can be stressful. This is particularly true when you are in pain, have exposed flesh from a burn injury, require painful skin grafting and other medical procedures. Filing a lawsuit may seem even more daunting. The Buffalo burn injury attorneys at Feroleto Law can help you manage this entire process. We will review your situation, investigate your case and manage all administrative and legal issues. Our team understands and appreciates the impact a serious burn can have on your life and are committed to helping you get the financial settlement you need and deserve so you can focus on what is most important — your recovery. Contact us at 716-854-0700 to schedule a free consultation today.
All About Burn Injuries
The Causes of Severe Burns
So many different incidents and accidents can result in burn injuries. Some of the most common include:
- Car or truck accidents
- Gas explosions
- House fires
- Outdoor fire accidents
- Defective candles, lighters, or matches
- Scalding water in a bathtub
- Boiling liquids on a stove
- Hot appliances
- Chemical spills or leaks
- Electrical equipment
- Mechanical equipment failure.
- Restaurant injuries
Understanding the circumstances around the burn is important. As your burn injury lawyer, we need to know exactly what happened in order to determine who was responsible. This information is key to identifying negligence and getting you the settlement you need.
Due to the wide range of burn-related accidents, the negligent party in a burn accident claim could be one of many different entities. For example, the cause of a preventable burn injury could be a reckless or negligent landlord, maintenance company, the victim’s employer, the manufacturer of a defective product, or even the driver at fault in a car accident, to name just a few. For this reason, if you think that you or a loved one may have been injured in a burn accident due to another party’s negligence, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel.
Types of Burns
Burns range from mild, which can often be treated at home, to extremely significant, which require in-depth medical intervention and are life-altering. The measure of the severity of a burn is known as its “degree.” The medical profession has identified the four degrees of burns. They include
- First-Degree Burns: The most minor of burn injuries, these only affect the outer skin layer. Resulting in red skin, these burns are painful but don’t blister, and they rarely result in long-term damage.
- Second-Degree Burns: More serious burns are referred to as second degree. The injury to the skin is deeper and includes both the outer layer and the layer beneath, called the dermis. Second-degree burns yield swollen, red skin that may appear shiny and blistered.
- Third-Degree Burns: These burns are incredibly damaging. Sometimes called full-thickness burns, they impact two layers of skin and result in discoloration. These burns can also affect the nerve endings.
- Fourth-Degree Burns: The most severe, these burns are incredibly destructive, with damage going far beyond the skin; they impact the entire body. These burns are life-altering and can be fatal.
If you have been burned, your first course of action should be to seek medical attention. If severe, emergency treatment may be necessary. Don’t hesitate — your well-being often depends on fast and appropriate treatment.
How Burn Injuries Impact Your Life
The physical pain associated with burn injuries is considerable, and simply getting through the day can be a struggle. Victims who suffer from burn injuries often undergo costly and painful treatment and, depending upon the severity, the process can be time consuming and may require years of medical care, including multiple revisions.
Recovery often includes seemingly endless doctor’s visits, painful treatment, costly medication, and necessary rehabilitation. Additionally, some burns impact victims’ ability to return to work. Some people may never be able to work in the same capacity again.
Finally, the emotional toll burns take on those who suffer is significant, as is the impact on the entire family. Without a doubt, sustaining a burn is traumatic, and watching those you love have to suffer is incredibly painful.
Burns to a child or baby can be particularly difficult. A child’s skin, even when healed or repaired by skin grafts, can be too tight as the child grows, causing pain, contractures, and repeated skin grafting or other medical procedures. As children grow, they are often concerned about fitting in and how they appear to others. Scarring or deformities caused by burns can affect self-image and self-esteem. This is especially true for teens in a world of social media and what may be perceived as pure bullying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Buffalo Burn Injury Attorneys Provide Answers
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of another individual, group, or organization, you likely have a lot of questions. It’s not surprising. Burn injuries are awful, and understanding how to move forward and obtain the compensation you need and deserve can be difficult.
Because each person’s story is unique, the answers to many questions are specific and require additional information to address. That said, there are a host of questions that are a bit more general. Below, we have provided answers to those which we hear most often.
The individual who has been burned can file a personal injury lawsuit in New York. Should the victim die as a result of their injuries, the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Those who can file for wrongful death include spouses, children, parents, or the personal representative of the individual’s estate.
The individual(s) or organizations whose negligence caused the burn and the injuries may be held liable. These can include but are not limited to:
- Product manufacturers
- Negligent Drivers
- Negligent Landlords
- Negligent Repair Companies
Your burn injury attorney can review your case and help determine who may have been at fault.
Sometimes, a burn victim may be partially at fault for their injuries. When this happens, the financial compensation you can receive can be impacted. For example, if you were burned in a car accident, and the jury determines that you were 10% at fault for the incident, you will be entitled to 90% of the compensation you are awarded. New York State abides by the pure comparative negligence rule (New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 1411). This means that even if you were mostly responsible, you can still collect damages.
In New York State the statute of limitations (New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 214) for filing a personal injury case is three years from the date of the incident. However, there are many, many exceptions to this rule. In cases against a municipal authority such as a Housing Authority, or dormitory authority, or a city, town or village, or certain other parties, a notice of claim may need to be filed within 90 days of the injury and the lawsuit may need to be filed soon thereafter, generally within the year the filing of a notice of claim. This is one reason why you should talk to a New York burn injury attorney, such as John Feroleto soon after you or a loved one suffer burn injuries.
If you do not file papers before the time limit, called the statute of limitations expires, your case will not be heard. However, if you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member, the statute of limitations is two years (with some exceptions). When you work with an experienced burn or wrongful death attorney, they will ensure that you file within the time frame allocated and that all corresponding paperwork is completed appropriately.
Depending upon the circumstances that caused your burn, the answer could be yes. If the product was defective or if the instructions and/or warning labels were inadequate, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve through negotiations with the insurance company. However, if we are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement, we will go to court, where you will likely have to appear. Your account of what happened and the impact it has had on your life is critical to proving your case. You are the very best witness.
Our firm offers a no-fee guarantee. If we don’t win, you don’t owe us any compensation for the work we performed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
We hope these answers provide you with some important information. Reach out to our burn injury lawyers today at 716-854-0700 for answers to your more specific questions.
Feroleto Law Burn Injury Lawyers: Getting You the Compensation You Deserve
When you have suffered a tragic burn injury because of another’s negligence, you need the services of a qualified burn injury attorney. This professional can guide you in pursuing compensation while managing all aspects of your case.
Burn recovery is difficult, time-consuming, and painful. You’ll need to focus all of your energy on your health. At Feroleto Law, we pride ourselves on the high-quality service we bring to our clients. We appreciate their situations and take ownership of the legal process providing them the support they need.
With nearly 40 years of experience, we know how to handle personal injury cases in Buffalo and the surrounding area. Our professionals have a reputation for providing compassionate service while aggressively negotiating and litigating for our client’s best interests.
Types of Damages in Burn Injury Lawsuits
What type of damages can I expect to receive? This question is perhaps the most often asked of our firm . . . and with good reason. As a burn victim, you have suffered tremendously. Your medical and rehabilitation bills can be considerable. Your ability to work may be impacted. Unfortunately, in some cases, life may never be the same. And these are only the physical costs.
Emotionally, burn injuries are among the most devastating. The act of being burned is incredibly traumatic and, because the injury and recovery are so painful, the toll on your mental well-being is considerable.
In New York State, those who can prove negligence may be awarded economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those which you can quantify. Basically, they are the costs associated with your burn injury. Among the expenses that qualify are:
- Medical Costs (including hospitalizations, doctors’ bills, medication, costs of care, and rehabilitation)
- Lost Wages
- Loss of Future Wages (should you be unable to return to work or to work in the same capacity)
- Funeral Expenses (when there is a wrongful death suit).
It is important to keep accurate records of all of your expenses. Recognize that treatment for some burn injuries may extend far beyond settling your lawsuit. Our burn lawyers know this and ensure that we calculate future costs when determining a settlement request. Long-term future expenses must be included when you file your suit.
Noneconomic damages, while harder to quantify, are still very real; you absolutely deserve to be compensated for them. These include but are not limited to:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Stress (anxiety and depression)
- Loss of Body Parts (Amputation)
- Physical and Mental Disabilities
- Loss of Consortium.
New York State does not cap non-economic damages, so no dollar figure limit exists regarding what you may receive. Because each case is unique, it is not possible to state what an average award is. Your burn lawyer will be able to provide you with more information once they have a better understanding of your accident, your injuries, and your life.
Can You Be Awarded Punitive Damages?
Generally, courts in New York state are hesitant to award punitive damages. However, in certain cases they do. These damages are meant as a punishment to the individual or organization for their behavior. In order to receive punitive damages, the defendant in your case must have truly acted horrendously, disregarding your rights and showing gross negligence. These are only awarded in the most severe cases of negligence.
New York does not limit the amount of punitive damages, but judges do take into account the compensation you were awarded for your other damages.
Obtaining Justice for Our Clients
Your Goals Are Our Goals
At Feroleto Law, we strongly believe that those who behave negligently and cause injury to others should be held accountable for their actions (or inactions).
When negligence results in burn injuries, the impact on victims is virtually immeasurable. The pain and suffering that accompanies injuries like this are immense and costly. Burn injuries change the life of the injured and their families. The medical costs can be debilitating and the emotional toll to the victim and loved ones incomparable.
We will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the compensation you so desperately need and deserve. Our team will communicate with your insurance company, gather evidence for your case, engage necessary expert witnesses and ensure your case is appropriately presented.
In short, we will manage your case from beginning to end, handling everything so you don’t have to. We are always available to answer your questions and provide guidance when needed. We will work with you and explain the entire process. Do not ever hesitate to reach out to us. We work for you and share your goals.
Contact Our Buffalo Burn Injury Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured (or killed) in a burn accident, reach out to our experienced attorneys. We will take the time to actively listen to your story so we understand exactly what happened.
Our law firm does not charge legal fees until your case is won or settled out of court, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at 716-854-0700 and schedule a complimentary confidential consultation in our Buffalo office or another location today.
Attorney John Feroleto
Attorney John Feroleto understands the value of hard work. He is known in the community and by his peers for his willingness to work and go the extra mile. Other lawyers often ask John to handle their trial matters to maximize clients’ recovery. Trial lawyers know who the best trial lawyers are. He was also named Trial Attorney of the Year in 2012 by the Western New York Affiliate of New York State Trial Lawyers Association. [ Attorney Bio ]