“Burn injuries” conjure images of getting too near an open flame or firefighters running out of a burning building. However, there are many mundane situations that can lead to serious burn injuries in our every day lives.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury of any kind due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, incidental expenses, and more.
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, our catastrophic injury attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience serving clients who have suffered burn injuries. Our firm focuses on personal injury law, allowing us to direct our full attention to seeking full and fair financial compensation for clients in local communities throughout New Jersey.
Call to speak with a Bloomfield burn injury lawyer today.
Types of Burn Injuries
As mentioned above, being burned is a more generalized medical term than many of us realize. The medical definition of burn can be any soft tissue injury which is the result of heat, cold, chemicals, radiation, electricity, or friction. Some common examples include:
- Exposure to fire – the traditional definition of a “burn” is caused by excessive heat, most often from a fire. Average house fires burn at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than sufficient to cause third degree burns
- Chemical burns – tissue can react very differently to chemicals, sometimes resulting in serious burns on skin or even to internal organs if ingested
- Hot liquids – as we will discuss in the following section, common scalding liquids such as boiling water and/or hot coffee can cause third degree burns
- Smoke inhalation – while it is difficult to distinguish in fatal fire accidents, it is estimated that smoke inhalation is as dangerous as exposure to flames in many serious fires
A Bloomfield attorney can help individuals who suffer burn injuries due to any of the above causes.
Hot Coffee Burn Injury Claims
Many of us will remember the famous McDonald’s hot coffee burn injury case in which a 79 year old woman was awarded nearly $ three (3) million by a jury for her injuries as a result of spilling hot coffee. At a glance, that may seem like an absurd amount for a spilled drink, but she sustained third degree burns and required skin grafts as a result of her injuries. There are several other factors which led to such a favorable result for the claimant:
- It was McDonald’s’ policy to serve coffee at a dangerously hot temperature
- Expert witnesses testified that the temperature of hot beverages served were not acceptable and carried a genuine risk of serious burns
- The victim’s injuries caused substantial physical and emotional pain and suffering
- McDonald’s was aware of the dangers of serving coffee at such a high temperature
While this case has garnered an infamous reputation, the facts undeniably and overwhelmingly point towards a successful claim against a defendant (McDonald’s) who recklessly, negligently, and knowingly endangered their customers. This is just one example of a successful claim for burn injuries which did not involve a classic “burn”. A Bloomfield burn injury attorney can help identify other scenarios which may qualify for a claim or lawsuit.
Recovering Compensation for Burns
Similar to most personal injury claims, our Bloomfield attorneys will strive to show that your burn injuries were the result of the negligence or recklessness of another party. As burns can differ greatly in both cause and severity, we will want to speak with you directly and look at the evidence of your case in order to proceed with the best plan of action.
With burns, there are a few considerations that may come into play beyond the usual compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and so on. For example, many burn victims suffer disfigurement as a result of serious injuries. This may lead to embarrassment, changes in social life, mental anguish, and even loss of consortium (the inability of one’s spouse to maintain marital relations).
All of these issues factor into your eventual settlement or verdict. In especially egregious cases, we may also sue defendants for punitive damages. The McDonald’s hot coffee case is a great example of punitive damages, as the jury believed that awarding the claimant with additional damages would effectively deter McDonald’s from continuing to put their customers at further risk. In that situation, they were correct, as many restaurants changed their hot drink policy as a direct or indirect result of that case.
Contact our Bloomfield Burn Injury Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Fredson Statmore Bitterman, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars through settlements and verdicts for clients in local New Jersey towns throughout New Jersey. Our legal team is led by a partner who has been distinguished as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court, an honor earned by only two percent of active attorneys in the state. Lean on our experience to secure your family’s financial future in the wake of an accident leading to burn injuries.
Contact us online or over the phone by today to reach our New Jersey offices to speak with a Bloomfield burn injury lawyer.