How we can Help
Burn Injuries can be severe and life altering. There are many issues that must be addressed when dealing with a burn injury. First and foremost, immediate medical attention is a necessity. Medical issues ranging from scarring, infection, debridement, grafting, restrictions in range of motion, pain management, dressing changes, as well as psychological trauma are just some of the considerations involved in treatment and recovery from a burn. Timely investigation regarding the cause of the burns is also critical to the outcome of any litigation. Questions need to be addressed concerning how the burn injury occurred, why it happened, where it happened, when it happened and who is responsible. Photographs and videotapes taken as soon as possible may prove to be invaluable to the case. On the other hand, insurance companies, who cover the parties responsible for the burns, are in business to make money. The way that they make money is by limiting the amount of money that they pay out on claims. Insurance adjusters will attempt to take recorded statements, secure written statements, send out investigators and/or experts. DO NOT give any statements to any insurance company representative before you call us. It is also important to contact us right away because there may be documents that need to be submitted, we may need to retain the services of an expert, and we may need to speak with witnesses while the incident is still fresh in their minds.
Our attorneys worked for major insurance companies as well as the City of New York before becoming plaintiff's lawyers. They know how insurance carriers and municipalities investigate, work up, negotiate and defend lawsuits. After approximately a decade of defense representation the attorneys began representing people who suffered serious injuries. They have been representing injured parties for more than 10 years. In fact, a significant percentage of the cases they handle involve burn injuries (see below).
A sampling of cases we have handled
We have handled many burn cases resulting in severe injuries, significant scarring as well as death:
- An explosion occurred in a multiple dwelling in Harlem. Four young girls and their mother were critically injured. They suffered burns ranging from 60% to 90% of their total body surface area. All of them required advanced life support and they were all placed on ventilators. They had moved into the apartment 10 days before the explosion. There had been multiple complaints regarding the smell of gas to the superintendent of the building in the days and weeks leading up to the blast. The super said that he received the reports, went to investigate and he did not smell any gas. He claims that he told the tenants to call the fire department or local utility if they smell the gas again. The local utility was allowed to conduct testing and investigation on the day after the blast. They issued a press release stating that their equipment did not cause the explosion. The fire marshal indicated that preliminary investigation revealed that a faulty flexible gas line may have been the cause of the gas leak. For more information and media coverage click here.
- An infant was burned as the result of domestic hot water that measured 158 degrees Fahrenheit. She suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 20% of her body. She was hospitalized for one month. Debridement and skin grafting was done. She developed an infection and she passed away. A case was brought against the landlord for the excessively high water temperature and the medical professionals who failed to diagnose and treat the infection that caused her untimely death.
- An 11 year old girl suffered burns on almost 40% of her body when a stove tipped over causing boiling water to spill on her. The stove was defectively installed. The stove lacked an anti-tip device that would have prevented the stove from tipping over. She was hospitalized for 6 weeks, her wounds were debrided and skin grafting was done. She will need to have scar revision surgery when she turns 16 years of age. Read more about this case here.
- A teenage boy was burned on 5% of his body when a waitress dropped a plate with hot food on his arm. He was treated and released from the emergency room. He now has many small scars from his shoulder to his hand. The restaurant was over crowded and the tray was overloaded.
- A laborer on a construction site suffered a burn injury as a result of electrocution.
- A fire took place in a 3 story apartment building. A mother of 3 was alerted to the fire by a neighbor. She grabbed her infant and her toddler and told her 6 year old son to follow them down to the street. When she got to the street, her 6 year old was not with her. She ran back up the stairs to the 3rd floor. Her son was in the apartment, frozen with fear. The fire had engulfed the staircase, blocking their exit from the building. She tried to get out through the fire escape however the fire escape window was blocked by security bars that had been screwed into the window frame with tamper proof screws by the landlord. The mother and her son could not get out of the apartment. They were found by the fire department. She suffered burns on 20% of her body and her son was overcome by smoke inhalation. She was hospitalized for more than one month, and her son died 3 days after the fire from smoke inhalation.
It is really important that we begin our investigation as soon as possible. We need to contact witnesses, if possible take photos of the accident scene and the injuries. The case goes much smoother when we are called soon after the accident. It is our job to maximize the amount that our clients recover. Through different means of investigation, we are able to build a case that maximizes the recovery and minimizes the delays.
Our firm understands that your immediate goals after going through such a traumatic experience are to get the best medical care possible, make sure that your medical bills are covered, and make sure that you do not suffer financially through any lost wages. Our experienced attorneys will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you, as well as work with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case to make sure all your needs are handled quickly and appropriately. Time is short, do not delay, contact us or call us.
Some facts about burn accidents
According to the American Burn Association, each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention. Of those 1.1 million injuries, 45,000 require hospitalization, and approximately of those patients will require specialized burn unit care. Each year, approximately 10,000 people die from burn related infections. Pneumonia is the most common burn related infectious complication for hospitalized burn patients. A burn is defined as tissue damage caused by a variety of agents, such as heat or chemicals. Most common burns are caused by:
- Automobile Accidents
- Gas and other Flammable Liquid Fuel Explosions
- Scalding/ Hot Water
- Electrical Accidents
- Industrial Accidents
- Gasoline Spills
- Building Fires
- Defective Candles
- Lighters & Matches
Seriously burned patients often need focused and expert care to deal with the long-term physical and psychological affects of their injuries. Our firm understands that your goals or those of a loved one after going through such trauma are to get your medical bills paid and covered, make sure you do not suffer financially through any lost wages, and make sure your insurance company will pay for future treatment relating to your injury.
Burn First Aid
Burn First Aid
Facts & Stats
Burn prevention in your home
Burn prevention & treatment
Support for burn survivors
American Burn Association
American Pain Foundation
Surgical burn care information
Safe Kids USA
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Our firm represents clients located in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, New York State and many other states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, and California, and we will handle a case in any state provided we can do so in full compliance with court rules regarding multijurisdictional practice, association of local counsel and/or admission pro hac vice) who have suffered Burn Injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, CONTACT US ONLINE OR CALL US AT (516) 742-8897= (516) PIATTYS in Long Island, (212) 267-9377= (212) ANSWERS In Manhattan TO SET UP A FREE CONSULTATION. If you can't come to us, we will come to you in the hospital or we will visit you in our mobile office.