Sustaining a serious burn threatens more than your physical health. Burn accidents and injuries also inflict psychological and emotional trauma on victims as well as their loved ones.
At Kline & Specter, PC, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, our personal injury attorneys believe that burn victims should never have to worry about their financial security, access to medical care or their ability to cover the significant healthcare expenses related to their wounds.
If you or someone you care about was seriously burned during the course of an event that should have been prevented, please contact Kline & Specter in Philadelphia, where our team of personal injury attorneys includes several physicians. You can reach a Kline & Specter lawyer online or by telephone to schedule your free burn injury lawsuit consultation: (215) 772-1000 or 800-243-1100.
The Extent of the Problem
Few instincts are more primal for humans than our drive to protect ourselves from fire.
Nonetheless, burn injuries and their extensive treatment are serious business for medical professionals in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and nationwide. These types of injuries are excruciating, and often lead to permanent disabilities or disfigurement.
Among the types of burns that send people to the hospital:
- Nearly half are from fire.
- Roughly a third are scalds.
- Around 4 percent are electrical burns.
- Around 3 percent are chemical burns.
Consider these 2015 statistics from the American Burn Association, which were compiled from research gathered between 2003 and 2012:
- The number of burn injuries annually to receive some type of medical treatment is about 486,000.
- The number of people hospitalized with a serious burn is about 40,000.
- Roughly 3,240 people die annually from smoke or fire inhalation. These fires occurred in homes, vehicles and elsewhere.
- Someone dies in a fire roughly every 3 hours, and the odds of losing your life this way are one in 1,418.
Far too often, severe burn injuries that necessitate litigation to establish responsibility for the incident and any subsequent damages, are in fact caused by human error. Many of these situations were accidents. But that truth fails to negate the fact that a significant portion of severe burn injuries and deaths from burns are caused by negligence or carelessness.
Some common causes of serious burn injury cases litigated by our attorneys include:
- Faulty wiring or plumbing
- Auto accidents
- Unsafe workplaces
- Defective products
- Poorly maintained smoke alarms
- Failure to install a residential smoke alarm
- Flammable fabrics
In many cases, the injuries could have been avoided — by a power company, a landlord installing and maintaining mandated smoke alarms, by an employer providing a safe work environment, or by a manufacturer fixing or recalling an unsafe product.
In one highly publicized case, a woman was killed when a power line fell on her property in suburban Pittsburgh. The case, tried by Shanin Specter against the electric utility, West Penn Power, resulted in a $109 million jury verdict in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court and a subsequent settlement of $105 million.
In another Kline & Specter case, a worker was killed in an explosion that sent him hurtling into a tank of sulfuric acid at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Delaware. An extensive investigation by Kline & Specter uncovered the fact that gas leaks due to negligence at the plant caused the accident. Motiva eventually agreed to a $36.4 million settlement in the case, which is considered the largest-ever reported settlement for a single injured worker.
In this case, our law firm reviewed 40,000 documents and hired 14 experts as part of a year-long probe into the accident.
The Long Healing Road
The CDC has noted that deaths from fires and burns is the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States, and the third-leading cause of fatal injuries in the home.
After a serious burn, a victim will need much more than physical care and rehabilitation.
Physiological distress is almost always associated with burn injuries. Victims report reoccurring feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, hopelessness and an array other challenges that result from clinical depression. Burn victims are often plagued by memories of their trauma, and concerns about their futures.
This is just one of the reasons the Philadelphia injury attorneys at Kline & Specter consider burn victim casework to be so important.
There's a final detail about the impact of burn injuries that our personal injury attorneys cannot ignore: The way these accidents disproportionately affect children.
According to the American Burn Association:
- About 250,000 children each year sustain a serious burn.
- The vast majority of these injuries are the result of scalding from food, drinks, or appliances.
- About 15,000 children each year are hospitalized with a burn injury.
- Roughly 1,100 kids lose their lives each year in a fire or after sustaining a serious burn.
Your Burn Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you care about suffered a serious burn injury that should have been prevented, please contact Kline & Specter in Philadelphia, where our team of burn injury attorneys includes five trained physicians. You can reach a Kline & Specter lawyer online or by telephone to schedule your free burn accident case consultation: (215) 772-1000 or 800-243-1100.