Burns are the most horrific and painful injuries anyone can suffer. Severe burns cause pain, disfigurement, and scarring and can lead to years of rehabilitation and reconstructive surgery. In extreme cases, they can lead to death.
Burn injuries may be due to fire or heat, but they can also be the result of chemicals, electricity, or friction. Some burns are accidental or the consequence of another accident, but they may also be due to someone’s carelessness or negligence.
Why Choose Us?
If you have suffered a burn injury, you may not be thinking of getting an attorney. You may be too busy dealing with the pain and disability of your injuries. However, having these kinds of injuries is costly, and you shouldn’t have to deal with the insurance companies by yourself.
The Philadelphia legal team at The Cochran Firm understands the pain and suffering you’re experiencing. We know you want someone on your side who will fight for you, hold the negligent parties accountable, and help you get the justice you need.
Attorney Robert S. Miller has been arguing and winning personal injury cases in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania since 1992. He is a member of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and New Jersey bar associations and has been chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Arbitration Committee. Mr. Miller was recognized as a 2022 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and a 2020 Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.
The right attorney makes a big difference in the outcome of your case. When choosing a burn injury attorney, you want the best available team on your side. The Cochran Firm offers free consultations to discuss your case, and we work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay unless we win. Call us today at 800-969-4400 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
What We Can Do
Our legal team of burn injury lawyers in Philadelphia, PA, will take the proper steps and meet all the deadlines so you can concentrate on getting better and resuming your life. We will . . .
- Investigate the accident to reconstruct the incident and determine the probable cause and possible fault
- Gather evidence and documentation such as police and medical reports, photos and videos of the location, and other statements of incidents in the area
- Interview witnesses, police and first responders, and other residents or tenants to see if there is a history of similar incidents at that location
- Carry out depositions of essential parties, obtain expert witnesses to describe the mechanics of the accident, and explain the future costs and impact of your injuries
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and other parties.
- Handle the correspondence and phone calls, so you and your family aren’t bothered by their requests for information
- Prepare for trial if a reasonable settlement can’t be reached.
We will help file the initial insurance claim so that it doesn’t get denied and ensure all legal deadlines are met promptly. All you need to do is focus on your recovery.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe burn injury due to the actions of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering. When you need a burn injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, you need the experienced attorneys at The Cochran Firm. We’re here to help you get the justice you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 800-969-4400.
Filing a Burn Injury Case
Burns and smoke inhalation injuries are among the most serious of injuries because of the body surface area involved. Unlike a broken bone, which hurts but can be repaired by setting the bone until it heals, burns damage the skin and all the tissues below it, even down to the bones and organs.
Types of Burns
The degree and location of a burn injury may define the nature of an insurance claim or lawsuit. Burns are classified by the depth of the burn and the amount of body surface they cover. Also, burns in children are considered more serious than a similar burn in an adult.
A first-degree burn is the least serious. A sunburn is a typical first-degree burn. The skin turns red and may be painful for a few days.
Second-degree burns involve the top two or three layers of skin. They can cause blistering and swelling. A bad sunburn can sometimes cause second-degree burns, especially in young children. Scalds or brief contact with hot liquids may cause these painful but less serious burns.
A second-degree burn to the face, eyes, or hands is considered serious because it may compromise breathing or vision. Burns to the hands can result in loss of motion.
Third-degree burns, sometimes called “full thickness” burns are very serious and can be fatal. These burns destroy tissue and kill the nerves beneath the skin. These burns leave scars that can impair motion if they occur on the hands, feet, or joints. Third-degree burns to the face may lead to compromise of the airway.
These burns are frequently the result of fire or heat accidents. They are also common in chemical accidents since chemicals like lye or acid destroy human flesh. Third-degree burns can lead to other injuries, such as shock, sepsis (a type of deadly infection), and death.
Electrical Burns and Brain Injury
A special type of burn injury is electrical damage. Electricity may cause any of the above types of burns, or it may seem to cause no visible harm at all except for a small burn mark at the point of entry.
Electrical burns have a terrible impact on the body itself. Both the heart and the brain function by electrical impulses. An electric shock disrupts those impulses. If the heart rhythm is disrupted, it can go into defibrillation, a dangerously irregular rhythm.
In the brain, the effect can be even more profound. Electric shock victims report changes in memory, personality, and even basic physical functions. People who have been struck by lightning or suffered high-voltage shocks may experience a complete loss of brain function.
These devastating injuries can leave the victim needing a lifetime of care. The Cochran Firm wants you and your family to get the compensation you need to have the care you or your loved one will need to cope with these terrible injuries.
Damages and Settlement
There are never any guarantees in law. No matter how compelling your case is, juries cannot be predicted, and judges may focus on something that your attorney cannot control. However, The Cochran Firm will present your case and make it as airtight as possible.
In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs can sue for economic and non-economic damages. Sometimes punitive damages may be added by the judge, but this is very rare.
Economic damagesare things that have a monetary value, or which can be calculated with a fair degree of certainty. Economic damages include:
- Medical bills, including future care, rehabilitation, medication, and additional surgeries or treatment
- Lost wages and income, including future pay and loss of opportunity
- Costs of medical devices, home alteration, and other accommodations if you become disabled
- Funeral costs and expenses
- Legal fees and costs.
Non-Economic damages are those involving your quality of life. Your mental and psychological health, physical pain, and ability to participate in life are non-economic damages. They can include:
- Emotional anguish and anxiety, depression, and psychological disturbances such as PTSD
- Chronic pain, neuropathy, or physical pain
- Lowered quality of life due to disability
- Loss of consortium.
Pennsylvania courts use a “multiplier” to assess non-economic damages. This method totals the economic damages, then multiplies that by a number from 1 to 5 based on the severity of the injuries. The result is your compensation for pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are only available in personal injury cases when there has been unusually egregious or wanton behavior. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party and discourage similar actions in the future.
Factors Which May Affect Your Settlement
There are a number of factors that can affect your settlement. The type and location of the burn injury will make a difference. A second-degree burn to the face may be considered as serious as a smaller third-degree burn to the leg. Other important considerations may include:
- The cause and severity of the accident.
- The degree and depth of the burn.
- The location of the burn. Burns to the face, hands, and groin are more serious, no matter what the degree.
- The age of the victim. Children and the elderly are more at risk for long-term consequences.
- Secondary consequences, like infections, scarring, or loss of limb or limb function.
- Likelihood of long-term impact.
Burn injuries leave more than physical scars on the victims and their families. Burns can cause nerve damage leading to chronic pain, a condition known as neuropathy. Changes in physical appearance and mobility can lead to emotional and psychological effects like depression and anxiety.
Burns can also lead to a lifetime of health issues. Scars tend to contract and may create mobility issues later in life. Victims may need further surgery or rehabilitation months or years after the case is settled.
These factors must be presented to a jury so that you will not be left without support when everyone else has gone on with their lives. At The Cochran Firm, we will ensure that your future needs as well as your present needs are considered when negotiating with the insurance company or going before the jury.
Burn Injury Lawyer FAQs
If you have suffered a burn injury, and haven’t talked to a Philadelphia burn injury attorney, you may have questions about your case. The Cochran Firm has the answers to some of the most common questions you may have.
Do I need an attorney to make a burn injury claim?
You do not need an attorney to make a burn injury claim, but you have a better chance of getting a better settlement if you have one. Remember that the insurance company has its own team of lawyers, and they will be reviewing your claim looking for ways to deny it or offer you a lower settlement than you deserve.
Before making any decision about a burn injury lawyer, contact The Cochran Firm for a free consultation. We can give you an idea of what your next steps should be.
Who is responsible for my burn injury?
A burn injury case is a type of personal injury case . Anyone who was negligent in a manner that led to your injuries may be liable for your injuries and owe you damages. In a burn injury case, that may be anyone who had the duty of preventing a fire or chemical hazard that led to your injury.
What if I am partially responsible for my injury?
Even if you were partially responsible for your injuries, you may still recover partial damages. Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative negligence rule, meaning that as long as you are less than 51% at fault, you may still recover the proportion of the settlement of the defendants’ fault. For instance, if you were 20% at fault, you can still recover the remaining 80% of the costs in your case.
Is there a time limit to file a burn injury case?
There is a time limit in Pennsylvania to file your claim. A plaintiff has a two-year statute of limitations to file their case. If you miss the deadline, the courts may refuse to hear your case, although sometimes there are exceptions for unusual circumstances. If you think you have a case but believe the statute has run, contact The Cochran Firm and let us review your case.
How do I sue if a family member died?
If a family member died or was injured and dies later from their injuries, their personal representative can file a claim on behalf of the estate. If they fail to do so, then beneficiaries may file a claim six months after the death. There are other requirements for filing a wrongful death claim, and they must be followed carefully. If you think you have a wrongful death claim, you should contact an attorney right away.
For more than four decades, The Cochran Firm has helped Philadelphia residents get the justice and compensation they deserve. We provide individualized representation for our clients with our experienced legal team and the resources of talented and zealous attorneys. To schedule your free, personal consultation, call us today at 800-969-4400.