More than 5,000 burn injuries each year are caused by workplace fires and explosions, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) statistics. However, not all workplace burn injuries are attributable to fires and explosions.
New Jersey workers in various industries are also at risk for other types of burn injuries, such as those caused by electrical currents, hazardous chemicals, or radiation exposure.
Despite OSHA safety regulations, burns generally remain one of the most common workplace injuries. The South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the maximum compensation to which they are entitled for work-related burn injuries.
Sources of Workplace Burns
Workers in almost any industry may sustain burn injuries. However, some occupations that are at a higher risk include restaurant workers, mechanics, firefighters, and construction workers.
Burns may be caused by fires or other sources, including:
- Temperature: Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, may cause burns. Higher temperatures cause most severe burns; however, workers may also suffer cold burns from contact with excessively cold objects or weather conditions.
- Chemicals: Hazardous chemicals in solid, liquid, or gas form may cause chemical burns. Corrosive or caustic chemical substances such as acids, bases, and solvents may damage the skin, eyes, or other parts of the body that are exposed.
- Electricity: Electrical currents may also cause burn injuries. Types of electrical burns include arc burns, flash burns, and flame burns.
- Radiation: Workers may suffer radiation burns from X-rays, radiation therapy, or the sun. The severity of this type of burn generally depends on the amount and duration of exposure.
Burns vary in severity, and are classified according to degree, fourth-degree being the most serious.
Our South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers have helped workers build successful claims for all types of burn injuries, including:
- First Degree: This type of burn is the least severe. Only the top layer of skin (epidermis) is affected, and therefore first degree burns are considered superficial.
- Second Degree: A second degree burn causes damage to the epidermis as well as the second layer of skin (dermis). Depending on how deep it is, this type of burn may cause scarring.
- Third Degree: This type of burn penetrates beyond the dermis, damaging the fat layer underneath. A skin graft may be required to close this type of wound after debridement (cleaning out).
- Fourth Degree: Fourth degree burns penetrate underlying tendons and muscle, destroying nerve endings and often resulting in permanent disability. This type of burn may require amputation and can even be life-threatening.
Compensation for Work-Related Burn Injuries in New Jersey
Generally, workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. However, laws vary by state – therefore injured workers should seek the counsel of a qualified lawyer in their local area.
New Jersey employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to compensate employees for costs associated with their workplace injuries. These may include:
- Lost Wages
- Medical Benefits
- Temporary Disability Benefits
- Permanent Partial and Permanent Total Benefits
- Death Benefits
Injured workers must usually give notice to their employers within 14 days of the injury, and the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is two years.
Those who sustained workplace burn injuries due to the negligence of a third party other than their employer, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment, may be able to recover additional damages, such as pain and suffering, in a third-party personal injury claim.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP Help Workers Obtain Benefits for Burn Injuries
If you suffered work-related burn injuries, contact a South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks LLP. Our lawyers have more than 140 years of combined workers’ compensation litigation experience. We can help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled for your workplace burn injury, including compensation for medical treatment, wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation. From our office conveniently located in Cherry Hill, we represent clients in South Jersey, the City of Camden and throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 856-761-3773.