On-the-job burn injuries can be painful to endure and cause lasting trauma. Workers in a variety of settings — construction sites, factories, restaurants, and laboratories — are at a high risk of burn injuries. If you have suffered a burn injury in your workplace, a highly-skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you obtain wage and medical benefits to aid in your recovery.
We represent victims of workplace burn injuries throughout Central Pennsylvania. Although injured workers are entitled to both a safe work environment and workers’ compensation benefits, asserting these rights can be challenging. Some employers fail to follow protect their workers from burn injuries, while insurance companies often put profits ahead of injured workers by denying claims. We know how to fight back and will help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
Common Workplace Burn Injuries in Pennsylvania
Although a fire could occur at any workplace, burn injuries are more often caused by other hazards. Common types of on-the-job burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns are often the result of fires or excessive heat due to exposed flames, hot water, steam, hot metal conduits or piping, and furnaces. Workers in factories, construction sites, and restaurants are at an especially high risk of thermal burns.
- Electrical burns occur when an electric current passes through the body, which can cause significant damage to the internal organs that is not immediately apparent. Electrical burns can be difficult to treat and may result in death. Construction workers can sustain such burns after coming into contact with exposed wiring, while utility workers are often injured by electrical currents.
- Chemical burns are typically caused by exposure to acids and alkalis that damage the skin and underlying tissue. Painful burns to the lungs, nasal cavities and mouth can occur if the chemicals become airborne. Chemical agents can also be absorbed into the body and damage internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. Workers in chemical plants are obviously at a high risk of chemical burns, while employees in warehouses, medical laboratories and auto repair shops are frequently exposed to hazardous chemicals.
Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified in the following categories, based on the extent of the damage:
- First-Degree Burns only affect the first layer of skin (the epidermis) and can typically be treated with topical ointments and home care, usually healing within 7-to-10 days.
- Second-Degree Burns go deeper than the epidermis and reach the dermis, causing skin blisters. While a second-degree burn may take as long as 3 weeks to heal, more severe burns may require skin grafts or result in nerve damage.
- Third-Degree Burns destroy the outer layer of skin and subcutaneous tissue, leaving the skin charred and leathery. These burn injuries are usually treated with skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and other long-term medical care.
- Fourth-Degree Burns cause damage to the skin and nerve endings and may impact fat, muscle or bone, which may lead to permanent motor damage, amputation, or wrongful death.
While serious burns can result in significant damage to the skin, muscle, internal organs and bones, even a minor workplace burn injury can become infected, resulting in complications. In any event, all workplace injuries require immediate medical attention. Delaying treatment can cause injuries to worsen and may result in a denial of your workers’ comp benefits.
Workers’ Compensation for On-the-Job Burn Injury Victims
If you have suffered a burn injury at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which covers wage, medical and potentially disfigurement benefits.
It is important to note that workers’ compensation laws generally bar you from filing a civil lawsuit against your employer. In addition, these benefits do not cover pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and other intangible losses. You may be able to file a lawsuit if your burn injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, however. As an example, if your workplace burn injury was caused by defective equipment, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor.
We will work tirelessly to help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Although insurance companies have an unfair advantage over injured workers, we know how to fight back against the tactics they use to deny claims. We will also determine whether you have a valid third party claim and, if so, explore all your options for obtaining compensation.
Contact Our Lancaster Workplace Burn Injury Attorneys
Whether you were burned while welding at a construction site, by toxic chemicals at an industrial site, or by grease or boiling water in a restaurant, you have a right to workers’ comp benefits. Given the complexities in filing a claim, it is crucial to have the informed representation we provide.
Our legal team is highly regarded for being fierce advocates of injured workers. When you become our client, we will be your voice, and make sure you are treated fairly. You will not be charged any attorneys’ fees until we win your claim. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.
We serve clients throughout Central Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, York, Lebanon, and Dauphin Counties and the cities of Lewistown, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and Chambersburg. Se habla Español.