Burn Injuries from NYC Crash
Burn Injuries in New York City
Vehicle fires account for 17 percent of all reported fires in the United States and are responsible for 12 percent of all fire-related civilian deaths in the U.S., the National Fire Protection Association reports. Tragically, this means that there are 31 vehicle fires reported each hour on average, and that one person dies every single day as a result of a vehicle fire. Those that survive a vehicle fire can suffer serious burn injuries.
Vehicle fires have many causes, including mechanical failures and electrical faults in vehicles. However, car accidents are responsible for 58 percent of all of deaths due to vehicle fires. Fires caused by car accidents also cause thousands of serious burn injuries each year in New York City and across the country.
Burns are some of the most painful and dangerous injuries that a person can suffer. Extensive medical treatment is often required and, in many cases, the injured victim is disfigured for life. When this occurs in a preventable car accident caused by someone’s negligence, the injury is especially tragic. The person who caused such an accident could be held responsible for all costs and all losses associated with the burn injuries. A New York City accident attorney at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help.
The Hazards of Car Accident Fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, car accidents account for only 3 percent of the 287,000 vehicle fires that fire departments respond to annually, yet 58 percent of deaths due to vehicle fires are related to car wrecks.
The high number of deaths due to car accident burn injuries can be explained by several factors:
- Car accident fires are usually extremely hot and fast-burning because the gas tank provides highly combustible fuel for the fire.
- Car accident fires can lead to explosions. These explosions can occur when the fuel tank is severely damaged and when sparks or electrical impulses from car batteries ignite fuel.
- Victims can be trapped in cars when a fire occurs. The crash may prevent the burn accident victim from escaping the car as it burns.
New electric cars with lithium ion batteries may also increase the dangers in car accident fires. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) issued a cautionary statement regarding the danger of fire when electric cars are involved in serious wrecks.
Car Accident Burns
When a fire occurs as a result of a car accident, burns are a tragically common result for those involved in the crash.
The severity of the burn injuries is measured in terms of degrees:
- First-degree burns are the least serious. These burns are considered superficial because only the top layer of skin is affected. While you may experience some redness and irritation, permanent damage and severe scarring are unlikely. Emergency treatment is usually necessary only if the burns occur on the face, feet or hands or if major joints are affected.
- Second-degree burns usually cause little lasting damage. However, blisters are likely, as is severe pain and significant swelling. If the second-degree burn is on the feet, face or hands or if the burned area exceeds three inches, then emergency treatment is typically required.
- Third-degree burns occur when damage penetrates through to the layer of fat that lies below the skin. Third-degree burns can result in numbness, nerve damage and significant permanent scarring.
- Fourth-degree burns occur when the damage penetrates to the bone. Victims generally experience significant scarring and permanent disfigurement. Substantial nerve damage often results from fourth-degree burns, and these burns may be fatal.
Finally, fifth- and sixth-degree burns penetrate very deeply and are typically diagnosed in an autopsy because they almost always result in death.
Compensation for Car Accident Burn Injuries in NYC
When you suffer a burn injury, you not only will have to cope with significant pain, but you also may need expensive medical treatment. To treat burn injuries and minimize the scarring, skin grafts are often required. Many burn victims need treatment from plastic surgeons, trauma specialists and those who are experts in treating burn victims. Numerous complications can arise as a result of these burns, including potentially fatal infections.
Someone must pay for the costs of this medical treatment, as well as for ongoing care that could be necessary as a result of burns. In the event that the burn injury results in death, someone also should compensate the family members left behind.
In New York, no-fault insurance rules apply to car accidents, meaning that people with minor injuries will have their medical costs and their lost wages paid by their own car insurance company regardless of who was at fault. However, when serious injuries are sustained, a personal injury lawsuit may be brought against the party responsible for causing a crash that resulted in serious burns.
If you can show that the driver of another car was negligent in a manner that led to the accident that caused your burn injuries, you could obtain monetary compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other losses. If the burn injuries led to death, then surviving family members could bring a wrongful death lawsuit. If the car’s defective design played a role in the crash or fire, then it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious burns in a New York City car accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you recover the benefits you deserve. The accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are skilled at evaluating burn injury claims and have a track record of getting results for our clients.
Call our firm today at 212-279-2000 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case. We serve burn injury victims throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Long Island.