New York residents may wonder what happens if they are injured in a fire in a public place, a hotel or an establishment serving hot drinks. In each instance, the individual may suffer trauma due to burns, which may require long-term treatment as well as surgery and rehabilitation. The physical and financial cost of burn injuries may be daunting.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of individuals who die due to burn complications every years in the U.S. is in the neighborhood of 10,000. In addition, up to 1.1 million Americans are injured by burns and need medical care, as reported by the American Burn Association in 2000.

Burns are classified by the severity and depth with which they penetrate the skin’s layers. For example, first-degree burns involve only the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin. This type of burn is painful and red, treated with cool compresses and resolves in healthy adults without further treatment; sunburn is one common example. Second-degree burns involve the epidermis and the next layer, the dermis. They require the attention of medical personnel.

A third-degree burn destroys tissue permanently and involves all skin layers extending into the tissues beneath the skin. While it is often painless, this type of burn requires medical care immediately.

Hotel owners and property managers have a responsibility to ensure that faulty electrical hazards or hot water heater settings are appropriate. Failure to repair fire alarms or sprinkler systems that are not operational may focus liability onto the owner or lessor. Serving excessively hot drinks that have the potential to spill and burn someone may be considered negligent.

If an individual suffers burn injuries through no fault of his or her own, a Accident Attorney could be able to help. The attorney may determine if negligence exists and, if so, help file a lawsuit against the responsible property owner or manager for financial damages including the cost of medical treatment for the burn.

Source: CDC, “Burns“, October 23, 2014

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