burn injury

Ask an Attorney: Can I File a Lawsuit if I Suffered a Burn Injury at Work?

By Greg Kohn

Burn injuries are among the most painful and devastating work injuries an employee can sustain. Burns and burnings are common in many industries. If you suffered a skin burn at work, you may have several options for receiving compensation for burn accidents and injuries. 

Our New Jersey personal injury lawyer discusses types of burn injuries in this blog. We also cover what to do after a burn injury at work, filing a workers’ compensation claim, and filing a lawsuit for a burn injury at work in New Jersey.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries at Work

Burn injuries can occur because of a variety of situations. Employees may sustain a burn injury at work because:

  • Defective industrial or electrical equipment
  • Missing or inadequate warnings
  • Poor safety training
  • Auto accidents
  • Faulty or damaged electrical wiring
  • Improper handling of hazardous or corrosive chemicals and substances
  • Explosions and fires
  • Mishandling flammable materials
  • Electrocutions and electrical accidents
  • Hot liquids
  • Exposure to radiation 

The types of work-related burns an employee sustains depend on many factors. Employees may suffer thermal, chemical, radiation, and electrical burns on the job. The severity of the burns ranges from first-degree burns (the mildest burn) to sixth-degree burns, causing damage to the bone.

What Should You Do After a Burn Injury at Work?

If you sustain a burn injury at work, notify your employer immediately. Seek emergency medical treatment for burn injuries. Even mild burn injuries can result in infections, which can become life-threatening.

Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Depending on the type and severity of the burn, it could take months to heal. Severe burn injuries could require long-term hospitalization, extensive treatment, multiple surgeries, and long-term care.

Workers’ Compensation Covers Work-Related Burn Injuries in New Jersey

Most employees in New Jersey are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you sustain a burn injury at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.

Workers’ compensation pays for medical care for your burn injury. It also compensates you for a portion of your lost wages. However, you are not compensated for all expenses. Workers’ compensation does not cover pain and suffering caused by burn injuries.

However, you might be able to file a third-party lawsuit if another party caused your work-related burn injury. Examples of potential lawsuits for a burn injury at work include burns caused by:

  • A defective product – You might have a claim against the manufacturer and other parties under product liability law.
  • Exposure to hazardous property conditions – You might have a claim against the property owner under premises liability laws.
  • A car accident – You might be able to sue the other driver who caused the car accident.
  • Negligence by a contractor or vendor – You might have a claim against the contractor or vendor if the negligent acts led to your burn injury.
  • Another employee or your employer – You may sue your employer or another employee if they intentionally caused your burn injury at work.

Filing a lawsuit for a burn injury at work can result in additional compensation or your burn injury. Unlike a workers’ comp claim, a personal injury lawsuit could result in compensation for all economic damages. You could also receive compensation for pain and suffering (non-economic damages), which are not permitted in a workers’ comp case. 

Call Us for a Free Consultation With a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Severe burns can cause lifelong impairments and disfigurement. You deserve to be compensated for all damages. Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP, can help. We’ll explore all claims and sources of compensation available for your claim to help you receive the best possible settlement for your burn injury.  Contact our office today to schedule your free case evaluation with a burn injury lawyer. 

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.