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Workers’ Compensation Claims for Burn Injuries
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Burn Injuries
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“We would like to express our gratitude to you (Hunt Willis) for accepting our case. First of all, when I called this law firm, a very sweet and kind lady answered the telephone and gave me assurance by asking and going over the accident with me, while my husband was in the hospital. I felt assured I was doing the right thing for us. She was so helpful in so many ways. What a professional lady. Secondly, we are much pleased that you have settled this case with the insurance company to receive the proper amount to assist us in so many ways. My husband and I are very happy with you and the firm in handling our case. You made us have confidence in your professional and integrity along with your assistant Ms. Routh, when you both came to see us in our home, in which we saw your compassion and thoughtfulness at that time. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we thank the lord for directing me to contact this firm. I’m glad I did.” 

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A severe burn injury can change your life forever, leaving you unable to work or take care of your family. Fortunately, there are options for those who have been burned while at work. If you have suffered a severe burn while on the job, a North Carolina burn injury lawyer can help you understand your options and find a way forward. 

A Burn Injury May Qualify for Workers’ Comp Benefits

If you have suffered a burn injury at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that cover both your medical treatment and your lost income. To qualify, you need to prove the following: 

  1. That your burn injury occurred in the course of performing your job; and
  2. That you are unable to work due to your burn injury. 

Minor burns that are painful but do not prevent you from working would not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Similarly, a burn injury that you suffered outside of work would also not qualify. But you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you sustained a serious burn injury on the job, and it prevents you from working for at least seven days. 

Many workers suffer severe burn injuries that may leave them permanently disabled and disfigured. Their burns may require extensive medical treatment and prevent them from working for several months or even permanently. A North Carolina burn injury lawyer can help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need if you are unable to work due to a burn injury. 

Burns Injuries in the Workplace Are Common

Burn injuries are common in industrial settings and on construction sites. However, people who work in kitchens and other environments are also regularly exposed to the risk of burn injuries. There are three basic types of workplace burn injuries: 

  • Thermal burns: these are burns caused by hot liquids, hot surfaces, or steam. They can be caused by stoves, industrial equipment, or anything that produces high levels of heat. 
  • Chemical burns: these are burns caused by some type of caustic or toxic substance used as a part of a worker’s job. Common examples include acids, solvents, and cleaners. 
  • Electrical burns: these are burns caused by an electrical current or spark. Electricians and other electrical workers are most obviously at risk, but other workers can suffer electrical burns as a result of exposed wiring or faulty equipment. 

Whatever the cause of your burn, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if your injury occurred while on the job and you are now unable to work. A North Carolina burn injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help you file your claim. 

Burn Injuries Can Range in Severity

Whether you have suffered a thermal, electrical, or chemical burn, each kind of burn can vary in severity: 

  • First-degree burns are the least serious. Damage is limited to the top layer of the skin, resulting in redness and minor inflammation. First-degree burns will typically heal on their own within a few days and usually do not prevent someone from returning to work. Sunburns are a common example of first-degree burns. 
  • Second-degree burns cause damage to the outer and middle layers of the skin, often resulting in blistering and infection. They may require emergency room treatment and short-term hospitalization.
  • Third-degree burns cause severe damage to the outer, middle, and inner layers of skin. The risk of infection and other health complications is very high. Treatment will usually involve long-term hospitalization and skin grafts. In some cases, amputation may be required. 
  • Fourth-degree burns cause damage to all layers of the skin as well as the underlying muscle tissue, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Fourth-degree burns are the most serious and typically result in permanent disability and disfigurement. They can sometimes result in death. 

You may be able to pursue a workers’ compensation claim if you have suffered a second-degree burn or worse. An experienced North Carolina burn injury lawyer can help you get the benefits you need to make a full recovery. 

Workers’ Compensation Provides Coverage for Both Medical Treatment and Lost Income

Workers’ comp provides a lifeline for workers who have been injured on the job and find themselves unable to work. It is a no-fault benefit, meaning that you do not prove that your employer or anyone else was negligent. If you have suffered a serious burn injury and meet the criteria discussed above, you may be entitled to the following benefits: 

  • Medical benefits. Workers’ comp provides 100 percent compensation for whatever medical treatment is necessary to treat your burn injuries. This could include the initial skin grafts and other treatments as well as subsequent plastic surgeries. It may also cover physical therapy as part of your recovery or occupational therapy if you are permanently disabled as a result of your burn injury. Sometimes disputes can arise over whether a particular treatment is necessary, but a North Carolina burn injury lawyer can advocate for you to get the treatment you need. 
  • Lost income benefits. Workers’ comp also provides compensation to cover the income you would lose due to being unable to work. However, it does not cover all of your lost wages. Workers’ comp typically only covers approximately two-thirds of your average weekly income. Mistakes are common when calculating the amount of coverage – insurers will often under-calculate the worker’s weekly average income. A North Carolina burn injury lawyer can double-check these calculations to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you deserve. 

Unfortunately, people who have suffered severe burn injuries are often unable to manage their workers’ comp claim on their own. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can handle the entire process so that you can focus on your recovery. 

Contact Martin & Jones to Speak with a North Carolina Burn Injury Lawyer Today

At Martin & Jones, we understand the challenges injured workers face. We can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claim process quickly and effectively so that you can get the benefits you need to take care of yourself and your family. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 800-662-1234 to discuss how we can help with your case.

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