Burn Injuries

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

The Massachusetts disability lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are well versed in the nuances of workers’ compensation law. For over 20 years, we have dedicated our entire practice to helping individuals suffering from work-related injuries, including those arising from burns. At Kantrovitz & Associates, we understand that burns are painful and traumatic, and can require time off work. That is why we fight diligently to protect your rights while you recover.

Burn Facts and Causes

Burn injuries continue to be a significant medical issue in the United States. Over 450,000 people were treated for burns in 2011 alone; many more never sought treatment. Fatal work-related burns more than doubled between 2009 and 2010, resulting in the highest number of injuries since 2003. Burns caused by work fires and explosions increased again by 65 percent the next year. Work-related burns can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Explosions or flames
  • Boiling liquids or steam
  • Hot glass, coals, or metal
  • Heat-conducting objects
  • Electrical wiring and currents
  • Radioactive agents and X-rays
  • Common chemical reagents, such as:
    • Hydrochloric acid
    • Acetic, sulfuric acid
    • Lye, alkali, ammonia
    • Paint thinner, gasoline

Chemical contact with the skin or eyes requires immediate flushing to avoid long-term damage. While the skin can regenerate from minor burns, more serious injuries penetrate the epidermis, destroying soft tissue, nerves, and muscles. In electrical burns, the body acts as a conductor, causing electrocution. Chemical burns are common in toxic spills, which also give off hazardous fumes. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can cause a chemical build-up in the body.

Burn Complications Preventing Work

Serious burns require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Burn-related complications are common as the body fights to regenerate tissue and maintain homeostasis. During recovery, the patient often exhibits symptoms of various medical issues, including:

  • Infection, sepsis
  • Nausea, seizures
  • Permanent scarring
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Hives, rash, or blisters
  • Swelling, inflammation
  • Shock, unconsciousness
  • Loss of flexion, mobility
  • Respiratory distress or failure
  • Low blood pressure, volume
  • Kidney failure, organ damage

Burn injuries requiring hospitalization and treatment cost approximately $7.5 billion every year. Even without hospitalization, burns cost $3 billion in lost work hours and jobs. Burn victims are entitled to compensation for injuries incurred on the job.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Massachusetts law provides benefits to injured workers for job-related injuries regardless of fault. This system functions as an insurance policy protecting employers and eligible workers. If a fire, electrocution, or chemical spill occurs at work, employees may receive benefits including coverage for:

  • Prescription medication
  • Cost of medical expenses
  • Payment for partial disability
  • Annual cost-of-living increase
  • Total incapacity or lost function
  • Lost income resulting from injury
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Vocational training and rehabilitation
  • Permanent visible scarring from burns

Injured workers may receive a lump-sum payment for permanent scarring or disfigurement in addition to weekly cash benefits. Lump-sum settlements may also be available in lieu of monthly benefits.

Recovering Benefits in Massachusetts

If you have suffered a work-related burn injury, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have successfully recovered workers’ compensation for clients in Boston, Middlesex, Essex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Merrimack County for over 20 years. We represent injured workers throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, fighting to secure the benefits they need. For a free consultation, call (800) 367-0871 today or contact us online.