Burns are painful and debilitating injuries, and the recovery process can be long, difficult, and expensive. In many cases, burns will have lifelong effects, including permanent physical limitations, chronic pain, and scarring. If you have suffered a burn injury at work in New Jersey, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, and you will want to work with an experienced attorney to make sure that you receive the maximum benefits to which you are legally entitled.
When Can You Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Burn Injury at Work?
When it comes to seeking workers’ compensation benefits for a burn injury, the process is no different than it is for any other job-related injury or illness. In order to secure benefits, you need to be an employee (as opposed to an independent contractor), you need to suffer your injury on the job, and you need to report your injury to your employer on time. As long as you meet these three basic requirements, you should be able to file a successful claim.
Keep in mind, however, that you may also need to see a pre-approved or “company” doctor. Unless you need emergency care (which will often be the case with serious burn injuries), you are required to see a doctor who has been approved by your employer. If you have not yet sought treatment for your burn injury, you should contact your employer to find out where you need to go for medical treatment.
Provided that you are eligible to receive benefits, the specific cause and nature of your burn injury are irrelevant to your right to workers’ compensation. All types of burn injuries are covered in New Jersey, including:
- Burns from Fires and Explosions – Fires and explosions can result from various causes on all types of job sites, and they can result in first, second, third, and fourth-degree burns.
- Chemical Burns – Chemical burns can result from exposure to various types of noxious substances, and they can be excruciatingly painful. Burns from industrial and cleaning chemicals are particularly common.
- Electrical Burns – Exposure to a hazardous energy source at work can result in severe electrical burns. Like all types of burns, depending on the severity of an electrical burn, surgery may be necessary.
- Thermal Burns – Thermal burns result from direct contact with a heat source, such as a hot muffler or scalding-hot industrial vat. Although these burns tend to be less severe, they can still entitle injured employees to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Smoke Inhalation – Smoke inhalation can be considered a form of burn injury, and smoke entering the lungs can cause potentially serious respiratory complications.
When seeking workers’ compensation benefits for a job-related burn injury, it is important to receive a comprehensive diagnosis. Serious burns can cause various types of significant damage, they can create risks for bacterial infections, and they can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. As discussed in greater detail below, all of these losses are covered (at least partially) under the various types of workers’ compensation benefits that are available in New Jersey, and you will need to work closely with your compensation attorney to ensure that your benefits are calculated appropriately.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available for Burn Injuries in New Jersey?
There are four primary types of workers’ compensation benefits that are available to employees who suffer burn injuries in New Jersey. These are (i) medical benefits, (ii) temporary total disability benefits, (iii) permanent partial disability benefits, and (iv) permanent total disability benefits.
Medical benefits cover the costs of your treatment, and this applies not only to treatment for the burn itself, but for any related complications as well. As you begin to heal, it will be important to remain on top of your treatment. If you begin to notice any additional symptoms (or if your recovery is not progressing as anticipated), you will want to be sure to discuss this with your doctor. The various types of disability benefits will typically cover your loss of income while you are unable to work (or only able to work in a limited capacity). Depending upon how your recovery progresses, you may shift from receiving temporary total disability benefits to receiving permanent partial or total disability benefits.
Discuss Your Burn Injury Claim with an Experienced Compensation Attorney
Collecting the full workers’ compensation benefits you deserve is not easy. In order to protect your legal rights, it will be important for you to rely on the advice and representation of an experienced attorney.
At Petro Cohen, we work hard for our hard working clients. Petro Cohen, P.C. has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ compensation. Since 2011, the firm has been named among Best Law Firms in America® in Atlantic City for Workers’ Compensation. Frank Petro has received the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials (the AV rating is only for lawyers considered the top in their field). Since 1995, Frank Petro has been named every year on the Best Lawyers in America® list for Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, Frank Petro has been named to the NJ Super Lawyers® list since 2005 in the practice area of workers’ compensation. He is also certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney, the highest specialty certification available to workers’ compensation attorneys in New Jersey, and has held this certification since its inception in 1998.
Along with Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, and Daniel Rosenthal, the workers’ comp team of lawyers has over 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled tens of thousands of litigated workers’ compensation cases throughout New Jersey. This experience and winning track record means you have a law firm that make workers’ compensation work for you.
For your convenience, we have four offices in southern New Jersey (Northfield, Cherry Hill, Cape May Court House, and Hamilton), and are available 24/7 via Live Chat on our Website. To speak with a compensation attorney at Petro Cohen in confidence, call us directly at 888-675-7607 or request a free consultation online today.