New York Personal Injury Attorneys

New York City Burn Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation, Please contact an experienced SPBMC burn injury attorney for a free consultation. A burn, an injury to the skin or damaged tissue primarily caused by heat, can range from a minor medical problem to a severe life-threatening condition. According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries are one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States.  In addition to the high rate of burn injuries, these types of injuries are also one of the most painful a person can endure, typically involving prolonged hospitalization, disfigurement and disability. Furthermore, the transition to life after a burn injury is not easy- burn injuries often have lasting physical, psychological and physiological effects. At Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas and Cannavo, our highly experienced burn injury attorneys have the expertise and extensive resources to advocate on your behalf.

You can get compensation for your burn injury

Burn injuries span across multiple areas of personal injury law. A burn may be caused by fires and explosions, defective productsmotor vehicle accidents, unsafe premises, or surgical errors.  The burn injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas and Cannavo concentrate on all of these practice areas and have had tremendous success in helping burn injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve for pain and suffering, medical and hospital costs, lost wages, emotional distress, rehabilitation, and other forms of available relief. With decades of experience on our side, we can help you recover from your burn injuries.

Our results:

  • $183 million verdict following the Black Sunday Fire, which occurred when the owner of a building allowed the construction of illegal partition walls in the apartment which blocked access to the fire escape.
  • $25 million recovered for a man and his daughter who suffered 70% and 50% total body surface burns following a gas explosion in their apartment.
  • $6 million recovered for our client who sustained 3rd and 4th degree burns as a result of a defectively designed dump truck tailgate that opened and buried him up to his waste in mulch.
  • $3.385 million recovered in a case involving the death of a father and two of his children when their building caught fire due to the improper disposal of paint supplies which acted as catalyst when carelessly placed alongside daily garbage.
  • $3.25 million recovered in a case involving a 4-year-old child who sustained 3rd degree burns due to a building fire where there were no self-closing doors.
  • $1.9 recovered for our client who suffered facial burns and scarring as a result of a fire in a building that lacked proper fire alarms and other fire control safety measures.
  • $1.625 million recovered for our client, a restaurant worker, who sustained 3rd degree burns covering 50% of his body as a result of a fire in a building where there were no self-closing doors.
  • $1.5 million recovered for a 16-month-old girl who sustained 33-36% burns as a result of excessively hot bathwater.
  • $1.5 million recovered for our client who suffered from scalding burns due to excessively hot water while showering.
  • $1.25 million recovered for our client who was burned in scalding hot sink water which caused him to sustain burns constituting 29% of his total body surface.
  • $1 million recovered for our client who sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns to 20% of his body as a result of a fire in a building that lacked self-closing doors.


The New York City Fire Code establishes fire safety requirements for a broad range of activities in New York City. According to the NYC Fire Code Guide, “these requirements govern such matters as emergency preparedness; the manufacture, storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous and combustible materials; the conduct of various businesses and activities that pose fire hazards; and the design, installation, operation and maintenance of buildings and premises that house such materials, business and activities.”

Indeed, people can fall victim to burn injuries in a variety of ways and in various different settings. A person can sustain a burn injury in one’s own household, in a hotel, on the street, and even in the workplace. When the cause of a burn is the result of someone else’s carelessness, such as failure to adhere to the NYC Fire Code, the at-fault party may be responsible to pay damages. The burn injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas and Cannavo have handled countless burn injury cases where the burns occurred due to another person or business’ failure to enforce fire safety rules and regulations.


  • First-Degree Burns, considered mild compared to other burns, involve the epidermis (outer layer of skin).
  • Second-Degree Burns involve the first two layers of skin, the epidermis and the dermis (lower layer of skin).
  • Third- Degree Burns, more extreme than First and Second Degree Burns, involve the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (third layer of skin). As a result, third-degree burns penetrate the entire thickness of the skin and permanently destroy tissue.


There are a number of types of commonly seen burn injuries:

Thermal Burns

occur when the skin comes into contact with an open heat source, such as fire flames, hot objects, steam, or boiling liquids. The most obvious example of a thermal burn would be contact with fire. When the cause of the fire is a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have a claim to hold that person accountable. For example, a landlord who fails to install fire-safety measures, such as self-closing and fireproof doors, could be responsible for fires that spread throughout the building. Another cause of thermal burns might be a motor vehicle accident that ends in flames.

Chemical Burns

occur when the skin or eyes come into contact with an irritant, such as an acid or a base. There are over 65,000 chemicals available on the market, many of which can cause tissue damage. Chemical burns are typically the result of someone else’s negligence and can occur in various different contexts. However, burns as a result of the exposure to caustic chemicals most commonly occur in industrial work environments or at home as a result of defective products. Those who work in places that use large amounts of chemicals, such as manufacturing plants, chemical fabrication labs or construction sites may be at risk to chemical burn injuries if safety rules and regulations, such as those described in the NYC Fire Code, are inadequately enforced. For example, if chemicals are not stored safely, if they are improperly labeled, or if employees lack the training necessary to handle the chemicals, the likelihood of sustaining burns as a result of chemical spills and explosions increases.  While most chemical burn injuries occur in the workplace due to the mismanagement of chemicals, defective products are also a leading cause of chemical burns. For example, caustic chemicals can be found in many household products, such as bleach, ammonia, dry cleaning products, toilet bowl cleaners, and nail polish remover. These products may cause chemical burn injuries if they are poorly manufactured, improperly labeled, of if they lack warnings and information about the chemical components and risks of using the product.

Electrical Burns

are caused by the passage of an electrical current through the body. While the least frequent type of burn, electrical burns can be the most harmful, causing damage to your organs and respiratory functions. Electrical burns may result from machinery that has been poorly manufactured or carelessly used when treating patients. For example, physical therapists often use electric stimulation to relieve patients of musculoskeletal pain or muscle spasms. One may suffer a burn injury if exposed to a shock too high in strength, which may be the result of the provider’s negligence in turning the machine on too high. Likewise, electrical burns may also occur from facial hair removal treatments, such as electrolysis or laser treatments, which use electrical currents to destroy hair follicles. If the practitioner offering the treatment is careless, the person receiving such treatment may be burned from the heat of the electrical current. Electrical burns due to hair removal treatment errors may be leaving lasting skin discoloration, permanent scarring and other changes in skin pigmentation.

Radiation Burns

damage the skin and other biological tissues as a result of overexposure to radiation. For example, when medical equipment, such as X-ray machines or cancer therapy equipment are improperly manufactured or negligently maintained, one may fall victim to radiation burns. The equipment manufacturer or the medical provider may be liable for treatment resulting in radiation burns.

Hospital Acquired Burns

often occur in operating rooms where there is a high concentration of oxygen. The failure to reduce oxygen concentrations to the lowest possible level when using certain types of equipment can trigger surgical fires. When a medical provider is negligent, patients are also put at risk to other intraoperative burn injuries. Hospital-acquired burns may involve the following:

  1. Warming devices such as heating pads, heating blankets, warming lights, hot compresses, etc.
  2. Failure to allow instruments to sufficiently cool down before use
  3. Improper prep solution, such as failing to dilute the solution, using the wrong solution, allowing the agent to spill under the patient, failing to let the agent dry before placing drapes
  4. Use of the wrong device
  5. Incorrectly positioning a surgical device when not in use
  6. Failure to reposition a patient
  7. Overexposure to operating lights


A burn damages the skin- the human body’s primary barrier to infection. Burn injuries can compromise one’s overall health as damaged tissue provides a fertile breeding ground for bacterial growth. Consequently, the treatment of burn injuries is intended to prevent infection, remove dead tissue, reduce pain and help restore healthy functioning. While minor burns can typically be treated at home with products such as burn creams and ointments, more severe burns may call for surgical intervention. Two common treatment methods for serious burn injuries are Debridement and Skin Grafting:

Debridement refers to the removal of unhealthy tissue from a wound. It is intended to allow the tissue to heal and to prevent further damage or infection. Debridement can be surgical or non-surgical. Surgical debridement involves scalpels, scissors and other instruments to clean and disinfect the skin and wound. Non-surgical debridement may involve chemicals such as topical medications that are applied to the wound and covered with a dressing. Medications or dressings are intended to dissolve the dead tissue.

Skin Grafting is a surgical procedure in which skin from one area of the body is used to replace the tissue that has been damaged. An instrument called a power dermatome is set to a particular depth and shaves off a uniform layer of healthy skin (from the donor site) to graft onto a burned site. Skin grafts are typically used for large and deep burns that cannot heal on their own.


A burn damages the skin- the human body’s primary barrier to infection. Burn injuries can compromise one’s overall health as damaged tissue provides a fertile breeding ground for bacterial growth. When poorly managed, infection can spread, exposing a burn injury victim to a slew of other dangerous medical conditions. While a burn injury victim may have a higher exposure to infection, complications in the aftermath of a burn injury are preventable. So, while a doctor or hospital may not be responsible for causing the burn initially, it is possible that treatment, or mistreatment, of the burn is negligent. When negligently managed, burn injury victims not only experience the pain and suffering caused by the burn itself, but they may also succumb to additional poor medical conditions such as:

  • Infection
  • Nerve/muscle damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ failure
  • Loss of sight, taste or smell
  • Scarring

If you have suffered a burn injury, call a burn injury attorney at SPBMC for a free consultation.