What are they?
Welding burns are any burn that occurs as a result of the welding process. The two most common types of welding burns are skin burns and flash burns (also known as “arc eye”). Both are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention.
What causes them?
Skin burns are typically caused when active welding equipment or its byproducts (e.g., excessive heat, sparks, spatter, etc.) come into contact with the skin.
Flash burns, on the other hand, affect the eyes and occur when the ultraviolet rays from a welder’s torch are viewed without proper eye protection. Notably, per the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), on average flash burns account for 5.6% of all construction eye injuries.
Both types of burns can cause immediate pain and suffering as well as additional lifelong injuries. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that if injured you seek treatment right away.
What types of injuries can they cause?
Welding-related accidents can cause an extensive range of injuries, for example: second and third-degree burns, partial and complete blindness, as well as life-threatening infections that can physically manifest months after the original injury occurs.
Beyond bodily harms, individuals can develop psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of a welding burn accident.
What should I do after suffering a welding burn?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a welding-related incident, immediately seek medical assistance. We cannot stress this enough, as it is reported that 1 in 250 of the 11.2 million construction workers in the USA die in welding-related accidents each year.
Even if you believe an injury to be insignificant, ask yourself: “Is it worth risking my life, or my family’s financial future?”. If the answer is “no” to either question, then you will want to have a doctor examine you as soon as possible.
And remember, it’s your life and your decision to make, not your employer’s or anyone else’s. Therefore, you are not obligated nor should you discuss your case with anyone besides your doctor before first consulting with a personal injury attorney.
Who will pay for my damages?
In most cases New York State prohibits employees who were injured on the job from suing their employers. As such, unless someone, or some entity other than your employer caused your injuries, then filing a workers’ compensation claim is the only way to recover damages.
A Workers’ Compensation claim will cover medical expenses, which include but are not limited to, visits to board-authorized healthcare providers, hospital stays, surgery, nursing care, medicines (including reimbursement for authorized prescription medications), medical tests (including bloodwork, X-rays, and MRIs), rehabilitation costs, eyeglasses, and travel expenses to and from medical visits. As well, if your work injury results in visible scars to the head, neck, or face, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
To help guide you through this process, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at no cost and speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today. It would be our privilege and honor to fight for you every step of the way.
Call 516.342.2200 or visit us online at FightingForYou.com