Burn injuries account for 4,500 deaths each year for adults and children within the United States. This injury usually occurs in the workplace or the home. When it happens as a result of someone else’s negligence, what kind of settlement could you get from it? The answer requires looking at things like the severity of the burn, the intent behind the person who caused the burn, and how much the defendant can afford to pay.
Is Someone Else Liable?
Burn injuries cause tremendous physical and psychological trauma. If someone else caused the burn injury, you deserve compensation for your suffering. In some cases, burn injuries damage the nerve endings of the skin, and this takes time for the nerves to regenerate, if they can at all. You may be out of work for a time, which requires a fair settlement to cover you.
How Burn Injuries Happen
People suffer burns for any number of reasons, but the most common reasons for burn injuries include:
- Vehicle accidents causing burn injuries
- Defective products causing burns
- Workplace burn injuries
- Structure fires
- Premises liability incidents
What Damages Can You Claim in a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
Normally, settlements will look at the person’s physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing when it comes to a lawsuit. The things that you receive compensation for include:
- Lost wages and benefits
- Medical treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma like PTSD or depression
- In-home residential care costs
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have a right to file for long-term compensation. Some burn injuries can last, and in those cases, you could file for:
- Lost future wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Lower quality of life
- Future medical treatment and care
When you take your lawsuit to an attorney, they will look at what you can file for based on your unique situation. Burn injuries have a diversity of circumstances that can make them difficult to say exactly how much you can get.
On the national level, the highest percentage of case value will be between $1 to $50,000 at 22 percent. Five percent can claim for between $50,000 to $100,000, and six percent can file a claim for between $100,000 to $200,000. How much you may get will depend on the specifics of your case.
The courts may award punitive damages in some cases, and it’s meant as a punishment for negligence or irresponsibility. Punitive damages punish the defendant, which means a wealthier defendant would pay a bigger amount to feel the sting. Let’s say that someone suffered a severe oven mitt burn. The brand could have to pay thousands or even millions of dollars in punitive damages for acting irresponsibly.
The Burn Injury Categories
Doctors categorize burns into three categories: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns only negatively impact the top layer of skin with a low-risk of blistering. Second-degree burns have more seriousness, and they can cause scarring and a risk of infection from open wounds.
Third-degree burn injuries rank as the worst category. This burn can reach the fat, bone, and muscle. You should see a doctor for second- or third-degree burns immediately because of the seriousness. Also, it provides you with medical documentation in the event of a lawsuit.
Hire a burn injury lawyer who understands this realm of law. Having a professional helps you to navigate the details of your case to put together a solid argument for compensation. Lawyers understand how to do the specifics like calculating damages, identifying the defendant, writing a demand letter, and negotiating to get you a fair settlement.