Burn injuries can occur when you come into contact of a source of heat. Depending on the severity of the burn, they can impose a lot of pain and financial burden. A few common things that may cause burn injuries are water heaters, hot liquids, chemical fires, motor vehicle fires, electrical fires, house fires, gas explosions and flammable clothing/other material.
What Types of Lawsuits Involve Burn Injuries?
You would typically bring a personal injury lawsuit for civil claims involving burn injuries. You would then have to prove that the person or entity was negligent in causing your burns.
In order to prove negligence, you have to show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff; the defendant breached this duty of care; and the defendant’s breach caused the burn injuries that resulted. Some examples of negligence cases involving burn injuries are:
- Product liability: The party liable would be the company who manufactured or produced the product that caused the burn. For example, if a faulty stove caused a burn injury, you could sue the manufacturer of the stove.
- Work-related injuries: Your employer could be liable if they allowed faulty equipment to be present in the workplace, causing you injury. You may also still have a product liability claim in this situation as well.
- In this instance, you may also be able to bring a worker’s compensation claim. However, keep in mind that worker's compensation payments typically provide only a very small percentage of the cost of recovery for burn injury victims.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Burn Injury Claim?
Lawsuits can provide burn victims and their families compensation for their injuries. Some damages that may be available to you are:
- Medical bills;
- Lost income;
- Compensation for pain and suffering;
- Compensation for emotional distress; and/or
- Loss of consortium.
You may also be able to attempt settlement of your case before going to trial. A settlement offer may actually be negotiated before, during or after the filing of a lawsuit.
Burn injuries that are severe usually have a higher settlement amount because the permanent injury, pain and suffering and long-term emotional distress the individual endures.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Recovering damages for burn injuries can be difficult and complicated, especially if the burn is severe and has permanent health consequences. Because of this, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to assist you with your case.