Find the right lawyer now

Burn Injury Lawyers

Find a Local Personal Injury Lawyer near You

What Is a Burn Injury?

Every year, approximately ten thousand deaths and over two million injuries are reported due to burns and fires. The majority of burn injuries occur at home with young children and the elderly at greatest risk. A few common sources of burn injuries are water heaters, scalding burns from hot liquids, chemical fires, motor vehicle fires, electrical fires, house fires, gas explosions, chemical burns, cigarette lighters and flammable clothing.

What Are the Different Types of Burns?

Burns are categorized according to the severity of the burn. The categories are: 

  • First Degree Burns: Superficial burns involving reddening of the skin similar to a mild sunburn
  • Second Degree Burns: burns resulting in the destruction of the skin's outer layer
  • Third Degree Burns: burns result in all layers of the skin having been destroyed, often requiring skin grafting

Burn injuries can impose massive financial costs on individuals and their families. It's important to locate other sources of funds to provide medical and income benefits for burn victims and their families.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Burn Injury?

Most burn injuries are based on a negligence theory of law. In order to prove negligence, it is necessary to establish a list of elements. These include elements of proof such as: the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff; the defendant breached this duty of care; and the defendant’s breach was the actual, direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

In many cases, the party liable for a burn injury is the same party that manufactured or produced the equipment that caused the burn. An example of this is where a stove that was manufactured in a defective way that causes burns to a consumer.

Other parties that can be held liable may include: work supervisors, trainers, and instructors; health and safety inspectors; equipment monitors; and product retailers and distributors.

People also read: Liable for Injuries or Damages Caused by a Fire Accident

What Financial Help Is Available to Burn Victims?

Victims of burn injuries have several sources of financial aid, including: 

People also read: Personal Injury Claims - What to Do and What to Avoid

What Workers Compensation Benefits for Burn Injury Victims?

Worker's compensation payments typically provide only a very small percentage of the cost of recovery for burn injury victims. Worker's compensation laws require employers to be responsible for a worker's injuries regardless of who was negligent or at fault. Because of this, employees generally may not recover from the employer except through worker's compensation. Despite not being able to sue your own employer in work-related incidents, you may be able to sue other parties who are responsible or contributed to your injury.  

Does My Health Insurance Cover My Burn Injury?

Health insurance covers most medical costs and treatments, but does not pay for lost wages, pain and suffering, and may not cover all medical expenses. How much your insurance covers can depend on a variety of factors:

  • The severity of your burn;
  • The type of treatment you want for your burn; or
  • If your burn was work-related and covered by worker’s compensation.

What Damages Can I Recover from a Burn Injury Claim?

Lawsuits can provide burn victims and their families the best method to get compensation for their injuries. Areas of compensation for injuries include: 

  • Medical bills, both past and future
  • Lost income based on lost wages and future potential income
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages to deter future abuses
  • Loss of consortium (loss of spousal support, love, companionship, etc.)
  • Job retraining
  • Emotional Distress

What are Settlements in a Burn Injury Claim?

A settlement offer in a burn injury claim is made to the burn injury victim from the defendant who is claimed to be liable for the injuries. A settlement offer may be negotiated before, during, or after the filing of a lawsuit. The settlement offer can be accepted or rejected by the party-receiving offer. The injured party can also make a settlement offer to the liable party. Burn injuries are usually have a higher settlement amount because the permanent injury, pain and suffering and long-term emotional distress the individual endures. Other factors in a settlement offer include the:

  • Severity of the burns,
  • Defendant’s intentions when causing the accident,
  • Extent the defendant can pay the settlement
  • Extent and nature of the disfigurement of plaintiff
  • If the court allows punitive damages
  • How permanent the injuries can be

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Recovering damages for burn injuries can be difficult and complicated. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer for advice, guidance, and representation if you need to file a lawsuit due to a burn injury. Your attorney can provide you with the legal expertise that is required during such proceedings.

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 11-17-2017 12:33 PM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.