How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Burn Injury?
Burns are a common hazard in some workplaces–facing the risk of chemical, electric, or radiation burns. Burns from contact with hot equipment or boiling water.
While most burns can be prevented, those who have the misfortune of getting burned stand to undergo some unexpected drama–well after the wounds have healed.
Burn victims may experience some challenges stemming from the accident–loss of essential functions like sweating; or hair loss, scarring, and health issues that require long-term care.
When healing from a severe burn, you’ll find that many wounds go deeper than the skin–a burn injury lawyer can help you get compensation for injuries, loss of earnings and a reduction in quality of life.
So, how much can a burn injury lawyer get you? The answer is not cut and dry.
Here is a look at some of the things you’ll need to evaluate before you sue for compensation.
Evidence You Need to Present to Your Burn Injury Lawyer
Now–this should be obvious, but in the heat of the moment, your first thoughts are likely not going to be about documenting the incident. But, you need to be able to provide sufficient proof to win your burn injury claim. The plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant owes them a legal duty.
Meaning, the defendant has failed to provide a reasonable standard of care–i.e., an employer neglected to address an electrical hazard that led to an accidental injury. From there, the plaintiff needs to provide proof that the defendant was negligent.
Here’s a look at what you’ll need to determine the burden of proof:
Determining Duty Owed
A plaintiff injured by a faulty piece of equipment may be able to allege that the manufacturer of that product owes a duty to consumers to keep them safe.
If that equipment leaks or becomes too hot, the plaintiff may be able to claim the maker failed to honor the duty owed.
Is it Direct Cause or Proximate?
Evidence of negligence or breach of care doesn’t make a case on its own; the plaintiff must prove that the oversight was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. If a plaintiff was injured by a faulty piece of equipment, the case must show the defect was the actual cause of the injuries in question.
The Injury Itself
To file a claim, you’ll need to have definitive proof there was an injury, and that the injury caused damage in some capacity. Evidence includes security tapes, photographs, medical records, healthcare bills, and other official documents relating to the incident.
If the plaintiff cannot provide the required evidence, they might not be eligible to receive compensation. Because the court will not just take your word for it, it’s best to keep track of all details relating to your case, no matter how small.
What Losses Can I Claim?
Here is a look at what you may be able to claim in the event of a burn injury.
Medical expenses may be covered by your claim, as well. Think medical bills both current and upcoming, any necessary surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, mental health care, prescriptions, and more.
Emotional Injury, Disfigurement, Loss of Quality of Life
This compensation covers lifelong issues like disfigurement, depression, chronic pain, and other problems that were caused by the injury. This type of payment may include things like cosmetic surgery, therapy, and more.
Your claim might cover a loss of income if your injury hindered your ability to work. In some cases, you may be eligible for retraining for a new occupation if you can no longer fulfill the requirements of your former position.
Spouse or Familial Losses
This type of compensation is awarded when a burn injury is severe enough that it interferes with the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse or other family members. Say in the case that the plaintiff is disabled and requires full-time care, or no longer can work.
How Much Can Your Burn Injury Lawyer Get You?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer here. The amount you receive is dependent on so many factors–from the severity of the burn, to how well you documented the incident.
Burns are rated in terms of first, second, or third degree–with third, of course, being the worst. Your burn rating will serve as the baseline for your claim.
Generally speaking, a claim is composed of two parts. The first is general damages; a lump sum paid out for your injury and suffering.
The second part is special damages. Special damages cover things like loss of income, medical expenses, and other losses caused by your injury.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
- Report all accidents immediately to onsite personnel–HR, a health and safety officer, whomever. This ensures (i.e., health and safety officer)
- Building on the last statement, make sure aforementioned onsite personnel records this information in the company’s records. A verbal acknowledgment is not enough.
- Visit a doctor right away, even if you feel you are not seriously injured. A minor burn may cause more problems down the road. More critical, legally speaking–a doctor’s records can help you corroborate your story.
- Keep your own records, starting immediately after the incident. Be sure to note your pain and any visible symptoms, activities you can no longer do, or things like stress, insomnia, or cosmetic issues.
- In addition to your physical symptoms, record other losses–such as lost income, expenses like hired help you didn’t need before the accident, cab fare for a lost ability to drive, etc.
Questions About Your Burn Injury? Contact Babcock Partners for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been burned, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.
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