What Every Burn Victim Should Know About Their Legal Rights
When someone suffers a severe burn injury, the survivor faces a number of issues afterward, to say the least. During this sensitive time, it is wise to seek advice from a professional expert who has experience in burn cases. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that burn and fire hospitalization accounts for 1 billion of injury costs.
Burn survivors go through many things besides physical trauma. Emotional trauma, disfigurement, and organ damage are just some of the other things that proceed a traumatic burn incident.
Following a burn incident, the injured person and his family are most concerned with health and healing. But this timeframe immediately following an incident is also the most important time period to determine what legal rights and rights to compensation for damages may be.
Read on to learn what every burn victim needs to know about their legal rights.
Common Burn Injury Claims
Liability claims for a burn victim can stem from many different causes. Below are some of the most common claims:
- Business negligence
- Car accidents
- Product liability
- Personal negligence
- Medical malpractice
There are varying degrees of burn severity, from mild to very extreme. Some extreme burn injuries involve extensive medical treatment that is very painful for the victim.
Skin grafts are an unbearable process and recovery from skin grafts take a very long time. Not only are medical expenses in burn injuries very high, but the mental and emotional anguish that results can be irreversible.
Legal Rights To Compensation
The law exists to protect the public. An individual who has suffered burn injuries caused by negligence, a defective product, or some other form of misconduct have legal rights to compensation for their losses.
Below are some of the compensation rights that a burn victim may have:
A burn victim who has suffered burns will incur varying expenses. Serious injuries that require multiple surgeries will incur very large medical bills. A survivor may be entitled to have all medical expenses paid. These include all current and future expenses incurred because of the injury.
Studies from the American Burn Association released statistics that show there are around 70,000 hospitalizations related to burn injury. There are many expenses that go into being hospitalized and future treatment. These expenses can include hospitalization, procedures, counseling, physical therapy, and ongoing medical care.
Compensation for Loss of Income
If severe enough, burn survivors often times need extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. The healing process can be a long and difficult time.
A burn victim may be eligible for compensation for the loss of income during this time and even for future wages. They will not be able to work while hospitalized and it is also very possible they may not be able to go back to their former job because of the incurred injuries.
An experienced attorney will be able to determine whether or not a burn victim is entitled to have wage compensation for past and future income losses.
As mentioned above, it is possible that a burn survivor will not be able to return to the job they previously had. Whether it be because of the injuries sustained or the physical and mental changes that have incurred because of the incident.
If the burn victim is unable to return to work in the same occupation, they may be entitled to compensation to be retrained into a new job. An attorney with experience with burn injuries will be able to fight for the maximum compensation for the victim, ensuring that the victim will have the maximum time to heal and retransition back into a normal life.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
A burn injury can be one of the most painful injuries the body can sustain. They may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced and may continue to experience down the line.
This area of compensation is usually the largest claim of damages. While it is hard to put a price on pain, most juries are very sympathetic to the burn survivor’s case. In one study, the jury awarded double the final offer in every category of every burn case.
Loss of Consortium
The spouse or partner of a burn survivor may also be entitled to compensation. When a burn injury is so severe that it interferes with the victims’ spousal relations, the spouse and family members involved may be seriously affected.
The law recognizes the right of the victim’s spouse to recover in the form of a loss of consortium action. Spouses can claim many things that result from a severe burn injury, such as loss of support, love, companionship, affection, and sexual relations.
Loss of consortium is a separate claim from the victims’ claim. It is unique to the spouse only and is covered by a separate damages recovery.
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