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According to The American Burn Association, nearly 97 percent of patients treated in burn centers will survive. However, many of those survivors will have to face severe scarring, life-long physical disabilities and adjustment difficulties. Burn injuries are not only catastrophic on the body; they greatly affect the mind and wallet as well.
The American Burn Association reports that in the U.S., 486,000 burn injuries received medical treatment in 2016.
When can I take legal action for my burn injuries?
Intentional burns or burns that were the result of negligence can be grounds for a personal injury claim. If you have suffered burn injuries as a direct result of another party’s negligence, you have the right to file a burn injury lawsuit.
It is wise to consult with an experienced attorney who will help you gain a better understanding of your claim and the legal steps you need to take.
Statute of limitations
Be mindful that the statute of limitations in Texas typically allows two years after the date of injury to bring a claim. This means that if you wait for that date to expire, you are giving up your right to file a claim forever for that particular injury.
What damages can I recover through a burn injury claim?
The consequences of a severe burn injury can impact many aspects of the victim’s life. These consequences go far beyond the cost of medical treatment.
Explosions can cause significant damage in the blink of an eye. However, there are two damages you can recover for your burn injuries. Economic damages refer to damages for financial losses. On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to non-financial hardships. Both types of damages are considered compensatory damages since they compensate the victim. Some recoverable damages include:
Medical expenses- Burn injuries are costly because they require a lot of medical care to minimize the extent of the damage and alleviate the excruciating pain the patient is suffering.
Loss of enjoyment in life- Patients who experience a severe enough burn may no longer be able to participate in activities such as playing sports with their children.
Loss of income- Many burn injuries require missed time from work which means a loss of income to the victim and their family.
Loss of earning potential- Since burn injuries have the potential to cause disabling injuries, the victim’s ability to return to work in the same capacity prior to their injury may be reduced or completely diminished—in some cases making it difficult to earn a living.
Pain and suffering– Burn injury victims are not only faced with pain from their injuries, but they also experience substantial mental anguish. Many victims will experience lower self-esteem due to the scars and disfigurement that are a result of their burn injury.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation- Some burn injuries will require the patient to attend costly physical therapy and rehabilitation, especially if the burn affected a major joint.
Surgical costs, e.g., skin grafting- In severe cases, burn injuries will require reconstructive surgery after the initial burn wounds have healed to repair the damaged skin while mending the appearance of the injury.
Disfigurement and emotional suffering- Physical scars and disfigurement are some of the most immediate consequences after an explosion or fire and cause emotional pain such as depression and embarrassment.
Who can be held liable in a burn injury lawsuit?
You can bring a claim against any person or entity responsible for the explosion that led to your injuries. Similarly, you can hold parties accountable for not taking reasonable action to ensure your safety. Further examples of potentially liable parties include:
- Anyone who caused your burn injuries through an act of negligence.
- The person or entity that manufactured the product that caused your burn injuries.
Explosion lawsuits typically involve workplace accidents, auto accidents, and mishaps in residential areas.
It is important to keep detailed documentation of your injuries to help prove the person who caused your injuries should be held accountable. Some examples include:
- Photographs of the injuries
- Medical care and expenses
- Witness testimony
- Lost wages or loss of income
Hiring the right Burn Injury Attorney
The main thing to understand is the defendant will have their insurance company fighting back to do everything in their power to get you to settle for far less than what you deserve.
A successful burn injury case has to be handled a certain way. A qualified injury attorney will have the skill and resources needed when trying to hold the responsible party accountable. Further, a knowledgeable burn injury attorney is well aware of the elements in a burn injury case.
The elements of a burn injury case
Duty– You must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care.
Breach of duty– The person responsible for your burn injuries breached his or her duty of care.
Causation– You must prove that the breach caused your injuries. If the breach is unrelated to the incident that burned you, you most likely do not have a case.
Be prepared for trial
While most claims resolve with a settlement, if this is not possible in your case, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit and take the case to court. Not all cases will require trial and a jury, but it is wise to prepare and hire an attorney who has trial experience. A large part of getting fair compensation in a burn injury lawsuit is making sure the jury has an understanding of the full extent of your injuries and how much suffering you have already endured and will continue to endure due to the defendant’s negligence. A jury will arrive at a verdict after evaluating the evidence and listening to the arguments presented by each party’s attorney.
How The Carlson Law Firm can help
If you sustained burn injuries due to the negligence of another, we want to help. The Carlson Law Firm has been helping burn injury victims recover fair compensation for over four decades. We have the necessary experience and resources needed to prove liability and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Let us deal with the burden of dealing with the insurance companies while you take the time to get better. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We care, we can help.