Burn injuries and burn injury lawsuits are very common, but as with any personal injury topic, it’s hard to make accurate or comprehensive estimates regarding the potential settlement value of a particular claim. The most important variables to consider include the scope and severity of the burn injuries, the level of negligence or malice on behalf of the defendant, and the defendant’s financial standing.
Before we discuss these elements further, we must first mention that the elite fire and burn injury attorneys from Van Law Firm are always pursuing new cases, in order to hold negligent parties accountable for the painful and often disfiguring burn injuries they’ve caused. Call our office nearest you as soon as possible to get started with a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Accident Parameters: How, Where, Why Did Your Accident Take Place?
When negotiating a potential settlement, both sides of litigation will base their arguments on the accident’s parameters. The defendant’s level of fault, the location, and the scope of the accident play a big role in the amount of compensation a plaintiff may be awarded. Essentially, it all comes down to the level of the fault relative to the level of expected safety–a good way to demonstrate this is to compare two hypotheticals: let’s say Case A involves a worker who suffered burn injuries while working and Case B involves an individual who was injured in their home.
In Case A, the worker was warned about potential hazards but disregarded them. He was then burned on his hand from a chemical spill; while the plaintiff did suffer workplace injuries, he was expected to work with a heightened sense of safety and did not, and his injuries were relatively minor–all this being said, Case A would likely not have a high settlement value.
Conversely, Case B involves a mother who was burned all over her body after her landlord’s negligence caused the water heater to malfunction and spray boiling-hot water. In this case, the plaintiff was at home, so there was a higher expectation of care, and her injuries were much more substantial. For those reasons, Case B would likely have a higher settlement value.
The Possibility of Punitive Damages
Occasionally, burn cases can be very severe, resulting in substantial scarring and disfigurement. As such, the possibility of punitive damages is higher for burn cases than most other claims. Punitive damages, as the name suggests, are steep fines that are meant to punish the defendant for exhibiting extremely reckless or malicious behavior. The wealthier the defendant, the more likely they are to be hit with punitive damages, which will obviously have a large impact on a case’s value.
The Possibility of Pain and Suffering and Other Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages can have a huge impact on a case’s settlement value, but there is no real way to estimate the amount that will be awarded beforehand if any. Essentially, these damages are meant to compensate an accident victim for the emotional and psychological trauma they suffered as a result of their injuries. Given the fact that burn injuries and accidents can be very traumatic, non-economic damages are very common for burn cases.
As you can imagine, these damages are heavily dependent on the evidence and the negotiating skills of the attorney. If an attorney can utilize testimony from witnesses, doctors, and family members effectively, you will likely recover at least some non-economic damages. In some cases, it doesn’t take much to convince the courts–for example, it isn’t hard to imagine that a young person who was permanently maimed by burn injuries likely suffered emotional trauma.
Some Examples of Settled Burn Injury Cases
- In an extremely publicized case, a woman who suffered third-degree burns from hot coffee was awarded a $640,000 verdict from McDonald’s.
- A disabled woman was awarded $275,000 from a prominent hotel chain after she was burned by scalding hot water in the shower.
- A gas station owner settled with an injured plaintiff for $970,000 after the individual’s lower body was severely burned due to a propane tank malfunctioning. As it turned out, the tank was overfilled at the gas station owned by the defendant.
Contact Award-Winning Fire and Burn Attorneys
Burn injuries can happen in a second, but the effects and scars will likely last a lifetime. Don’t let the negligence of others derail your life by forcing you to shoulder steep costs–instead, call the top-tier fire and burn injury attorneys from Van Law Firm as soon as possible. We can hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable, all you need to do is call our office nearest you for a free consultation.