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How to Determine the Settlement of a Burn Injury Claim

Posted in Burn Injury on October 15, 2019

Personal injury case settlements can be incredibly difficult to determine. When dealing with burn injuries, a variety of factors will ultimately do into how much a settlement will be worth. Burn injury cases often result in larger settlements than other personal injury cases. The biggest factors will include the severity of the burn, the negligence or intentions of the defendant, as well as how much the defendant can pay.

Burn injury claim

How did the incident occur?

Answering how and why a burn injury occurred is important. The defendant’s liability can impact the amount of money a judge or jury is ready to award in the case. In other words, how bad does the situation look for the defendant?

  • Was the injury caused by foreseeable hazards that a property owner failed to remedy?
  • Did a defective product cause the burn?
  • Did someone intentionally try to cause the burn injury?

In these cases, the defendant’s liability may be clearer and lead to a higher settlement. However, there are situations where the defendant’s liability may not be as clear, particularly if the accident was unexpected and not foreseeable by a reasonable person.

Coverage for special damages

Special damages in these cases will be those that are easier to calculate. This will include the injured person’s medical bills as well as their lost income if they miss work due to their injury. This can also include the cost of future medical bills as well as the loss of future income or a lower earning potential.

Are punitive damages available in this case?

If the defendant’s malicious or grossly negligent actions caused the burn injury, an injured person may be able to collect punitive damages. These damages are awarded as a way to ensure justice is served by punishing the defendant and ensuring the same actions do not happen again in the future. These damages will not take away from other compensation awarded to the defendant.

Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering

Burn injuries are often different than other types of personal injuries in that they can leave a long-lasting impact on the victim. Burn injuries are known to be incredibly painful. They also often leave permanent scarring or disfigurement.

A victim may be entitled to compensation for both their physical and emotional pain and suffering for a burn injury. These are called general damages and will be awarded in addition to the special damages mentioned above. Pain and suffering compensation can be harder to calculate and often depend on the severity of the injury and the amount of scarring or disfigurement a victim experiences.

What if this was a work injury?

If a person is burned in a workplace incident that was not caused by an employer’s negligence, then workers’ compensation insurance will be the primary method of compensation. In these cases, the payout is typically much lower than there would be in a personal injury lawsuit. The only time a work injury can elevate to a civil personal injury lawsuit is in cases of gross employer negligence or injuries due to a third party in the workplace. If a burn injury happens in the workplace, the victim should consider hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer familiar with workers’ compensation law to help them navigate the case.