If you’ve suffered a serious burn injury in an accident that was caused by someone else, there’s no doubt that the injury has caused you a great deal of pain and distress. In addition to the physical pain and emotional upset you feel, you may even be facing living your life with a disfigurement, scarring or an amputation. Burn victims often have to live with reminders of their injuries for the rest of their lives which may include injuries beyond those of the physical nature but emotional and psychological as well. These factors and more are taken into account when bringing a burn injury legal claim.
While there are many things around us each day that can cause burns, most minor burns heal quickly and are easily forgotten. However, when someone sustains second or third degree burns, the damage done involves the deeper layers of the skin and can even affect muscle tissue, nerves, blood vessels and bones. A person with second and third degree burns over a large part of his or her body can be hospitalized for months in a burn center where they undergo extensive treatment that often involves numerous surgeries and skin grafts, making burn injuries some of the most complex injuries to claim compensation for.
A victim who has sustained serious burns can claim compensation for his or her injuries if the injuries were a direct result of someone else’s negligence or fault. For example: If a tenant is severely burned in a blaze due to a heater that exploded and caught fire in his or her apartment, the injured victim could bring a claim against one or more responsible parties. In this case, the defendants could include the property owner, the person or company responsible for maintaining the furnace or the furnace manufacturer if it is found that there was a manufacturing error that caused the furnace to explode.
The following damages can typically be claimed in a burn injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering – Includes physical pain, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability and mental impairment
- Lost earnings – Includes loss of potential earnings
- Cost of care
A burn injury victim also may be able to bring punitive charges against the party or parties found liable. Punitive damage is an amount of money awarded to a burn victim as a means of punishing the party or parties responsible for the victim’s injuries.
In the case that a burn victim dies, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim in order to gain compensation for their loss. In a wrongful death claim, the following damages may be recoverable:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical expenses related to the deceased’s treatment and attempts to keep him or her alive
- Earnings – Past and potential that the deceased would have provided his loved ones if it were not for the wrongful death
- Loss of companionship the deceased would had provided if he or she lived
- Punitive damages – If it is proven that the defendant showed deliberate disregard for the safety and rights of the deceased
The California burn injury attorneys at Hogan Injury are dedicated to helping burn injury victims get the compensation they are legally entitled to. We understand how a serious burn injury can affect a victim’s life as well as the lives of his or her loved ones. We work hard to ensure our clients obtain the justice and compensation they need and deserve. We are available 24/7 so contact us today so we can discuss what has happened to you to determine if you have grounds to bring a claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries.