Groups » 4 Tips That You Should Know About Burn Injury Settlements

Fire accidents can lead to catastrophic burn injuries and grave damage to property. Burns are categorized among some of the most painful injuries that people can suffer. Casualties and fatalities in fire accidents can be caused not only from burns, but also from smoke inhalation and toxic gases.

Of late, casualties and deaths caused by fire accidents have been increasing at a rapid pace. In the year 2015, more than; 2,300 civilian home fire fatalities were reported in the country by the United States Fire Administration (USFA).

The common factors responsible for burn injuries are explosions, scalding from hot oils and liquids, chemical exposure, contact with overheated equipment, and electrocution from live wires. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have been burned and/or injured on account of someone else's negligence.

Read on to know the crucial points that can impact a burn injury settlement:

1. Identify the Origin and Cause of Fire

The key deciding factors that impact many burn injury lawsuits include identifying the most likely cause and origin of the fire. In legal terms, the point of origin is the smallest area that can be identified as the source of the fire, and can help determine the intensity of the accident.

To determine the cause of such a fire, you can either get the help of the USFA or ask your burn injury lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. Investigators conduct a number of observations and use techniques like satellite imagery and chemical tests to find the source. After collecting the data, they look for flammable objects that could have served as the ignition source. A formal report is then generated that concludes the origin and the cause of fire. This report is admissible in court when you present your claims lawsuit.

2. Know the Degree of Your Burn Injury

In most cases, burn injuries result from flames or hot steam. But, these can also be caused by extreme cold temperature, harsh chemicals, electricity, harmful radiations, or friction. Depending on the extent of your burns, injuries are classified into first, second, and third degree burns. Burn injuries that exceed the third degree usually result in death with slim chances of surviving the pain.

In first degree burns, only the top layer of the skin (epidermis) is harmed, with no further damage. Blistering is also uncommon in first degree burns and the burn site heals with timely burn injury treatment. In second and third degree burns, the epidermis is completely burned and deeper layers of skin are affected. Burn injuries of these kinds can cause excruciating pain to the patient and require prolonged treatment, along with therapy for chronic pain. In third degree burns, the heat may destroy the protective layers of skin and damaged underlying muscles, tissues, ligaments, and tendons. The nerves in the injured area are likely to be destroyed, and the victim might not feel any kind of sensation.

3. Discuss Settlement Amounts with Your Attorney

In most cases, the prescribed and the chances of recovery determine the compensation amount for your lawsuit. In many instances, severely burned limbs need to be amputated. This is undoubtedly expensive and requires multiple cosmetic procedures. If you have sustained such injuries, then you are entitled to a compensation that takes into account these matters. Seek help from your burn injury attorney to study the necessary documents, use the information to organize arguments for your lawsuit, and defend your case.

One of the renowned New Orleans burn injury lawyers mentioned, "For fire accident lawsuits, the survivors are compensated for their intense physical suffering, medical expenses incurred, lost past and future earning potential, psychological trauma, and punitive damages. Only when a fair claim is approved by the court, can they stabilize their lives and reduce the financial burden."

When it comes to workplace safety, your employer is legally responsible for providing a safe and healthy working environment and ensuring that no harm is caused to employees’ health. In most workplace fire accidents, filing a workers’ compensation claim may be the only option for you. But, your attorney can help you prepare a powerful argument to receive the right amount from the defendant.

4. Check for Punitive Damages

If the defendant acted intentionally or negligently toward you, then you may also be able to receive punitive damages. The concept of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for his/her unacceptable behavior. Your attorney will emphasize the extent of pain and suffering that you have sustained because of the injuries.

If it is proven that you were intentionally burned, then the defendant will almost always be asked to pay punitive damages. However, punitive damages for depend on the severity of the case, and aren't always granted by the court. Hence, it is advisable to exclude them from the final settlement amount that you are willing to accept.

Being in a fire accident can have a tremendous impact on your physical and mental health. Even during the recovery period, the injuries can cause a lot of pain and distress. This is one of the reasons why burn injuries tend to have higher settlement values compared to other types of personal injury settlement claims. Hiring a burn injury attorney can be the best way to handle such sensitive legal matters. He/she can navigate your case through complex laws and provide a customized legal strategy based on your unique situation to receive a just compensation amount.

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