Burn injuries can have a huge impact on the human body, the mind and the pocketbook. And the number of burn injuries is staggering, too. Over 1 million incur burns that require medical attention. Approximately 15,000 burn victims have scars covering more than 20 percent of their bodies. In the year 2010, a person was injured in a fire every 20 minutes and a person died from a fire every couple of hours. Most burn injury reports are just estimates. This type of injury is not closely monitored like vehicle accidents. Yet, burn injuries are very traumatic-physically, on an emotional level and financially.

If the burn injury was caused by another party’s negligence, you’ll likely wind up in a lawsuit. Should you go to trial or just settle out of court? It’s a big decision to make. But, once you realize the severity of the burn injury, determine that negligence was involved in the cause and the value of your burn injury, the decision is easier to make.

What is the Value of a Burn Injury?

The most important factor is determining the value of a burn injury is its severity. Burn severity is categorized into three degrees-first-degree burns, second-degree burns and third-degree burns. Some burns like sunburn will heal in about a week. Burns like chemical burns and scalds will almost always require medical attention. The severity of the burn has a direct effect on post-burn treatment, medications, hospital time and financial costs. Let’s take a look at the three categories of burns.

  • First-degree burns: This is the most common type of burn that causes minimal damage. It only affects the top layer of the skin. There is likely swelling, redness and moderate pain.
  • Second-degree burns: A second-degree penetrates both the first and second layers of the skin. Typically, this type of burn takes longer to heal. There may be blisters, and it’s much more likely that medical care will be needed, unlike a first-degree burn.
  • Third-degree burns: Third-degree burns penetrate all three layers of the skin and are very painful. It affects the bones, tendons and muscles. This type of burn can present life-threatening injuries. Burn victims with third-degree burns may incur severe scars, permanent disability and possibly amputation. There may also be nerve damage from a third-degree burn.

Typically, first and second-degree burns cover less than 10 percent and third-degree burns cover more than 5 percent of the body. Another factor that will be considered in how high the settlement will be is where the burn exists on the body and the amount of surface that the burn covers.

The severity of your burn will result in a higher compensation award out-of-court with an insurance company or in court with a judge or jury.

How and Where Did the Burn Injury Happen?

Most burn injuries occur from fire, scalding, electrical source or chemical source. There are really countless ways a burn can occur. The extent of negligence will also affect the value of a burn injury. For example, if an apartment building catches fire and people get burnt, the building’s owner will wind up paying more if they failed to follow safety regulations. And if you’re being low balled by the insurance company, you’ll probably get more monies from a jury.

Without a doubt, the severe burn comes along with high medical bills. Post-treatment for a severe burn generally entails occupational therapy, physical therapy and physiotherapy. There will also likely be hospital costs. All of the costs that you incur from a severe burn injury will be taken into account in a settlement, including any loss of wages or loss of future income. Juries are well-known to award large sums of money for negligence and painful burn injuries. In 1992, a 79-year old woman bought a cup of coffee at Mcdonald’s drive-thru and spilled it on her lap. The jury awarded her almost $3 million in punitive damages for the burns she incurred. This woman incurred third-degree burns on over 15 percent of her body. She was in the hospital for eight days and incurred debridement, skin grafting and scarring.

Why Use an Attorney For a Burn Injury?

If you or a loved one has incurred a burn injury due to the negligence of another, turn for legal help with the burn injury attorneys at Wapner Newman. The Law Firm of Wapner Newman has much experience in burn injury cases and takes these cases very seriously. They recognize how a severe burn injury can impact both you and your family.

They will help you to build a case against the individual or organization that is responsible for the burn injuries. Their attorneys will review all medical records, attain all fire and police reports, arrange expert medical evaluations and attain expert testimony from safety inspectors to get to the real cause of the accident. With Wapner Newman, you can get help to file a burn injury lawsuit against the responsible party.

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