Burns are an incredibly complex type of injury, both from a medical and legal perspective. Medical treatment for burn injuries can last for years. Burns can cause secondary medical conditions and complications, and the care for ongoing injuries and new medical conditions can continue for the rest of the victim’s lifetime.
Burn victims have the right to receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses. Our experienced Port Richey burn injury lawyers know how to prove the value of all the losses you suffer due to burn injuries (and any medical complications that result from the burn). Learn more about burns, proving who is responsible for causing your burn injuries, and the compensation you deserve for burn injuries from our team at Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers.
There are many different areas of compensation in a Port Richey burn injury claim.
These areas represent the many different losses—both financial and emotional—you suffered due to the defendant’s negligence. Here are some of the most common areas of compensation in a burn injury case.
Medical professionals rate burn injuries according to how deep the injuries are.
Burn classifications include:
The deeper your burn injuries are, the more likely you are to experience long-term medical complications from the burn—and greater expenses. Stanford Health Care reports that long-term tissue damage is rare in first-degree burns. But if a third-degree burn destroys the epidermis, dermis, nerve endings, and underlying soft tissues, many parts of the body could suffer harm. You might have chronic breathing problems due to smoke inhalation. You could even be more likely to develop certain types of cancer.
Burns that cover large areas of the body are also likely to lead to medical complications. Stanford also reports that burns affecting 15 to 20 percent of an adult’s body are likely to require hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation. For children, this figure goes down to just ten percent. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to burn injuries and, because of this, they often receive more compensation in a burn injury settlement than an adult would with the same injuries.
Burn injury victims have the right to seek compensation from the person (or company) at fault for their injuries. This means that your burn injury attorney must identify everyone who is legally at fault (liable) for causing you to suffer burns. Here are some of the most common sources of liability in burn injury cases.
Every driver has a legal obligation to operate their vehicle with due care. If they do not, they can be liable for injuries and property damage they cause. This is why the law requires drivers to carry auto insurance with minimum liability coverage.
In a car accident, you could suffer a burn if any part of the vehicle catches fire. You could also suffer a chemical burn from substances released after a collision (for example, the chemicals inside an airbag) or a thermal burn from hot parts of the vehicle (for example, an exposed engine block). If you sustain burns in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for these injuries by the driver who is at fault for causing the accident.
Property owners also have a legal duty of care. Private homeowners must warn their guests of known dangers, such as a dangerous water heater or faulty gas line in a barbeque. If guests do not receive warnings about these dangers, they can suffer serious burns, and the homeowner should be liable for their injuries. This rule also applies to landlords that fail to keep rental premises safe for their tenants to use.
Premises liability also applies to business owners who open their property to the public. Retail store owners, sports venue operators, water park managers, and other business owners must all keep their premises safe for their guests. In fact, they have a higher duty of care than private homeowners because they are inviting the public onto their property for their own financial benefit. These business owners must actively inspect the property and make it safe for the guests who are invited there to spend money.
Workers who suffer injuries on the job have the right to access workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage, and workers do not have to prove who was at fault for causing the workplace accident. So long as the injury occurred on the job, coverage should provide benefits.
Some workers have a risk of burns every day, including firefighters, chefs, and others who work with fire regularly. Those who work with ovens, radiators, water heaters, and other hot devices are also likely to suffer thermal burns.
If you suffered burns while on the job, you are likely eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. You may also be eligible for other types of insurance coverage. Be sure to consult with an injury lawyer to be sure you do not miss out on any of the compensation that you deserve.
Dangerous chemicals in the air or our drinking water can cause a wide range of medical conditions. Toxic substances can cause explosions, burns, smoke inhalation, and other serious injuries. It is important to hold companies and governments accountable for the dangerous substances they expose us to. Asbestos is a common source of toxic tort cases, but many other toxic substances can cause burns and related injuries (like damage from smoke inhalation).
When you come home from the hospital after suffering a burn, you are only at the start of a long road to recovery. Some of the complications of burn injuries continue for years. Some parts of your life may never be the same again. Burn injury victims have the right to get compensation for all the losses they will suffer in the future. Injury lawyers work with expert witnesses to make accurate projections about the value of these losses. Here are some of the future losses you can financially recover for in a burn injury settlement:
Medical treatment of burns often continues for the rest of a victim’s life. You might require continuing care for your burns or even treatment for new chronic conditions, like asthma or emphysema. Personal injury claims usually settle within several months or a couple of years from the date of the accident. This means that you will not know the exact value of all your future medical expenses. Instead, your injury lawyer will work with a life care planner to estimate the value of all the medical care and care expenses you will need in the future.
Many burn injury victims are not able to return to work at all due to their injuries. Others can work, but only part-time or only in a position that is less physically demanding. In either event, your future earning capacity will decrease because of your burn injuries.
A vocational expert can testify about the work you can perform and what you might earn in the job market with your new physical limitations. An economic expert can value the difference in your earnings before the accident and what you might earn after the accident. They can adjust this amount for inflation and extend it to your expected age of retirement. The economist can also testify about the value of many lost employment benefits (like an employer’s contributions to health insurance premiums or retirement accounts).
The pain and suffering associated with burn injuries often last for a lifetime. Burns are among the most painful of all injuries, and you deserve compensation for the years of excruciating discomfort ahead of you.
If the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer for your future pain and suffering, you have the right to let a jury decide what it is fairly worth. Your injury lawyer will present compelling evidence about your physical pain, your emotional suffering, the loss of enjoyment in your life, and specific examples of the pain and suffering you are likely to endure in the years to come.
Every burn victim deserves fair compensation for their unique injuries and losses. This means that two people could suffer the same burn injuries but receive very different settlements due to the difference in their medical treatment. Below are some factors that can make it more difficult to recover from burn injuries.
As mentioned above, young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to burn injuries and complications. These patients often require longer hospitalizations, more extensive rehabilitation, and sometimes even surgical procedures that healthy adult victims would not.
Injury victims should receive compensation for all their medical bills – even if their medical bills are higher than another victim’s are. Injury victims should also seek full compensation for their pain and suffering. When burns require more treatment and longer hospitalization or lead to painful complications, a victim deserves more compensation for this added pain and suffering.
Certain medical conditions can also make it more difficult to recover from burn injuries. For example, many victims who suffer burns in a fire also suffer injuries from smoke inhalation. If you have a chronic breathing problem, such as asthma or emphysema, smoke inhalation can be a very serious matter.
Third-degree burns can also damage muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue. Such damage leads to joint pain and injuries as the victim recovers. If you already suffer from arthritis, bursitis, or other types of joint pain, the added injury can be excruciating.
You should receive compensation for your unique medical condition. This includes general compensation for pain and suffering, as well as the added costs of medical care. Many of these chronic conditions require a lifetime of medical monitoring, consultations with specialists, various therapies, and pain management. These medical costs add up over the years.
There are many different types of complications that can arise as a result of burn injuries. A person who is liable for causing your burn injuries is also responsible for compensating you for any subsequent complications of those burn injuries.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, potential complications of a third-degree burn can include:
Some of these complications can be fatal. Others, like scarring, are more cosmetic in nature, but they still cause losses in your life. You want to ensure you seek compensation for the fair value of any complication. Whether it is minor scarring or a near-fatal infection, a negligent defendant has a legal obligation to pay for the fair value of your medical complications.
Our injury lawyers handle many accident cases, but some of the most complicated injuries we see are burns. Both your medical recovery and your legal rights can also become more complex due to serious burn injuries that require years of rehabilitation and medical treatment. It is important to protect your legal rights by hiring a Port Richey burn injury lawyer as soon as possible. In the meantime, learn more about burns and your legal right to compensation for them. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our Port Richey burn injury lawyers hear and answer.
Many different types of accidents can cause burns (and related injuries and medical complications). When you think of burns, you might picture a burning building, but this is only one type of burn injury.
Here are some of the most common types of burns:
Some patients are more susceptible to the effects of a burn injury than others. If, for example, you suffer from asthma or emphysema, your chronic respiratory conditions can get much worse from smoke inhalation. Other underlying conditions can also cause burn injuries to become far more complicated.
Diabetes is a particular problem for burn victims who suffer soft tissue damage. Injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments can impair the blood circulation in your extremities.
Because poor circulation is also a potential complication of diabetes, these burn victims have a very high risk of severe medical complications. They might have to have a limb amputation. They might develop deep vein thrombosis, strokes, pulmonary embolisms, or other blood clots. These conditions can be fatal without the proper preventative medical care and management.
If a defendant’s negligence caused your burn injuries, he or she must also pay for the medical care required for all the other potential complications of your burn injuries.
Age is another risk factor for burn injuries. Children under three and elderly victims are known to have more serious reactions to and complications from serious burns. These patients might require more extensive monitoring (for example, staying in the hospital longer) or more aggressive preventative care (for example, extra respiratory treatments or extensive CTs and MRIs to closely monitor the lungs).
These are all costs related to the original burn injuries. Defendants must pay for all medical care their negligence caused, and injury victims should never delay care out of concern over the costs. Your injury lawyer can help you figure out how to pay for the medical care you need while your burn injury claim is pending.
Many potential medical and psychological complications can arise because of burn injuries.
According to the UK National Health Service, these include:
Even after you manage these immediate medical crises, you may experience long-term symptoms that affect your life for years to come.
These can include:
Burn victims should receive fair compensation for all their injuries and losses. If you are likely to experience long-term effects from your burns and related injuries, your injury lawyer will work with expert witnesses to prove the fair value of these future losses.
The person who is legally responsible for causing your injuries also has a legal obligation to compensate you for them. This is known as “liability.” Burn injury lawyers work to find all potential defendants and all potential insurance policies that could cover your injuries, to prevent you from missing out on any compensation that you deserve.
Employers. Employers are liable for any injuries their employees suffer while on the job. This is why most employers must carry worker’s compensation coverage. Injured workers do not generally have to prove negligence. Instead, they simply file a workers’ compensation claim and prove that the burn happened while they were on the job.
Workers’ compensation does not cover all the losses that a personal injury claim does. While it pays for medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages, it does not pay for pain and suffering. It is, therefore, important to consult with a lawyer about other legal claims you may have. Personal injury claims can pay significant compensation for pain and suffering, as well as full compensation for all your lost wages.
Private Homeowners and Landlords. Landowners have a legal duty of care toward those who come on their property lawfully. The duty changes based on whether the landowner is a private homeowner, a landlord, or a business owner, but the legal principle is the same – victims who suffer injuries due to dangerous conditions on the property can hold landowners liable for the injuries they cause.
Private homeowners must generally warn their guests of any known hidden dangers on the property. If, for example, you did not receive warnings about a defective water heater, and you suffered a thermal burn as a result, this could make the homeowner liable for your injuries.
Landlords are also liable for known dangers that they do not warn tenants about. But their duty extends a little further – if, for example, they fail to respond to a tenant’s maintenance request before the tenant suffers an injury, this can constitute negligence. Landlords must also maintain the common areas of a property to prevent tenants and their guests from suffering preventable injuries. Your burn injury lawyer can help you determine whether your landlord is legally liable for causing your burn injuries.
Business Owners. Business owners have a slightly higher duty of care than private homeowners or landlords. This is because they are inviting the public onto their property for the specific purpose of spending money. As a result of this financial benefit, business owners must actively inspect their property and remedy dangerous conditions to make the property safe for guests.
The duty of care extends to retail store owners and the managers of public venues (like sports arenas, concert venues, water parks, and other recreational facilities). There can be many defendants on a personal injury claim involving burns that occur in a public venue. Injured patrons may hold the property owner, the venue manager, the supervising employees, and other individuals and business entities accountable for injuries that occur in these venues. Experienced accident lawyers know how to find all potential defendants to ensure that their clients have access to all the compensation they need.
Companies That Make Defective Products. Consumers in the United States have protections under strong consumer protection laws. One of these is known as “strict products liability.” Strict products liability applies to any injuries that happen due to a defective product.
The “strict” part means that the injury victim does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in producing the product. So long as the person used the product as intended, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable for any injuries that result from the product’s defect. Many, many consumer products can cause burn injuries.
Here are just a few of the household consumer goods you probably use daily:
These are just of the thousands of consumer products that can cause severe burn injuries. Even a defective vehicle can lead to life-threatening burns: if, for example, the gas tank explodes because of a defect, you could suffer serious burns in a resulting fire. This scenario results in a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle and the defective gas tank.
You don’t have to spend hours online searching for a “Port Richey burn attorney near me” – you’ve already found a trusted personal injury firm in Florida. At the Nicoletti Walker Accident Injury Lawyers, we fight hard to protect our clients’ legal rights. Clients all across Florida trust our skilled legal team to get them the fair compensation they deserve. Call (727) 845-5972 or contact us today for your free consultation. With our skilled team fighting on your side, you can rest assured that we will protect your legal rights.
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