Burn injury victims face both economic and non-economic losses that impact their settlements. These intangible damages can be more challenging to calculate objectively than specific financial losses, such as medical bills or lost income.
A workers’ compensation attorney experienced with burn cases can help you determine the actual value of your case. Some of the most critical elements in a settlement include:
Severity of Injury
The severity of your burn injuries can impact the amount you receive as part of a settlement. This includes your physical pain and suffering and the disfigurement and psychological distress caused by the injury. These are called non-economic damages.
It can also affect your ability to return to work and if you will need future medical care. Discussing your case with a lawyer who understands the damages available for burn victims is essential.
For example, you can pursue punitive damages against the defendant if they were grossly negligent. This can be a significant factor in the value of your case, especially if it was due to a dangerous condition they failed to remedy on their property or because the manufacturer was unable to test a product like an oven mitt. These cases usually have a higher settlement value.
Pain and Suffering
Burn injuries are physical and can cause emotional distress, such as embarrassment and depression. Compensation for this can be awarded as part of a settlement. In addition, your odds of securing a burn injury settlement will depend on various factors, including the strength of your case and the expertise of your legal representation.
Insurance agents and lawyers use several methods to determine pain and suffering, including the per diem method. This involves assigning a monetary value to your pain and multiplying it by the number of days it takes to reach a point of maximum medical improvement.
Depending on the extent of your scarring and disfigurement, you may be entitled to a higher compensation award than if your injury was less severe. If your employer’s negligence caused your workplace accident, you will receive workers’ compensation benefits rather than a personal injury lawsuit payout. This is why working with an experienced lawyer who can provide you with legal funding options is essential. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid accepting a settlement that’s less than what you owe in costs.
Burn victims often require significant medical treatment, resulting in costly hospital bills and lost income. These are economic damages and can be factored into a settlement amount.
Victims may also need to undergo vocational rehabilitation, which is designed to help a victim re-enter the workforce. You should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer if your burn injury occurred at work.
A liable defendant must compensate a victim for the physical pain they experience and the emotional trauma of scarring and disfigurement. This is called general damages, and it’s not easy to calculate.
The court can award punitive damages if a liable defendant was cruel or grossly negligent. These are intended to serve as a deterrent and punish the defendant, but they are separate from other compensation. Some offer legal funding solutions if you need money to manage your expenses while waiting for a fair settlement. You can use this money to pay your legal fees, living costs, and other expenses.
As a result of the trauma and pain caused by a burn injury, victims are often unable to work. This means that they need to gain a regular income, which can significantly increase the total value of their settlement. To prove this, you will need medical records demonstrating the severity of your injuries and resulting lost wages. In some cases, the liable party will try to argue that your injuries are not severe enough or that you can return to work without limitations, which is why having an experienced attorney by your side is so important.
Many burn injury victims experience other traumatic injuries during their accident, which can also impact the final settlement award. For example, a severe burn can cause other spinal cord injuries that require costly surgery and rehabilitation. This is why having a personal injury lawyer with access to top reconstructive surgeons, plastic surgeons, and physical and occupational therapists is so important.