How is liability determined in a burn injury claim?

by Feb 13, 2020Burn Injury, Personal Injury, Premises Liability

How is liability determined in a burn injury claim?

by Feb 13, 2020Burn Injury, Personal Injury, Premises Liability

How is liability determined in a burn injury claim
How is liability determined in a burn injury claim

You make a point of keeping yourself safe. You are alert, conscientious, and vigilant in public places and never take unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee against accidents and injury. A burn injury is among the most painful injuries and can be life-altering if it is severe enough.

If you have been burned in an accident caused by someone else, you can make a burn injury claim against them. A burn injury lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries and all that you have had to go through since the accident.

Common Causes of Burn Injury and How Liability is Determined

Negligence, product defect, and premises liability are the most common causes of burn injury. The following will give you some insight into how liability is determined in each case:

1. Negligence

In tort law, negligence is defined as a wrongful act that causes harm to another. If a person or organization acted in a manner that grossly overlooked your safety and led directly to the accident that harmed you, then you can sue them for money. As the plaintiff, you will need to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that they did not perform that duty, and that their failure caused you harm.

2. Defective product

When you purchase a product, you should not have to fear for your safety or that of your loved ones. The company must design and test their products to ensure that the people who used them will not be injured. If the use of a product has caused a burn injury, the company who made it can be held liable. In some cases, sub-contractors and retailers can also be sued for damages. The company can be held liable for manufacturing, design, and warning defects. To get compensated for any of these defects, you must prove that the respondent designed, manufactured, or distributed the defective product, that you used the product according to instructions, and that the product defect was a substantial factor in causing your injury.

3. Premises liability

If your burn injury occurred in a public venue such as a restaurant or bar or on the property of a private citizen, the owner may be liable if the injury owed to a hazard on the property. Property owners must keep their facilities in a reasonably safe condition. Those who run commercial ventures must be especially careful. When furniture or fixtures break or some other degradation of the property presents a hazard to public safety, the owners must post warning signs and do everything possible to seal off the area. Failure to do so puts them in legal jeopardy and will give you a basis for holding them liable for your injuries.

Damages You Can Claim After a Burn Injury

You can claim compensatory damages which are meant to cover the economic and non-economic damages you have sustained. In some cases, you can also claim punitive damages. You will only have the right to claim such damages if you can prove that the defendant’s actions were extremely reckless, malicious, or fraudulent and that they intended to cause you harm.

1. Economic damages for burn injuries

A severe burn injury can put you out of work for some time. It will also cost you serious money. The treatment of burn injuries is not cheap. After you have recovered from the worst of the injury, you will need to start thinking about the bills. Your burn injury lawyer can help you get compensation for the following financial blows you sustained as a result of the injury:

  • Medical bills
  • Surgery and special burn treatment
  • Skin grafting treatment
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property damage

The amount of money you demand should be based on the long-term loss you will sustain owing to your burn injury. If the burn injury has caused you a permanent disability, then you will need lifelong care. You should not have to shoulder the financial burden of such care on your own. If the injury caused disfigurement of your face and your physical appearance is crucial to your livelihood, then you can seek additional damages.

2. Non-economic damages for Burn Injuries

You can also claim non-economic damages. The psychological and emotional trauma of a burn accident can stay with you long after the physical scars have gone. And even if the physical harm done to your body does not affect your ability to work, you may still suffer from what you have experienced. Here are some of the money damages you can receive as part of your burn injury claim:

  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Scarring
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of consortium

If Your Loved Ones Are Killed in a Fire

Burn injuries that are the result of a building fire can have devastating effects. If, for example, your loved ones were killed in a fire that broke out in a hotel, restaurant, night club, or another public venue, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. The breakout of a fire in such a building is often the result of poor maintenance and ignorance or neglect of fire codes. If the property owners are held liable for the fire and the casualties that resulted from it, you have the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the loved ones you lost and to recover damages. In most instances, the only family members eligible to file such a suit include:

  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Children

You can claim damages for funeral expenses, burial expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of the financial support the deceased would have provided.

How The Damages are Calculated

One of the first things that your lawyer will do is determine the value of the burn injury. They will consider past settlements they have gotten, your medical bills, the prognosis of your recovery, and the financial loss you will suffer as a result of the injury. This is the figure they will demand from the respondent. It may be possible for your attorney to negotiate compensation that is close to it, in which case you will not need to file a lawsuit. However, if the respondent refuses the demand, stalls for time, or acts in bad faith, then you will need to file a lawsuit against them.

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