Burn injuries can be extremely serious, and often are life threatening. Even more sobering is the fact that many of these injuries are entirely preventable and don’t need to cause damage to people’s lives. If you or a loved one was the victim in an instance where a burn injury occurred and you weren’t at fault, this may be extremely frustrating. Increases in medical bills, decreases in wages, and permanent disfigurement or loss of physical mobility is particularly disheartening. While no amount of money may ease the emotional burden you now have, you deserve to understand that you are entitled to damages.
As a result, you may be asking yourself how do you file a burn injury case, and when exactly I am entitled to damages?
When can I file a burn injury case?
Burn injury cases are generally filed in three particular instances; in cases of negligence, in cases where a product is found to have a defect, or in cases where you were on property that was not maintained under “premise liability” law. In cases where no one is to be found at fault, the victim may only be entitled to workers compensation insurance. This occurs in cases where the employer is insured by workers’ compensation.
Of course speaking to a legal representative is always the recommended method of learning about how to file a burn injury case. Texas, for instance, has five defining features of negligence, and California only has three so you’ll want to seek legal help depending on the state. If you end up with a burn injury in Houston you’d want to get lawyers from the state who are comfortable handling your case. There are many burn injury lawyers in Houston that explain specifics related to these injury cases. Having a consultation with a professional will help you know what steps to take in these instances. They’ll be able to officially set up your case and claim, and offer you legal advice on what your damages may be entitled to. Having someone represent you and understand the law is an absolute essential asset. The defendant’s legal representative is not out to be your friend and may attempt to give you damages to the lowest possible degree.
How to file a burn injury case by instance:
Cause by negligence:
What is needed by the plaintiff to prove negligence varies from state to state, but they usually fall within similar boundaries. Usually the defendant has a duty in some shape or form not to cause harm to others, when they breach this duty this is one of the criteria of negligence. Your injury must be directly related to this breach of duty, and it has to be an obvious breach of duty to the average person, and there must be damages as a cause of this negligence. If you’re able to prove, for instance, that an individual involved in a car accident was impaired while driving, they would meet the above criteria. However, in states like Texas there are certain legal circumstances that may reduce the amount you would be rewarded. If you are at all responsible for your own injuries (i.e. drinking and driving as well) you hold partial responsibility for your injury.
Caused by product defect:
In order to file a burn injury case when there is a defective product to blame, you must be able to prove that the product is defective, or there are no warnings where there are dangers that should be reasonably warned about. If a product is dangerous and it is clear to most laypersons that it is dangerous, the company is essentially immune to having to pay damages. However, if you can prove that a particular product being employed was defective, or that the product is dangerous in a shape or form that is not advertised by the company, you may seek damages. Or the product is legally intended to have a warning, but the product that was sold did not contain the warning.
Cases of premises liability:
In these cases the plaintiff must be able to prove that the landowner was not maintaining their property in safe condition. The burn injury has to be a direct consequence of the condition of the property, as opposed to an action occurring on the property. Actions that occur on the property causing burn damages would be considered a negligent act. Premises liability could be do to a landlord not keeping an apartment maintained properly.
Injuries required to file:
If you have any injuries that increase your costs, and decrease your physical ability you may be entitled to damages. Burns to the face and other cosmetic areas may also make you eligible for damages due to emotional reasons. Costs in medical bills and physical therapies make for huge expenses incurred by burn injuries, but loss of work and emotional trauma may also be reasons for compensation. Punitive damages may also be invoked but generally only in cases where the injury was intentional or the result of excessively reckless behaviour. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for causing unreasonable and avoidable harm to another individual.
A court will decide on the amount of the damages given depending on the severity of the injuries. The more medical expenses, loss of work, and emotional damage (such as the loss of a loved one) the more damage you may be rewarded. Your legal representative will help you decide on the amount that they believe you are entitled to.
Burn injuries may be permanently disfiguring and scarring and can lead to emotional damages that no monetary amount can subside. However, you’re entitled to an amount legally related to the severity of the damages incurred. In cases where the defendant was negligent, and had a duty to ensure public safety and did not, you may file a claim. In instances where incompetence was involved with a defective product you may also file a claim, or in cases where a property was not properly maintained to a healthy standard. Your medical bills deserve to be paid if you are not at fault for your injury, and emotional trauma is not something you should have had to injure. Always consult the advice of a legal expert prior to filing a burn injury case with the court system.