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Can the Cause and Severity of a Burn Injury Affect Your Settlement Offer?

Burn injuries are among the most painful and traumatic personal injuries anyone can possibly endure. A severe burn injury victim will often lose his or her natural ability to fight disease and dehydration. The worst burns can destroy skin elasticity, sweat glands, and hair follicles. Many severe burn injury victims will develop lifelong issues with their mobility and breathing.

This type of injury can have the potential to create more than one type of trauma. On top of the risks of developing physical scarring, psychological scars can make it impossible to live a normal life. The worst burn injury victims must often deal with peoples’ stares, rude comments, and even discrimination.

Burn injuries are a type of personal injury, which means that victims are typically  entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover monetary damages for their injuries and financial losses. Most Irvine burn injury claims are generally based on negligence, product defects, and premises liability.

If you suffer from a burn injury due to the fault of another party, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced Irvine burn injury attorneys are readily available to assist you with your case. With our track record of winning over 5,000 personal injury cases, we are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your settlement.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (949) 207-9619 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Irvine personal injury law firm.

Common Types of Burns Causes

  • Flame Burn: Flame burns are most commonly seen after building fires or direct contact with open flames.
  • Electrical Burn: This burn is caused by electricity passing through vulnerable skin tissue.
  • Contact Burn: This type of burn is very common and doesn’t usually involve negligence. It occurs from touching hot objects, such as cooking appliances, cigarettes, or equipment that radiates at extreme temperatures.
  • Flash Burn: Flash burns are caused by the sudden ignition of a flammable liquid or gas.
  • Scald Burn: A scald burn happens right after there is direct contact with a hot liquid.
  • Steam Burn: This burn is typically caused by industrial accidents. However, they can also be caused by defective appliances that are under extreme pressure.
  • Chemical Burn: A chemical burn can be caused by exposure to a strong acid or base commonly seen in moisturizers, hair removal cream, household cleaning supplies, and industrial chemicals.

Negligence and Burn Injuries

What is negligence as it relates to burn injuries? Negligence is when an individual or company commits reckless actions that can result in an accident. The victim of the accident may face injuries and damages that can be compensated for if they choose to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party at-fault.

For example, Robert is enjoying a weekend bonfire with a group of friends in Heisler Park, not very far from downtown Irvine. Robert brought along plenty of alcoholic drinks and a small batch of fireworks.

Robert and his friends start drinking excessively. As Robert is drunkenly socializing with his peers, he notices his friend Mary, who happens to scare easily. Robert, due to his intoxication, thinks it would be a hilarious joke to light a few fireworks and throw them near Mary’s feet. Obviously, this is not enough firepower to cause Mary, or anyone, any real harm.

However, because Robert is very intoxicated, his fireworks completely miss the mark. Unfortunately, the entire batch of fireworks lands right in the middle of a roaring bonfire. This causes a sudden explosion that badly burns Mary’s face and hands. Robert had no real intention of hurting Mary. Nevertheless, his negligence was the direct cause of Mary’s injuries.

Mary may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against Robert since he is responsible for damages caused by his negligence. In essence, this means that Robert would almost certainly have to pay for Mary’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

The following information is very important. If you suffered burn injuries because of someone’s negligence and want to successfully pursue a burn injury claim against them, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, failed to abide by this duty of care, and that this failure caused your burn injuries.

How the Burn Occurred Matters

The circumstances of the burn itself, as well as its specific location, are important considerations when determining the exact dollar amount of a burn injury settlement. A court will consider not only how bad the burn appears, but the way it will affect a victim’s quality of life moving forward. Settlement amounts are not easily predictable when it comes to burn injuries, and they will vary depending on the specific circumstances.

Let’s consider the above example involving Robert and Mary. In that example, Mary’s  burn occured on her face. Therefore, a settlement involving facial burns is valued more highly than a burn that occurred in a less visible place, such as an arm.

Let’s analyze another consideration. What if a burn victim was hurt in an accident that was not potentially avoidable? The value of such a case will likely be lower than a case in which a victim was hurt because someone failed to follow necessary safety regulations. Burn injuries that were preventable would most likely qualify for higher damages than those that were not easily foreseeable.

What About Pain and Suffering?

Since burn injuries have the potential to cause lifelong health issues, as well as permanent disfigurement, victims are often entitled to damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering take into account the reality that victims will experience the shame and embarrassment of physical deformity for the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, if it can be proven that a defendant deliberately tried to cause someone burn injuries, that individual would likely qualify for punitive damages. Punitive damages are not very common, yet are awarded when a defendant intentionally tried to cause someone harm.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained burn injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. An Irvine burn injury attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can recover compensation for your losses.

Call us today at (949) 207-9619 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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