If you suffered burns in an accident caused by someone else's carelessness, you will have important legal rights. Most of the time, the only way you can protect your legal rights and recover damages is by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties. The specific at-fault party would be dependent on how the accident occurred.
Potential at-fault parties could include:
- A car driver, a truck driver, or a trucking company. If a person’s burns resulted from a traffic collision, the drivers or other responsible parties could be held legally liable.
- The manufacturer of a product. A manufacturer must produce safe products. If a product is defective and causes burn injuries to consumers, the manufacturer could be held liable.
- An employer, construction site operator, or other third party involved in a workplace accident. Employers have a duty to keep their workplaces safe for their employees. If a worker gets burned on the job, the employer may be held legally liable.
Who's responsible for paying medical bills after a burn injury?
Medical treatment for burn injuries is usually very expensive and families of burn victims are often shocked when the first sets of medical bills come in the mail. If, according to your doctors, you need continuing medical treatment for your burn injury, your attorney should arrange for you to be seen and examined by a "life care planner." Experts in this field can help determine what kind of medical treatment you need for the rest of your life and how much it will cost. Many times, this life time medical cost will reach multiple millions of dollars.
If you have a meritorious case against the liable parties, they would be responsible for paying your medical bills for as long as you continue to see doctors -- even if you need to see doctors for the rest of your life. The only requirement is that your doctors report the medical treatment is related to your burn injury.
Getting the maximum settlement for your burn injury lawsuit
Many people understand that suffering serious burns can be extremely painful and that the recovery time is long and grueling, but fewer people understand that even after the worst of the physical pain is over, other aspects of their accidents will stay with them for life.
There are many factors that will affect the amount of damages you will be awarded for your burn injury claim. If your injury has resulted in a significant hardship, a jury may decide to award you further compensation. For example, if your injury involved:
- Negligence. If your accident was caused by another person’s negligence, such as medical malpractice or an unsafe work environment, you could be awarded additional damages.
- Disfigurement. Many times, a fire will cause permanent disfigurement. Under the law of Texas and most other states, an injured person is entitled to compensation for "disfigurement." This includes the types of disfigurement that can be caused by fire.
- Loss of mobility. Many people will suffer a reduced range of motion after their burn injury is healed, affecting their earning potential for the rest of their lives.
- Pain and suffering. Your attorney may argue that the particulars of your injury will affect you psychologically and physically for the rest of your life.
Compensation is also based on the TYPE of burn injury
In a lawsuit involving burn injuries, your compensation is based in large part on the type of burn injuries you sustained. In general, the more serious the burn injury, the more compensation you will be entitled to receive. There are five types of burn injuries: first degree, second degree, third degree, fourth degree, and inhalation.
- First degree burns are the least serious category of burns. While quite painful, some first-degree burns can be treated at home and will not result in scarring or disfigurement.
- Second degree burns are more serious and often need emergency treatment. Second-degree burns may have more serious consequences, as victims could go into shock and could suffer long-term consequences.
- Third degree burns penetrate deep under the skin and leave victims with permanent scarring and disfigurement. Third-degree burns can be fatal and those recovering from third-degree burns could need amputations, reconstructive surgery, and extensive therapy.
- Fourth degree burns are the most physically damaging type of burn inury. Also called "full thickness burns," these burn all the way to the tendons, bones, ligaments and muscles. Similar to third-degree burns, treating these kinds of burns are very serious and time can be an issue for the person’s safety.
- The fifth type of burn injury involves "inhalation." There are three types of inhalation injuries: heat inhalation, systemic toxins, and smoke inhalation. Smoke inhalation can cause inhalation burns, chronic coughing, brain damage, loss of consciousness, and death.
Cases involving fourth degree burns and certain types of inhalation injuries usually generate the highest amounts of compensation. However, every injury is different. The only way to know how much you could receive for your suffering is by speaking to an experienced Texas injury attorney for personalized advice.
Contact our Houston burn injury lawyers for experienced legal assistance
Burn injuries have the ability to alter ones entire life. The pain it causes, not just for the individual, but for their family is devastating. If you have questions about a filing a burn injury lawsuit, contact VB Attorneys today. We will answer your questions for free, and with no obligations.
We help burn victims determine who may be responsible for their injuries and then pursue legal action against the responsible parties to recover compensation. If we accept your case, you will not owe us anything unless and until we win.