After a severe burn injury, questions surrounding responsibility and liability tend to arise. Negligence, defective products, workplace accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals, and even malicious conduct can cause severe injuries that last a lifetime.
When someone’s burn injuries were due to another’s actions, it’s important to consider the possibility of filing a burn injury lawsuit. To help provide insight, below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding a burn injury case:
How long does a survivor have to file a burn injury lawsuit?
The Statute of Limitations is imposed by the court system, and states a plaintiff must file a personal injury claim within a certain period from when the injury occurred. In some states, there is an important exception, called “the rule of discovery”, which states a survivor can pursue a claim within a certain period of time of when the injury was discovered. If a survivor would like to pursue a claim, it is recommended to contact a burn injury lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a case.
How long will a burn injury case take?
Several factors influence the duration of a burn injury lawsuit. Some key factors of determining the time include:
- Willingness of an insurance company and defendant to negotiate a fair settlement
- If a case goes to trial, and the legal rules and procedures to follow
- Amount of discovery and evidence, including depositions
- Survivor’s recovery time
According to the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., “Some defendants will refuse to accept liability altogether, which could lead to a drawn-out legal process. In other instances, a defendant or the insurance company will accept liability but argue about the worth of a claim.”
Cases can range from weeks to months, and in some cases, victims of burn injury may wait until their medical conditions stabilize before beginning the negotiation process.
What damages can be recovered?
While the plaintiff must provide evidence showing the extent of the damages caused by a defendant’s negligence, there are multiple types of damages that can be recovered after a burn injury:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of hospital bills and surgeries as well as future care, rehabilitation, therapy, and surgeries
- Emotional Distress, including any emotional damage or pain incurred by your injuries
- Pain and suffering, which you endured due to the defendant’s negligence
- Lost wages, which covers the money you lost because of days needed off work
- Difference in earning potential, which can be awarded if a plaintiff sustains an injury that prevents him or her from being able to earn a higher salary
- Loss of consortium, which refers to the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship due to injuries sustained
- Punitive Damages, intended to punish the negligent party and act as a deterrent for future behavior
How much does it cost to retain a burn injury attorney?
Many personal injury firms operate on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you don’t pay unless the firm wins your case. To learn more about possible costs, consider scheduling a consultation; many firms offer free initial consultations.
After sustaining a burn injury, know you are a survivor. You are supported and have options. If your burn injuries were due to the negligence actions of another, consider filing a personal injury claim to help cover the costs while you focus on healing.