Common Causes of Burn Injuries and How Settlement Value is Determined

The largest organ of the body is the skin. An individual’s skin does much more than cover muscle and bone. Skin is important to heat regulation as well as microbial, mechanical, and physical protection. Being the victim of a burn injury can seriously compromise a person’s health.

Approximately a half million people a year in the United States will suffer a burn injury. That number is based off the number of incidents treated, meaning the number is likely to be higher. Similar to the rest of America’s population, citizens of Georgia suffer burn injuries every day. Burn injuries can be painful and disturbing experiences. The results of even minor burns can be agonizing for a long period of time. Some injuries require long hospital stays and skin grafting procedures. Some burns may not heal properly, resulting in permanent scarring, paralysis, or amputation. Along with the physical injuries, victims of burn injuries may also suffer emotional and mental suffering. Burns and their resulting scars may likely cause the victim embarrassment or injury to self-esteem.

There can be many causes for a burn injury. Some common causes of burn injuries are:

• Faulty machinery

• Vehicle collisions

• Improper operation of machinery

• Electrocution

• Chemicals

• Road rash

• Friction

• Proximity to extreme high temperatures

• Direct contact with fire

Who is liable?

Some burn injuries are unintentionally self-inflicted. Other injuries are due to the fault of another person’s negligence. In cases of negligence, it is important to be aware of who is liable for damages before a personal injury claim. If a burn is caused by faulty machinery or tools, the manufacturer can be found responsible. Burns resulting from a vehicle defect or improper maintenance may be the liability of the owner of the vehicle, the person in charge of the maintenance, or the manufacturer of the vehicle. Car crashes that result in a victim suffering burn injuries will leave the at-fault driver liable for the damages. In the event of faulty electrical equipment, like a downed power line, the power company responsible for maintenance of the equipment will most likely be held accountable. Improper construction of a building, disregard of upkeep or maintenance can result in structural fires. If a victim suffers burn injuries in a residential setting, the proprietor, contractor, or owner of the building will probably be held accountable.

How is the settlement value decided?

Seriousness of the burn – The level of severity of a burn will be considered. The amount of the settlement will increase in regards to the severity of the burn. First- and second-degree burns that consist of less than 10% of the body’s total surface area are considered minor in most cases. These minor burns will usually heal with some basic first aid treatment.  Third and fourth-degree burns in addition to burns which cover greater than 10 % of the body are viewed as major injuries. Burns that fall into this category are more likely to result in disfigurement, extensive pain, and potential disability.

Expenses associated with the treatment and recuperation of the burn – Another consideration when calculating the settlement value is if the burn is associated with substantial medical bills, or loss of income. Additional costs required for future care (e.g. psychotherapy, physiotherapy, or occupational therapy)

How and where the accident took place – Where and how the burn injury happened should be considered, since the level of the defendant’s responsibility can impact the amount a jury is inclined to award at trial. For instance, when the burn has been brought on by an accident that was most likely non-preventable, the settlement will probably be less than if it was due to someone else’s evident or confessed negligence. For workers’ compensation claims, the award is often far lower than that in personal injury civil lawsuits, particularly if the burn failed to cause disfigurement or impairment.

Whether punitive damages are obtainable – In some circumstances, the burn could have been caused by actions much more culpable compared to simple negligence or even have been resulting from a deliberate act. In these kinds of cases, the burn victim can be entitled to punitive damages. The wealthier a defendant is proven to be, the total amount paid will probably be increased.

Psychological health issues secondary to the burn – Besides physical damages, severe burns might be linked to immense emotional and psychological difficulties, either being a response to the pain and disfigurement or simply Third- and fourth-degree burns and burns covering more over 10% of the body will be considered major from the ordeal itself. Cases where the plaintiff endures long-term psychological and mental stress resulting from disfigurements are more inclined to result in a more substantial settlement.

Burn injuries are very common in the United States, and there are a variety of ways a person could fall victim to a burn injury. While some may the result of personal carelessness, there are others that are caused by another person’s negligence or intent. If an injury is the result of another person’s actions, the victim is entitled to compensation. Being aware of who is responsible for the burn is vital for a personal injury claim. Also, being aware of the factors determining the settlements outcome is very important. To help maximize one’s settlement they should have the appropriate evidence proving: the severity of the burn, the cost of recovery, how and where the accident occurred, and the psychological results. In some instances, punitive damages will be awarded also. Along with the physical effects involving a burn, the emotional and fiscal effects might be severe. If you were burned, regardless of whether you feel it’s your own fault or someone else’s, it is well advised to retain the counsel of a trained and knowledgeable Georgia personal injury attorney. Their job is to ensure that you receive compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

It is best not to hesitate. If you are a resident of Georgia, pick up the phone and make an appointment for a free consultation to find out how we can help you recover your losses.

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