Burn injuries can be extremely serious and severe, depending on the nature of the burn. Perhaps you were involved in a car accident, a fire at a workplace, or some other situation that led to burns. One thing you should know is that there is a way to rate how severe the burn depth was in a patient. This can be very important when it comes to making your case. These are rated by first, second, and third.
- First Degree: These burns cause minor tissue damage to the outer skin layer. The burn is usually pretty painful and the skin will be left with a reddish tint and a small amount of swelling.
- Second Degree: This type of damage leaves burns to the first two layers of skin. There is severe pain, blistering, and redness/swelling to the skin as well. Minimal scarring may occur.
- Third Degree: These burns damage all layers of skin and may also damage fat, muscle, and bone tissue. The skin will be left depressed, charred, and leathery. There may be little to no pain due to destruction of nerve endings.
Furthermore, there are many psychological marks that burn injuries can leave on those who suffer from them. Each person will suffer and experience psychological distress differently; however, there are some things that are mostly the same. For instance, many patients will experience sadness, anxiousness, or irritability. They may also feel hopeless, helpless, and upset about depending on others for assistance.
When it comes to settlement options, it is very difficult to make a prediction about how much you may be entitled to for your injuries. One of the most important factors that is usually figured out first relies on where and how the accident happened. This could help settle who was responsible (the defendant) and how they will be able to compensate you. How and where the accident happened will be important to the case because of the degree of the defendant’s liability. You can take a workplace injury as an example. If a plaintiff was burned in an accident that was or was not preventable, the perceived value of the case could be lower than if the accident was caused by an employer’s failure to follow safety regulations.
What is the Availability of Punitive Damages?
If the defendant that caused your burns acted negligently in an intentional way (meaning that they used gross negligence to cause your harm) you as the plaintiff may be able to receive something known as punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the defendant but are much harder to product. If a plaintiff uses a product and is badly burned, then the manufacturer of that product may be required to pay a lot of money to make up for the injuries. If this is the case, the threat of punitive damages may make a defendant more likely to settle the case at a higher amount.
Burn accident settlements generally have very high payouts. For instance, a patient in a hospital was burned when his bed caught fire due to a product design defect and was paid $1,000,000 in damages. General negligence came into play in a case where a woman received third-degree burns from a scalding hot coffee at McDonald’s. She was awarded $640,000 in damages.
If you have been injured in a burn accident and suffered serious burns, you may want to seek the experienced help of an attorney. They will understand your case and work with you to help you get the compensation you deserve. As an injured worker, you should consider hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call WTW today to see where you stand in your case!