Burn injuries are among the most serious and painful injuries that a person can sustain. If you are the victim of a burn injury and are seeking compensation, there are times when you might have recourse for a personal injury suit and other times when you might not.
The amount of a settlement that anyone is eligible to when they are burned depends on various factors like the severity of the burn and how it happened. Since burn injuries are extremely painful and tend to be disfiguring and extensive, they typically have higher settlement values than other types of injuries.
A settlement is the amount of money that the person at fault offers to pay for the injury you sustained. Settlements are determined by the factors related to your injury.
How and where did the burn injury happen?
To reach a fair settlement, both the defendant and the plaintiff will negotiate a price based on how much the victim should be compensated to make them “whole” again. The three most important factors used to determine the total settlement are the extent of the injuries and how and where they happened. Each case is different and can fall into many different categories such as:
- Workplace injury
- Fault consumer product or product liability
- Arson or malicious intent
- Personal injury
In all cases, the overall extent of the injury and how it happened will affect the settlement price. For example, if the injury is work-related, the settlement offer is going to be higher if the worker can prove that their injuries were caused intentionally by the negligence of the employer rather than if the worker is to blame. The negotiation phase is where both parties try to agree on how much the victim is entitled to.
When are punitive damages awarded?
Punitive damages are the type of damages that are ascribed to those cases where shockingly horrible acts were taken that led to the victim sustaining injury. Cases where punitive damages might be imposed depend on if the victim can prove that their injuries happened due to severe negligence on the part of their employer (or whoever may be at fault), or if the injured person can show that there was intent to harm them. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and to make them an example so that other employers are more careful in the future.
When punitive damages are imposed, there is no way to predict how much juries will award the victim. For instance, if a manufacturer knew that their product was dangerous and chose to put it on the market anyway and the Houston burn injury lawyer for the plaintiff can prove it, then the cost of punitive damages can be quite extensive. Punitive damage awards are meant to be a hit to the person or company who caused the injury more than they are about compensating the victim.
What about non economic damages like pain and suffering?
For burn injuries, not only is the plaintiff entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering that they endure during treatment, but they are also eligible to collect for future pain and suffering. Since burn injuries usually result in both disfigurement and disability, if the burn injury is extensive enough, non-economic damages can include pain and suffering for a lifetime.
What about workers’ compensation?
If you are the victim of a burn injury at the workplace and can show that you were engaged in work-related activities, then it is likely you will get less for your injury. In typical workers’ compensation cases, the amount that someone is entitled to is usually much lower than if it is a case of personal injury.
Unless you are disfigured or disabled, if it is a case of workers’ compensation, you will probably only be compensated for your lost wages and medical costs. Unless you can show that your employer was egregiously negligent, then it is likely that you won’t get nearly as much as you would in a personal injury suit.
What to do if you are the victim of a burn injury in Houston?
If you are the victim of a burn injury in Houston, then it is imperative that you seek legal counsel for your injuries. A Houston burn injury specialist can help guide you to collect what you are entitled to and to get you all that you deserve for the hardships your injury has inflicted on your life.