What is a Burn Injury Lawsuit? A Lawyer Answers
Burn injury cases are legal disputes that arise when one person suffers skin tissue damage from an accident or injury, and another person or company is liable for the harm or tortious action. The responsible party's liability insurance policy will pay financial compensation to the injury victim for the medical costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and ongoing forms of economic and non-economic damages.
Whether a person suffered a chemical burn, thermal burn, electrical burn, or radiation burn, these injuries are painful and often leave long-lasting forms of disfigurement and emotional damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Burn Injuries can occur in various circumstances, such as workplace accidents, apartment fires, chemical plant explosions, car accidents, defective products, premises liability cases, or medical malpractice.
Each year, there are approximately 1.1 million burn injuries in the country that require medical attention, with around 50,000 of them necessitating hospital stays.
If another person or companies unsafe or intentional actions caused you to suffer a skin burn, it is crucial to contact a burin injury attorney immediately. With over 30 years of combined experience, our attorneys have closely collaborated with burn survivors to pursue justice and obtain compensation on their behalf. Contact the burn lawyers at Sneed & Mitchell today for a complimentary consultation.
What is a Burn Injury Lawsuit? The Basics
Bun injuries are incidents where a person suffers harm or injury due to an accident, and another party may be held legally responsible for the resulting damage or wrongdoing. To address a burn injury, you may seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who will represent you in a civil court proceeding. During this legal process, the objective is to establish legal liability for the injury through a court judgment or, more commonly, through informal negotiations for a burn injury settlement before a lawsuit is filed. The duration of a lawsuit can vary depending on the type of injury and the extent of damages suffered, ranging from a few months to several years.
There are typically two possible outcomes for a bun injury case involving medical treatment for a car accident or property damage:
Formal Lawsuit: Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the government, a formal burn injury case begins when an individual (referred to as the "plaintiff") files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation, or government agency (referred to as the "defendant"). The plaintiff alleges that the defendant acted negligently or irresponsibly, leading to the accident or injury that caused harm. This initiation of legal action is known as "filing a lawsuit." Understanding negligence and the burden of proof is particularly beneficial in such cases.
Informal Settlement: In reality, the majority of burn injury claims concerning fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement. This typically involves direct discussions between the parties involved, their insurance providers, and the attorneys representing each side. Settlement negotiations are commonly conducted, and this begins with a plaintiff attorney sending a personal injury demand letter, which in burn cases usually demand the policy limits. If a settlement is reached, a written agreement is created in which both parties promise to forego any further legal action, such as a lawsuit, and instead choose to resolve the matter by agreeing on a specific amount of monetary compensation.
To pursue a burn injury lawsuit, the injured person typically needs to demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and that the breach directly caused their burn injuries. The duty of care may vary depending on the specific circumstances, but it generally implies that individuals and entities must take reasonable measures to prevent harm to others.
Burn injury lawsuits may seek compensation for various damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, future plastic surgery needs, permanent disability, disfigurement, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. The specific damages that can be claimed will depend on the severity of the burn injuries, the impact on the individual's life, and applicable laws in the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed.
It is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you or someone you know has suffered burn injuries and wishes to pursue a lawsuit. They can evaluate the circumstances of the case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies or defendants, and represent you in court if necessary.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Lawsuits must adhere to a specific time limit known as the statute of limitations. This timeframe, which starts either when the plaintiff is harmed or becomes aware of the injury, determines how long they have to file a lawsuit. During this period, it is crucial to find a reputable law firm that can provide a suitable attorney-client relationship and pursue punitive damages. Once the lawsuit is initiated, there is no longer a restriction on the time available to present the case and receive compensation from the other party's insurance policy in the event of a successful outcome.
The statutes of limitations are defined by state laws and often differ based on the type of injury involved. For example, in Texas, the civil statute of limitations is two years for injuries to an individual, but five years for sex crimes and one year for cases of libel or slander. It is important to note that these limitations can vary from one state to another.
Where are the Laws that Govern Personal Injury Cases?
Burn injury lawsuits are governed by the legal theories of negligence and strict liability. These common law torts involve a failure to exercise the appropriate or ethics standards of care expected in the specific circumstance.
Negligence refers to the failure of a person or entity to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another individual and required that certain elements be proven by the person asserting the claim. The first element is that the plaintiff prove that the responsible party owed a duty of care to the victim. The duty that a motorists is charged with is different than that of employees within a chemical plant. Most duties are set form in safety laws, such as company safety standards, or acts such as the Federal Carrier Motor Safety Laws. Next, the plaintiff must show the defendant breached their duty through their actions or inaction, and as a direct result, caused the burn injury. For example, if a landlord fails to maintain a property adequately and a tenant suffers burn injuries due to faulty electrical wiring, the landlord may be held liable for negligence.
Strict liability is another legal concept that may apply to burn injury cases. Under strict liability, a party can be held responsible for injuries caused by a defective product, regardless of whether they were negligent or not. If a burn injury was caused by a faulty or dangerous product, such as a defective electrical appliance, the injured person may pursue a strict liability claim against the manufacturer or seller of the product. In such cases, it is not necessary to prove negligence; instead, the focus is on establishing that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous.
Burn injury lawsuits often require extensive investigation and the expertise of various professionals. Attorneys representing burn injury victims may work closely with medical experts to establish the extent and impact of the burn injuries. They may also collaborate with engineers to analyze the cause of the burn, especially in cases involving fires or explosions. These professionals play a crucial role in providing expert testimony and presenting scientific evidence to support the victim's claims. Their knowledge and expertise help in determining liability and proving the negligence or defect that led to the burn injury.
What Type of Lawyer Handles Skin Burn Cases?
A burn injury lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in handling cases related to burn injuries. Burn injuries can be caused by various incidents, such as fires, explosions, chemical exposure, electrical accidents, or even defective products. Burn injuries can be severe and often result in long-term physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victims.
A burn injury lawyer has in-depth knowledge of personal injury law and focuses specifically on cases involving burn injuries. They assist individuals who have suffered burn injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. These lawyers provide legal representation and guidance to help their clients seek compensation for their damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other related losses.
How Do These Injuries Commonly Occur?
Burn injuries can occur in various scenarios that lead to personal injury lawsuits. Here are some common situations where burn injuries may happen:
Workplace Accidents: Burns frequently occur in industrial settings, construction sites, or manufacturing plants due to fires, explosions, electrical malfunctions, or exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: In car crashes or motorcycle accidents, burn injuries can result from fuel leaks, engine fires, or contact with hot surfaces such as exhaust pipes or engine components.
Defective Products: Poorly designed or faulty products, such as electrical appliances, heaters, or flammable materials, can cause burns if they malfunction or catch fire.
Residential Fires: Burns from house fires can be caused by faulty wiring, flammable materials, cooking accidents, or negligence on the part of landlords or property owners.
Chemical Spills: Burns can occur when individuals come into contact with dangerous chemicals or corrosive substances due to spills, improper storage, or inadequate safety measures.
If you have suffered a burn injury in any of these scenarios or a similar situation, it's important to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in burn injury cases. They will be able to assess the specifics of your case and provide guidance on how to proceed with a potential personal injury lawsuit. Remember that laws and regulations may vary depending on your jurisdiction, so it's crucial to seek legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
Get Professional Help With Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
It is essential to select an experienced burn injury lawyer. When choosing an attorney, you should inquire about the number of burn-related cases they have tried to verdict. An experienced attorney understands how incredibly distressing and traumatic these events can be has the skills and resources needed to advocate for you before a jury. You do not have to navigate the personal injury system alone. Sneed & Mitchell LLP, a renowned law firm based in Texas and provides nationwide assistance to burn victims.
Each lawyer at Sneed & Mitchell LLP possesses over a decade of experience, including extensive trial and courtroom expertise. You also don't have to worry about any upfront costs. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid after the victory.
Whether you are in need of legal representation or simply desire a free case evaluation, we encourage you to reach out to an injury lawyer at Sneed & Mitchell LLP. As a premier law firm experienced in handling burn injuries and accidents, we can provide you with an experienced attorney who will support you throughout the entire process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discover how we can protect your rights.