When to Take Legal Action for a Burn Injury
The World Health Organization estimates that 180,000 people a year die from burn injuries. While this usually occurs in countries other than the United States, it still illustrates how serious burns can be.
A burn injury is nothing to take lightly and can be completely life-changing. In this article, we’ll discuss when you can take action for the injury and receive adequate compensation. There are a few scenarios where this is the case, so read on to learn more about how an attorney may be able to help you after a burn injury.
How Burns Are Categorized
You may already be familiar with the fact that burns are categorized in three different ways: first degree, second degree, and third degree. This measures the severity of the burn, and will also likely affect the outcome of your lawsuit.
Your doctor will diagnose your burn and treat it accordingly.
A first-degree burn typically only affects the outer layer of your skin. While there may be pain and some scarring, it is considered minor.
A second-degree burn affects both the outer and inner layers of skin, meaning it goes deeper than just the outside. There may be significant pain and scarring in this instance.
Third-degree burns are the most serious and life-threatening. These burns go through the second layer of skin and into the tissue underneath. Third degree burns often also affect the muscle or other parts of the body.
Burns at Your Place of Work
Depending on the line of work you’re in, you may have a case to sue if you experience burns.
For example, if you work as a cook, it may be difficult to sue for burning yourself, especially if the burn is mild. This is because you’re constantly working with hot objects, and your risk for burns is already great.
However, you can sue if you can prove that the burn is a result of a malfunction of equipment or improper training.
For example, if you’re a cook and burn yourself while making a dish, it is unlikely you’ll be able to sue your employer. But, if you’re a cook and a kitchen appliance explodes causing you injury, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. If you can prove that the appliance exploded due to your boss’ negligence and inability to look after it properly, you may have a case.
Burns from Auto Accidents
Burns from automobile accidents are treated the same way as any injury from automobile accidents. You must prove that the other driver was at fault in order to receive compensation for your burn. For example, if a part of your car blew up or caught on fire, and it wouldn’t have if someone didn’t crash into you, then you can sue.
If your car blew up because it was faulty, you may not be able to sue the other party that plowed into you. In this case, you may be able to sue the car manufacturer and receive compensation for piecing together their product poorly.
Compensation from a Faulty Product
Another way you can get compensation for a burn is if a product itself was put together badly, which resulted in your burn. For example, if you started to use a hair dryer, and it explodes, causing you to burn part of your arm or body, you may have a case to sue the company who made it.
It is their responsibility to create a product that you can use comfortably, and with the expectation that it won’t blow up and cause injury. Therefore, you may have a case to sue for your injury.
When to Sue for a Burn Injury
If you think you may have a case from your burn injury, you should speak to a lawyer immediately. He or she can review your case with you and help you decide if you might be able to receive compensation.
Speaking to a lawyer as soon as the injury has occurred is a great idea because it gives you an idea of what you should, or should not, be doing in order to help the case.
Doing so also helps you figure out early on what to save as evidence, as well as how to gather the evidence. Typically, the more time passes from an injury or accident, the less you remember. Therefore, it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
This doesn’t mean that you’re able to sue for a burn injury in every single instance. But, at least you’ll know very quickly if you may be entitled to compensation.
What Compensation Can I Expect?
The compensation you’ll receive for your burns will depend largely on the injuries you’ve sustained and how they affect your life after the injury. If burns were minor, you may receive some money for emotional distress and money toward your bills. If the injuries are extensive and caused you to have to stop working, the award may be much higher.
A lawyer can work with you to determine what you might expect realistically based on the facts of your case.
Calling a Lawyer
As we previously mentioned, you should reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible if you believe you have a burn injury case. This way, you can be sure if you want to move forward.
If you believe you have a case, you can get in contact with us at (214) 219-4878 immediately. We can advise you on the next steps to take in your injury claim with a free evaluation.