Awards Can Depend on the Severity of Injuries and Liability of Others for Negligence.
Burns can cause tremendous pain, scarring, and disfigurement, so if you wonder how much compensation you could get for a burn injury, the award may be substantial. It could range from thousands to millions of dollars. Burns are one of the most traumatic and painful injuries a person can suffer. They may result in long-term care and expenses and lead to financial hardships if victims are unable to work.
While no amount of money can make up for the horror of a major burn, if the burn was caused by the negligence or fault of another party, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit that can at least relieve your financial worries.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive for a Burn Injury?
Texas personal injury laws are complicated, and insurance companies are out for profit and will try to deny claims and pay out as little as possible. They have high-powered lawyers on their payroll to fight your claim. Fortunately, at this difficult time when you are trying to recover from your injuries, the Houston burn injury lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can take the burden off you by handling all negotiations with insurers and the legal hurdles involved with getting you the full compensation you deserve.
Our compassionate attorneys understand that burn injuries can be devastating; bringing pain, disability, inability to work, and the need for long-term care. We are dedicated to fighting to get you enough compensation to bring justice for the harm you suffered and cover all your losses.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation and determine how to best proceed. In addition, we have a “no-fee-guarantee” policy, so you pay nothing unless and until we win a settlement for you. Call us today at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 to get assistance.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get Optimum Burn Injury Compensation Amounts
Burn injury compensation amounts vary greatly depending on the individual factors of your case, including the severity and permanence of your injuries, the insurance and assets available, the availability of the evidence, the degree of fault, and the type and circumstances of the accident.
In every case, our attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law know the best approach to getting you optimum compensation. When you have our legal team on your side, we will:
- meet with you to listen to your version of what happened and determine whether you have a valid case and what kind of settlement to ask for
- ensure that you get proper medical care
- investigate your case and gather evidence from photographs and videos, medical records, and doctor and eyewitness reports to determine who was responsible
- consult experts to testify as to how the accident happened and who was at fault, the harm you received, the kind of care you need into the future, and how the burn affects your life and family
- locate all responsible parties who may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement
- handle negotiations for a fair settlement with insurance companies and other attorneys
- build your case based on Texas law and past similar cases and take your case to trial, if necessary, and present it in front of a judge and jury.
We will be at your side throughout the entire process, answering your questions and keeping you informed on the progress of your case.
How Do You Calculate Burn Injury Settlements?
Burn injuries generally have higher settlement value due to the pain and permanent scarring, but there are many factors that go into calculating settlement amounts.
Burn injuries can happen in a variety of ways, including vehicle accidents, explosions, workplace injuries, faulty consumer products, arson or other intentional burning, and other accidents. How, where, and why the burn happened, the degree of negligence and fault involved, and the extent of your damages are all considerations that go into calculating settlements.
Damages Awards You May Receive in Burn Injury Settlements
Severe burns cause physical and emotional problems. If the burn is on your face or other visible area, you may be depressed and embarrassed by the disfigurement, and severe burns can result in amputation as well. Burn injuries can affect your marriage, your social life, and your relationships with others. You may be facing long, painful periods of rehabilitation and may not ever be able to work again. All these factors come into play when your settlement amount is being calculated.
According to Texas law, (CPR Title 2, Subtitle C, Chapter 41) awards that you may collect for a successful lawsuit cover compensatory damages for both your economic and non-economic damages. You may also be entitled to punitive damages.
Economic or Special Damages cover the cost of your bills for medical care and other calculable expenses, including:
- Past, present, and projected medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages, current and projected into the future
- Property damages.
Non-economic or General Damages are for non-tangible losses that negatively affect your life and may include:
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering, anguish, anxiety, and stress
- Physical impairment, temporary and permanent limitations on activity
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
- Injury to reputation.
To qualify for non-economic damages in Texas, you must have had physical injury and costs. It is not enough to be emotionally traumatized by the accident. However, an award for emotional pain and suffering will take into account the extent and nature of the injuries involved. For example, if the suffering is due to disfigurement, the amount of the damages will be based on factors such as the likelihood of being embarrassed, depressed, or experiencing other emotional reactions likely caused by a disfigurement. A badly burned, scarred, and disfigured face, will probably receive a higher damage award than a burned leg.
Punitive or Exemplary Damages. In some rare situations, where there was malice, or gross or willful negligence, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish a defendant that acted in a particularly reckless and reprehensible manner and to deter such behavior in the future.
Burn Severity Can Impact the Amount of Compensation in a Burn Injury Case
The severity of the burn directly affects the amount of your settlement. Fire is extremely damaging to tissues, and may leave victims with intense, chronic pain, loss of limb mobility, numbness, secondary infections, and disfiguring scars. Long-term physical therapy and cosmetic surgeries and skin grafts may be required. The more severe the burn, the more the victim may be able to recover.
Burn severity is rated on a scale from first degree to fourth degree.
- First-degree injuries affect only the outer layer of skin and are similar to sunburns.
- Second-degree injuries are severe enough to require medical attention and involve multiple layers of tissue. Scalding liquids and brief exposure to fire are common causes of second-degree injuries.
- Third-degree injuries are medical emergencies and extend through all layers of skin, damaging nerve tissue as well. Scarring is common, and amputation may be needed in some cases. Building fires, chemical fires, and electrical fires often result in third-degree injuries.
- Fourth-degree injuries cause catastrophic damage to the body and are often fatal. Damage extends through the dermis into bone, muscle, and fat tissue, and amputation is usually required. High voltage electrical shocks and longer exposure to open flames can cause fourth-degree injuries.
Compensation for Burns in the Workplace
If the burn injury occurred at the workplace and your employer subscribes to the Texas workers’ compensation system, you may have a claim under workers’ compensation. In this case, you do not have to prove that your employer was negligent, only that your injury occurred while you were performing your work duties.
Workers’ comp generally will cover your medical costs and part of your lost wages, but not your non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Even if your employer is covered by workers’ comp, you may still bring a lawsuit under conditions such as when the burn was the fault of a third party.
If your employer is a nonsubscriber – and does not have Texas workers’ compensation, our work injury attorneys will explore a negligence-based claim against your employer. Your burn injuries may have resulted from your employer’s failure to train you on how to handle a specific task. Or, you may not have had the necessary safety equipment to quickly extinguish the fire. Or, despite your regularly asking for assistance to complete a particularly challenging task, your requests were denied.
No matter the type of claim against your employer, our attorneys will evaluate your potential claims against them and all other third parties to help determine the best way to get you maximum compensation for your injuries.
What if a Burn Injury Results in Death?
A Death Related to a Burn Injury May Bring Compensation for Wrongful Death
If a death resulted from the burn, you may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party in Texas civil court if you are a close family member or representative of the deceased’s estate. This is similar to a negligence lawsuit, but the settlement goes to the survivors or estate of the deceased to compensate for the losses suffered as a result of the death. The death does not have to be deliberate or intentional to be wrongful; it only has to be shown to have occurred through some act of negligence that the party did or failed to do.
Proving Negligence for a Burn Injury
To win your burn injury case, our attorneys must show that the defendants in the case were negligent, at fault and therefore liable for your damages. Proving negligence legally means demonstrating the existence of the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty to take reasonable care not to cause you harm.
- The defendant breached this duty and failed to exercise this care.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages as a result.
For example, if your burn was caused by a vehicle accident, and the other driver was in violation of traffic laws such as driving while intoxicated at the time, they will be considered negligent.
What if you did something to contribute to your accident? According to Texas law, (TX C.P.R. §33.001), even if you did something to partially contribute to the accident, as long as you are found to be less than 50% at fault, you may still collect compensation based on the proportion of fault for which the other party was responsible.
Ask Our Team about How Much Compensation You Can Get for Your Burn Injury
Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law has more than 35 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured burn victims. Let our experience and knowledge of the law work to help get you the compensation you are owed for your burn injuries.
Do not delay, as evidence and witnesses tend to disappear over time, and Texas has time limits for filing. According to Texas law, (TX C.P.R. §16.003) you generally have just two years after the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. If you miss this deadline, the courts are likely to dismiss your case completely. For the exact deadlines that apply to your claims, including the statute of limitations, always speak directly with an attorney.
Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 today.