Burn injuries are some of the most devastating types of injuries. They can leave permanent scarring on both the body and the mind. Many times, these injuries are caused when the product used is defective or the result of a serious accident. Understanding how compensation works with regards to your burn injury is an important element of your personal injury or defective product claim. Here is a simple guide to understanding how insurance companies calculate your claim with respect to burn injuries.
Significant Burns and Settlements
Any settlement paid will consider, amongst other factors, how deep or significant the burns are. If the burns are substantial, meaning they are second- or third-degree burns, insurance companies will generally consider a higher dollar value on your claim. In other cases, if you have first- or second-degree burns but they cover a significant surface area of your body, there is still a good chance that you will receive compensation for your injuries. For example, if the burns cover most of your arms and some of your neck, the value of your case may actually be more than a third-degree burn to the leg. Insurance companies will look at the level of harm, both psychologically and physically, and make a decision from there. Unfortunately, burn injuries are some of the most difficult for the victims to deal with.
Many are left permanently scarred or disfigured and need to have long-term or extensive corrective surgery to repair the damage. Additionally, they may require lengthy therapy to overcome the psychological impact that the burns had. Those who suffer from a burn injury know of the excruciating pain involved in completing everyday tasks. This type of pain must be factored into any settlement award ultimately awarded by the insurance company. It is important that you speak with your attorney about what the value of your claim is and to make sure they are qualified in handling your case.
Future Care In Burn Injuries
Another critical element in burn injury cases is your future care. Many times you will need revisional surgery, cosmetic surgery, and in some cases, long term professional care. Any settlement awarded must take into consideration such losses. If you are to have long term medical care, it is important that your settlement reflect the cost of this type of care. To accurately demonstrate this cost you attorney needs to have an expert testify as to the cost of this type of treatment. For example, if you have suffered extensive burns to the neck or face, you may require numerous skin grafts to repair the tissue and skin. These grafts need to be accepted by the affected area; if they are rejected, you may need even more surgeries.
Further, treatment is not limited to only surgery: some burns are so deep and extensive that you will need to undergo physical therapy to return to normal. If you have suffered deep burns to your shoulder area, it may be immobilized while it heals. This lack of use can lead to muscular atrophy and a drastic reduction in strength; as a result, regular physical rehabilitation appointments would be necessary in order for you to get your range of motion and strength back. These appointments usually occur weekly or twice weekly and are not cheap. Generally, many insurance companies’ offers will neglect to calculate your cost of care or will calculate it to be much lower than it realistically will be. Many times, they will minimize the potential future damages, and unless you have a qualified trial lawyer, they will limit any award settlement.
Loss of Income
If you were unable to work, you will be permitted to recover damages for loss of income. Loss of income is calculated against your pay stubs. For example, if you were unable to work for 6 months, then you will be able to receive compensation for that time period. The question is always whether you will be able to recover full salary for time off work. Many times, this depends on your pay structure, the extent of your injury, and other factors. Additionally, you will be able to receive wages for future loss of work due to such occurrences as further surgeries, medical treatments, or physical therapy.
What Is My Case Worth – Receive a Free Review or Second Opinion of Your Case
The value of any personal injury claim is based on the degree of damage suffered by the plaintiff. In burn injury cases, the value of the case is tied to the extent of the injuries and the cost of future care or medical treatment. The majority of law firms do not have the experience and diligence necessary to maximize the value of a burn injury claim. Our office offers absolutely free case evaluations with no obligation. We will give you our opinion as to value and liability. At that point, we can advise you on all the different options and help you in making the best decision. You may already have a lawyer who is helping you through the legal process and representing you to the insurance agencies and in court.
If you feel that your current attorney may be misrepresenting you, withholding information, not giving your case ample attention, or is not doing a particularly diligent service, contact us for a second opinion. Some lawyers tend to hurry cases along to get the fastest agreements possible so that they can take their cuts from the settlements and move on to the next case. We believe you are entitled to fair representation, and your case should be treated with attention and care. We will offer you a free case evaluation with our input on what you potentially could earn from your settlement.
Further Information: Timing Deadline to File a Burn Injury Claim Chemical Burns in the Workplace Propane Tank Explosions