Recovering Damages for Burn Injuries – Things to Know Before Filing a Lawsuit

Accidents do not come announced and rarely people are prepared to handle them. It happens on an ordinary day just like any other when you’re suddenly engulfed in flames, leaving you injured and scarred. Burn injuries, although uncommon, are not entirely out of place. It can happen during your work, at home or on the road if you get caught up in an accident. After the initial shock, most people are left confused as to what to do next. Contacting insurance company, dealing with the people responsible for the accident and filing lawsuits, it’s obvious that you’ll require some professional help.

Things to know about burn injuries. Image of a burn on a hand

It is important that you hire an attorney to deal with matters on your behalf because regular people don’t have much know-how about the legal process. Moreover, depending on which state you live in, laws and procedures might vary, such as laws regarding serious burn in Georgia might differ from laws in Texas. Especially, if you don’t have enough economical resources to pay for your medical treatment, an attorney can assist you to receive compensation during a lawsuit. So, here are some things to know about burn injuries that can prove helpful.

What types of Burns you can suffer from?

Your whole case is built on what type of burns you’ve received in the accident as well as the cause of the accident. Depending on this, your compensation can increase or decrease. Burns are caused by excessive heat or radiation to the skin. The larger the surface area of the burn, the more severe will be the injury.

Degrees of Burn

First degree burns only affect the out layer of skin and is usually induced by scalding. Victims might feel swelling, pain and dryness in the affected area. Second degree burns harm the outermost as well as the second layer of skin. The affected area appears wet accompanied by redness, swelling and blisters. Third degree burns harm all layers of the skin, including the muscles underlying it. Fair follicles, sweat glands as well as nerve endings are also damaged in  third degree burns. They are extremely fatal and require instant medical care.


When boiling liquids or extremely hot food is splashed on skin, scalding occurs. It can cause burn injuries that range from minor to severe. Almost anyone can become the victim of scalding, either by accident or intentional harm. This type of burn is more common in workers and guests in restaurants since they involve preparation and handling of hot food and beverages. Workers in factories are also at a danger of scalding due to oil spills and steam.

Thermal Burns

These types of burns occur as a result of gas explosions in the houses, industries as well as in car accidents. If it happens in your rented apartment, then the owner is responsible for the accident for not using odorized propane gas in the kitchen to indicate leakage. If you suffer from thermal burns as a result of a car accident, then the manufacturer is responsible for faulty vehicle.

Electrical and Chemical Burns

People suffer from electrical burns when they come in contact with high voltage current. It can be caused by exposed wires, electrical appliances or improper wiring in the building resulting in short circuits. In worst case, it can lead to a huge fire in the building such as office or home. Chemical burns occur when strong acid or base gets splashed on the skin. This type of burns usually happen in manufacturing industries that produce chemicals like bleaching solutions and battery fluids, etc.

What kind of Compensation can you receive?

When you file a lawsuit against someone who you hold responsible for causing you burn injury, make sure you have adequate evidence for your case. You have to prove in court that the defendant owed you a duty of care which it failed to complete. Also, the extent of your own neglect is also important in the case. If the court finds you accountable for more than 50% of the accident, then you won’t receive any compensation. On the other hand, if the court finds the defendant guilty of negligence, here are some ways you will receive your compensation.

Economic Damages

The defendant will  have to compensate the plaintiff for economic damages. These include the amount of money the plaintiff has spent on his treatment as well as his lawyer’s fee. Hospital bills, the cost of surgery plus any future treatment and rehabilitation that the victim has to undergo is also paid by the defendant. In case that the victim is so severely injured that he/she can no longer work, the defendant pays for the loss of income and earning capacity as well.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are hard to calculate in legal procedures. These include emotional distress, suffering, pain, body impairment as well as physical and emotional scarring. In the case of disfigurement, the defendant also has to pay for any plastic surgery the plaintiff chooses to do. In addition, if the victim loses the freedom of mobility, the defendant pays for the in-home care as well.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have found this post useful on burn injuries.

You can check out my other posts here on personal injury.

rachel bustin

*This is a collaborative post

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