Those who are seriously burned may have legal standing to receive compensation if the burn was caused by another person or a business. The Fort Lauderdale burn injury lawyer has handled many of these cases and provides a free, no obligation consultation to determine if a viable case exists. An experienced catastrophic injury lawyer can work on contingency, which means they do not get paid unless they win the case.
Although most burns happen at home, 73 percent, they may not be legally actionable if the person burned caused the injury. Actionable burns also occur in automotive wrecks, or by electrical fires, gas explosions, scalding, chemicals, building fires, and radiation.
Catastrophic injuries change lives forever. These significant injuries can make it impossible to be whole again or hold a job. Insurance coverage often is insufficient to cover a lifetime of medical and rehabilitation expenses or to alleviate the financial burden a family than faces.
Kogan & DiSalvo work on a contingency fee basis which means you don’t pay anything unless they are successful in recovering money for your car accident case.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burns are classified by the seriousness of damage that they cause and range from minor to catastrophic:
- First degree: A minor burn that causes skin redness and minor swelling
- Second degree: A more serious burn that causes blisters and the skin to be slightly thick
- Third degree: Prolonged exposure to dry or wet heat causes the skin to become leathery and waxen with damage to the dermis and surrounding nerves
- Fourth degree: Not only reaches the third-degree stage but burns longer and damages tendons, muscle, and bone causing charring and loss of function
Those who have third and fourth-degree burns may not experience pain because the nerve tissue is damaged but should still contact a Fort Lauderdale burn injury lawyer. Anyone who suffers burns over 25 percent of their body or more than five percent on their hands and face have been catastrophically injured, under Florida law.
Proving Negligence in a Burn Injury Lawsuit
The legal definition of negligence is not exercising care toward others that a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances, or not taking action that a reasonable person would take. Florida uses the modified comparative negligence standard, which reduces the number of damages that can be claimed by the percentage of assessed fault, up to 50%. If the claimant is found to be 51% or more at fault, they are prohibited from recovery entirely. The rationale of Florida lawmakers is that anyone who has some fault in an accident must bear some responsibility. Fort Lauderdale burn injury lawyers have seen individuals who are 30 percent at fault may only claim 70 percent of the damages.
Negligence has five elements that must be proven to have a viable case. These include:
- Duty of care: A reasonable person has a legal obligation not to cause harm or property damage to another. In some circumstances, a person may not owe a duty of care to another
- Breach: Committing an act that violates duty of care
- Causation: But for the breach, the accident would not have happened and the breaching act had a foreseeable result
- Damages: Harm or property damage occurred
- Proximate Cause: The foreseeable consequences of an action
Possible Damages In Burn Injury Cases
Under the law, anyone who is harmed by an act of another may sue for damages that the act caused. These are common damages in burn cases:
- Medical treatment and hospitalization
- Surgeries and skin grafts
- Therapeutic treatments
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost present and future income
- Loss of consortium
Role of a Burn Injury Lawyer
Achieving compensation requires filing a lawsuit with the court alleging damages. A Fort Lauderdale burn injury lawyer will prepare the lawsuit citing applicable statutory law and law decided by court cases. Evidence gathered before trial spans physical evidence of the burn scene and photographs of the burns, documentary evidence detailing all medical and related expenses, and testimonial evidence from everyone involved and witnesses.
Civil cases like burn injuries are often settled out of court between litigants. A Ft Lauderdale personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to achieve an amount of damages that is satisfactory and fair to the client.