Getting seriously burned in a car wreck or another type of accident is life-changing. Physical, emotional, and financial changes will have a large impact on quality of life. A personal injury lawsuit handled by a distinguished catastrophic injury lawyer who is well-versed in this type of case could take care of the expenses.
West Palm Beach burn injury lawyers from Kogan & DiSalvo offer a free consultation with no obligation to assess the facts of the burn injury and determine the strength of the case. The attorney will work on contingency. That means the attorney’s fee is paid at the end of the case from the monetary award the lawsuit achieves. If the lawsuit does not succeed, the attorney does not charge a fee. Contact our attorneys right away to begin your case.
Common Burn Accidents
Vehicles that catch fire in a wreck account for about five percent of all burn injuries, and burn incidents at workplaces account for eight percent, according to the American Burn Association. Most burn accidents, 73 percent, happened at home and in home structure fires. The severity of burns ranges from minor to severe. With third-degree burns, the skin becomes leathery and waxen and the area could be numb because of dermis and nerve damage. Fourth degree burns attack below the skin into flesh and bone with charring and irreparable damage. An individual should discuss the long-term and short-term effects of their injuries with a West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer to have a better understanding of the role it may play in their case.
Entering the Legal System
If the burn injury was caused by a business or another person, the burned person may sue for damages under the state’s modified comparative negligence law. Negligence is legally defined as behavior toward others that a prudent person would not do that results in injury, death, or property damage.
The modified comparative negligence standard is designed to hold financially responsible anyone who has any fault in causing an accident. Therefore, damages are reduced by the percentage of fault the plaintiff bears, up to 50%. West Palm Beach burn injury lawyers have experienced cases where an individual who is 10 percent at fault may claim 90 percent of the damages. Conversely, if a plaintiff is found to be 51% or more at fault they are barred from recovery entirely.
Proving Negligence in a Burn Injury Case
Comparative negligence is comprised of elements that must be proven to win the case. These are:
- Duty of care: A person has a legal obligation to act toward the public with the caution a prudent person would use in a similar circumstance
- Breach: An act that violates duty of care. Inaction can also be a breach
- Causation in fact: “But for” the breach, the accident would not have occurred
- Proximate cause: A distinct result that was foreseeable happened. Also known as the “legal cause”
- Damages: The cost of caring for the injury and replacing damaged property
When speaking with a West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer about their case, an individual has a variation of claims they can file for damages. They include:
- Emergency and long-term medical treatment and hospitalization
- Skin grafts and surgeries
- Therapeutic treatments and equipment purchases and rentals
- Long-term home care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income and future earning power
- Training for other types of employment
- Loss of consortium
Contacting an Attorney
If a letter to the defendant demanding compensation is not successful, a West Palm Beach burn injury lawyer will build a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages. The lawsuit alleging negligence consists of the facts involved in the accident, citations of relevant statutes and case law, documents that support the current care expenses and anticipated future costs, and the testimony of those involved.
Many personal injury cases are settled out of court. In that situation, the defendant’s insurance carrier will attempt to limit the amount of damages, but the lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement that meets the burn victim’s current and future needs.