A burn is arguably one of the most painful injuries with long-lasting impacts. Like in other personal injury claims, burn victims are entitled to a settlement if someone caused their wound. The severity of the damage and the intentions of the person who caused the incident are factors that affect the settlement sum.
Another factor is the amount the defendant would be able to pay. It means that a more financially stable defendant would pay more than the one who is not. Also, the court will consider the severity of the scarring and the pain and suffering the victim undergoes. This article looks at the impact of these factors and the value of a burn injury settlement.
The Impact of the Where and How the Accident Happened
In arriving at a settlement sum, both parties will negotiate based on the events leading to the injury. They will also consider the amount the court will likely award if the case goes to trial. In both instances, where and how the accident occurred will play a crucial role.
As we already know, a fire can break out in various ways and places. It could be:
- At a place of work
- Faulty consumer products
- Car accidents
- Arson (intentional fire)
- Any other negligent acts
For instance, if the accident occurs at your workplace, there is a presumption that you or your employer could have prevented it. The court will also infer that the employer failed to put the necessary measures in place unless there’s proof of negligence on your part.
If there’s proof that you could have prevented the accident, it will affect the amount you’ll get, meaning the settlement will be lower. But if the incident was purely on the grounds of negligence, the value goes up, including the settlement amount.
What Is the Impact of Gross Negligence on a Burn Injury Settlement?
In civil lawsuits, the court awards what is known as punitive damages when there’s evidence of gross negligence by the defendant. Gross negligence means that the defendant behaved in a reprehensible way. The court awards it to make the defendant feel the impact of their actions.
Punitive damages also serve as a deterrent. Usually, the more money a person has, the more punitive damages the court awards. An example of where this type of settlement will arise is a defective product.
If a manufacturer fails to test a product like an oven mitt and causes a burn, they will be liable for being grossly negligent. The court could order them to pay thousands to millions of dollars in damages.
How Much Is a Burn Injury Settlement Worth?
As mentioned earlier, the burn injury severity determines how much you’ll get as a settlement. Below are the different degrees of burn injuries and their settlement range.
A first-degree is the least severe of all of these types of injuries. It affects only the outer superficial layer of the skin. They are comparable to a sunburn and usually involve redness, dryness, and sometimes swelling of the skin. You can get as high as $7,000 for this injury type.
A second-degree burn happens when the damage goes past the first skin layer and to the part called the dermis. It leaves the affected skin bright red and swollen, and it usually has a wet or shiny appearance with blisters. Depending on the depth of the injury, the skin may not completely heal.
This factor influences the amount of settlement the victim would get. Compensation for second-degree burns ranges between thousands of dollars and millions. In a case where the victim received permanent scars and had to undergo multiple surgeries, they will get millions in damages.
A third-degree burn ultimately damages both the outer superficial skin layer and the dermis. It turns the affected area black, brown, or yellow, leaving the skin dry to the touch and leathery in appearance. It also destroys nerve endings. The settlement ranges between thousands and millions of dollars. Plaintiffs can get up to $9 million.
A fourth-degree burn is the most severe of all burn injuries. It goes beyond both skin layers to subcutaneous tissue, affecting the underlying fascia, muscles, and bones. They are usually life-threatening and deposit deadly toxins into the blood. Most of the settlements for this injury type are millions of dollars. Victims can get as high as $75 million.
Pinder Plotkin LLC Can Help You!
If you or anyone you know suffered a burn injury, our personal injury lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC can help you. With our combined years of experience, we will get you the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free case review.