Burn injuries are way more common than they may seem. In the United States, more than one million people seek medical treatment for burn injuries each year. Most burn injuries don’t result in legal action. Many occur at home and the injured person is responsible for their own burn injuries. Other times, even though someone else was responsible the injuries aren’t significant enough to file a lawsuit. However, around 40,000 people are hospitalized with burn injuries each year, many as a result of negligence.
Second and third-degree burns can be painful and disfiguring. They cause not just physical suffering but mental anguish and financial losses. The more serious the injury is, the more likely it is that the victim will require long-term medical care. Skin grafts, counseling, and physical therapy are often necessary to help the injured person improve their quality of life. All this comes at a cost and burn victims are usually eager to recover the compensation they deserve. To do this, they need to prove that someone else was totally at fault for their injuries. In most cases, they need a Maryland burn injury attorney to help them recover damages.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Many types of incidents result in burn injuries. These include:
- Car accidents
- Building fires
- Chemical spills
- Electrical accidents
- Exposure to flammable liquids
- Exposure to excessive radiation
These all result in visible injuries to the skin and soft tissues. However, another possible injury that follows a fire is the ingestion of toxic gases. Many people exposed to fire suffer carbon monoxide poisoning. Sometimes health care providers don’t detect it until it is too late.
Holding Someone Responsible for Your Burn Injuries
If someone else caused your injuries, you need to prove it in order to get compensation. You’ll need to show that the incident was due to negligence on their part. It doesn’t matter whether your burns resulted from a vehicular accident, lack of safety equipment or the spillage of hot liquid. The burden of proof rests with you. Your Maryland burn injury lawyer will seek to establish that all the elements of negligence are present.
This means showing that:
- The defendant owed you a duty. For instance, a property owner may be required by law to provide functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to tenants.
- They breached that duty. If the property owner doesn’t provide the necessary fire safety equipment, they breached their duty to you. They can, therefore, be deemed negligent.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries. There must be a clear link between the property owner’s negligence and your injuries. If they failed to provide smoke detectors and fire extinguishers but you escaped without injuries, you don’t have a valid claim.
Anyone who owns or occupies a property in Maryland has a legal duty to ensure it is safe for visitors. Tenants, shoppers, and diners all have a right to expect safe conditions. However, property owners and managers are only required to take reasonable steps to prevent harm. If your injuries were caused by negligence, you can hold the responsible party liable for a range of damages including:
- Out of pocket medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
- Reduced quality of life
Punitive damages don’t usually factor into personal injury cases in Maryland. The law requires you to prove that the defendant acted maliciously or deliberately injured you.
Since the burden of proof rests with the injured party, you will need an experienced lawyer to help you. Burn injury claims usually require thorough investigation and you will need to present strong evidence to support your claim. Your attorney may need to consult professionals about safety code violations or retain an accident reconstruction expert. It all depends on the nature of your case. What is certain is that you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. If it’s your loved one who suffered an injury, you must consult an attorney if they’re incapable of doing so. You should give the lawyer as much time as possible to work on the case.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC Today to Get Professional Legal Advice
If you suffered serious burn injuries and you believe someone else is at fault, contact us. Our Maryland burn injury attorneys will assess your case and help you to identify the correct defendant. We will do everything we can to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at Pinder Plotkin LLC today to schedule a free consultation.