Burn injuries are prevalent, debilitating and cause intense pain and suffering. In 2020, Missouri recorded 5.1 injuries and 2.3 deaths per 1,000 fires. Burn victims can file a lawsuit when another party’s negligence or misdoing caused injuries. A St. Louis burn injury law firm can help you establish liability and receive compensation for damages. Read on to learn three FAQs about burn injury lawsuits.
1. What are the Common Burn Injuries in St Louis?
Numerous things lead to burn injuries in St Louis, including fires, auto crashes, defective products, abuse, and chemicals. While uncommon, auto accidents can cause burn injuries, especially when trucks carrying chemicals and combustible materials crash. Similarly, a defective product can overheat and lead to a burn injury.
Regardless of the cause, medics categorize burns into four, based on severity and layers of skin penetrated. First-degree burns are minor and only affect the outmost skin layer. Victims have symptoms like swelling, pain, and redness and rarely need medical care. Second-degree burns damage the outer skin layer as well as the underlying layer, resulting in intense pain, blistering, and swelling.
When a burn affects all the skin layers and damages nerve endings, hair follicles, and sweat glands, it is a third-degree burn. In most cases, the victim does not feel pain since the burn affects the nerves but may experience charring and white skin. The most severe burns are fourth-degree burns, damaging all skin layers, bones, muscles, and tendons. Victims need urgent medical care and risk amputation and death.
2. How Do You Prove Liability in a Burn Injury Case?
Among the most complex parts of a burn injury lawsuit in St Louis is determining who is liable for your injuries and thus should compensate you for damages. Typically, you must prove beyond doubt the responsible party breached their duty of care, causing burn injuries and subsequent damage. For instance, if you sustained burn injuries in a workplace fire, you should prove that your employer had a duty of care but acted negligently.
An essential part of establishing liability is proving the damages suffered resulted from a defendant’s negligence. Examples of damage are physical injury, medical bills, emotional distress, loss of physical ability, and pain and suffering. Medical records are handy in establishing liability. Also, an experienced burn injury lawyer has extensive experience handling such claims and offers valuable insights. They can also value your claim by quantifying economic and noneconomic damages.
3. How Much Compensation Do Victims Get in a Burn Injury Lawsuit?
Burn injury lawsuits vary from victim to victim, making it hard to determine the average amount they get in settlement. The compensation depends on many factors, such as the severity of injuries, the at-fault party’s coverage, the degree of the defendant’s liability, and the victim’s patience.
Insurance companies pay more for severe injuries than minor ones because they are costly to treat, take longer to heal, and significantly affect the victim’s life. For instance, someone with third-degree burns incurs more medical bills, and the injuries may lead to more pain and hinder them from working. Additionally, the degree of defendant liability is considered, with preventable injuries receiving more compensation than unpreventable ones.
The settlement amount also depends on your patience. Victims who take an insurer’s first offer get less than those who wait for a fair payout. Insurance providers make money by minimizing compensation, so watch out.
Whether an auto crash or workplace fire caused your burn injuries, the repercussions are enormous. You may have substantial medical bills, feel excruciating pain, become disfigured, and lose earning capacity. If your injuries emanate from the negligent actions of another person, you can file a claim, requiring them to pay for damages. While the process is daunting and time-consuming for a self-represented claimant, a reputable burn injury lawyer can handle the claim, so you focus on recovery.