An Irvine Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Burn injuries are among the most painful and traumatic personal injuries anyone can possibly endure. A severe burn injury victim will often lose his or her natural ability to fight disease and dehydration. The worst burns can destroy skin elasticity, sweat glands, and hair follicles. Many severe burn injury victims will develop lifelong issues with their mobility and breathing.
Burn injuries have the potential to create more than one type of trauma. On top of the potential for physical scarring, psychological scars can make it impossible to live a normal life. The worst burn injury victims must often deal with peoples’ stares, rude comments, and even discrimination.
Burn injuries are a type of personal injury, which means that victims are typically entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover monetary damages for their injuries and financial losses.
Most Irvine burn injury claims are generally based on:
- Negligence–injuries caused by someone’s reckless or deliberate acts
- Product Defects–injuries caused by a defective product
- Premises Liability
If you have suffered burn injuries in the city of Irvine due to someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly more. Please don’t hesitate to contact us 24/7 at (949) 334-9200 or feel free to email us at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, we are always here to answer any questions you may have about burn injury claims.
Common Types Of Burns Causes
- Flame Burns: A type of premises liability accident, these burns are most commonly seen after building fires or after direct contact with open flames. For example, poorly installed electrical work or defective appliances are common causes of building fires.
- Electrical Burns: These burns don’t always look serious at all, but often occur when electricity passes through vulnerable skin tissue. Regardless of their appearance, electrical burns cause severe internal damage.
- Contact Burns: These burns are very common and don’t usually involve negligence. They are typically caused after touching hot objects, such as cooking appliances, cigarettes, or equipment that radiates at extreme temperatures.
- Flash Burns: Flash burns are typically caused after the sudden ignition of a flammable liquid or gas.
- Scalds: Often occur after direct contact with a hot liquid.
- Steam Burns: Often caused by industrial accidents. However, they can be caused by defective appliances that are under extreme pressure.
- Chemical Burns: Commonly seen in work related accidents and are often negligence based. These burns can also be caused by exposure to a strong acid or base commonly seen in household cleaning supplies and industrial chemicals.
Negligence And Burn Injuries
What is negligence as it relates to burn injuries? It is essentially a wrongful act that was committed by an individual, a company, or a group of people that causes a burn injury victim’s losses.
Let’s analyze an example of negligence and a burn injury: Let’s say that Robert is enjoying a weekend bonfire with a group of friends in Heisler Park, not very far from downtown Irvine. Robert brought along plenty of alcoholic drinks and is drinking heavily.
Robert purchased a small batch of fireworks. He has them in his pocket. He looks over at his friend Mary, who happens to scare easily. Robert, due to his intoxication, thinks it would be a hilarious joke to light a few fireworks and throw them at Mary’s feet. Obviously, this is not enough firepower to cause Mary, or anyone, any real harm.
However, because Robert is very intoxicated, his fireworks completely miss the mark. Unfortunately, the entire batch of fireworks lands right in the middle of a roaring bonfire. This causes a sudden explosion that badly burns Mary’s face and hands and face. Robert had no real intention of hurting Mary. Nevertheless, his negligence was the direct cause of Mary’s injuries.
In the above example, Robert would be liable to Mary for her damages and Mary can file a claim against Robert for financial compensation. In essence, this means that Robert would almost certainly have to pay for Mary’s medical bills, lost wages, and possibly more. There’s also a very strong possibility that Mary, because her burns occurred on very delicate areas, would also qualify for additional damages to compensate her for pain and suffering and physical disfigurement.
The following information is very important. If you suffered burn injuries because of someone’s negligence and want to successfully pursue a burn injury claim, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that the defendant failed to abide by this duty of care, and that this failure was what caused your burn injuries.
If we consider the above example, Mary would not have a hard time proving a case against her friend Robert.
How The Burn Occurred Matters
The circumstances of the burn itself, as well as its specific location, are important considerations when determining the exact dollar amount of a burn injury settlement. A court will consider not only how bad the burn appears, but the way it will affect a victim’s quality of life moving forward. Settlement amounts are not easily predictable when it comes to burn injuries, and they will vary depending on the specific circumstances.
Let’s consider the above example involving Robert and Mary. In that example, Mary’s burn occured on her face. Therefore, a settlement involving facial burns is valued more highly than a burn that occurred in a less visible place, such as an arm.
Let’s analyze another consideration. What if a burn victim was hurt in an accident that was not potentially avoidable? The value of such a case will likely be lower than a case in which a victim was hurt because someone failed to follow necessary safety regulations. Burn injuries that were preventable would most likely qualify for higher damages than those that were not easily foreseeable.
What About Pain And Suffering?
Because burn injuries have the potential to cause lifelong health issues, as well as permanent disfigurement, burn injury victims are often entitled to damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering take into account the reality that burn victims will experience the shame and embarrassment of physical deformity for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, if it can be proven that a defendant deliberately tried to cause someone burn injuries, that individual would likely qualify for punitive damages. Punitive damages are not very common, yet are awarded when a defendant intentionally tried to cause someone harm.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here To Help
If you have sustained burn injuries as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. An Irvine burn injury attorney at our firm can recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. Call us today at (949) 334-9200 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.