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Legal Insight on the Most Common Types of Burn Injuries, Proving Negligence, and Available Damages

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a fact sheet of home fires taking place between 2011 and 2015. The report indicated that there was an estimated average of 358,500 fires that occurred in homes. About 2,510 civilians were killed, 12,300 suffered burn injuries, and $6.7 billion worth of damage was done. The most common cause of these deadly fires were from cooking and heating equipment.

Fires may also result from motor vehicle accidents. The NFPA released another fact sheet, but this time, it was for vehicle fires that occurred in 2018. It was reported that an estimate of 212,500 vehicle fires resulted in 560 deaths, 1,500 injuries, and $1.9 billion in property damage. The leading cause of these fires were from mechanical and electrical failures. Old vehicle models contributed about three-quarters of highway vehicle fires, which were caused by malfunctions. Accidents were the most common cause of fatal vehicle fires.

Those who are victims of a burn injury may be eligible to file a personal injury claim if the incident was caused by a negligent party. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our experienced San Francisco burn injury attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses. We have won over 5,000 personal injury cases and recovered more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been recognized as one of the top personal injury law firms in San Francisco.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm. 

Common Types of Burn Injuries

There are various types of burn injuries a person could sustain. This includes the following:

  • Thermal burns. A thermal burn is a burn to the skin that is caused by excessive heat, such as hot metals, surfaces, liquids, flames, or steam.
  • Radiation burns. A radiation burn is a burn to the skin that is caused by exposure to electromagnetic radiation, such as UV-rays, X-rays, or radiation therapy.
  • Chemical burns. A chemical burn is caused by a corrosive chemical substance. It has the ability to burn internal and external organs.
  • Electrical burns. An electrical burn is caused by an electric current, such as lightning or wires. It is capable of damaging the tissues and organs, which can result in serious injuries, or even death.
  • Friction burns. A friction burn may occur when the skin is scraped off from having forceful contact with a hard object, such as the ground. It is also identified as an abrasion or a heat burn.

It is always encouraged for a burn injury victim to seek medical assistance from a doctor. Each burn injury victim may experience different symptoms that could be either mild, moderate, or severe. The doctor will examine the wounded area to determine if further medical care is needed to relieve the pain.

If your burn injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Your doctor visit can be used as a piece of evidence to include in your claim. This will convince the insurance companies that you were, in fact, injured.

Burn Injury Cases

There are two types of burn injury cases: negligence and product liability.

A negligence burn injury case will require the plaintiff to provide proof of:

  • The defendant owing the plaintiff a duty of care,
  • The defendant breaching their duty of care, and
  • The defendant’s negligence ultimately being the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

The plaintiff may also reveal the total amount of economic and non-economic damages they suffered from due to the negligent acts committed by the defendant. If the plaintiff is successful in proving their case, they will be granted recoverable compensation that will help cover for their losses.

A product liability case can be very complicated because expert analysis and testimony is required to prove that the product was defective in the first place. If you were injured as a result of a defective product, you may recover damages by proving that:

  • The product was used in a reasonable manner.
  • The manufacturer sold a defective product.
  • The product was already defective when it left the manufacturer.
  • Injury or harm was sustained as a result of the defective product.

Available Damages for a Burn Injury 

The consequences of a burn injury can be catastrophic and forever change the outcome of a victim’s life. A burn injury may become a financial burden on the victim due to the multiple doctor visits, procedures, and prescriptions given to heal the wounded area. It may also cause the victim to experience mental anguish. For these consequences, a victim of a burn injury is entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the compensation that a victim is entitled to due to the financial losses they experienced as a result of the burn injury. Available economic damages for a burn injury victim include medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Non-economic damages refer to the compensation that a victim is entitled to due to the emotional losses that came with their burn injury. Available non-economic damages for a burn injury victim include scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. It is relatively rare and, in fact, was only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts. Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help

If you were involved in a burn injury accident in San Francisco and would like to pursue a lawsuit against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys who are readily available to assist you with your case.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm.

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