Burns are an excruciating type of injury that can permanently alter the life of a victim. Burn victims often require extensive medical care, visits to doctors and specialists, medications, and treatment of mental trauma as a result of their experience and injuries.
Regaining your quality of life is important after suffering serious injuries from a burn accident. Rehabilitation from your injuries is a long-term process and may require constant care for your burns.
In order for you to focus on reclaiming your quality of life, consider retaining a catastrophic injury attorney to help you handle any potential civil claim. A skilled St. Augustine burn injury lawyer could take the worry out of your legal case by aggressively pursuing the compensation you need for medical care, emotional distress, and other losses.
The Elements of a Burn Injury Case
To succeed in a burn injury case, injured plaintiffs must satisfy their legal burden of proof by providing sufficient evidence to show the defendant was responsible for the accident that led to their burn injury. To do this, the plaintiff must prove a series of elements by a preponderance of the evidence, including:
- The existence of a duty of care
- A breach of duty
- Direct or proximate cause
- Physical damages
Many burn injury lawsuits and claims are based on the victim asserting that the defendant’s actions or conduct was negligent or careless, which in turn caused the plaintiff’s injury. Negligence refers to behaviors or actions that are dangerous, thoughtless, and neglectful.
Negligence may occur when an individual or entity acts in an inappropriate manner, such as by engaging in horseplay with a very hot object despite the reasonable likelihood that burn injuries may occur. A St. Augustine burn injury attorney could help a plaintiff identify the precise cause of their burn injury and help them determine whether it qualifies as legal negligence on someone else’s part.
Factors that May Affect Recoverable Damages in Burn Injury Cases
Monetary compensation in a burn injury lawsuit is not predetermined. No two cases, even those involving similar types of burn injuries, will have the same amount of awarded damages. This is because individualized factors tend to influence the overall payout.
The extent of financial and physical harm is important since it may determine general damages for the victim. The more surgeries a victim must undergo and the longer they will require medical treatment, the higher their potential may be for a large settlement. Likewise, permanent disfigurement and limited ability to earn a living in the future may increase settlement value compared to someone who can readily return to work after a period of time.
The reasons for the injury may also influence the settlement value. When burns are caused by a person’s direct negligence, the settlement might be higher because there is a chance the court may award punitive damages to the victim. Punitive damages are designed specifically to punish the defendant for gross conduct and serve as a public example to others.
Defendants may seek to lower the amount of compensation owed to the plaintiff by alleging that the plaintiff was at least partially responsible for the accident and their injuries. Under Florida’s comparative fault standard, a burn victim’s overall settlement value can decrease according to their percentage of fault, although a burn injury lawyer in St. Augustine could work with a plaintiff to minimize the odds of this happening.
Speak with a St. Augustine Burn Injury Attorney Today
Filing a burn injury claim can be complex and may require extensive knowledge of tort law and injuries stemming from burn accidents. If you have suffered serious burn injuries as a result of negligence from another person or entity, a skilled St. Augustine burn injury lawyer could evaluate your case and determine whether your claim is worth pursuing. To learn more about your legal options, call today.