Daniels Law

What Is Your Burn Injury Claim Worth?

January 18, 2024 · Personal Injury

It's estimated that since 1996 there has been a +320% increase in climate change-related wildfires. This phenomenon doesn't just decimate the environment, it can also cause significant property damage, injuries, and deaths.

Worse, these wildfires are often preventable occurrences that are caused by negligent parties. If you were injured in a wildfire, or any similar fire-related situation, you deserve burn injury compensation for your injuries. But exactly how much can you expect from this type of claim?

While there isn't an easy answer to this question, a good burn injury attorney can help you look at the factors regarding your claim worth. This guide will go over some of these factors so you can get a better idea of the type of money you can expect.

The Average Burn Injury Claim Worth

Burn injury claims can run the spectrum in terms of their worth. Some settle for hundreds of millions of dollars. Take the electricity utility company PacifiCorp as an example.

In 2020, they didn't listen to officials and left power lines on which caused huge levels of wildfires in the state of Oregon. The 220 customers who sued received nearly three hundred million in damages.

However, other times burn injury claims might settle for a few thousand dollars. So there's no simple answer to the question "How much is the average burn injury claim worth?" because no two burn cases are the same.

There are simply too many unknowns at play to predict the average amount you might expect. If you want to learn the specifics of how much your case might be worth, we recommend searching for 'burn lawyers near me'.

They can give you a better idea based on the specifics of your case. You can also estimate a bit yourself by looking at the factors that might influence the damages going into your injury claim.

Factors That Can Influence Your Burn Injury Claim

Several things can influence the amount of compensation you receive from a burn injury claim. These include the severity of the burns, the degree of negligence involved, the amount of property damage, medical bills, and insurance policy limits.

Each of these factors can influence the amount of compensation which is why it can be so hard to estimate how much your burn injury claim might be worth.

The Severity of the Burns

It's important to remember there are different degrees of burn injuries. The higher the degree, the deeper the burn has caused damage. At the bottom of the list is first-degree burns. These are minor burns to the epidermis that typically heal within ten days without a scar.

Second-degree burns go deep into the dermis itself. They're painful and take longer to heal (usually a few weeks). What's more, they'll also leave scars behind. Third-degree burns affect both the epidermis and dermis, while also bleeding into the subcutaneous tissue.

They're not as painful because the heat has burned away almost all of the nerves surrounding the area. Healing can take eight weeks or more and it will often always require surgical treatment.

Lastly, there are fourth-degree burns. This type of burn goes past skin and tissue to affect tendons and bones. It's a life-threatening condition. And, even if the person survives, they'll often need amputations and surgeries which can affect them for the rest of their lives.

As you can imagine, a fourth-degree burn injury claim is going to be worth a lot more than a minor first-degree one.

The Degree of Negligence

Sometimes, you'll have no one to blame for your burn injuries. For example, if lightning strikes cause a fire near your home, you can't sue Mother Nature for burn accidents.

However, other times, a fire can be attributed directly to an individual or corporation's negligence. For example, if an individual doesn't put out a campfire that causes a wildfire, they're responsible for damages.

Similarly, if a power company doesn't cut its power off during extremely windy weather after receiving warnings, it could also be held responsible.

Even if you aren't sure if someone's negligence caused your damages, you should still reach out to a burn accident attorney. They can do a little research to find out if the cause of the fire or burn can be linked to someone.

The Level of Property Damage

Property damage often accompanies burn injuries. Sometimes in addition to medical bills families also lose millions of dollars worth of property. If your house was damaged or destroyed in a fire that was someone's fault, you can sue to cover these damages.

Medical Bills

Burn injuries at the very least usually require hospitalization to treat. However, serious ones can leave scars and nerve damage that require an expensive burn treatment to address.

And that's not even counting the long-term health effects that come with things like wildfires. This can include things like respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological problems. Always meet with a burn accident law firm before you accept compensation for your medical bills.

In many cases, the long-term medical costs of fire injuries will become clearer down the line. As such, if you accept a settlement too soon, you could be stuck with a significant portion of the costs. Instead, discuss the issue with your lawyer and keep accurate records of all of your medical bills.

Insurance Policy Limits

Typically, when you've been involved in a burn accident, you file a fire insurance claim to cover the injuries and property damage. However, it's important to remember the at-fault insurance policy has limits.

That means if your medical bills or home repairs exceed these limits, you will be on the line financially. In these cases, you typically need to begin a personal injury lawsuit to get the money you are entitled to. Alternatively, you can accept the limits of the insurance policy if you want to avoid litigation.

Compensatory vs Punitive Damages

There are two general categories of damages in a burn injury claim you may be able to sue for: compensation and punitive. It's important to know the difference between these two when determining the worth of your claim. Compensatory damages will go toward compensating you for the actual damages you suffered.

In addition to your injuries and property damage, this can include any pain and suffering you experienced. 

Compensatory damages can be divided into two categories.

The first category is called Special damages. Special Damages include all economic damages you suffered, such as medical bills or lost wages. The second category is called General damages. General damages include things like pain and suffering; mental anguish; inconvenience; and loss of enjoyment of life (intangible things that are not easily calculated).

Punitive damages are damages that are designed to punish the defendant for extremely reckless or intentional behavior. The defendant’s behavior has to be especially despicable in order to recover them and as a result punitive damages are much rarer than compensatory damages.

An experienced burn victim lawyer will be able to help you to determine whether or not you may also be entitled to punitive damages as well.

How Can a Burn Injury Attorney Help You?

There are a variety of ways a burn injuries lawyer can help you with your claim. First, they can help decide if you even have a case that can be pursued. Sometimes there may be no liable parties involved in the fire such as a lightning started wildfire.

Burn injury law firms can perform preliminary investigations and comprehensive case analysis to help decide whether or not to bring a lawsuit at al. 

During this process, they dig deep for valuable evidence that can be used against the defendants in court. Additionally, a burn injury attorney can represent you in any insurance claims that arise out of the underlying incident.

Because burn injury law firms have experience and knowledge of how burn cases play out, they can often maximize the amount of compensation you receive. Still not sure if you need a burn attorney? This guide will help you decide whether or not you require a burn lawyer.

Ready for the Legal Help You Deserve? Contact Daniels Law Today

We hope this guide helped you answer the question "What is your burn injury claim worth?" Here at Daniels Law, we've personally witnessed the devastation that comes with wildfires in our home state of California.

That's why we've devoted our efforts to becoming a firm specializing in these often complex cases. As your burn injury attorneys, we are devoted to holding those responsible for your burn accountable.

To do this, we draw on over twenty-five years of litigation experience. So if you're ready for the legal help you're entitled to, schedule your consultation with us today.

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