Experiencing a burn injury can be profoundly distressing, resulting in physical, emotional, and financial challenges. If you or someone you care about has sustained a burn injury because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, it’s essential to grasp the steps involved in initiating a burn injury claim in the state of California.
Burn injuries can profoundly affect an individual’s physical and emotional well-being, not to mention the considerable financial burden they can place on a person. The National Burn Association reports that approximately 486,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries annually in the United States. Among them, roughly 40,000 require hospitalization, and tragically, 3,000 lose their lives. In this blog post, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide on the essential steps to pursue legal recourse and secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Severity of burn injuries
If a burn injury has affected you or someone you care about because of another person’s negligence or recklessness, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the procedure for filing a burn injury claim in California. This blog post will provide a step-by-step guide to help you pursue justice and secure the rightful compensation. It’s important to note that the legal consequences of a burn injury hinge on the injury’s severity and the context in which it happened.
- First-degree burns: First-degree burns are characterized as the mildest type of burns, affecting only the top layer of the skin. These burns typically manifest as red, painful, and possibly swollen areas.
- Second-degree burns: These burns can be exceptionally painful and often present as blisters, redness, and swelling. While they are more serious than first-degree burns, second-degree burns usually heal within a period of two to three weeks with appropriate care and treatment.
- Third-degree burns: These burns involve all layers of skin and may extend to the muscle or bone. They are typically black, brown, or charred. They can take months or even years to heal and may require skin grafts.
Possibility of Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are compensation that serves to penalize the defendant for their wrongful actions and to discourage them from repeating such behavior in the future. These damages are not granted in every legal case; they are usually reserved for situations where the defendant’s conduct is exceptionally reprehensible or outrageous.
In burn injury cases, punitive damages can be granted when the defendant’s actions were either intentional, reckless or grossly negligent. For instance, if a defendant deliberately started a fire that resulted in a burn injury, punitive damages may be considered. Similarly, punitive damages may be on the table if the defendant’s behavior was extremely careless, such as failing to adequately maintain a hot water heater, leading to a burn injury. These damages serve as a way to punish such behavior and discourage future misconduct.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
The amount of compensation granted for pain and suffering in burn injury cases can vary significantly, influenced by factors like the severity of the injury, the extent of the victim’s recovery, and the unique details of the case. Nevertheless, a recent study conducted by the National Center for State Courts indicates that, on average, pain and suffering awards in burn injury cases amount to $250,000. Notably, this research also reveals an increasing trend in the compensation amounts for pain and suffering in burn injury cases over time. In 1990, the average award stood at $100,000, and by 2019, it had risen to $250,000. It’s crucial to keep in mind that these figures represent averages, and the actual compensation in any specific case will be determined by the specific circumstances and facts at hand.
Filing a burn injury claim in California can be a complex and challenging process. However, with the assistance of experienced burn injury attorneys, you can navigate this journey with confidence. Our team is dedicated to fighting for your rights, holding the responsible parties accountable, and securing the compensation you deserve. At Pistiolas Law, we recognize the physical, emotional, and financial hardships that often accompany burn injuries. If you or someone dear to you has experienced a burn injury in California, reach out to us promptly at (844) 414-1768. Allow us to be your reliable legal champions, committed to defending your rights, constructing a robust case, and obtaining compensation to cover medical expenses, rehabilitation, and the hardships you’ve faced.