Author: Jay Howard
When you or someone close to you suffers a burn injury, your immediate focus is on recovery. Burn injuries differ from other injuries in that they typically involve a substantial, expensive recovery process. The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people suffer burn injuries every year, which means that negative long-term implications associated with these horrible injuries may be closer than you think.
You shouldn’t have to face the burden of a burn injury alone. Sami Tabbaa of Tabbaa Law is one of Georgia’s premier burn injury attorneys, supporting clients at every stage of this difficult process. Every case is different, but an understanding of how to approach your case begins with determining how much a burn injury claim is worth.
How Are Burn Injuries Categorized?
An accounting of your burn injury, at least in terms of a potential lawsuit, begins with first diagnosing the severity level of your burn. Burn injuries are categorized into four distinct levels:
- First Degree Burns
- Second Degree Burns
- Third Degree Burns
- Fourth Degree Burns
Because of the body’s response to burns, even a first-degree burn can have painful and traumatic effects on you. They usually result in redness or swelling. Second and third-degree burns are much more painful and are usually the result of an accident with an open flame or other heated objects. Second-degree burns involve the top layer of skin, while third-degree burns completely char your nerve endings and could potentially be life-threatening. Not only do fourth-degree burns char the skin irreparably, but also burn the tissues beneath. Because they usually involve chemicals, fourth-degree burns can also be life-threatening.
What Damages are Recoverable in a Burn Injury Claim?
Burn injuries are notoriously difficult, both in terms of prognosis and recovery. Not only do you have to deal with the immediate medical attention upon suffering a burn, but in many instances, the ongoing medical costs that add up from seeing specialists, cosmetic consultations, and physical therapy and rehabilitation are all factored in when determining recoverable damages in a lawsuit. Specifically, the following damages could potentially be recovered in a lawsuit:
- Emergency medical care
- Ongoing medical care
- Physical therapy costs
- Surgical costs
- Lost wages and other lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
Further damages may be awarded in special circumstances, such as if the verdict finds that the person or entity that caused your burn injury acted recklessly or wantonly. In these instances, punitive damages, designed to punish the defendant(s), will also be assessed in the form of a monetary payment.
It’s also important to understand that there is a potential cap on whatever damages you recover due to certain laws on the books. Georgia operates under what is known as the “modified comparative negligence” statute, meaning the compensation you could potentially recover is dependent on your percentage of fault in the accident. This also means that if you are found to be primarily to blame for the accident, recovery of damages will not be awarded.
How Much is a Burn Injury Claim Worth?
Ultimately, determining just how much value there is in your burn injury is highly dependent on the circumstances. Generally, courts and juries will take the following into account when trying to put a number on your burn injury claims:
- How serious the burn injuries are
- Which body parts were damaged by the burn
- If the burn injury will leave a permanent disfigurement or scarring that could cause emotional distress.
- Whether you will ever fully recover from your injuries
- Your age
- Whether the injuries will cause you loss of enjoyment of life
- How the injury will impact your loved ones
- Your occupation and how the injury will affect your lost wages or earning capacity.
The nature of burn injuries means that there are several possible factors and outcomes. That’s why it’s important to consult with Tabbaa Law to get a realistic picture of your potential compensation.
Work With a Compassionate Georgia Burn Injury Lawyer
Sami Tabbaa and his Atlanta-based firm, Tabbaa Law, has spent years practicing and advocating for burn injury victims throughout Georgia. His proven track record of success in burn injury cases could be the difference between settling for a low offer from an insurance company or getting you the maximum compensation you deserve. Call his office today at (770) 370-7881 or complete this contact form to learn more.Personal Injury