Any personal injury accident can result in major injuries, which means major expenses for the victim. Furthermore, if those injuries are burns, they can change someone’s life forever, leaving the sufferer with ongoing pain and irreversible disfigurement. The result can be lifelong physical and emotional pain that no victim should bear without compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered third-degree burns after an accident in Georgia, here’s what you need to know about your next steps, possible settlement amounts, and when it’s appropriate to pursue a lawsuit with a burn injury lawyer.
Third-Degree Burns Are Serious
Even if an accident is mild, burns can cause permanent damage to you and your well-being. Your skin is your first defense system, protecting your entire body from harm. However, the results can be catastrophic when it suffers damage, potentially leading to scarring, infections, breathing issues, chronic pain, and movement limitations. At worst, burns can even kill someone.
When you have burn injuries from an accident, your chances of getting financial recovery for pain and suffering are high. Juries typically take burn injuries very seriously, as the medical costs can be high coupled with the emotional strain of living with severe burns for the rest of your life.
If you were the victim of an accident that led to third-degree burns, you need an excellent personal injury lawyer who can help ensure you get the financial recovery required to account for your costs and suffering.
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You Can File a Lawsuit for Third-Degree Burns in Georgia
Yes. Third-degree burns are known as “catastrophic injuries,” which are those that permanently keep a victim from working or enjoying life as they would before their accident and injuries. That can also require years of medical treatment, surgeries, and follow-up care.
And, as with all personal injuries in Georgia, you have the right to claim recovery from the person whose negligence led to your burn injuries. Depending on how your accident occurred, this negligent person or party could be a boss or business owner, homeowner, a product manufacturer, another driver, or someone else who was not fulfilling their duty of care to protect others from harm.
Average Values of Third-Degree Burn Settlements
The severity of third-degree burns often results in higher settlements than other types of personal injuries. However, the exact amount can vary greatly depending on the details, and the lawsuit process can take time.
To recover for your damages from your burns, you’ll need to be able to prove the other party was liable. A good burn injury lawyer can help you do this demonstrate that:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care to prevent harm
- That party did not uphold its duty of care
- As a result of the breach of the duty of care, you sustained your burns and other damages
During a third-degree burn lawsuit, the jury will also consider how and where the burn injuries happened, as these details can affect your potential claim or settlement amount. For example, if a victim suffered severe burns to their face, a burn injury attorney will look at how the burns affect the victim’s relationship with their spouse, their ability to wear clothes the same way, and their enjoyment of going out in public. If the burns are not easily hidden, the potential settlement may be higher.
How Your Accident Happened Matters
The way your accident happened will also get taken into account when estimating the value of your settlement. For example, severe burns often happen during accidents involving:
- Car accidents
- Flammable materials
- Defective household products or industrial equipment
- Gas explosions
- Electricity or wiring issues
- Accidents on a worksite and filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Scalds from hot foods or beverages
This will lead to questions about whether the accident was avoidable and what events led to the burns. If the accident could have been avoidable, a jury may not award the victim as much. This is why it’s so crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side. They can compile solid evidence that the accident couldn’t have been avoided.
Recover Compensation for Your Damages
The amount of damages the at-fault party can pay through the insurance coverage they hold varies. If you and your lawyer can show your burns happened because of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to recover for damages like:
- Medical bills, current, and future
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Possibly punitive damages, if the court determines the at-fault party’s actions were wanton or reckless
Calculating the value of your damages can be deceptively straightforward. But, unfortunately, many burn victims underestimate just how much they can win in their settlement. Our lawyers will ensure that nothing gets left out when negotiating compensation with the insurance company.
Take Action for Wrongful Death Caused By Third-Degree Burns
If you lost a spouse or parent because of a third-degree burn injury, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person. In Georgia, damages from wrongful death cases can include:
- Medical costs prior to death
- Funeral expenses
- The deceased’s loss of income and earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering prior to death
Money can’t fix everything, but it can give you the financial means to move forward with your life and ensure that economic hardship won’t hinder you or your family.
Don’t Trust the Insurance Companies to Do the Right Thing
Insurance companies love to offer lowball settlements to personal injury victims. Even if you’ve suffered severe burns and catastrophic injuries, they don’t care as long as they get to protect their bottom line. As a result, insurance companies often downplay the amount of pain and mental anguish you’ve suffered and will always try to give you the bare minimum for your damages.
Always fight back against the insurance companies and negotiate a proper settlement that reflects the damages you sustained. Remember, what happened to you wasn’t your fault, so it makes no sense to have to pay for anything out of pocket. Instead, let our lawyers assist you in court or during negotiations.
The Statute of Limitations for Third-Degree Burn Claims in Georgia
Despite their severity, third-degree burn claims still fall under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §9-3-33 general statute of limitations of two years. Depending on how you sustained your burn injuries, you could have more or less time. Regardless, it’s best to get started building a strong case for your claim as quickly as possible.
Not All Cases Will Go to Trial
You will most likely still settle out of court when you file a claim or a lawsuit. Most insurance companies won’t take your claim to court due to how expensive and lengthy the process is. When you hire a lawyer, you have the bargaining power to negotiate for a proper settlement.
Still, there are certain times when going to court is necessary to secure fair financial compensation. In these instances, you’ll want to find a law firm that won’t back down from an arduous legal battle and will always have your back until you win your settlement.
Talk to a Burn Injury Lawyer for Free Today
John Foy & Associates takes third-degree burn injuries very seriously. We have seen how much they can impact an individual’s life, and we want to help you recover what you need to get treatment and move on as fully as possible.
We’ve been helping burn victims seek financial recovery for more than 20 years, and we’d love to speak with you about your case. For a free consultation to discuss the details, call us today or fill out the form to the right to get started.