New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

What You need to Know about Burn Injury Settlements

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 in Burn Injury

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

Burns constitute some of the most painful type of injuries that people have to suffer. Of late, these injuries have been increasingly common. Some of the most important factors responsible for burn injuries are explosions, fires, scalding oils and liquids, chemical exposure, overheated equipment, and malfunctioning tanning beds. You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have been burned and injured on account of someone else’s negligence.

burn-classification-300x240You may be entitled to financial compensation if you have been burned and injured on account of someone else’s negligence.

Establishing How and Where the Accident Happened

Some of the most important factors in a burn injury settlement are the extent to which a defendant can pay a settlement, the severity of the injury in question and the intentions of the person who caused the burns. Due to permanent scarring and pain and suffering caused, burn injuries tend to have higher settlement value. Both sides must negotiate based on what they believe the plaintiff might receive at trial, while reaching a settlement.

It is important to establish how and where the burn injury occurred; the amount a jury might be willing to award at trial might be affected by the degree of the defendant’s liability. There is no one specific kind of personal injury case involving burns. There may result from faulty consumer products, workplace injuries, arson, any kind of accident caused by negligence or other intentional burning.

Availability of Punitive Damages

The burn victim might also be able to receive punitive damages if the defendant was proven to have acted intentionally or negligently. This is referred to as “gross negligence” in legal terms. These punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant who has acted in a condemnable manner. That is why a wealthy defendant will have to pay more so that they realize their folly. A defendant who intentionally led to the burn injury of a plaintiff will almost always be exposed to punitive damages.

Compensation that You may be Entitled To

If you have been burned as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for you injuries for the following:

  • Past and future medical bills for the treatment of your injuries
  • Any expenses related to the injury that are out of pocket, such as co-pays, prescriptions, deductibles, braces, over-the-counter medications, hot or cold packs, etc.
  • Your mileage to and from your health care appointments
  • The wages you may have lost (both past lost wages and wages you may lose in the future due to disabilities or the need to seek medical care)
  • Your past and future disability, pain and suffering, and/or disfigurement

Burn Injury Settlements

Burn-Injury-Settlements-300x225A defendant who intentionally led to the burn injury of a plaintiff will almost always be exposed to punitive damages.

Examples of General Negligence Settlements and Verdicts

  • The water system of a hotel produced scalding hot water. A plaintiff, who was already disabled, lowered himself into a bathtub without checking the water first, suffered second degree burns because it was actually filled with scalding water. The hotel settled for $275,000.
  • A woman who suffered third-degree burns from scalding hot coffee at McDonald’s won a $640,000 settlement from the fast-food giant and she is the one who spilled the coffee on herself.
  • A hospital patient suffered burns when his bed caught fire due to a product design defect. The manufacturer of the bed settled for $1,000,000.

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