Fires have the ability to appear without warning, and they tend to strike fear to those within the range of their damage potential. If you are a person who was unfortunate enough to be trapped in a fire and were injured as a result of it, you are keenly cognizant of the fact that the external scars, while painful and enduring, does not compare to the internal scarring it causes. However, you should be compensated for both of these injuries if someone acted negligently is the cause of the fire that resulted in your injuries. Unfortunately, most victims are unaware of where to start in the process of recovering damages for their burn injuries. This is especially true for the person who has never gone through litigation before. There are numerous questions that burn victims have, and we have added some FAQ’s below that address the most common concerns burn victims. However, it is always more advantageous to speak directly with a qualified and experienced attorney here at The Doan Law Office. If you are the victim of burn injuries, do not wait, call us today.
What are the facts about burn injuries?
As far as residential buildings are concerned, the most common causes of fire are faulty heating equipment, cooking accidents and electrical problems.
In non-residential buildings, the most common causes of fire are intentional lighting, carelessness and accidents.
California, Pennsylvania and Texas lead the nation in fire-related deaths total.
Alabama, D.C. and Mississippi lead the nation in fire-related deaths per one million people.
Nearly six out of 10 people who are injured or die in a fire are men.
Nationally, for everyone one million people, slightly more than 10 are killed and 50 are injured as the result of fire.
American Indians and African Americans have the highest death rate involving fire.
People over the age of 80 have the highest death rate from fires.
People who are in their 30s have the highest fire-injury rate.
What rights for financial compensation do I have if I was burned in an accident?
If someone is responsible for starting a fire that inevitably injured you, you may have a case, depending on the nature of the lawsuit that is filed. The complicated nature of fires, the key will be located the culpable party. This is primarily due to the fact that there will usually be a lot of finger pointing going on, or they will claim that it was an act of God. You will need clear and distinct proof that it was the defendant’s fault in order to have a valid claim. Additionally, if there is contributory negligence on your part, you may be barred from filing a claim. Generally, if you are more than 50 percent responsible, you will not be able to seek damages.
What laws of legal precedence can be used to seek compensation for my burn injuries?
The manner in which your burn injury cases is built will depend heavily on the type of lawsuit that is filed. Here are some examples of the types of lawsuits that will most likely be filed for fire-related injuries.
Intentional Torts: Many fires are started on purpose, when a person lights a commercial building, residential building or some other type of structure. In this type of suit, you will need to be able to prove that the intentional setting of the fire was wrong.
Negligence: When it is not possible to prove wrongful intent, it is likely that you will have to prove negligence on the part of the responsible party
Product Liability: A product liability suit is designed to go after manufacturers when their products, by way of defect, cause injuries. In this case, it will be necessary to prove product defect. In cases that involve product liability, you will be able to sue any person or entity that is a part of the distribution chain, meaning any person or entity that had a role in the design of the product, creation of the product, or sale of the product can be held liable for the distribution of the defective product that caused your injuries. Product liability cases usually have two primary elements:
That the manufacture or design of the product in question was, in some way, defective, and that this product, as a result of the defect, caused your injuries.
That the instructions and warning that accompanied the product were, in some way, defective, and that contributed to your injuries.
Who am I able to sue in a lawsuit involving a burn injury?
You are able to bring a claim against any person or entity that can be held responsible for the cause of the fire, or for not taking reasonable action to ensure you’re safe.
This can apply to:
Anyone who accidentally started the fire, through an act of negligence.
Anyone who intentionally started the fire.
Any person or entity who manufactured the appliance or cooking instrument that started the fire.
Any entity who made the electrical product that started the fire.
What can I legally recover in the way of compensation for my injuries?
Because of the uniqueness of the type of harm caused by fire, the compensation that can be collected due to harm caused by fire may be dissimilar to other injury compensations settlements or awards. Briefly, here are some types of recovery that you can look for when seeking compensation for your fire-related injuries.
Medical Bills — The person who is found responsible for your burn injuries must pay all of the medical expenses associated with treating the injury.
Loss of Income — If your capacity to work has been reduced or completely diminished due to your injuries, the defendant must make up for any losses.
Property Damage — In the case in which the fire that injured you also damaged your property, the defendant will have to pay for the damages.
Pain and Suffering — As with other types of injuries, burn victims also experience substantial mental anguish, and this type of pain and suffering can be debilitating, and the defendant will have to pay for that suffering.
Disfigurement and Disability — One of the most immediate and visual consequence of a burn injury are the physical scars and disfigurement that fire can cause. Most of the scars are visible to the naked eye, and these injuries are permanent. With disfigurement and permanent injuries, the defendant must pay.
What is the time limit for filing a lawsuit for a burn injury?
Generally, you have a maximum of two years to file your case to claim compensation for your injuries, meaning that if someone starts a fire that causes you injury, you have two years to file a claim in the form of a lawsuit. This two-year window does not begin to close until you have identified that you have sustained an injury.
How can The Doan Law Firm help me with my burn injury lawsuit or claim?
Working with an experienced burn injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm means that you will have some representing your best interest that will fight for every dollar that you deserve. We will handle everything from the onset, allowing you to focus on getting better, and returning to some sense of normalcy in your life.
If you have suffered a burn injury, contact our office for your initial free consultation, and you will be able to speak with one of our attorneys about the facts of your case.