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Burn Injury Settlement Amounts

Our attorneys handle burn injury lawsuits in Maryland and throughout the country. This page looks at expected settlement amounts for burn injuries and what burn injury lawyers can do to increase the compensation payouts for victims who suffer from these horrific injuries.

If you have a burn injury case, our law firm can help you. Our firm is based in Maryland. But if you are outside of Maryland, we will help you find the best burn injury lawyer in your area. Call us today at 800- 553-8082 or get a free consultation online.

A burn can be one of the most painful types of injuries. Burns are generally classified into 4 degrees of severity, with 4th-degree being the most severe. The burn’s severity directly correlates to the expected compensation payout the victim receives either by out-of-court settlement or at trial.

It is also essential to understand that the settlement calculation involves not just the burns’ severity but the burn’s size. A second-degree burn may have a higher settlement than a third-degree burn if the second-degree burn covers 30% of the body and the third-degree burn covers 5%.

First Degree Burns

First-degree burns are the least severe category of burns. A first-degree burn only damages the skin’s outer, superficial layer.

First-degree burns are comparable to a sunburn. It usually involves redness, dryness, and sometimes swelling of the skin. The affected area may be painful to the touch. But there are no blisters on the skin. First-degree burns almost invariably heal completely.

The average settlement amount of a first-degree burn is less than $10,000. These injuries are not significant enough to warrant significant settlement compensation. Few law firms are handling these claims.

Second Degree Burns

A second-degree burn occurs when the damage extends past the superficial outermost layer of the skin and goes deeper into the underneath layer called the dermis.

Second-degree burns leave the affected area of the skin bright red and swollen. The burned skin often has a wet or shiny appearance, and blisters will also appear.

Second-degree burns may or may not completely heal, depending on how severe the damage is. With a relatively superficial second-degree burn, only the upper part of the dermis layer is damaged.

This usually allows full recovery with no permanent scar tissue. With more severe second-degree burns, the damage extends deeper into the dermis layer, resulting in permanent scarring or skin discoloration.

Our lawyers have never seen average second-degree burn injury settlement statistics. But, based on our burn injury attorneys’ experience, we estimate an average settlement amount for a second-degree burn between $25,000 and $75,00. Could it be higher or lower? Yes, but you can expect approximately 90% of compensation payouts to be in this range.

Third Degree Burns

A third-degree burn classification applies when the outer and underneath (dermis) skin layers are completely damaged. This is sometimes referred to as a “full-thickness burn.”

Third-degree burns typically turn the damaged skin area black, brown, or yellow. Instead of appearing wet like a second-degree burn, the damaged skin is dry to the touch and leathery.

Third-degree burns also destroy nerve endings in the area, so the burn is typically not painful to the touch in the center. Third-degree burns are serious injuries that should be treated in a hospital immediately. These burns can be caused by scalding liquid flames from a fire, and an electrical or chemical source.

Our burn injury lawyers have handled third-degree burn injury cases where the victim had a strong and quick recovery, and we have had cases where the victims have died after extended suffering. As a result, the range of settlements for a third-degree burn will range from $100,000 to millions of dollars.

Fourth Degree Burns

The most severe and harmful burns are classified as fourth-degree burns. The burns involve damage that goes beyond both layers of the skin and into the subcutaneous tissue. Some fourth-degree burns even involve damage to the underlying fascia, muscles, and bones. This is a brutal and excruciating injury.

Fourth-degree burns almost always leave the damaged area completely black and charred in appearance. Even when confined to a small area of the body, fourth-degree burns can be life-threatening injuries.

Burns of this depth and severity can release deadly toxins into the bloodstream. Fourth-degree burns on limbs or extremities will almost always require immediate amputation.

If liability is established, the expected settlement compensation in the average 4th-degree burn case will run in the millions.

Burn Injury Compensation

If you were burned in an accident or as the direct result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to a financial compensation payout for your injury.

Lawsuits involving burn injuries can arise from many contexts, such as workplace accidents, serious car accidents, etc.

The monetary compensation you may be entitled to will typically depend on the nature, severity, and scope of your burn injury.

First Degree Burn Settlements & Verdicts

A first-degree burn is a very minor injury. Again, most first-degree burns are analogous to sunburn. So it is unsurprising that we don’t find many reported settlements or verdicts based on first-degree burns.

  • Bradley v. Timko (2013 Maryland): In this case the Plaintiff was in a car accident and alleged, among other injuries, that deployment of the airbag caused first-degree burns to his hands. The jury awarded $7,700 in damages for the first-degree burns.

Second Degree Burn Settlements & Verdicts

What our lawyers see with 2nd-degree burn lawsuit settlement amounts is that they vary wildly. The compensation depends on who burned and where they were burned. Certainly, chemical burn lawsuit settlements are higher. But you will see payouts range from less than $1,000 to millions of dollars.

  • $5,000 (2023 New Jersey): A minor was at a Barnes & Nobles store when hot tea was spilled on him as the lid had been improperly fastened by an employee of the defendant. The plaintiff allegedly suffered second-degree burns to his right arm, hand, and chest.
  • $150,000 (2022 Nevada): A 9-month-old female, was burned when her father put a bowel of hot soup in front of her and she reached her hands into the soup, causing the hot liquid to fall onto her. She suffered 2nd degree burns over 39% of her body. They sued the restaurant for negligence.
  • $4,000 (2001 Maryland): A five-year-old suffered second-degree burns to 5% of his body from water in a shower that was too hot. A lawsuit was brought against the landlord and claims were settled for $4,000. This settlement is light for sure. But you have to keep in mind in cases like this that you do not know how strong the plaintiff’s case was and that the defendant was responsible in the first place. The average settlement value for second-degree burns on a five-year-old should be much higher if responsibility is established.
  • $7,000 (2017 Texas): Plaintiff suffered a second-degree burn on her fingers from overly hot syrup at an IHOP restaurant. The claims were settled for $7,000.
  • $6,900,000 (2017 Texas): Improperly installed gas valve for dryer resulted in an explosion causing second-degree burns to 20% of Plaintiff’s body. The burns permanently scarred his face. He also injured his hip and back and had to undergo surgery. A jury awarded damages of $6.9 million.

Third Degree Burn Settlements & Verdicts

  • $50,000 (2024 Pennsylvania): Plaintiff suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his knees and legs from concrete burns after being poured. He sued the concrete delivery company for failing to warn him about the risk of burns from concrete and the need to wear gloves and protective equipment.
  • $1,000,000 (2023 Arizona): A fragrant candle ignited a fire with 2-foot flames after being lit and the plaintiff suffered burns to both hands with third-degree burns to his right hand which required a skin graft procedure using skin removed from his left leg. He filed a product liability lawsuit against the candle company.
  • $750,000 (2022 New York): A building superintendent suffered third-degree burns while assessing a hot water heater. He sued the apartment complex and the cases set during the pretrial settlement conference for a $750,000 payout.
  • $9,300,000 (2018 Pennsylvania): Plaintiff suffered third-degree burns to his face, neck, hands, and arms with permanent scarring from an explosion caused by a defective spark switch on a gas stove. The jury awarded damages of $9.3 million.
  • $530,000 (2018 Illinois): Plaintiff received third-degree burns to the side of her head, neck, and shoulders from an accident involving a police car. The jury awarded her $530,000 in damages.
  • $90,000 (2017 Texas): Plaintiff was involved in a car accident that caused third-degree burns. Claims were settled for $90,000.

Fourth-Degree Burn Settlements & Verdicts

  • $550,000 (2022 Massachusetts): The plaintiff suffered 3rd and 4th-degree thermal burns to her dominant right hand leading to amputation of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th distal phalanges, underwent 8 surgeries.
  • $22,000,000 (2021) Texas: A man suffered fatal burns after a faulty relief valve released steam at a coal-fired power plant in Kansas. The lawsuit accused Team Industrial Services Inc. of gross negligence for failing to properly train its workers to service the pressure relief valves, which led to the valve failure and the fatal incident. A jury found Team Industrial Services 90% liable, awarding $27 million for physical pain and $30 million for the man’s mental anguish before his death. His wife received $75 million for the loss of companionship and $90 million for past and future mental anguish. Our law firm handled a claim very similar to this one.  Unfortunately, in 2024, a Texas appeals panel has overturned a $222 million jury verdict, finding that lawsuit should have been brought in Kansas.
  • $10,500,000 (2015 New York): Firefighter’s safety alert system was defective, and the alarm failed to go off. As a result, he suffered third and fourth-degree burns to various parts of his body. The fourth-degree burns necessitated the amputation of his right arm. The jury awarded a compensation payout of $10.5 million.
  • $75,000,000 (2012 Illinois) Third and fourth-degree burns were disfigurement, scarring, and permanent disability resulting from the explosion. Plaintiff was awarded damages of $75 million.

Contact Miller & Zois About Your Burn Injury Case

If you or someone you know might have a burn injury lawsuit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Miller Zois for a free case evaluation. Call us at 1.800.553.8082 or submit a request for a free consultation.

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