Americans suffer an astronomical 1.1 million burn injuries each year that require medical treatment. Most burn injuries do not result in lawsuits either because the injured person is responsible for their own injuries or because the burns are not significant enough to warrant a lawsuit. But there are 40,000 hospitalizations each year from burn injuries and many of these accidents are the result of a negligent person or corporation.
Of course, all types of physical injuries can be brutally painful. But burns really are especially awful. They often leave behind permanent mental and physical scars. Sometimes, only the victim really understands because they see their scars differently than we do. But scars can and do cause real destruction to the victim’s self-image and self-worth.
Burn injuries are often exacerbated by other negligence that makes the victim’s injuries much worse. One of the most difficult wrongful death cases our lawyers have ever taken to trial involved a case where a woman died after six days not because of the burns themselves but because of the chemicals that were in the fluid that caused her burns. Thankfully, we were able to obtain a significant recovery in our claim on behalf of our client, the victim’s 8-year-old daughter.
Average Burn Injury Verdicts
The median recovery in burn injury lawsuits, according to Jury Verdict Research, is $366,313. But the data also reflects that in the most serious burn injury cases involving negligence, juries appreciate the sometimes unspeakable suffering caused by burn injuries. In the most serious cases where the victim suffered third-degree burns on over sixty percent of their bodies, the median verdict rises to $7,750,000.00. According to Metro Verdict Monthly, the median jury verdict in burn injury cases is $125,000 in Maryland and $400,000 in Virginia (no, our lawyers cannot explain the disparity).
- The settlement value of burn injuries based on the severity of the burn
Another Jury Verdict Research study indicated that the most successful burn injury cases are usually product liability claims. Here are the other types of claims and the median recoveries
Causes of Burn Injuries
There are many causes for burn injuries that end up resulting in a lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement:
- Building Fires
- Chemical Spills
- Defective Products (including claims involving HVAC and defective fireplaces)
- Car Accidents
- Electrical Accidents
- Lighters & Matches
- Excessive Radiation (medical malpractice typically)
- Automobile Accidents
- Nursing Homes
- Flammable Liquids
A burn injury that over gets overlooked is the trauma that follows breathing of gases during a fire. Ingestion of toxic substances and burns are an awful combination. Carbon monoxide poisoning in burn victims can often go undetected by health care providers treating burns until it is too late. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the cause of the majority of burn injuries.
What to Do If You Have a Significant Burn Injury from Negligence
Our lawyers have represented burn victims and their families in burn injury and wrongful death cases. We handle burn cases from vehicle collisions, explosions, home fires, electrocutions, and liquid burn cases (no hot coffee cases, please!).
Pain and suffering is a phrase that lawyers throw around pretty loosely in personal injury cases. But serious burn victims truly know pain and suffering. Our lawyers fight to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love has experienced a serious burn injury, call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
What Is the Settlement Value for 1st or 2nd Degree Burns in a Lawsuit?
First degree burns are a very minor injury, almost comparable to a sunburn. They have little or no settlement value in a personal injury lawsuit. 2nd-degree burns are also not considered a significant injury so they have a low settlement value in the $10,000 range. In some cases, however, 2nd-degree burns can be worth much more if they result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
How Much Are 3rd Degree Burns Worth in a Lawsuit Settlement?
Third-degree burns are a very serious injury that can cause extreme pain and usually result in significant scarring and disfigurement. They also require extensive medical care and treatment. For these reasons, 3rd-degree burns have a very high potential settlement value in a personal injury lawsuit. These burns can have a settlement value between $200,000 to $800,000 (and far beyond in some cases).
What Factors Impact the Settlement Value of Burn Injuries?
The degree or severity of the burn (1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, etc.) will always be one of the most significant factors driving the potential settlement value of burn injuries in a lawsuit. The higher the degree the higher the value.
Another factor that can impact settlement value in burn cases is the location of the burns on the body and how extensive they are. 3rd-degree burns on the ankle or leg are going to have less value than 3rd-degree burns on a person’s face. Also, burns over 80% of the body will have a higher value than burns over just 20%.
Can 2nd Degree Burns Result in Million Dollar Verdicts?
Yes. Although 2nd-degree burns are less serious, they can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. In a recent case in Texas, a plaintiff got $6.9 million for 2nd-degree burns on 20% of his body because the burns left his face disfigured.