How Much Compensation Do You Get for A Burn Injury in Georgia?

The severity of injuries and damages are main determinants in how much compensation is paid for burn injuries. How much liability insurance the responsible party carries, whether they have additional assets that can be considered in a lawsuit, and whether the injured person shared any fault for the accident also factor in.

Compensation in a burn injury claim can range from the thousands of dollars into the millions. Every single case is different. Georgia residents are wise to enlist the services of an experienced burn injury lawyer to better understand the compensation they may be able to get.

The following information can help you understand how burn injury claims are calculated.

What Damages Are Calculated in Burn Injury Settlements?

Determining burn injury compensation amounts typically begins with calculating three types of damages — economic, non-economic, and punitive:

  • Economic Losses: Burn injury victims may be able to get compensation for damages that include current and future medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, loss of future earning capacity, assistance with the tasks of daily living, nursing care, property damage, and more. Knowing what damages are available often comes as a relief for injured people who see mounting medical bills and other expenses that could potentially cause financial stress.
  • Non-Economic Impacts: Burn injuries often cause excruciating pain and suffering. The mental anguish of the initial harm is only compounded by surgeries, skin grafts, and ongoing pain. Beyond the physical pain, disfigurement creates an emotional injury that may never heal.  Burn injuries also typically involve some lost range of motion due to subsequent skin contracture. These types of physical and emotional distress can result in significant monetary compensation.
  • Punitive Damages: If you suffered a burn-related loss due to another party’s gross negligence, punitive damages may be available. These damages are meant to punish and discourage future negligent actions. Punitive damages are capped at $250,000 in Georgia.

Wide-reaching criteria, including the damages discussed, go into calculating full, fair burn injury compensation. Making a persuasive claim to an insurance company or a powerful case in a civil lawsuit requires careful attention to the intricate details and evidence of your case. A skilled personal injury lawyer can build a strong case on your behalf.

How Is the Full Amount of Compensation Determined?

There are several steps to determining compensation, including assessing damages, identifying all at-fault parties, and proving negligence.

Assessing Damages

To determine the amount of compensation you can get for a burn injury, your attorney will typically first review all the quantifiable information. This usually includes your economic damages. After gathering supporting records and receipts as evidence of your injuries and losses, an analysis can be made about future expenses that you might anticipate as a result of the accident. Medical reports, cost data, and other pertinent resources can be brought to bear. It’s also essential to put a number on the negative wage-earning effect resulting from the injury.

Your non-economic damages will also be calculated. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, a determination may also be made to ask for punitive damages.

Identifying Liable Parties

In some cases, more than one negligent party may be identified and included in the claim filing. For example, product liability actions could be leveled against defective manufacturers of defective smoke detectors, gas stoves, or hot water heaters if a malfunction contributed to your burns. Contractors responsible for installing this equipment could be named. If you were hurt in a building fire and the landlord failed to follow fire prevention codes, they could be held liable. The amount of insurance that all liable parties carry will factor into compensation.

Establishing Fault and Negligence

To establish negligence you must show through the evidence that you were owed a duty of care, the party failed in that duty, their failure caused your injuries, and you sustained damages.

If you are found to share any percentage of fault for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by that percentage under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence law. If you are 50 percent or more at fault, you will not collect any compensation.

Evidence to Collect Following a Burn Injury

You can help your attorney value your claim and establish fault by gathering evidence that includes:

  • Medical bills, invoices, and receipts associated with your injuries
  • Police and first responder reports and statements
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Contact information for eyewitnesses
  • Medical reports about your burn injuries and treatment and your doctor’s prognosis of your ongoing condition.

Your attorney can also collect this evidence on your behalf as well as additional information. Burn injury cases may require testimony by medical professionals and other experts to understand the full effects of injuries now and in the future.

Burn Injury Statistics

American Burn Association (ameriburn.org) estimates show that:

  • Each year, nearly 500,000 people require medical attention for burns.
  • Approximately 40,000 people are hospitalized, including 60% of those in specialized burn centers.
  • Over 3,000 people die from burns.
  • Most burn injuries happen in the home.
  • 43% of burn injuries are from fire/flame; 34% are from scalding. Other causes include contact, electrical and chemical.

In some of the most severe burn injury cases, people lose limbs, are disfigured, and may feel the impact for a lifetime. Beyond the physical trauma, burn victims also suffer emotional scars that may never heal.

It would be fundamentally unfair to sustain this type of life-altering injury caused by another party without receiving adequate compensation for your losses.

Statute of Limitations for Burn Injury Claims

Although burn victims sometimes struggle through years of recovery, if you are considering a legal claim, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The Georgia statute of limitations generally requires personal injury lawsuits to be filed within two years of the date of the accident. (The timeline is typically shorter if you are seeking to sue a government entity.) There are some exceptions to the deadline. An attorney can advise you about specific deadlines for your case.

Contact The Stoddard Firm to Learn About the Value of Your Burn Injury Case

If you suffered a devastating burn injury due to party’s actions, you have the right to hold them accountable. The determined burn injury attorneys at The Stoddard Firm will help you discover what your claim is worth and pursue full and fair compensation. Call our Atlanta office at 470-467-2200 today to schedule a free consultation.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury LawyerMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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