- June 18, 2021
- Attorney Matt Stoddard
- Catastrophic Injury
To know how much compensation you get for a burn injury in Georgia, it’s crucial to understand the factors that such compensation depends upon. For example, missing work while recovering from a burn injury may cause otherwise hard-working people to fall behind on their mortgage, car payments, and other necessary living expenses. And the high cost of medical treatment and care seems to only add to the stress of the scars, pain, and suffering.
That’s why good people who suffer an injury due to someone else’s negligence require information about burn injury compensation payouts as quickly as possible. The experienced burn injury lawyers at The Stoddard Firm work with community members in the Greater Atlanta area to secure the burn injury compensation amounts that their clients deserve. If you or a loved one recently suffered a traumatic burn injury, swift action and the following information could prove invaluable.
What Constitutes a Burn Injury?
Burn injuries typically occur when a hot or corrosive material comes into contact with the skin. Extreme heat in the workplace or an accidental fire routinely injure unsuspecting people. Chemical agents, high voltage, and radiation can also cause damaged skin cells. There are also instances when extreme heat or dangerous chemical agents can enter the lungs. It may come as something of a surprise, but a substantial number of those people who suffer burn injuries which require medical attention, lengthy hospitalizations, surgeries, end up dying. The following are findings published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Someone dies from severe fire-related injuries every 2 hours in the U.S.
- A burn-related injury occurs approximately every half-hour.
- Each year, more than 1 million people require medical attention for a burn.
- Approximately 50,000 people are hospitalized due to severe burns.
- Approximately 20,000 people suffer burns that impact 25 percent of their body.
- Upwards of 4,500 people die from burns and 10,000 from post-burn infections.
Fortunately, for those who suffer serious burn injuries in the Southeastern United States, there are two exceptional burn centers in the area: The Grady Burn Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta Georgia, and the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta Georgia.
Although first-degree burns generally call for ice and soothing cream treatments, second-degree injuries often lead to infections. Should you or a loved one sustain third-degree burns, surgeries such as skin grafts and post-injury physical therapy may be necessary. When tragic fourth-degree burns happen, extensive surgeries to repair joints, tendons, muscles, and skin result in lengthy recoveries.
In some of the most severe cases, otherwise vibrant people lose limbs, remain 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 that type of life-altering injury and not be fairly compensated for your losses.
How Do You Calculate Burn Injury Settlements?
Wide-reaching factors go into calculating full, fair burn injury compensation in a settlement, and Georgia residents would be wise to enlist the services of an experienced attorney. Making a persuasive claim to an insurance company or a powerful case in a civil lawsuit requires attention to detail and evidence. Determining burn injury compensation amounts typically stems from calculating three types of damages — economic, non-economic, and punitive. This is what you need to know about burn injury compensation payouts:
- Economic Losses: Under Georgia law, victims of burn injuries are entitled to full compensation for all medical expenses, lost wages, and peripheral expenses. Too often, good people shy away from necessary treatment and care because they worry about the hospital costs. Knowing what the law allows often comes as a relief for injured people who see mounting medical bills that seem too costly to pay. But injured people should keep in mind that Georgia law also covers future medical expenses and any negative impact on your ability to earn a salary.
- Non-Economic Impacts: Burn injuries sometimes involve 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. All of these types of distress can prompt significant monetary compensation when presented in a powerfully persuasive fashion.
- Punitive Damages: If you or a loved one suffered a burn-related loss due to someone else’s carelessness, punitive awards may be available. The point of such burn injury compensation payouts is to send a warning and prevent others from suffering a similar fate.
Although burn victims sometimes struggle through years of recovery, it’s critical to contact an experienced burn injury attorney early on after the injury. Georgia’s law typically requires victims to file a civil lawsuit within two years of the incident although sometimes the timeline is shorter like if you are seeking to sue a government actor. Further, there may be exceptions that to the two year rule that a skilled attorney can negotiate. That said, the general rule of two years from the date of injury applies in most cases.
How Do Burn Injury Compensation Amounts Work?
To determine the amount of compensation you can get for a burn injury, an attorney first reviews all the quantifiable information. These usually include items such as lost wages, medical bills, transportation costs associated with treatment, and other expenses that can be documented. After gathering supporting records and receipts, an analysis can be made about future expenses that victims 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. The following are items victims and their families should gather if someone suffers a burn injury.
- Invoices and receipts associated with the injury
- The fire department and police reports
- Photographs of the incident
- A list of witnesses to the accident
- Your physician’s prognosis of the ongoing condition.
Of course, the skilled lawyers at The Stoddard Firm can get these documents on your behalf.
In some cases, several negligent parties may be identified and included in the filing. Product liability actions may be leveled against defective smoke detector manufacturers, gas stove manufacturers, hot water heater manufactures, and the like as well as any contractors who failed in their installation responsibility or apartment complexes / landlords who failed to follow code regarding fire prevention. E-cigarettes and vapes have been taken to task over burned lung tissue in recent years as well, and workplace incidents in which OSHA regulations were not followed may call for heightened punitive damages.
If you or a loved one suffered a physically and emotionally devastating burn injury, it would be fundamentally unfair for the negligent party not to be held accountable. Victims who experience the economic, physical, and emotional effects are entitled to be duly compensated under Georgia law. The determined burn injury attorneys at The Stoddard Firm are prepared to get you the full, fair compensation for a burn injury that you deserve. Call our Atlanta office at 470-467-2200 and schedule a no-cost consultation today.