A serious burn injury can result in life-altering scars, disfigurement, disabilities, or even death. The most common causes of burn injuries are hot liquids, steam, combustible substances, and fires. The Florida State Fire Marshal reports that electricity causes the majority of dangerous fires that occur in structures and vehicles. Many burn injuries are preventable and result from someone else’s negligence. If you sustained a serious burn injury, Florida law may make you eligible to seek compensation. If you reside in the North Miami Beach area, call Sibley Dolman at (305) 676-8154, or contact us online, to discuss your case with one of our experienced North Miami burn injury attorneys.
Sibley Dolman’s Past Results in Burn Injury Cases
At Sibley Dolman, our attorneys have significant experience settling and litigating personal injury claims, including those that involve burn injuries. In some of our recent cases, we have recovered compensation for our clients ranging from $82,000 to $3,200,000. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we can promise to work toward the best possible outcome given your individual circumstances.
The Degrees of Burn Injuries
Medical professionals separate burns into the following distinct categories, based on the injury’s size and depth:
- First degree burns are relatively superficial and only injure the top layer of the skin, called the epidermis. These burns are not serious and usually heal on their own within a week or two.
- Second degree burns extend into the next layer of skin, called the dermis. These burns may take longer to heal, leave permanent scars, and even require skin grafts.
- Third degree burns damage all layers of skin and always require skin grafting.
- Fourth, fifth, and sixth degree burns go beyond the skin and extend into a victim’s fat, muscle, and bone layers.
Burn injuries often result in health consequences that extend well beyond the area that they immediately damage. The body has an inflammatory response to severe burns, which may result in:
- Heart damage
- Lung damage
- Blood vessel damage
- Kidney damage
- Brain damage
- Infection (including pneumonia and sepsis)
Those Responsible for Burns
Because a wide range of scenarios can cause burn injuries, different entities may contribute to them.
- If an employee sustains a burn injury while on the job, the employer may bear fault.
- If a consumer sustains a burn injury because of a defective product, the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer may face liability.
- If a landlord fails to properly maintain a building’s electrical systems, and a fire ignites and causes a burn injury, the property owner or leasing company may bear liability.
- If a fire occurs at a place of business, such as a retail store, cruise ship, or hotel, the property owner or corporation may bear fault.
- If a motorist sustains a burn injury in a car accident, the other driver or car manufacturer may face fault.
Compensable Damages a Burn Injury Can Leave
If you sustained a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, Florida law may entitle you to compensation. Some of the most common damages for burn injuries include:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance rides, hospitalizations and burn unit stays, medication, surgeries, and long-term burn treatments, like skin grafts
- Lost wages for time missed from work and, in the event that you cannot return to work, lost future wages (also called lost earning capacity)
- Pain and suffering related to your burn injury
- Loss of consortium
They Want to Save Money—at Your Expense
Defendants in personal injury lawsuits often attempt to limit how much compensation they have to pay. Florida is a pure comparative fault jurisdiction, which means that if a court determines that a victim was partially responsible for injuries, the court will reduce any damages award accordingly. For example, if a court determines that a victim’s damages amount to $1,000,000, but that the victim was 25 percent liable for the accident, the court would reduce the damages award to $750,000. This legal doctrine provides defendants with an incentive to blame the victim. Depending on your individual situation, the defense may attempt to employ some of the following tactics:
- If your injury happened at work, the insurance company might deny your workers’ compensation claim by suggesting that you weren’t injured or your injuries aren’t as bad as you reported.
- If a defective product led to your burn injury, the defense might claim that you were used the product improperly.
- A landlord may claim that you knew about the hazard that caused your burn injury, but failed to report the problem.
- A property owner might claim that you were in a prohibited area that was marked as such at the time of your injury.
Regardless of your particular circumstances, hire a personal injury attorney who has experience representing people with burn injuries in North Miami Beach. Your attorney should counter any of the strategies discussed above and ensure that you get the best outcome for your situation.
Call an Experienced North Miami Beach Burn Injury Attorney
Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible to seek compensation. You typically do not have to pay anything upfront, as personal injury attorneys usually accept cases on a contingent fee basis, which means your attorney will recover fees out of any settlement amount or damages award that you receive. If you sustained a serious burn injury in North Miami Beach or elsewhere in Florida, contact an attorney to determine if you qualify to receive compensation. You may still need to recover and receive treatment for your injuries, and you may feel worried about how you’re going to pay for everything. Let an experienced North Miami Beach burn injury attorney handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Call Sibley Dolman today at (305) 676-8154, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case! Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 1820 NE 163rd St #306, North Miami Beach, FL 33162 (305) 676-8154