How Much is a Burn Injury Worth?
Burn injuries can be devastating, both physically and emotionally.
Many burn victims feel alone in their fight, but that is not the case. You may be eligible to receive significant monetary compensation if you or a loved one has suffered a minor or severe burn injury due to gross negligence or misconduct.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources necessary to help you get the justice you deserve. We understand that no amount of money can make up for your loss, but we will give you the best possible outcome.
Contact our burn injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. We will discuss your situation during this meeting and determine if your burn claim is worth pursuing.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Burn Accident Facts and Statistics
Injuries from burns are some of the most painful and debilitating injuries a person can suffer. The National Institute of Fire Protection reports that over 1.1 million people are treated in emergency rooms for burns each year in the United States. Unfortunately, of these people, almost 50,000 will die from their injuries.
The statistics are even worse in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, over 11,000 people were treated for burns in emergency rooms in 2019. It is a rate of almost one person per hour. Tragically, over 200 of these people died from their injuries.
According to the United States Fire Administration, in over 65%, the fatal burns, the plaintiff suffered and died before the fire department arrived at their place of residence. Furthermore, in 26% of these fatalities, the victims were home when the fire broke out.
Burn injuries tend to cause permanent scarring, disfigurement, and physical and emotional pain and suffering for the victim's life.
Victims often require extensive medical treatment such as surgery, grafts, and physical therapy, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. These statistics are shocking and show the importance of seeking immediate legal representation if you or a loved one suffers from a burn.
General Overview of Burn Accident Injuries in Illinois
A burn can cause extensive skin tissue damage caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. If not treated properly, it can cause permanent scarring or deformity.
Levels of Burns
Types of a burn may vary according to the severity of the injury. It can also depend on which part of the body is affected and the depth of the skin layers by the burn. A person with a burn experience:
- Redness, tenderness, swelling, or blistering of the affected area
- Pain, tenderness, numbness, or tingling
- The appearance of firm skin that is dry and leathery
If the person has inhaled smoke or steam, he may experience:
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Labored breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Skin discoloration (grayish-white)
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue
If the person has ingested, inhaled, or absorbed chemicals from a chemical burn, he may experience:
- Burns to the lips, mouth, and tongue
- Unusual taste in the mouth
- Dark black tar-like stools
- Irregular heartbeat Irritability
- Difficulty walking Loss of coordination
The person may also experience an altered mental state, such as confusion. If the burn is serious enough to cause damage to blood vessels and tissues in the body, shock or coma may occur.
While almost everyone is frightened of a burn, it is often one of the most common injuries. In Illinois, the most frequent causes of a burn include:
- Fires caused by car accidents, candles, or other heat sources
- Hot liquids spilled to the victim's body
- Explosion accidents
- Power tools malfunctioning due to electric shock or overheating
- Chemicals that produce high heat
Once proper treatment is applied to the victim, they are likely to recover within 3-5 days. An essential part of a burn is covering it up with bandages or dressings to heal without exposing the affected area to germs.
A burn exposed to air can delay the healing process because it will dry out the skin tissue and cause it to lose more fluids.
Types of Burn Injuries
- Chemical burns are caused by exposure to harmful chemicals, often associated with workplace accidents. Several types include acid burn due to contact with a strong acid, alkali burn caused by contact with a strong base, and scalding burn from hot liquids or vapors. This burn destroys the subcutaneous tissue of the skin.
- Electrical burns are caused when the body becomes electrically charged in an electrical accident. The spark that ignites combustible materials can also cause injury.
- Flash/ flame burns: Caused by contact with fire or hot gasses.
- Radiation burns are caused by the sun’s ultraviolet light, X-rays, and other radiation sources. In addition, excessive exposure to sunlight causes redness of the skin, called sunburns.
- Dry heat burns are caused when something is exposed to dry heat, such as a fire pit. It is usually referred to as thermal burns.
- Contact burn caused by touching something hot. It is the most common type of burn.
- Surface burns are caused by contact with a hot or cold surface, such as stepping on a hot pan or touching something icy.
- Scalding is caused by contact with hot liquids or steam. It can be very dangerous because children are more vulnerable to this type of injury. Scald burns range from mild (first-degree) to severe (fourth-degree).
Severity Levels of Burns
The severity level can be categorized into four types: first-degree burn, second-degree burn, third-degree burn, and fourth-degree burn.
First Degree Burns
First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. The most common example is when someone touches a hot object. The skin turns red, but it heals quickly and without blisters because first-degree burns don't involve the dermis.
Second Degree Burns
Second-degree burns affect the top layer of skin - epidermis - and a deeper layer called the dermis. It usually results in blistering of the skin. Severe second-degree burns are often caused by scalding liquids, flames, hot metal, and hot oil. However, sunburn is technically a second-degree burn as well.
Third Degree Burns
Third-degree burns can be life-threatening as they affect all the skin layers and destroy the nerve endings. Third-degree burns can result in white or charred skin because they destroy the skin's protective layer.
They may also damage underlying muscle and other tissues. In addition, a third-degree burn takes a long time to heal.
Fourth Degree Burns
A fourth-degree burn injury damages the skin and other tissues beneath it. These burns are worse than third-degree burns. They are often caused by electrocution or chemicals such as lye or gasoline.
Because the body can absorb these substances quickly, a fourth-degree burns injury may cause serious illness or death.
An individual who gets a first-degree burn experiences skin redness that turns into blisters. A patient with a second-degree burn will experience redness, some swelling, and possible blistering. Victims who suffered third-degree burns experience charring on the skin that feels leathery. The fourth-degree burns cause completely charred skin, which appears black.
The recovery time varies depending on the type of burn. First-degree burns take around two to three weeks for complete recovery.
Second-degree burns may take more than three weeks for full recovery, as it usually takes up to two weeks for the blisters to fall off and another week or two for the skin to heal.
Those who suffer third-degree burns can take more than a year for complete recovery due to extensive damage of tissues and muscles beneath the surface. In addition, the fourth-degree burn may cause permanent disability such as bone deformities, joint deformities, or muscle contractions due to burns in the muscle.
If you have any questions about the worth of a burn injury claim, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced attorney with many years in resolving burn injury cases can help you.
Common Areas of a Burn Accident Injury
While many burns occur on a person's hands or arms, some other areas get burned more frequently. These areas include:
- Neck and shoulder burn injuries from leaning over an open flame to cook or falling onto a fire.
- Groin injury from falls onto hot surfaces, including hot water in bathtubs.
- Head injuries are common when children play around unattended heat or flames or when their clothing catches on fire.
- Scalding burns are frequently found on the chest, abdomen, arms, and legs. These injuries can be found in all age groups.
- Friction or shear burns also happen in many body areas, including backs or shoulders, when people try to get away from fire too quickly by taking off their clothes.
- Electrical burns usually occur when the electricity passes through the body, including the hands or arms. Electrical burns can also happen in areas of contact like shoulders or buttocks.
Damages in a Burn Claim
Filing a burn injury claim can be a daunting task. You may be wondering and asking questions like; how much is my burn injury case worth? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question, as the value of a burn injury lawsuit depends on various factors. However, there are some general damages that you can typically expect to receive in a burn accident claim.
The two primary sorts of losses that a court can impose in the course of your burn injury lawsuit are punitive damages and compensatory damages.
- Punitive Damages: These are damages meant to punish the at-fault party for their particularly negligent behavior. These damages can be serious in a burn case due to someone else's negligence.
- Compensatory Damages: These are damages that compensate you for your medical expenses relating to your pain and suffering, medical bills, and any permanent disability you might have sustained.
Severe burn injuries are accidents that can have life-threatening consequences, and you have every right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In addition, if you have been burned, the medical treatment required is generally extensive and can be extremely painful.
Average Burn Injury Settlement Amount in Illinois
Were you harmed in a burn accident in Illinois? You may be wondering what your burn injury case is worth. The average burn injury settlement value in Illinois is $175,000.
However, personal injury cases may be worth more or less depending on the severity of your injury and other factors. For example, the average settlement value for a third-degree burn is $560,000, while the average settlement amount for a first-degree burn is $21,000.
If you have suffered a burn, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine the value of your case. A lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
Many seek punitive damages in burn cases and compensation for pain and suffering. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their actions. In contrast, pain and suffering or emotional damages are designed to achieve maximum compensation for the plaintiff for the physical and emotional trauma they have endured.
Getting the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois
Were you a victim of a burn accident, and are you wondering how much is my burn injury claim worth?
The team at our law firm has handled many burn injury cases on a contingency fee basis, and we know that this is one of the most difficult times in your life.
We have qualified and experienced attorneys that will work hard to ensure you are well compensated for your personal injury. Call (888) 424-5757 today for a free consultation with one of our experienced burn injury attorneys.
- Illinois Department of Public Health - safety for burn injuries
- NIH – Burn Injury Information