Burns are some of the most serious and damaging injuries a patient can experience. Burn injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical treatments, often requiring days or weeks in the hospital for intensive burn care. They can also result in the loss of wages from missed time at work and significant pain and suffering for the patient. If you recently suffered a burn injury in Kansas City, you may be eligible for a settlement from the party or parties that caused your burns. A settlement could help you and your family move forward after a bad burn injury. The value of your settlement will depend on your specific losses.
Factors Involved in a Burn Injury Settlement
As with any personal injury case, it can be difficult to estimate the value of a burn injury since every claim is unique. The state of Missouri does not have a specific amount of money it awards all burn survivors for their damages. Each plaintiff could receive a different amount depending on the severity of the burns and several other factors.
- The impact the burns had on the victim
- The amount of physical pain and suffering
- Any permanent scarring, disfigurements or disabilities
- Loss of range of motion
- How much medical bills will cost
- How long the victim was out of work
- Whether the victim can return to his or her previous job
- How the burn injury occurred
- The actions of the defendant in causing the accident
In general, the more severe the burn injury, the more money the plaintiff’s settlement will be worth. Severe second- or third-degree burns typically cost the plaintiff more in terms of financial expenses, physical damage and emotional trauma. Therefore, the plaintiff may be eligible for a greater settlement amount. A plaintiff could also be eligible for more money if the defendant was grossly negligent or malicious in his or her wrongdoing. This could lead to an additional punitive damage award.
Types of Damages Awarded for Burn Injuries in Kansas City
One way to estimate the value of your particular burn injury is to break down your settlement into three main parts: general damages, specific damages and punitive damages. Your settlement may involve one, two or all three of these damage categories depending on the circumstances of your case.
- Specific damages. Specific damages are the expenses a victim has because of the burn injury. Examples include hospital and burn unit bills, travel expenses, the costs of seeing a specialist, rehabilitation, medications, therapies, and lost wages.
- General damages. General damages are those that any burn injury victim would reasonably suffer due to the nature of the injury, such as physical pain, emotional distress, anguish and lost quality of life.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are those judges sometimes award in cases involving a defendant’s malicious intent to harm or wanton disregard for the plaintiff’s safety. They are meant to punish the defendant.
To calculate an estimated value of your burn injury case, add up your specific damages. Combine all your bills, financial losses and expenses relating to your burn injuries. Then, discuss the potential value of your general and punitive damages with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can review your case, assess your injury documentation and help you establish an appropriate amount of money to accept as part of an insurance settlement.
How to Maximize Your Settlement Amount
The Kansas City personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Dickerson Oxton LLC can help you fight for more money than you may be able to receive from an insurance company alone. Your attorney can take over insurance claim negotiations and use proven tactics to convince the company to offer a fair and reasonable amount. If the insurance company is proving difficult to work with, your burn injury attorney could take your claim to court in Kansas City in pursuit of maximum compensation.