Any experienced personal injury attorney knows that burns are among the most serious injuries a person can suffer. In addition to pain, nerve damage and risk of infection, many burns can result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, and lack of mobility that can have lasting effects on your enjoyment of life. If you suffer a serious burn because of another person’s negligence, a knowledgeable Wheaton burn injury lawyer could help you hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries and seek the damages—and justice—you deserve.
Typical Causes of Burn Injuries
More than 1.1 million people suffer burns each year that require medical treatment, according to the CDC. While many burns are the result of natural disasters or someone’s own actions, many are caused by other people’s negligence or intentional actions.
Just like the causes of burns, the severity of the injuries can vary widely. Specifically, there are three degrees of burns:
- First-degree burns – painful to the touch, but only cause redness and minor swelling
- Second-degree burns – damaging to the first two skin layers, causing blisters, pain, and possibly the loss of some skin
- Third-degree burns: the most severe type of burn with the potential to permanently destroy skin tissue, often resulting in a charred appearance or patches that are white, brown, or black
Damages for Severe Burns in Wheaton
Because burns are often traumatic injuries, they are also some of the most expensive to treat. Needed care for serious burns can last for years and include ongoing rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, and hospitalizations due to complications. To account for these losses, plaintiffs may be awarded compensatory damages when bringing a personal injury lawsuit for their burns.
Compensatory damages fall into two categories. Economic damages include bills for both current and future medical treatment, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Plaintiffs can also sue for noneconomic damages, which may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
In some cases, the court may also award punitive damages if the defendant’s actions that caused the plaintiff’s burns were particularly egregious. Intended to both punish the defendant and deter others from behaving similarly, punitive damages may only be awarded in Illinois if actual damages are awarded, and they cannot exceed three times the amount of economic damages.
Bringing a Negligence Lawsuit Over Burn Injuries
When someone’s negligence causes burn injuries to someone else, the injured party may be able to bring a negligence-based cause of action to seek compensation for their losses. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached a duty of care they owed them, and that the breach caused the plaintiff injuries that resulted in damages.
Work with a Wheaton Burn Injury Attorney Today
In order to bring a personal injury lawsuit in Wheaton, you must file within two years of the date of your injury, according to 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Preserve your right to protect your future with the help of an experienced Wheaton burn injury lawyer. Your burn injury attorney could examine all the aspects of your case and advise you of your best legal options going forward, so call today to discuss your case.