The two most important things you can do for yourself after sustaining a burn injury are seeking medical attention and consulting an attorney. Another party may owe you compensation for your injury, which you could receive in the form of a settlement or a jury award.
If you feel overwhelmed or confused by your options, our Santa Monica burn injury lawyer can help. We can provide a free consultation and then, if you hire us, manage your entire legal case on your behalf.
Why Sue for Burn Injuries?
After sustaining such serious injuries, the last thing you probably want to be doing is talking to lawyers or dealing with insurance companies. Do the benefits of filing a lawsuit really outweigh the cons?
At Greenberg Gross, we firmly believe the answer is yes. A lawsuit could enable you to:
- Recover compensation for your physical and psychological trauma
- Recover compensation for financial losses and stress
- Have the peace of mind of knowing you can continue to support your family and pay for the things you need
- Hold the liable party responsible for the harm they have done
Furthermore, you do not have to manage your case alone. Our burn injury lawyers serving Santa Monica can take care of everything for you, including:
- Calculating how much money you should ask for and who should pay it
- Collecting evidence, including both documentation and statements from involved or relevant parties, to support your case for damages
- Filing paperwork with the court or sending paperwork to the liable party—you would not have to fill out any forms by yourself
- Meeting with the liable party’s insurance company to show them our evidence and to negotiate for a settlement that accurately reflects your losses
- Taking the liable party to court if we feel that is the best way to seek compensation in your case
Damages You Can Get for Burn Injuries
You can seek two main types of compensation after a burn injury. They are called economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages and Burn Injuries
Economic damages are money you get for the financial impact of the injuries, not the injuries themselves. Common reasons to ask for economic damages include the following:
- You were temporarily unable to earn your normal salary or job benefits.
- You will never be able to return to full-time work or support your family to the level you used to do.
- You needed professional medical care to recover as fully as possible. If you will need further care in the future, you can seek compensation for that expense also.
- You lost personal property, such as a vehicle or a building, in the same fire that caused your injuries.
Non-economic Damages and Burn Injuries
Any serious blow to your physical and/or mental health could qualify you for non-economic damages. In past cases, we have recovered compensation for clients who:
- Experienced physical and emotional pain stemming from the accident and/or the injuries
- Can no longer participate in fun or necessary activities to the extent they once did
- Can no longer connect with loved ones and have potentially lost important relationships because of this
- Are permanently disabled and will never make a complete recovery
- Have permanent scars that affect how they move and how they look
Other Economic and Non-economic Damages
The above represents a sampling of the kinds of compensation you can ask for after suffering a burn injury. We can assess your case and help you compile a complete list of everything you should include in your lawsuit.
In addition to the above, you may qualify for other types of damages, especially if you lost a loved one in the fire. Our team can work hard to ensure you ask for all appropriate damages and leave nothing out.
Who to Sue for Burn Injuries
The short answer is this: you can sue whoever started the fire, either directly or indirectly, that caused your injuries. In theory, this answer seems simple enough, but it can quickly become complicated if more than one party is involved or if the fire’s origin is not obvious.
Greenberg Gross can help you by figuring out who is legally liable in your case. It may be:
Individual irresponsibility has caused many fires. For example, you could sue for compensation if:
- Your neighbor burns leaves without a proper permit
- A camper fails to properly extinguish their fire and starts a forest fire
- A hunter starts a small fire despite knowing there is a drought, and the fire spreads
Note that, in each of these cases, the liable party did not intentionally start a destructive fire and did not mean to hurt anyone. However, they were still negligent, and you can still seek compensation from them.
When we buy products and services, we do so believing that the manufacturer or service provider has taken appropriate steps to keep everyone safe. If that turns out to be untrue, injured parties have a right to hold those manufacturers and providers accountable.
For example, as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) states, multiple parties are currently suing PG&E for causing a massive wildfire through negligence.
In another, hypothetical example, consider a product manufacturer that allows a faulty space heater to go to market. If the space heater causes a fire that burns someone, the burn injury survivor could sue the manufacturer.
More than One Party
Say that a utility company, like PG&E, failed to properly maintain its lines. If someone else’s recklessness damages the fragile line, the resulting forest fire could injure many people. In this scenario, injured parties could sue both the careless individual and the negligent utility company for damages.
Whether it was a company, an individual, or a government worker who started the fire, there will be different time frames for filing a case. California has certain deadlines for filing legal paperwork with the court system. They vary by the type of fire and causation. It’s very important to contact our lawyers right away as they will be able to figure out if you are within the time limit for seeking legal justice.
Call Our Team Serving Santa Monica
To discover more about your rights and responsibilities as a personal injury survivor, contact us and get a free consultation today. Greenberg Gross wants to help you and your family by pursuing fair compensation for your burn injury. Our firm serves Santa Monica and will do everything possible to protect clients who live or were injured in that area.