Texas law does allow you to recover compensation if you suffered burn injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. However, the legal process can be complicated, and you will be facing off against a deep-pocketed insurance company in most cases.
Attorney Andrew Seerden has an insider perspective on how insurance companies handle these types of cases because he began his career as an insurance defense lawyer. He is now among an elite group of lawyers, having been certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Please contact The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, to schedule your free case evaluation with Andrew Seerden today.
How Our Houston Burn Injury Lawyers Will Fight for You
Our exact strategy for pursuing full compensation for a burn injury will depend on the details of your case. You may have multiple options, and we will explain all remedies available to you as the victim of a burn injury. Our compassionate Houston burn injury attorney delivers solid, knowledgeable legal representation by:
Building a strong claim for personal injury compensation: Many burn injury accidents are the result of negligence. To recover compensation in such a case, you must prove that the responsible party breached a legal duty to exercise reasonable care and avoid causing a risk of harm to others. You must also show that the breach resulted in your burn injuries and you suffered losses as a result.
In most cases, you will seek compensation for your losses by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. People carry auto, property, business, medical malpractice, and other types of policies to protect their interests in the event of an accident. Our burn injury lawyer will manage the claims process by collecting essential medical records, investigating the factors behind the accident, and filing the proper forms in a timely manner.
Handling workers’ compensation claims: If your burn injuries were the result of a workplace accident, you may seek benefits through the Texas Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). State law does not require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage, but many companies do procure coverage to protect their own interests. In some cases, filing a claim with the DWC may be your sole remedy.
Negotiating aggressively with insurance companies: Whether your case is based upon negligence or workers’ compensation, you will be working with an insurance company after filing your initial claim. Dealing with the insurer can be challenging because these organizations are looking out for their own business interests, not yours. They do not make a profit by paying out large settlements to burn injury victims, so you can expect some pushback in receiving compensation.
Our experienced burn injury attorney in Houston knows the tactics insurance companies use to reject or make lowball offers to settle. We will not resolve your case unless the amount of compensation is sufficient to cover your losses and satisfactory to you.
Taking your burn injury lawsuit to court: If we cannot reach a settlement with an insurance company, our burn injury lawyer will be prepared to take your claim to court. We have extensive experience litigating these cases at every stage of the proceedings, including:
- Filing the initial complaint in court
- Discovery methods to recover documents and other critical evidence
- Depositions to obtain information from parties, witnesses, and other individuals
- Motion practice, which can resolve key issues before proceeding to trial
- Representing you at a trial before a judge or jury
Compensation for Victims of Burn Injury Accidents
The nature and amount of compensation for your burn injuries is very case-specific, so it is impossible to give you an accurate dollar figure right at the outset. However, you can get a better idea of what to expect by learning an overview of the available forms of compensation.
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit: When you file a claim with an insurance company or sue in civil court, potential damages you can recover fall into three categories:
- Economic Damages: This type of damages is intended to reimburse you for specific, ascertainable losses, some of which may be out-of-pocket. Examples include:
- Medical bills, including costs of emergency care, surgery, procedures, physical therapy, treatment from specialists, certain types of reconstructive surgery, and other medical expenses
- Lost wages, for the time you miss work and future earnings in some cases
- Non-Economic Damages: This category of damages is less definite in terms of amount because the losses are subjective. It is not possible to show receipts or invoices for how your burn injuries affect your life, but you certainly suffer considerable damage. Possible types of compensation include:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Losses based upon personal relationships with your spouse, family, and friends
- Other types of non-economic damages based upon your unique circumstances
- Punitive Damages: In cases where the responsible party’s conduct was extreme and outrageous, Texas law may allow you to recover punitive damages. As the name suggests, this form of compensation is intended to punish the person for reckless or intentional conduct.
There is a statutory cap on punitive damages, which is the greater of:
- Twice your economic damages, plus non-economic damages up to $750,000
Keep in mind that economic damages can be sizeable in a burn injury case. Many victims require multiple surgeries, including grafting procedures, to repair the extensive damage to skin and nerves.
Compensation for burn injuries resulting from work accidents: If your remedy for burn injuries is through the Texas workers’ compensation system, your compensation is different. As a victim, you may qualify for medical costs and lost income. Family members of a person who dies due to burn injuries may recover death and burial benefits. However, you cannot recover non-economic benefits in a workers’ compensation case. Our burn injury lawyer will explore all available options to determine exceptions to workers’ compensation as your sole remedy.
Common Injury Cases Our Law Firm Handles
Burn injuries can result from a wide range of accidents, negligence, reckless acts, or intentional misconduct. The team at The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, represents burn injury victims in such cases as:
Treatment and Rehabilitation for Burn Injuries
Your primary care physician or a burn specialist can provide specific details, as treatment will depend on whether the burns are first-, second-, or third-degree. Immediate first aid measures for burn injuries include removing the source, cleaning the wound, applying a dressing, and related care.
Ongoing rehabilitation efforts after suffering a burn injury are focused on healing, repairing damage where possible, pain management, and avoiding infection. Options may include:
- Water-based treatments and mist therapy
- Fluids to protect your body from dehydration
- Pain medications
- Burn cream and ointments to stimulate healing
- Special dressings to avoid abrasions to sensitive skin
- Antibiotics to protect against infection
For severe, catastrophic burn injuries, you may require various types of surgery. Skin grafts may be necessary, taking healthy skin from one part of your body and implanting it on the damaged area. If the burn affects your face or neck, a surgeon may insert a tube to assist with breathing. Eventually, you may also be a candidate for reconstructive surgery to improve the appearance of scars or flexibility of joints.
Ongoing Challenges for Injury Victims
Burn injuries are unlike other types of wounds in many ways. The scarring and disfigurement can be extensive and permanent, and it is common for victims to require multiple surgeries spaced out over months – or even years. Many victims experience:
- Feelings of depression about their appearance
- Anxiety and emotional anguish
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Suicidal tendencies
- Many other post-traumatic effects that have emotional, psychological, and social consequences
Plus, we live in a world that focuses on appearance, especially in particular occupations and industries. You may no longer be able to work in your chosen field, or your income could be limited because your physical attributes affect performance.
Trust an Experienced Texas Burn Injuries Attorney with Your Claim
If you suffered burn injuries in any type of accident, please contact The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, in Houston, TX. You do have rights, but you shouldn’t face the burdens of filing a claim for compensation when your focus should be on healing.
Burn injuries attorney Andrew Seerden will tackle the legal hurdles involving insurance company claims, negotiations, the DWC, and court battles. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to hear more about your options and legal remedies.