According to the American Burn Association, there are over 485,000 burn injuries requiring medical treatment every year, making it one of the most common forms of injury in the United States. Burn injuries can range from relatively mild sunburns to severe third-degree burns that could result in permanent scars and disabilities.
Regardless of severity, any type of burn injury may be overwhelming. Not only might it cause physical injuries, but it could also cause emotional distress and financial burdens as well. Depending on the cause of the burn, though, an injured person may be able to recover some of those costs.
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury, call a Fulton County burn injury lawyer today. A qualified catastrophic injury attorney could help determine if you may be entitled to compensation based on the unique facts of your case.
Negligence and Burn Injuries
The majority of personal injury claims stemming from a burn injury are based on negligence. If an injured party is seeking monetary compensation for their injuries, they must prove that the defendant—the other party involved in the accident that injured them—was negligent. A Fulton County injury attorney could help a plaintiff prove liability.
As established in Official Code of Georgia §51-1-2, there are four elements of civil negligence, all of which must be established in order for the injured party to recover damages. In short, the defendant must have had a duty of care with respect to the plaintiff that they—the defendant—subsequently breached, and that breach must have directly caused a physical injury to the plaintiff that resulted in damages.
Types of Damages Available
In Georgia, there are two different types of damages that may be sought in a civil case: economic (special) and non-economic (general). Under O.C.G.A. §51-12-2, special damages must be proven in order to be recovered, whereas general damages may be recovered without proof of a quantitative value.
Special—or economic—damages include losses such as medical expenses or loss of wages. General damages can be more abstract and may include injuries such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
Is There a Cap on Damages?
Fulton County does not place a cap on the amount of damages awarded to an injured party. However, under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, an injured party has a maximum of two years to file a personal injury claim against a defendant. A seasoned burn injury lawyer in Fulton County could ensure that all the appropriate filing deadlines are met when helping an individual pursue restitution for a burn.
What is a Comparative Negligence Defense?
Under O.C.G.A. §51-11-7, the defendant in a burn injury case may be able to reduce the amount of damages the plaintiff can recover by proving that they—the plaintiff—were also negligent. This principle of civil law is known as comparative negligence.
If a court finds that the injured party involved in a civil suit was partially responsible for the accident that led to their injury, the total amount of damages available to them will be reduced in proportion to their personal degree of negligence. For example, if the court finds that the injured party was 25 percent negligent, their final damage award would be reduced by 25 percent.
Speaking to a Fulton County Burn Injury Attorney
If you suffered a burn injury and believe someone else is to blame, reach out to a Fulton County burn injury lawyer today. An experienced attorney could help analyze your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.