Thousands of people suffer from burn injuries every year in the United States—in fact, it is one of the most common forms of injuries doctors treat. Burn injuries can be anything from a mild sunburn to severe third or fourth-degree burns requiring surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Often, the accident that causes a burn injury is very traumatic, and if you experience such an incident, it could leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The first thing you should always do if you suffer a burn injury is to seek medical attention, which fortunately a number of burn centers in the state of Georgia could provide you with.
Once you have sought medical attention, an experienced catastrophic injury attorney could help you determine if you are entitled to recover some or all of those costs. If you believe someone else was to blame for your burn injury, call a Gwinnett County burn injury lawyer today.
When Someone Else’s Negligence Causes A Burn Injury
There are four elements of negligence that an injured party must prove in order to recover damages in a burn injury case:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Specifically, the injured party must prove that the defendant in their case owed them some sort of duty to not injure or harm them and that they failed to meet that standard. They must also prove that the defendant’s negligence was the actual and proximate cause of their injury—in other words, that the injury would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence and was a foreseeable result of that negligent act.
Types of Damages in Burn Injury Cases
Courts in Georgia recognize two categories of damages in burn injury cases: special (economic) damages and general (non-economic) damages. Economic damages are objective in nature and include injuries such as medical costs or lost income. By contrast, general damages include injuries that do not necessarily have a certain cost associated with them, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
Under Official Code of Georgia §51-12-2, an injured party must prove a specific amount of special damages in order to recover for them, whereas general damages can be recovered without proving a certain amount. There is no cap on how much an individual can recover from burn injuries under state law. A Gwinnett County burn injury lawyer could assist by calculating the damages of someone’s burn injury.
Statute of Limitations
In accordance with O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, someone who suffers a burn injury has up to two years to file a personal injury claim for their damages. In some cases, the two-year time limit does not start to accrue until the injured party discovers, or should have reasonably discovered, their injury. With burn injuries, however, the accrual typically begin right as the related accident occurs, since these types of injuries almost immediately present themselves. A burn injury attorney in Gwinnett County could help someone file a claim within the statute of limitations.
Speaking to a Gwinnett County Burn Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury and believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to a Gwinnett County burn injury lawyer today for help identifying all potential sources of compensation and advocating for your best interests throughout the entire legal process.