Burn Injury Verdicts and Settlements
Undoubtedly, burn injury lawsuits attract some national attention and usually because of a large jury verdict. Studies have shown that burn injury cases have the potential for extremely large awards for many different reasons.
In one study, for severe burn injuries 8% of the awards were for $10 million or more. 11% of the jury awards for severe burn injuries were between three and $4 million.
Many burn injury cases are tried to a jury because of the disparity between the defense offer of settlement and potential a jury verdict. Statisticians have covered and studied settlement negotiations and defense offers and final demands upon the defendant by the lawyers representing the injured burn victim. In one study, the jury award was almost double the final offer in every single category of burns.
Common Burn Injury Claims
Liability claims from burns can stem from many different causes some of the more common are:
- Business negligence
- Products liability
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Personal negligence
- Premises liability
While mild burns tend to have the closest relationship between offer of settlement and final jury verdict, the trend shows the defense interests undervalue burn injuries.
Some burn injury cases involve extensive medical treatment that is extremely painful and disruptive to the victim. Skin grafts are unbelievably difficult to cope with and recover from and take a long time to heal. Not only are medical expenses in severe burn injury situations very high, but also the physical or human damages are astronomical in many situations.
Jurors can relate to the pain associated with a burn as everyone has touched a hot surface or suffered a mild burn in one way or another. Some of the largest personal injury verdicts in the United States have related to burn victims, such as the Ford Pinto case and General Motors sidesaddle gas tank claims.
Some recent Houston, TX explosions onshore and offshore have also tended to produce record settlements for the victims or their families and death by fire is certainly a case with a high jury verdict potential.
On-the-job injuries that produce severe or catastrophic burns have also tended to produce very high jury verdicts when the culprit was not a company that was covered by workers compensation and employed the burn victim.
In summary, burn injury lawsuits have historically produced significant numbers in negligence litigation across the nation. Settlement offers often are much less than the accompanying verdict, which may be attributed to insurers failing to value a burn injury case differently from other types of injuries.
If you are a family member has suffered a burn at the hands of another and would like a consultation on your rights and options please contact the Baumgartner Law Firm at (281) 587-1111.