How Much Compensation Can You Get for a Burn Injury Claim in Utah?
Legal Disclaimer: The following values are based on prior cases and should not be interpreted to imply or guarantee that your personal injury claim or lawsuit will have a similar resolution. The circumstances of every accident and the resulting injuries are very different, and only after reviewing your matter in a detailed legal consultation can an attorney give legal guidance. Moreover, a jury will determine the final value of your case.
This guide explains some basic information about getting compensated for a burn injury in Utah. However, if you or a family member has been burned or scalded in an accident, you should talk to an experienced injury attorney for personalized legal guidance.
Let Utah burn lawyer Darwin Overson fight for you and your loved ones. To set up a free legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143. Darwin has more than 33 years of experience helping burn and scald victims recover compensation for their injuries and financial losses.
How Much is My Utah Burn Injury Case Worth?
It is difficult to predict the precise worth of a burn injury claim or lawsuit in Utah without assessing the details specific to your case. The amount of compensation a claimant or plaintiff can receive for severe burn injuries will ultimately depend on a variety of factors, which include:
- The extent of the physical harm caused by the burn.
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and is responsible for regulating a host of critical functions, such as temperature and physical sensation. Second and third degree burns — as well as friction, radiation, cold, chemical, and electrical burns — can unfortunately cause a host of long-term health problems and medical complications, including cellulitis (skin infection), urinary tract infections (UTIs), joint contracture, light sensitivity, and respiratory problems like pneumonia.
- The extent of the financial harm caused by the burn.
Many second degree burns, and virtually all third degree burns, require extensive medical care which may involve a long series of surgeries, such as skin grafting surgeries to cover burned areas, or corrective surgeries to repair disabling or disfiguring damage.These costs can add up very quickly, especially when the victim is unable to work during the healing process. The jury will consider not only costs and losses which the victim has already sustained, or is in the process of sustaining, but also expenses he or she is expected to incur in the future. For example, if the burn is permanently disabling, the jury will consider the victim’s former salary or wages, how close they were to retirement, benefits they received through employment, and other factors.
- The extent of the emotional harm caused by the burn.
Even comparatively minor burns are capable of creating permanent scars. These scars can be highly distressing to the victim, especially if they are located on exposed areas such as the face, hands, or neck.Individuals with severe burn scars may withdraw from social or romantic relationships, struggle with depression, and face cruel, insensitive remarks from strangers. A child or teenager who has been seriously burned may be bullied at school, leading to anxiety and low self-esteem.
Verdicts and Settlements: What Types of Damages Are Available for Burn Victims?
Depending on the circumstances, financial compensation may be available to victims of burn injuries in Utah. While no amount of compensation can undo the accident which has already taken place, compensation can help to provide financial security for you and your loved ones, so that you can access high quality medical care without needing to worry about how you will pay for your hospital bills.
Compensation in a personal injury case is also referred to as damages. Different types of damages are available for different types of losses and harms:
- Compensatory Damages — The purpose of compensatory damages is to try and restore the victim, to the greatest extent possible, to his or her pre-accident state. Compensatory damages are divided into two subcategories:
- Economic Damages — Compensation for financial losses, which can include lost income, diminished earning capacity, and an array of medical expenses, such as surgery, physical therapy, hospitalization, medication, and medical devices, such as pressure garments.
- Non-Economic Damages — Compensation for mental and physical pain and suffering, the loss of marriage relationships (loss of consortium), scarring and disfigurement, the extent to which the victim is prevented from participating in their normal activities, and other types of non-financial losses.
- Punitive Damages — Punitive damages, though not always available, are intended to punish acts of extreme and egregious wrongdoing.
In Utah, there is no predetermined cap or limit on economic damages. Non-economic damages were formerly capped in medical malpractice cases, but these caps were ruled unconstitutional by the Utah Supreme Court in 2015. Under Utah Code § 78B-8-201(3)(a)(ii), “[A]ny amount [of punitive damages] in excess of $50,000 shall be divided equally between the state and the injured party.”
A verdict refers to the amount awarded by a jury after reviewing evidence at trial. A settlement is a mutual agreement, sometimes subject to confidentiality requirements, which is negotiated between the injured party and the negligent party, generally over a period of months. While many injury claims resolve with a settlement agreement, Darwin is fully prepared to take your case to trial if doing so is necessary and appropriate in order to protect your best interests.
Experienced Burn Lawyers Handling Claims in Salt Lake City
This may seem like lots of information to take in all at once, but don’t worry if you need additional clarification. Darwin is here to answer any questions you have about your burn injury lawsuit or claim, and will handle all of the legal work on your family’s behalf.
To arrange a free and completely confidential legal consultation with Darwin, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143. Darwin represents scald and burn victims throughout Utah, including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Orem, Provo, Sandy, West Valley City, and other communities.