What Maryland Burn Victims Need to Know About Compensation For Damages

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on June 6, 2023 and updated on July 10, 2023.

wrapping up burned armSevere burn injuries can be physically and emotionally devastating for victims. The ongoing pain, permanent scarring and disfigurement are often life-altering.

These are just a few reasons why victims may be able to recover significant compensation from the negligent party that caused their injury. Below, the experienced lawyers from The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl discuss the average value of a burn injury settlement in Maryland.

If you suffered a burn injury because of another party’s reckless actions, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney. Victims who hire attorneys often recover more compensation than those who do not. Insurance companies do not want to pay full compensation, even for a serious injury.

Call to learn more: 410-297-0271. There are no upfront fees.

Why Do Burn Injuries Occur?

Burn injuries often involve fires or explosions. For example, occupants of motor vehicles could suffer burn injuries in a crash – the gas tank could rupture, and gasoline could ignite. Burn injuries could occur in commercial truck crashes, especially if the truck was carrying flammable or combustible materials.

However, burn injuries could occur even if victims are not directly touched by a fire or explosion. In a motor vehicle crash, a fire could cause the metal body of the vehicle to heat up. If victims’ bodies touch the superheated metal, they could suffer severe burns.

You could suffer a burn injury in your home because of a defective product, like a kitchen appliance or an electronic device. Your landlord may have failed to make necessary repairs to your apartment, allowing a fire hazard to remain in place until it was triggered.

If you suffered a burn injury and are unsure if you have a case, call a Maryland personal injury lawyer from our firm. The initial legal consultation is free.

How Are Burn Injuries Classified?

Burn injuries are classified by degrees of severity, with the fourth degree being the most severe and the first degree being the least severe. The deeper the burn goes into the body the higher the degree of the injury.

First-Degree Burns

These are similar to sunburns, as they only cause damage to the outer layer of your skin. The skin turns red and dries out. Sometimes there is swelling in the area, and you may feel pain when you touch it. However, the skin does not blister from a first-degree burn.

These injuries typically heal on their own without treatment. That said, if you suffered a first-degree burn over a large area of your body, or the burn is on your feet, hands, genitals or face, you should meet with a doctor. You should also meet with a doctor if the burn resulted from electricity, radiation or chemicals.

Second-Degree Burns

These burns go through the outer layer of skin into the dermis. The site of a second-degree burn is going to be red and swollen and have a wet, shiny appearance. Blisters are likely to develop.

The severity of the injury depends on how far down the burn went. If the burn did not go too deep you might not have permanent scarring.

Third-Degree Burns

This is considered a major burn injury. The burn goes through the outer and inner layers of skin, which is why these injuries are also called full-thickness burns. The damaged area is going to appear yellow, brown or possibly black. The area is going to become dry and leather-like as it heals.

Despite the seriousness of a third-degree burn, it is usually not painful when you touch it because the nerve endings are damaged.

These injuries require immediate treatment in the hospital. Victims often need skin grafts. You also need to be monitored and have the area cleaned to prevent a dangerous infection.

Fourth-Degree Burns

These are burn injuries that go all the way through the skin and into the tissue below your skin. Your muscles and even your bones could get damaged. The injured area is going to be black and charred.

One of the biggest problems with burns like these is that they can cause the release of toxic chemicals into your blood. This could happen even if the burn affects a small area of your body. This is why these injuries are often life-threatening.

Is There an Average Burn Injury Settlement?

Lawyers could calculate an average value for a burn injury settlement. However, an average is just that. The value of your claim is going to depend on the unique details of your case.

Your claim could be worth a lot more than an average value. Your claim could also be worth less because of things like the effectiveness of treatment and your ability to continue working.

That said, claims for third or fourth-degree burns could be worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. This is something that should be discussed with an experienced lawyer.

Evaluating How Much Money You Lost or Will Lose

One of the most important questions when determining the value of an injury claim is: how much money have you already lost and how much are you likely to lose in the future?

For example, how much have you already spent for medical treatment and how much are you going to need to spend in the future?

Your lawyer can help you add up the cost of treatment at the hospital, stays at the hospital, prescription medication, and more.

You may need ongoing treatment to deal with physical pain and other side effects. This may include follow-up visits with doctors, testing, and possibly surgical procedures (excisions, amputations, skin grafts, release of scar tissue, etc.). Physical therapy can also be helpful because an area will be immobilized while it heals. This leads to muscle atrophy and a loss of strength, which can be improved with regular physical therapy.

Another thing your lawyer will need to evaluate is whether you can continue working with the injury. If you are unable to work anymore, or you can only work in a limited capacity, your income will be affected. You can seek compensation for this reduced income. You can also seek compensation for wages you lost while you were receiving treatment and could not work.

Sometimes injuries are so severe victims need to hire help to perform daily household tasks.

Evaluating Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

The physical and emotional pain and suffering from a burn injury can be significant. Victims may be permanently scarred and disfigured, which is something that can be very difficult to adjust to. Victims may deal with depression, anxiety, embarrassment and post-traumatic stress because of their altered appearance.

The physical pain from a serious burn injury can be debilitating, requiring prescription or over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories. The pain can make it hard to sleep and work.

The location of the injury has a significant impact on the value of pain and suffering. A claim for a third-degree burn to the face may be worth much more compensation than a claim for a third-degree burn to the back.

Have You Been Injured by Negligence? Contact Us Today

While there are many reasons why a burn injury could occur, it is often because of another party’s negligence. The other party failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a dangerous situation that led to your injuries.

When something like this happens, you may be able to take legal action to obtain monetary compensation to help you with medical bills, loss of wages, and even intangible losses like pain and suffering.

Our firm is ready to help you obtain all the compensation you are owed, at no upfront cost.

Have legal questions after a burn injury? Call us today: 410-297-0271.