If your loved one passed away as a result of the burn accident, the surviving family could pursue a wrongful death suit which can compensate surviving family members for the losses suffered as a result. Spouses, parents, or children can file within two years of the time of passing, but if they do not initiate a suit within 90 days, the executor of the estate may do so. Adopted children can file for their adopted parent, and any child adopted or biological can file regardless of age.
If you have been severely burned in a workplace accident on the job or in a serious car crash, you may be able to pursue legal options such as a negligence claim, a worker’s compensation claim, or even a wrongful death suit. The compensation awarded in such cases is based on the nature of the accident and the severity of the burns suffered. To determine what options you might have, talk to our Brownsville burn injury lawyer:
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Burns can happen anywhere. Many minor burns occur in the home, but others can occur at work or after a vehicle accident. Common causes of burn injuries include, but are not limited to:
Electrical burns, the result of exposure to electrical currents, can happen internally or externally, the result of exposure to electrical currents — the severity of the current impacts the degree of the burn. Chemical burns can result from product liability, whereby a product contained detergents or acids that failed to explain proper handling and as a result, led to severe injuries. It can also result from mishandled alkalis on a job site. Similarly, malfunctioning products can result in defective product burns.
When steam, smoke, toxic fumes, or gasses, are inhaled it can result in inhalation burns. Inhalation burns happen during worksite accidents, motorcycle or car accidents, and in accidents involving fires.
In Texas, you need a medical professional (preferably from a hospital such as Valley Regional Medical Center or Solara Hospital Brownsville) to evaluate your burns after the injury is sustained. In so doing, they will classify the severity of your burns using a four scale system.
1. First-degree burns are the least damaging. These only impact the outer layer of skin and are equivalent to a sunburn. No medical treatment is typically required.
2. Second-degree burns affect the dermis and are often experienced when, for example, a burn is severe enough that it blisters or causes pain.
3. Third-degree burns are severe, medically speaking, and impact the skin and tissue below. The skin will change color and be quite painful. Professional medical attention is required at this level.
4. Fourth-degree burns are incredibly severe, but the least common. These burn skin, tissue, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones, often resulting in the need for amputation, permanent disfigurement, or death.
To receive compensation in Texas, you should work with a Brownsville burn injury lawyer to determine whether the injury took place at work and therefore requires a worker’s compensation claim, or whether it was the result of negligence (i.e., product liability or a car accident) and requires a negligence lawsuit.
In Texas, you need to prove negligence by the four-tier system, which requires you to:
Consider this: if you burn your hand touching hot metal and can prove the first three negligence items, but the burn was a first-degree burn that went away without medical care, lack of medical bills and without the injury impacting the rest of your life, it would not be adequate for pursuing a case. By comparison, if that burn was a third-degree burn with multiple bills, it would be.
If you were burned while on the job, you won’t have to file a negligence claim or prove negligence; instead, you would file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company. You need only show you were burned while performing your work duties.
When presenting your case, you can be compensated for any of the following damages if you can prove negligence or that the burn happened at work:
It is essential to talk to an attorney about the legal options you wish to pursue, whether the case involves a wrongful death or not. With varying timelines for each type of case, time is a factor and the sooner you talk over your case, the sooner you can take the next step.
With the help of a Brownsville burn injury lawyer, you can determine whether to pursue a worker’s compensation claim or negligence claim. If the latter, you can review the details of your case to ascertain whether you meet all four elements. Reach out to our staff for a free consultation: