Burn Pain Compensation

Our lawyers won $10 million in burn compensation for a man who was burned on over 50% of his body.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman

Attorney Eric Hageman, one of our lead lawyers, won a $10-million-dollar settlement for a man and his wife after he was severely burned in an explosion.

“It’s crucial to do an independent investigation in any explosion case, so we work closely with experienced investigators to determine the actual cause of an explosion,” said Eric. “In doing so, we have found liability for things such as failure to comply with safety regulations, product defects and, in a recent case, for failure to protect against a phenomenon known as odor fade.”

What Kind of Burn Compensation Can I Get?

A severe burn injury can drastically change all aspects of one’s life at once, from physical abilities to eating habits to sexual activity to causing permanent disabilities or disfiguration, not to mention the burn itself and the incident that caused it.  Throw into the mix a long hospital stay and long-lasting pain, and a burn can have drastic effects on one’s psychological and emotional well-being.

If you or a loved one has been burned, contact our law firm about compensation for any of the following:

  • Pain and suffering, which includes disfigurement and emotional distress
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Other damages.

If someone was at fault, you have a right to sue for compensation from that party. Who you can sue depends on the facts of your case and whether it was a building fire, explosion, or auto accident.

What is Pain and Suffering?

In a burn injury lawsuit “pain and suffering” would include any physical pain, disability, disfigurement, embarrassment, or emotional distress that the victim has experienced up to the time of your verdict or will experience in the future.

It is difficult to put an exact value on these items, but our lawyers are experienced at obtaining significant awards for pain and suffering. Some of the factors we will consider when building your case:

  1. The type, extent, and severity of your injuries;
  2. How painful they were, are and will be;
  3. Your treatments and the pain involved in those treatments;
  4. The fact that you will never totally recover because there will be permanent disfigurement;
  5. The extent of your permanent disfigurement;
  6. The extent of your permanent disability;
  7. Your emotional distress.

Phases of Pain

The first phase is the emergency phase, beginning from the time of the burn up to several days later.  During this period, pain is very intense.  Part of this is caused by procedures necessary to keep the patient alive, procedures such as treating and dressing the wound, inserting a catheter, intubation and bronchoscopy.

The second phase is known as the acute phase, lasting from days to months depending on the severity of the burn.  During this stage, treatment and dressing of the wound continue.  But other procedures may be needed to aid in the recovery process.  The wound must be debrided (dead tissue removed), either with enzymes, mechanical means, surgically, with hydrotherapy, or some combination.  Because debridement must reach a layer of healthy blood vessels, it is painful.  Other treatment procedures include surgical intervention, physical therapy, and dressing changes.  Also, skin grafting may be necessary during this time, which is painful.  After the skin transplant, the donor area can cause pain.

Treatment procedures can be excruciatingly painful.  The procedures have even been described as “hell”, even after analgesics (pain medicine) have been given.

The third phase is the recovery phase and begins once the burn wound is covered or healed.  This phase mainly involves tissue growth which can cause pain, itching, numbness, or tingling.  In some burn victims where nerve tissue is damaged, there might be longer lasting chronic pain.

Compensation for Anxiety

The repetition of procedures several times a day typically leads patients to have some anxiety relative to the procedures; the anxiety increases over time as procedures continue.  Anxiety over painful procedures can be especially severe in younger children.  The bad thing about this anxiety is that anxiety can actually increase one’s attention and feeling of pain.  This increased awareness of pain can in turn cause even greater anxiety over the procedures, which can lead to even worse pain being felt.

Sources:
1. Perez JJP, Gomez BGJ, Lopez-Castillo JJ et al:  Psychiatric consultation and post-traumatic stress disorder in burned patients, Burns 20(6):532-536, 1994.
2. Rockwell E, Dimsdale JE, Carroll W, Hansbrough J:  Preexisting psychiatric disorders in patients, Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 9(1):83-86, 1988.