Below are some questions you may have about burn lawsuits and our law firm’s answers. Our lead lawyers for these cases are Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman, who have won settlements over $10 million for clients who suffered third-degree burns on over 50% of their bodies.
My spouse was severely burned and is in a coma. Do I need to hire a lawyer now?
If your husband or wife is severely burned and in a medically induced coma, you can hire a lawyer and take legal action on your spouse’s behalf. However, we have handled cases where our law firm was not contacted until the spouse was out of the coma and able to voice an opinion. We would recommend you hire a lawyer as soon as possible, and below are three reasons why:
- Our law firm’s independent investigation cannot start until Fred and Eric are hired, which could result in evidence being lost or damaged;
- The company or companies responsible for the fire or explosion will have their lawyers working on the case within hours, and it is in your family’s best interest to have your lawyers keeping track of what the company lawyers, management, and staff are doing; and
- If your spouse was not the only person injured, it may beneficial for you to take action quickly because there may be a limited amount of insurance money available for settlement payouts.
Can my child sue for burns?
If your child has burns and there is evidence that a company or person is responsible, you can sue on your child’s behalf. Money won for your child can be used for current and future expenses, and excess amounts obtained for pain and suffering compensation can be placed in a trust for your child with you or another responsible adult as the trustee.
You and your spouse may also have claims (the right to sue) for lost wages and other damages.
Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have won millions for our clients, including $10 million for a man who was burned in an explosion and $6 million for a family with a wrongful death claim. Fred and Eric have been named “Super Lawyers” every year since 2004. Fred is listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Attorney David Szerlag, of counsel for our law firm, is a former firefighter with training in advanced life support and hazardous material. He has substantial experience with fire, burn, and explosion cases.
“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. In doing so, we have found liability for things such as failure to comply with safety regulations, product defects, and failure to protect against a phenomenon known as odor fade.” –Attorney Eric Hageman
The elements of a burn injury lawsuit depend on the facts. Most of them are based on negligence, which involves four elements, as follows:
- Duty of Care under the Law;
- Breach of Duty of Care;
- Harm from Breach (Wrongful Death or Personal Injury);
- Harm Resulted in Loss That Needs to be Compensated.
Each of the above elements must to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning more likely than not. If the burn injury resulted in death, the burn injury lawsuit becomes a wrongful death case.
Claims for a lawsuit generally include strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty (contract law). As an example of negligence, in one of our law firm’s multimillion-dollar cases, the owner of an apartment building did not repair smoke alarms in the building. Owners of apartment buildings have a duty to maintain the building, including smoke alarms. Two occupants of one apartment died, and two others in the same apartment were injured.
Use of Expert Witnesses
These lawsuits can require the expert testimony of medical doctors, biomedical professionals, and engineers. Our lawyers have access to the best experts in the United States. They are used to build a winning case and to testify if the case goes to trial.
Our lawyers understand the science behind burn injury cases and have successfully used complex, science-based testimony of expert witnesses in court, in pre-trial motions, and during negotiation settlements. This is an important part of our winning strategy. Contact a lawyer at Pritzker Hageman for a free consultation regarding a burn injury lawsuit.