Burn injuries are not only extremely painful, but all deeper burn injuries (second-degree burns or worse) heal by scarring. Although burn injuries are treatable, scarring from deeper burns will almost always be permanent. Burn injury scars can impact a person’s social life, self-esteem, and ability to enjoy activities. It is not uncommon for burn injury victims to suffer from psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Fortunately, under Georgia law, burn injury victims injured by negligence are entitled to compensation for the harm that scarring causes.
Victims of Burn Injuries Can Recover Damages for Permanent Scars
All successful personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for both past and future medical bills and lost wages. Burn injury plaintiffs can also be awarded damages that are specifically intended to compensate for the harm caused by the pain of a burn injury and the lasting harm caused by scarring. Typically, damages for burn injury scars fall under the umbrella of pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate a victim for the physical and emotional pain that an injury caused them. Pain and suffering damages can vary widely from case to case but are usually very high in burn injury cases. Aside from pain and suffering, plaintiffs may also be able to collect damages for future lost wages if they can prove that scarring has negatively impacted their income potential.
Quantifying Pain and Suffering Damages for Burn Injury Scars
Pain and suffering damages are difficult to quantify, and this is particularly true in burn injury cases. The main factors that Georgia courts will consider in determining pain and suffering damages include:
- The severity of the burn injury (i.e., what degree the burn was);
- The level of physical pain that the victim endured;
- The impact the injury has on daily life tasks;
- The impact the injury has on quality of life generally;
- The impact of the injury on a person’s professional and social life;
- Mental and emotional trauma; and
- The egregiousness of the defendant’s actions.
The Importance of Documenting Burn Injury Scarring
It is important for burn injury victims to get thorough medical documentation of the harm that they have suffered. Courts will rely on testimony from a plaintiff as well as expert medical testimony to understand how serious an injury is according to the factors listed above. Therefore, burn injury plaintiffs should take their own personal notes documenting the ways in which scarring has impacted their lives. They should also make sure that their medical records note scarring and reflect the ways in which scarring has impacted their life.
For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby
If you have suffered a burn injury due to the wrongful actions of someone else, it is crucial to be aware of your legal rights. Burn injuries can occur in auto accidents, premises liability, products liability, and other types of cases. Regardless of the type of case, the issue of damages in cases involving burn injuries can be especially contentious because it is so difficult to quantify the pain and suffering involved.
Located in Cobb County, Georgia, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, understand how to maximize compensation in burn injury cases and are dedicated to getting justice, offering free consultations, and fighting vigorously for each of their clients. If you would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby, by calling (833) LEGALGA today.