Burn injuries are perhaps the most horrific types of injuries that can be sustained. Not only are the injuries incredibly painful, but the ongoing treatment, therapy, pressure bandages, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and other painful procedures may continue for many months or even years.
The simple answer is that juries are entitled to calculate pain and suffering in any manner in which they feel is appropriate. While each case (and each jury) will be different, we believe that juries calculate pain and suffering based on the following:
- The severity of incident causing the burn,
- The nature of the suffering that the burn victim endured immediately following their burn,
- The percentage of a person’s body that was burned,
- The severity and degree of the burn (such as whether the burn was first, second, or third degree, and how deeply tissue was burned),
- How disfigured the person is following their burn,
- The location of the burn (facial burns and burns in other sensitive areas are likely to deserve higher compensation),
- Whether significant bodily functions were permanently lost, such as eyesight,
- The impairment sustained from the burn (how will the victim’s life be affected by the burn?),
- The future surgeries and treatment that will be likely, and how painful these surgeries and treatment are likely to be,
- How the burn has affected the person’s emotional outlook on themself and life,
- The degree of depression or other mood disorder sustained by the burn victim,
- How the burn may have affected the person’s relationship with a spouse, children, or other family members,
- How the burn has affected the person’s social life, and
- The age of the burn victim (teenagers may have a significantly more difficult time coping with a burn injury than a married senior).
These are only some of the aspects that we believe juries are likely to consider, there are likely other aspects that will be considered based upon the individual circumstances of the person burned.
Juries are Typically Very Sympathetic to Burn Victims
For most people, the prospect of being burned is terrifying. There is not any amount of money that most people would accept for being severely burned and disfigured. However, in the litigation process, it is necessary that we ask jurors to place an amount on pain and suffering.
To show the true impact of burn injury, typically the burn injury victim will testify, as well as members of their family, therapists, doctors, and others who can speak about the life of the burn victim. Often video is helpful to show the painful treatment that must be endured. We will do whatever we can to give jurors a full and complete picture of the pain and suffering that our client has endured, and that they will endure, both in the near future and for every day of the remainder of their life. This is the only way that for jurors to understand the full scope of pain and suffering.
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Our firm is experienced in litigating cases involving terrible physical injuries and wrongful death, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients (including cases in which we recovered more than $15 million). We treat every client as if they are our only client.
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