The physical, emotional, and financial impacts of burn injuries cannot be understated. These types of wounds require specialized care and often painful, prolonged treatments. In many cases, particularly those involving fatal injuries, the suffering can extend beyond the victim, affecting their entire family and community.
If you or a loved one endured severe burns caused by another person, reach out to an Elgin burn injury lawyer. At the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., our experienced attorneys are here to assess the legal basis of your potential claim and support you through your recovery.
Causes of Burn Wounds
Severe scalding is often associated with fire, but there can be many other causes for these types of wounds. Debilitating burns can result from exposure to any of these common causes:
- Hot liquids
- Explosive compounds
Burns vary in intensity and can cause different degrees of damage on the body. Based on the severity of the wounds, burns fall into four categories from minor (first-degree) to significant (fourth-degree).
First-degree burns wound the top layer of skin, such as a common sunburn. Second-degree injuries progress to the inner skin layers and often cause blistering, pain, and swelling. Third-degree usually requires medical attention because the damage impacts all skin layers, changing skin color and inflicting substantial pain. When the damage reaches beyond the skin, affecting muscles, tendons, and bones, the burn is classified as fourth-degree.
Physical and Mental Effects
The most severe burn wounds can result in disfigurement, amputation, loss of vision, or even death. Additionally, psychological trauma often accompanies these significant physical challenges. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are not uncommon in severe burn victims.
It is critical that those suffering from a traumatic burn accident receive compassionate legal support in seeking restitution. Our lawyers are experienced in burn injury cases and understand how to work with victims in Elgin as they come to terms with such life-altering events.
Compensation for Burn Victims in Elgin
If an Elgin burn victim brings a timely claim with the help of their attorney, Illinois law allows them to pursue recovery for both economic and non-economic damages, collectively referred to as compensatory damages. These aim to reimburse a victim for monetary losses (e.g., medical bills and lost income) as well as subjective harms (e.g., pain, suffering, and emotional distress). Additionally, defendants may owe punitive damages as well for incidents involving particularly malicious or grossly negligent behavior, as outlined in 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1.
Compensatory Damages for Wrongful Death
If the burn victim passes away, 740 ILCS 180/1 allows their family to bring suit on their behalf. The Wrongful Death Act in 740 ILCS 180/2(a) extends damages to include the suffering, sorrow, and grief of surviving family members.
Illinois Statutes for Burn Injury Claims in Elgin
It is important for wounded victims to meet with a skilled lawyer in their area to help ensure compliance with the relevant statutes for burn injury claims. Significantly, Illinois Consolidated Statutes (ILCS), Chapter 735, Section 5/13-202 requires plaintiffs to raise claims within two years of the accident. Failure to do so within this timeframe could unfortunately result in dismissal of the case and no recovery.
Burn victims seeking recovery should also note the laws of contributory negligence for Illinois injury claims. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, the injured party’s role in causing an accident will reduce the amount they could receive in damages. However, if their percentage of responsibility is 51 percent or more, a plaintiff will not be awarded any compensation.
As such, defendants may attempt to shift blame to the plaintiff and avoid liability. By working with our skilled local attorneys, claimants could increase their chances of proper recovery valuations for their burn injuries.
Meet with an Elgin Burn Injury Attorney Today
After experiencing a painful scalding, you need the right legal support to help ease your burden. Our dedicated Elgin burn injury lawyers have the compassion and know-how to help you maximize potential compensation awards and minimize the stress of litigation. Call for a free consultation today.