Burns are one of the most painful injuries you can suffer, and they can also take longer to heal than other injuries. If you have been burned and someone else was at fault, you need an experienced Baltimore burn injury lawyer on your side.
In Maryland, there are monetary damages that can be sought, as well as non-monetary losses. These are called general and compensatory damages at times. There is also a provision for punitive damages, but this is rarely given and rarely sought. For punitive damages to enter the picture, you would have to prove the person responsible acted with the intent of harming you.
There is some damage that is very clear. These are things you have receipts for, such as medical bills, repairs to your automobile, lost wages. These are measurable and there is little question about whether they are owed. Non-monetary damages are more difficult because they cannot be measured. There is some subjectivity involved. Pain and suffering is non-monetary loss, but it is hard to determine how much should be paid in that instance.
A good burn injury lawyer is adept at finding all the different things you might be compensated for after your injury. They know the law and know how the system works. They will likely see more things you can get paid for than the average person on the street would see.
Monetary, or economic losses, are measurable items where you either lost property or money, or you lost the potential to have those things in the future.
- Medical bills that you paid for yourself. This would include copay or deductibles from your insurance company. This would include money spent in the past or in the future. Anticipated medical expenses can also be measured.
- Lost wages would be for the time you miss work immediately after the injury. It would also cover future wages if you are hurt badly enough to not be able to work. This could include retirement pay or pensions that you could have received in the future.
- You could also get reimbursed when a spouse or other family member has to stop working to take care of you. Their lost wages would be damages you could sue for.
These are reimbursements for things that cannot be measured, and it is hard to set a dollar figure on. Things that do not have a set value. Items that cannot be measured would include:
- Pain and suffering. Suffering from an injury is hard to measure, but it is something to include in a lawsuit.
- Emotional or mental pain can also be compensated for. This might be harder to prove than physical pain and suffering.
- Disfigurement or impairment. Having to spend the rest of your life with a badly scarred face, for instance would be hard and is something you should be compensated for.
- The loss of enjoyment of life is when your injury prevents you from doing something you once enjoyed.
- Loss of companionship is when you have lost a family member or loved one in an accident.
- Loss of consortium is when the injury results in harming the relationship between a husband and wife.
- Compensation for paying someone to do household chores that the injured person used to do, but cannot do now because of the injury.
Why get a lawyer
There are several areas or items you could be reimbursed for. Insurance companies know the law, and they want to pay as little as possible on your claim. The biggest danger people face after an accident is not getting all the money they are entitled to.
A good burn injury attorney knows all the areas where you could collect reimbursement. Your attorney will probably think of things you would not think of when considering how much your case is worth.
You need a lawyer working for you because insurance companies also have lawyers working for them. The initial consultation to discuss your case is free, and the lawyers do not get paid unless you win. Often, cases are settled out of court through negotiation, and you need a good lawyer there to handle the negotiations. To make it fair, you need as good of a lawyer as those the insurance companies have working for them.
Insurance companies try to save money, but they are more likely to offer better deals to people who have legal representation. You also need a lawyer who is not afraid to go to court if a fair settlement cannot be negotiated. Insurance companies do not want to go to court, but they may wait to see if you are serious about going to trial before making the best deal. Call a burn injury lawyer today to discuss your case. You have nothing to lose and may have a lot to win.