Posted in blog on March 8, 2017
Serious burn injuries may require long periods of recovery. At the time of injury, a burn victim may not know the extent of injury or the true cost of rehabilitation. In these cases, an early settlement may not result in the full and fair compensation a victim needs. Before you agree to a potentially low settlement after a burn injury, read this.
After a burn injury, an insurance company may contact you to offer a preliminary settlement. Companies do this to move through insurance claims quickly and to keep the cost of each claim as low as possible. If you accept an initial settlement offer, you may not receive the compensation you need to adequately handle your loses from a burn injury.
In cases of severe burns, we highly recommend discussing your claim with a personal injury attorney who specializes in burn injuries. Severe burns require a complex rehabilitation process that may involve multiple surgeries and therapies over time. Often, a treating physician may not know the full extent of treatment until he or she sees the results of initial therapies, which can take time. Wait until you have as much information as possible about recovery, your future quality of life, and your ability to return to work before you consider the value of any settlement terms.
If you choose to work with a burn injury attorney, you gain the opportunity to fight for fairer settlement terms. The majority of every personal injury case takes place outside the courtroom. Research, discovery, and negotiations all take place before a claim goes to trial. In many cases, the responsible party will agree to pay the same sum a jury would award the plaintiff at trial. Most attorneys will not agree to take a case to trial unless they believe they can secure a more amenable settlement on your behalf, though none can guarantee a certain outcome.
As you work with your attorney, insurance representatives, and your own medical providers, consider the factors that may impact your ability to secure a higher amount of compensation. In negotiations and in the courtroom, each side will look at:
Every burn injury case is different. Always talk to an attorney to make an informed decision about your case. While pursuing further legal action may not make sense in cases involving minor accidental burns, you may not want to accept a settlement in cases of severe burns or egregious negligence.