In injury cases where the victim was burnt intentionally or was extremely negligently, the defendant may be exposed to punitive damages.
Punitive damages serve the purpose of punishing an individual whose acts of negligence resulted in pain and suffering of the victim. When an offender intentionally burns a plaintiff, he will be exposed to punitive damages for sure. In cases where injuries resulted because of gross negligence of the defendant, it gets harder to estimate the punitive damages.
Same type of compensation is provided to victims of burn injuries as victims of other personal injury cases. Burn injuries are a lot more painful than other injuries and can result in everlasting and severe deformity.
The person responsible for the burn injuries should not only pay off for a victim's physical pain caused by the burn, but also the emotional pain that the burn victim has to suffer because of the disfigurement. Compensation for emotional pain and suffering is provided while considering the degree and nature of deformity caused by the burns. For instance, a victim who has severely burnt their face will be given a higher award for damage than someone who got scars on their back.
Read on for some examples of Burn Injury Settlements awarded in different cases to plaintiffs.
Product Liability Settlements
A patient in the hospital got burnt when his bed was caught on fire because of the faulty product design. The manufacturer of the bed settled for a compensation of $1,000,000.
In another case, a woman got burnt because of a highly flammable skirt. She got perpetual burns and scarring around her waist. The manufacturer of the flammable skirt settled for close to $4,000,000.
General Negligence Settlements and Verdicts
The hot water system of a hotel allowed boiling hot water to be supplied to the hotel washrooms. A plaintiff who was already disabled lowered into the bathtub and got second degree burns. The compensation settled by the hotel was around $275,000.
There is a famous case of a woman who got $640,000 from McDonald's when she received third-degree burns from boiling hot coffee.
In case of an individual who received second and third degree burns on his middle and lower parts of the body, when vapors from an overfilled propane tank ignited while the plaintiff was working his barbeque, the owner of the gas station that filled the tank settled for a compensation of $970,000.
Special Case: Workers' Compensation Settlements
A burn injury at the workplace that does not involve negligence of the employer will only be compensated by the worker's compensation carrier. The award of a worker's compensation claim is usually a lot lower than that expected in a traditional personal injury civil lawsuit. The amount of compensation differs in different states. In cases where the victim did not get permanent disability and disfigurement, he or she may not get very high worker's compensation payment.
Let's say a victim gets burn scars on his lower legs with some permanent scarring but is not disabled for life. He may receive payment of about $40,000 or less. Worker's compensation laws are difficult to understand, therefore, it is advised that the injured worker hires an experienced attorney.