Burn Injuries in Florida
Regardless of whether they occurred in an auto accident, with a flammable product, or in another type of unfortunate situation, burn injuries are much more common than the average person might think, and they can leave lasting damage to skin and organs even after medical treatment. If you have sustained burns in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation, for medical bills, but also possibly for losses like lost wages and future earning potential.
Burns Are Difficult To Overcome
Burn injuries are among those which require the most extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, simply because of how deep they can penetrate. The American Burn Association reported approximately 486,000 burn injuries which required medical treatment in 2016, with nearly 40,000 requiring hospitalization. Most of those admitted to burn centers were male (approximately two-thirds), and most of the injuries occurred in the home, though a significant minority also happened on the job (roughly 8 percent).
While burns can be devastating, it can be hard to obtain compensation for them. Many burns are what are called secondary injuries, for which it can be difficult to pinpoint exact causation, and without a showing of causation, liability may not be found. In other words, burns may happen along with other injuries, and if it cannot be established why or how they happened, no one may be found liable for causing them. For example, if someone is in an auto accident that occurred due to another driver’s negligence, it may be difficult to determine whether the burns are directly traceable to the driver’s actions, or if they simply happened due to unfortunate bad luck.
Multiple Potential Defendants
One common feature of many burn-related personal injury cases is that there is often the possibility of multiple defendants being held liable. This is especially seen in auto accident or product liability cases, where a manufacturer or supplier may be held liable if it is shown that they did not exercise the appropriate care in selling or maintaining the product, in addition to whomever was operating it at the time. For example, if a product explodes and causes burn injuries to someone standing nearby, the person using it might be found liable, but the manufacturer might also be found liable if it can be shown that they failed to warn of potential dangers.
Be advised that unlike in many other states, Florida subscribes to a system of pure comparative fault in determining liability, and uses the pure several liability system when multiple defendants are involved. Pure several liability means that if a defendant is determined to be a certain percentage at fault, only that amount may be recovered from them, unlike in states which use joint and several liability, where the entire amount can be recovered from any one defendant. Pure comparative fault means that each person, including the plaintiff and any number of defendants, will be responsible for paying the percentage they are deemed at fault. If the plaintiff is held to be 20 percent at fault, Defendant 1 is held to be 20 percent at fault, and Defendant 2 is held to be 60 percent at fault, then the plaintiff will be able to recover 80 percent of their bills and losses.
Seek Experienced Legal Help Today
Burn injuries can require extensive treatment, and can leave both emotional and physical scars. If you have been burned as a result of another person’s negligence, calling an attorney to assess your options may be a good idea. The Tampa burn injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can try and answer your questions and advise you on how best to move forward with your case. Call us today for a free consultation.