14 Dec Legal Rights of Burn Survivors – The Basics
The survivor of a burn injury bravely, but unwillingly, enters a complicated new world of physical, emotional, psychological and social distress. All of these areas are impossible to navigate alone. It is beneficial to seek legal help during the early stages of recovery to minimize financial and psychological pressure on the patient and their family.
Of immediate and particular concern to the burn survivor is how to pay for every thing, or even anything in the aftermath of a burn injury. Financial worries arise from the myriad of questions and scenarios immediately confronting the patient and their family. How will mounting medical bills be paid, both past and future? How can living expenses be paid while the survivor is unable to work? Who will take care of the patient? What will be the long-term impact on finances? Burn injuries require treatments that take a lot of time, and rehabilitation of the patient is expensive, which adds to the overwhelming debt-burden of the burn survivor.
Burn injury survivors are often plagued by: a painful injury, disfigurement, organ damage, marked sensitivity to temperature change, damage to body chemistry, and emotional and physical trauma. Yet despite the severity of these health issues, survivors are often reticent about seeking legal help. Often the survivor feels that he or she was responsible for the incident that caused the injury, or fears the cost of legal intervention.
According to California Attorney Robert A. Brenner, founder of the Burn Injury Law Group, “A burn injury is never what I call a pure accident. There are usually one or more reasons that cause an accident that could have been prevented.
“Burn victims are often hesitant about contacting an attorney because they believe the accident or injury was in some way caused by them. This may not be the case, and even if the injured individual is partially at fault, a substantial monetary recovery is still possible,” Brenner said.
There is no financial risk in consulting a qualified attorney about the details of a burn injury case. Personal injury attorneys generally accept a contingency fee which amounts to a percentage of the final settlement – if any is awarded. This means that the lawyer will not be paid unless he successfully wins the case. Consequently, investigating and establishing the cause, or causes of an accident, is the first order of business for a lawyer. This must be done quickly, before the legal statute of limitations, the time period when someone can seek legal action relating to the accident, runs out. The statute of limitations for burn injuries varies from state to state, and once it has passed, a survivor will not be allowed to seek compensation.
Burn survivors need to know what their legal rights are, and understand that they may be recovered with the help of a lawyer. Civil law exists to compensate an individual for injuries and losses caused by a defective product, someone’s negligence, or some other form of misconduct or failure to act. Legal rights to compensation include:
- Payment of Medical Bills: You may be entitled to have your medical expenses, past and future paid for: hospitalization, surgical procedures, ongoing medical care, counseling, scar revision/ cosmetic surgery, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
- Compensation for Loss of Income – You may be entitled to have your lost wages, both past and future, paid.
- Vocational Rehabilitation (Job Training) – You may be entitled to compensation to be re-trained into a new job or occupation.
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering you have endured and may continue to endure, as a result of your injury.
- Loss of Consortium – The spouse of a burn survivor may be entitled to compensation when an injury is so severe that it interferes with the injured party’s spousal relations.
An experienced personal injury attorney will guide the burn survivor along the long, circuitous, and costly road to recovery. This qualified advocate will ensure that the burn injury survivor receives the legal assistance he or she needs and deserves — for a new lease on life.
For more information about burn injuries, please visit our website www.burnsurvivor.com
To contact attorney Robert A. Brenner directly, call 800-669-7700, or email [email protected]
To learn more about attorney Robert A. Brenner, please visit his website www.brennerlaw.com