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San Bernardino Burn Injury Attorneys

Whether you’re visiting the area and taking in the sights or you live and work here, San Bernardino offers entertainment and activities for all types of personalities. Unfortunately, the more that an area offers, the more risks are present. Burn injuries can result from a variety of different activities and can lead to life-altering complications.

If you have suffered a severe burn injury in San Bernardino as a result of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, California law allows you the right to recover damages related to your injury. However, this is often a complex process filled with many questions. Here are answers to some of the questions our San Bernardino clients ask most frequently.

What is the process of obtaining compensation after a burn injury in San Bernardino?

Those who have suffered a burn injury in San Bernardino that was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless behavior—known as negligence—can recover the expenses they have incurred as a result of their injury and be compensated for the impacts that the injury has had on their life through a San Bernardino burn injury lawsuit. This lawsuit is a legal claim filed in civil court that seeks to prove who was legally responsible for the accident that resulted in injury and show the expenses and impacts that the injury has created.

What damages can I obtain through a San Bernardino burn injury claim?

“Damage” is a legal term that refers to payment for an act that resulted in physical harm. California allows claimants in San Bernardino burn injury actions to claim both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket expenses you face as a result of your injury, such as:

      • Medical expenses.
      • Lost wages.
      • Loss of future earning capacity.
      • The cost of repairing or replacing personal property, such as a vehicle that was involved in a car accident that resulted in the injury.

Non-economic damages refer to the impacts that the injury has on your life. Some of the common damages sought in this category include:

      • Physical pain and suffering.
      • Emotional distress.
      • Loss of the enjoyment of life, if the injury prevents you from participating in activities and events you previously enjoyed.
      • Loss of consortium, which is a damage collected on behalf of the injured person’s spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship that is commonly suffered after a severe injury.

My San Bernardino apartment burned and injured me due to faulty wiring. Who is liable?

Likely your landlord would be responsible for a fire that was caused by faulty wiring. Property owners have the legal responsibility to ensure that their property is free from hazards that they knew or reasonably should have known existed that can cause injury to guests. However, there are other potentially liable parties too, including the individual or entity who performed electrical work on the building. An experienced burn injury attorney will carefully review your case to determine all sources of liability. You prove liability by establishing:

      • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care that one person owes to another depends on the activity that was taking place when the accident occurred, but generally involves behavior that is legal and does not put others at risk of harm.
      • There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach is the action that the at-fault party took that violated the duty of care.
      • This breach resulted in the accident, which caused your injuries and subsequent expenses and impacts.

I experienced a chemical burn in San Bernardino. What do I do now?

Call us. Chemical burns take place when an individual’s skin comes in contact with strong acids, solvents, or detergents. This type of burn is a common workplace injury in some manufacturing jobs, and can also be experienced in motor vehicle accidents when gasoline and other fluids that leaked from the car make contact with a person’s skin. This is a common type of burn, and you can recover compensation from one, as well as from:

      • Friction burns: When the skin comes in contact with a rough surface that scrapes off the skin, it is known as a friction burn or—more commonly—as road rash.
      • Cold burns: Also known as frostbite, this type of burn occurs when the skin comes in contact with freezing temperatures either through weather or prolonged direct contact with an extremely cold object.
      • Thermal burns: This type of burn occurs when the skin comes in contact with a heated object. The most common objects to cause a thermal burn include hot metals, scalding liquids, open flames, and steam.
      • Radiation burns: A sunburn is an example of a burn to the skin caused by a source of radiation. Radiation therapy, such as that used to treat cancer, and X-rays can also cause this type of burn.
      • Electrical burns: Electricity causes these burns.

What is the average settlement for a San Bernardino burn injury case?

There is no “average” settlement, as settlement amounts are based on the unique impacts and expenses experienced by an individual in a specific case. However, several factors can affect the amount you are eligible to receive for your injury, including:

      • The amount of insurance the at-fault party has. Insurance is the primary means of paying settlements and lawsuits. While it is possible to sue an uninsured person and even to obtain a judgment in your favor, collecting the judgment would likely be extremely difficult as most uninsured individuals do not have the money to pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket.
      • The clarity of liability. In California, you seek compensation from other liable parties, even if you were partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries.
      • Your age at the time of your injury. Damage categories are heavily influenced by where you are at in your career, including wage loss and loss of future earning capacity. A person who is at the peak of their career would likely see a greater amount of damages for those categories than a young person just starting in the world of work or an older person who has already retired.

I was told I suffered third degree burns. What does that mean?

Doctors categorize burn severity by degrees:

      • First degree burns: The burn only affects the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. This severity of the burn will produce red and painful skin, but will not form blisters.
      • Second degree burns: In a second degree burn, the epidermis and the layer of skin beneath it—known as the dermis—are both affected. Second degree burns produce skin that is red and swollen and may also look shiny and wet. This degree of burn is painful to the touch, and blisters are generally present.
      • Third degree burns: This level of burn severity, also referred to as a full thickness burn, is severe enough to destroy the epidermis and the dermis, and is often painless due to damage to the nerve ends. The skin in a third degree burn often appears black, brown, white, or yellow.
      • Fourth degree burns: This is the most severe type of burn, destroying not only the top two layers of skin, but the muscles, bones, and tendons beneath them. Doctors may initially categorize this as a third degree burn, but it will become more severe as the damage to the skin and the structures beneath it deepens.

My San Bernardino burn injury occurred at work. Is this a worker’s comp case or a burn injury case?

It depends, and both processes could provide compensation. California’s worker’s compensation program is a mandatory insurance program that requires most employers in the state to purchase an insurance policy on behalf of their employees that provides wage loss and medical benefits if an individual is injured on the job. This policy can provide benefits regardless of fault. It prevents workers and their employers from going through a lengthy legal process in which the worker must prove that the employer or some other person was liable for his or her injuries. However, if a third party caused your injury—that is, someone other than your employer, yourself, or your coworker—you can pursue compensation through the San Bernardino burn injury claims process. An example of a third party with liability for a workplace injury would be a delivery driver who was burned in an accident caused by a third-party motorist during his or her employment.

Why would my San Bernardino burn injury cause future medical expenses?

Severe burns often cause medical complications, even long after the initial injury has healed. Some of those complications, such as keloids—which are an overgrowth of scar tissue—as well as significant scarring and scar tissue that results in tightening of the skin around jointed areas can necessitate future surgical treatments. When determining damages, your attorney will rely on testimony from your physician as to the likelihood that you will need further medical treatments to address these complications.

Is my San Bernardino burn injury settlement taxable?

For the most part, the Internal Revenue Service does not consider a settlement as income and does not tax it. However, if your award includes punitive damages, just that portion can be subject to tax. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded not as payment for expenses and impacts incurred by the injury but rather as a way to punish the particularly reckless behavior of the defendant. Additionally, if you claimed your medical expenses as a tax deduction before receiving an award that included payment for medical expenses, you will need to repay that deduction. You may wish to hire an accountant to file your tax return after recovering a settlement or judgment to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements.

I can’t afford a San Bernardino burn injury attorney. Can I pursue recovery of damages from my burn injury on my own?

Actually, you can afford our San Bernardino burn injury attorneys. We provide two special services to assist those who need an attorney’s guidance but can’t afford it:

      • A free case evaluation, which is time an attorney provides to prospective clients so that they can get answers to their legal questions, talk about their case, and determine if they would like to continue working with the attorney.
      • Contingency fee agreement. A contingency fee means that you do not have to pay for your attorney’s services unless there is a successful outcome to your case. If your case is successful, your attorney’s fees are taken out of your recovery.

Beyond the free case evaluation and the contingent fee, your experienced San Bernardino burn injury attorney can provide many other services focused on assisting you in your case. Those services include:

      • Determination of all liable parties and all insurance resources that can be accessed to compensate you.
      • Valuation of your case based on the expenses you have incurred or will likely incur in the future as well as the ways your injury has impacted your life.
      • Timely filing of all court-required paperwork in the proper jurisdiction and attending all pre-trial conferences and hearings on your behalf.
      • Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier in an attempt to obtain a fair settlement offer for you.
      • Gathering and organizing the evidence and witness testimony that can be used in court to make your case.
      • Guidance as to the pros and cons of accepting a settlement offer.
      • Litigation, including delivering opening and closing statements, examining witnesses, and presenting evidence.
      • Assistance collecting your settlement or award.
      • Further representation if the defendant in your case files an appeal.

The experienced San Berardino burn injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys have a successful track record with burn cases. Some of our recent case results include:

      • $9.5 million settlement for a burn injury client.
      • $3 million settlement in a burn injury case.

Let us help you understand your legal options.

Call Our San Bernardino Burn Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one sustained a serious burn injury in San Bernardino due to someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional conduct, you may have the right to receive substantial financial compensation. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online or at (619) 237-3490 for a free case evaluation to learn more.

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