Are you suffering from a burn and have questions about the 5 things to know after a burn injury? Contact our Gilbert lawyers to get started.
1) After a Burn Injury
The number one thing is always get the best medical care possible. Sometimes our clients are on access programs. They can only see a limited number of doctors. We can refer you to additional doctors. We don’t have to replace the doctor that you’re seeing, but additional doctors that can give you and your doctor a second opinion. That’s the number one thing.
The other thing that is important, once you get the best medical care possible, when it comes time to settle your case, we often hire professional photographers to photograph your injuries and scarring. If you just take a picture on a selfie camera and send that to the insurance adjustor versus having the proper lighting so that it really emphasizes what you’re going to be living with, that can make a big difference.
There are other important things that need to be addressed in burn injury cases but they do vary depending on a lot of details.
2) Common Mistakes After a Burn Injury
The number one most common mistake is that people think that we’ll just see how things shake out before we even talk to an attorney. Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with seeing how the other insurance company is going to treat you, but the reason why you don’t want to wait to at least talk to a lawyer or somebody in a law firm early on is because the insurance adjustor is going to be your best friend at first.
They’ve been trained to control you in one of two ways: being very nice, or if that doesn’t work, being very nasty. You’ll get one of those versions. Typically, if you have a serious burn injury, you’ll get the very nice treatment. They know that your case could be worth a lot of money. If you get the very nice treatment, they’ll even say, “Why would you want to call a lawyer? All they’re going to do is take most of your money. You don’t want that and I’m so nice. You know that because I’m so nice, it’ll all work out. We’ll pay you a fair amount in the end.” By the time you find out that that’s not true, your case could be damaged.
3) Selecting a Burn Injury Attorney
We had that raised recently by a potential parent. The situation was where it actually was a child that had been burned. It was a complicated factual situation. There was some question about whether the child at-fault. Newsflash, our attorney told the family — children are not considered at-fault. Sometimes insurance companies try to blame parents, but even then, these are complicated situations.
That’s why you do need to call us and talk to one of our attorneys because even then, there’s legal cases that say even if a parent does something that may have in some way might have contributed to the child’s burn injury, that cannot reduce the child’s recovery. That’s a legal thing that you’d have to talk to one of our attorneys about but insurance adjustors by and large, they’re not aware of that.
4) Burn Injury Claim Timeline
People who have already been burned because of reckless conduct or a defective product, the last thing they want is to be burned again by the legal system. What we do is make sure that doesn’t happen. The way we do that is by being proactive and being involved in your care as early as you contact us.
There are great doctors out there giving treatment who make very poor witnesses in legal proceedings. You can stay with a great doctor but we’ll refer you to another doctor for an additional second opinion and a doctor who understand how to testify in deposition. Most of those cases are going to be settled without going to court, but when the insurance companies sees that the doctor has a good reputation, they will want to settle. On the other hand, if it’s a nice doctor, does a good job for you, but really, he’s afraid of testifying, the insurance company won’t bother.
As far as resolving your claim, as long as we get good testifying experts to bolster what your treating doctors are saying and they confirm it, those cases usually resolve as soon as you reach what’s called maximum medical improvement. How long does it take for you to reach maximum medical improvement? That’s something between you and your doctor. Once you’ve reached that point, most of the time, insurance companies, especially if the burn injury is pretty shocking, they want those settled quickly. That part is good news.
5) Burn Injury Claim Value
The main thing the claim value will depend on is the nature and the extent of the burn injury. Most people know that there’s different classifications of burn injury. The easiest way is to take some photographs and share them. You can do this over the phone. How long has it been since the burn injury? If it’s only been a few weeks, then there’s a possibility that things are going to get a lot better. If it’s two years ago, well, hopefully, you didn’t wait that long, but let’s just say it’s been a year, then maybe that’s as good as it’s going to get.
We’ll refer you to experts, maybe even outside the doctors you’ve already seen. Maybe you’ve been through skin grafts already but there may be ways that the appearance can still be improved. You can get a second opinion about that. Basically, it comes down to a “shock the conscience” standard. If it’s a situation where people will always react strongly to an injury, those cases are worth a lot more money.
Have you or a loved one suffered from a burn injury and have questions about the 5 things to know after a burn injury? Contact experienced Gilbert Burn Injury Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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