How To Pursue a Burn Injury Claim In Nashville
Posted in Personal Injury on September 18, 2023
Burn injuries can leave individuals with immense medical bills, lost wages, and significant pain and suffering. When these injuries occur due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual or entity, victims may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. Here, we want to discuss how a burn injury victim can initiate the personal injury claims process.
Can You File a Burn Injury Claim?
The first step is actually determining whether or not you have a viable burn injury claim. We do encourage you to speak to an attorney before making any decisions about whether or not your case should move forward or not. There may be specific factors you are not aware of that your attorney can help you with.
Personal injury claims revolve around negligence. That is, the negligence of the at-fault party must be established. However, negligence has a specific meaning in personal injury law, and there are four elements needed to satisfy this requirement:
- The alleged negligent party must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The alleged negligent party must have breached their duty of care in some way
- The breach of duty must have directly or indirectly caused the injury or injuries involved
- The injury victim must have sustained some sort of monetary loss as a result of the incident
Finding an Attorney to Help
One of the most important decisions you will make after sustaining a burn injury is the attorney you choose. A skilled burn injury lawyer in Nashville should get involved in your case as quickly as possible. When an attorney gets on board with your claim early, they will be able to gather the evidence needed to prove liability. This includes investigating the scene of the incident, obtaining additional records from other parties, and handling all communication with other parties involved.
The process of finding an attorney can be intimidating. We encourage individuals to speak to their acquaintances and ask for any references to a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury victims can do a search online for Tennessee personal injury lawyers in their particular area of the state. We encourage individuals to schedule free consultations with a few attorneys to find one that they feel comfortable with.
The vast majority of personal injury attorneys will handle claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that if the attorney takes your case, they will handle all of the upfront and out-of-pocket costs. Personal injury victims do not pay any legal fees until after the attorney successfully recovers compensation through a settlement or jury verdict. Clients pay absolutely nothing if they do not win their case.
Initiating the Claims Process
Often, the first step for a personal injury case is filing a claim with an insurance carrier involved. For example, if a person sustains severe injuries because a driver ran a red light and caused an accident, it is likely that the victim will file a claim with the insurance carriers involved. However, insurance carriers are involved in much more than just vehicle accident claims. They are also involved in premises liability incidents, injuries that occur on the job, and many other situations.
Most personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but that does not mean the settlement comes without any hardship. Insurance carriers are looking out for their bottom line, so they will do what they can to limit compensation payouts. Injury victims may have to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court in order to proceed forward with the claim to recover the compensation they need.
Remember the Statute of Limitations
It is important for burn injury victims in Tennessee to remember that they have a limited amount of time to file lawsuits after an injury occurs. The personal injury statute of limitations in this state is one year from the date an injury occurs, which is much shorter than the time frame in other states. If a burn injury victim in Nashville fails to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within one year, they will lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses. The case will be dismissed.
The Discovery Phase
After a civil personal injury lawsuit gets filed, the discovery process will start. This is when attorneys for the plaintiff (the injury victim) and the defendant (the alleged negligent party) exchange evidence with one another. The attorneys will likely take depositions of witnesses and other people who may testify at trial.
Sometimes, the case gets settled before a trial becomes necessary. As more evidence comes to light, one or both parties may decide it is in the best interests of all parties involved to settle the claim or even drop the case. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, the only way for a victim to recover compensation may be to move forward to a trial by jury.
Will the Burn Injury Claim Go to Trial?
Most burn injury claims will not make it all the way to trial. As we mentioned before, most cases are settled with the insurance carriers involved. However, if a case does go to trial, it may not actually reach a jury for multiple years after the initial incident occurred.
Your burn injury lawyer will be your advocate and number one guide throughout this process. Your attorney can help you understand whether or not it is in your best interest to move forward toward a trial or to settle a case beforehand.
Types of Compensation Available
There may be various types of compensation available to burn injury victims if their claim is successful. Ultimately, the goal is to recover both economic and non-economic damages, which includes the following for burn injuries:
- Coverage of all medical bills associated with the burn
- Compensation for physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income if a burn injury victim cannot work
- Coverage of physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damages