What to Expect in a Burn Injury Case
Most serious burn injury victims spend almost two months in a hospital. Regional burn centers are much more expensive than the average hospital. So, the average hospital bill in a burn case usually exceeds $100,000. Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as prescription drugs, medical devices, and physical therapy, are still to come. Serious burns are so painful that the noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, could easily be three or four times the economic losses.
A Sugar Land explosion burn injury lawyer can obtain compensation for all these losses in court. However, these cases are very complex. Because so much money is at stake, insurance company lawyers often dig in their heels and bitterly contest both liability (responsibility for the wreck) and damages (the amount of compensation). Victims need an equally determined lawyer, who never looks for an easy way out, to even the odds. That’s especially true since the personal injury legal process is often long and frustrating.
Some cases have no liability or damage issues. For example, a drunk driver might run a red light and t-bone another car in the intersection. But such cases are few and far between.
Even in these situations, the insurance company usually delays settlement as long as possible. For example, their lawyers might argue that the victim was partially responsible for the wreck or that doctors at a run-of-the-mill trauma center could have treated the victim’s injuries. Such arguments rarely hold up in court, but they could have some basis, depending on the facts.
Any liability, damage, or other questions usually absolve insurance companies of their legal duty to quickly resolve uncontested claims. If initial settlement talks stall or break down, a Missouri City personal injury lawyer must act quickly to pressure the insurance company into settlement and preserve the victim’s legal rights. If attorneys don’t file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, victims lose any right to compensation.
The Legal Process
Filing legal paperwork accomplishes these goals and starts the legal process. Routine tasks, such as giving parties notice of the action, is often quite complicated in these cases.
Serious burn claims often involve large trucks, which means respondeat superior employer liability. Employers are responsible for damages if their employees were negligent during the course and scope of employment. Usually, the truck’s owner or driver’s employer is a large, out-of-state holding company.
Once all parties are properly served, these parties usually file pretrial motions, claiming the victim has no case. If attorneys do their homework and diligently collect evidence before they file suit, these motions typically fail.
Next, during discovery, both sides must lay all their cards face-up on the table. Evidence that was unavailable previously suddenly becomes available. So, when claims settle too early, the best evidence, and therefore maximum compensation, is usually unavailable.
The legal process also triggers a mandatory mediation requirement in most courts. Professional mediators nudge, or sometimes force, the two parties together on liability and damages issues.
This nudging or forcing is part of the good faith negotiation process. Earlier, insurance companies could make take-it-or-leave-it offers and blame victims for not accepting them. During mediation, both sides must honestly try to work with the mediator and reach an agreement. They cannot simply go through the motions.
Count on a Thorough Fort Bend County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.