Burn injuries can happen in many ways: in a motor vehicle collision, in a workplace accident, or as a result of a defective product. Regardless of the cause, burn victims may suffer a devastating amount of pain, as well as permanent disability and disfigurement. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn because of the careless conduct of another party, you need legal advice on which you can depend. The knowledgeable Pembroke Pines injury lawyers at Cohn & Smith can investigate the details of your case and help you determine which options to pursue.Seeking Compensation for a Burn Injury
People who have suffered serious burns often consider bringing a negligence claim against the person or entity that harmed them. “Negligence,” in the legal sense, means that someone failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner under the circumstances, resulting in an accident. There are four steps in a negligence case, each of which requires the plaintiff to provide proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. This duty may arise from several sources, including statutes, prior cases, and government regulations. The second step is to show that the defendant breached the duty of care that was owed. In other words, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant did not do something that a reasonable person would have done, or did something that a reasonable person would not have done. Third, the plaintiff must draw a link of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s harm. Finally, the plaintiff must identify damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Under the doctrine of pure comparative fault in Florida, if the plaintiff is partially at fault, he or she still has the right to receive some compensation from a defendant that shared the responsibility for the injuries. When this happens, the plaintiff’s compensation is set at an amount that is proportionate to the defendant’s degree of responsibility.
Another important consideration in any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is the statute of limitations. This is the maximum time period for filing suit after an accident. In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is four years. For wrongful death cases, the period is two years. There may also be time limits for giving written notice in some cases (especially those involving governmental entities), and statutes of repose may apply in product liability and medical malpractice cases. In any event, taking action promptly is advisable, since evidence can decay over time, making a case more challenging to pursue after a delay.Consult an Injury Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
If you or a loved one has suffered a thermal burn, an electrical burn, or another first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree burn because of another party’s negligence, you should pursue fair compensation for your injuries. However, it is unlikely that the defendant or an insurer will offer a fair and timely settlement unless you retain a knowledgeable personal injury or wrongful death lawyer. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Pembroke Pines injury attorney, call the law firm of Cohn & Smith at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. We represent injured individuals throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Aventura, Coral Springs, and communities across North Dade County.