Frequently Asked Questions
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Burn Injuries

  1. Who can sue for a burn injury?
  2. Who can be held responsible for a burn injury?
  3. What if I was also at fault for the accident, which caused my burn injury?
  4. Is it important to quickly investigate an accident, which results in a burn injury?
  5. Is the existence of insurance coverage important?
  6. Will my attorney need to retain experts to prove liability and damages even though my injury is so obvious?
  7. What damages am I entitled to recover in my burn injury case?
  8. How soon after my accident must I bring a case?
  9. Do I need to retain an attorney?

Questions & Answers

Who can sue for a burn injury?
Answer:
Anyone who is seriously burned as a direct result of some other person’s negligent act. This could include a burn that is caused when another individual is handling a material in a dangerous way and spills it on you, causing a burn. It could also be a claim against an individual who is involved in some activity in there home that causes a fire to start leading to a serious burn to a visitor to the home. An individual who is burned by the failure of a product that causes a fire such as a gas control valve whose safety shutoff future does not function properly leading to a gas explosion and severe burns can be the basis for making a claim. Claims have also been brought for chemical burns caused by one person misapplying a chemical such as a hair dye on another person leading to the development of chemical burns.

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Who can be held responsible for a burn injury?
Answer:
It all depends upon the facts of the particular accident. Sometimes it is the manufacturer of product, such as a gas control valve that has a safety shutoff valve that fails to operate properly. It also can be an individual such as a cosmetologist who misapplies chemicals on a customer causing chemical burns. It could also be a homeowner who is involved in some activity that causes a fire that leads to burns on a visitor to the hom

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What if I was also at fault for the accident, which caused my burn injury?
Answer:
This could preclude you from bringing a claim. However, if your fault is equal to or less than the individual against whom you are making a claim you still can bring a claim against that individual. Under Minnesota Law you would still be able to recover, but your damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault that was contributed to your actions.

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Is it important to quickly investigate an accident, which results in a burn injury?
Answer:
It is very important to investigate quickly. Usually the burn is accompanied by substantial damage of surrounding property. The property needs to be investigated quickly and thoroughly to determine what the cause or causes of the fire were so a further determination can be made as to whether there is an individual or product manufacturer that was responsible for the cause of the fire.

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Is the existence of insurance coverage important?
Answer:
The existence of insurance is always important. Most individuals and many business entities are “judgment proof”. You may have a valid claim against an individual or business entity for damage that was caused to you by a fire that they started, however if they are judgment proof, that means that a judgment against them is not collectable unless there is insurance coverage available. 

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Will my attorney need to retain experts to prove liability and damages even though my injury is so obvious?
Answer:
In almost all burn cases expert witnesses are necessary. The fact that your burn injury is obvious is only part of the proof that is required to develop your case. You also must prove what the negligent act was that caused the fire leading to the burn and who committed the negligent act. These issues almost always require expert witnesses and many times several experts in different areas of specialization.

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What damages am I entitled to recover in my burn injury case?
Answer:
  • Past medical expenses to treat your burns
  • Past loss income as a result of your burn injuries
  • Compensation for past pain, disability and disfigurement as a result of you burn injuries
  • Future medical expenses that are reasonably likely to be incurred to treat your burn injuries in the future
  • Future loss of earning capacity that is reasonable certain to occur as a result of any disability that you have as a result of your burn injuries
  • Compensation for future pain, disability and disfigurement that is reasonably certain to occur as a result of your burn injuries

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How soon after my accident must I bring a case?
Answer:
That all depends upon the nature of the claim you are bringing. There are many different statutes of limitations that could apply in a burn injury case. If the fire was caused by an improvement to real property the statute of limitations could be as short as two (2) years. If it was caused by the negligent act of some other person the statute of limitations could be as long as six (6) years. There are even other statutes of limitation that could apply depending upon the facts of the particular case.

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Do I need to retain an attorney?
Answer:
That all depends upon the nature of the claim you are bringing. There are many different statutes of limitations that could apply in a burn injury case. If the fire was caused by an improvement to real property the statute of limitations could be as short as two (2) years. If it was caused by the negligent act of some other person the statute of limitations could be as long as six (6) years. There are even other statutes of limitation that could apply depending upon the facts of the particular case.

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