For example, depending on the circumstances surrounding the burn injury, victims may be eligible to file a variety of claims. For burns that occurred at work the victim may be eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits. If the burn injuries occurred in a vehicle then an automobile insurance claim may be possible. If the burn was the result of a defective product then a manufacturer or other party may be liable for damages. If the burn resulted from someone else's negligence, then that party may be held responsible.
Some people may believe that filing a workers' compensation claim for burn injuries is a straightforward process that does not require any legal help. However, it can be a difficult process, especially for someone who has never dealt with workers' compensation claims before. Lawyers can help to investigate claims and make sure the victim receives all the compensation that he or she is entitled to. They can also ensure that all evidence for the claim is properly preserved as some evidence can be quite damaged after a burn injury (for example, clothing that may have burned).
Burn victims can file lawsuits in a number of instances including negligence and product liability cases. In product liability cases, the manufacturer and/or seller of a product has failed to ensure that the product has every component necessary to make it safe for its intended use. Product liability can stem from a design flaw or from a mistake during the manufacturing process and it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew about the defect—it is only necessary to show that a product was unsafe for use as intended.
One common cause of fires and burn injuries are electric heaters. Although many people believe that the fires are started by misuse of the heater, in many cases the heaters have internal defects, including improper wiring and thermostat problems. If a defect in a heater causes a burn injury, the victim may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit.
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Burn injury victims may be entitled to receive compensation for numerous damages. These include the costs of medical care, loss of income (both present and future), compensation for scaring and disfigurement, compensation for pain and suffering and compensation for loss of quality of life. Furthermore, spouses of burn victims may be eligible to file a claim for loss of consortium, which occurs when an injury is so serious that the victim is unable to fulfill spousal duties including support, companionship and affection.