Fourth-degree burns are the most serious. Whereas third-degree burns penetrate the skin to affect the underlying tissue, fourth-degree burns also damage the muscle, bone, or fascia.
If you sustained such a burn in some kind of preventable accident, your life may never be the same. As long as you weren’t responsible for the accident, though, you should be entitled to compensation.
While filing a claim in pursuit of damages won’t erase what happened, it could yield the funds needed to achieve some sense of normalcy in the aftermath. Should you choose to proceed with a claim, you can give it the best chance of success by taking the following steps:
1. Follow All Medical Advice for Treating Your Burns
Fourth-degree burns are impossible to ignore, so chances are you’ve already sought treatment. If you haven’t, visit a doctor as soon as possible to prevent serious complications, like infection.
Throughout your recovery, you should also be diligent about attending all follow-up appointments and listening to your doctor’s orders. In addition to reducing the severity of the scarring, this will show the insurance adjuster you were committed to mitigating damages. As a result, the opposing party won’t be able to shift blame your way.
2. Start a Daily Journal
As soon as possible after the accident, start a daily journal. Write about your burns and how they’re hurting your overall quality of life. Detailed entries will come in handy later, when it’s time to demonstrate the extent of non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
3. Record the Expenses You Incur as a Result of Your Burns
Since you’re also going to have to demonstrate your economic damages, you’ll want to save all the documentation associated with your injury-related expenses. Examples include receipts, invoices, and insurance statements for things like medical bills and replacement services.
4. Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster is probably going to ask for a statement fairly early in the proceedings. Assuming you haven’t reached maximum medical improvement, though, it’s best to avoid giving one. There’s no way to be sure of all the losses you incur, after all, until you’ve completed your recovery.
5. Seek Legal Counsel
Burn injury claims are inherently complex, so it’s wise to enlist legal help. A resourceful lawyer will investigate the cause of the accident, gather evidence of liability, calculate a reasonable figure for the associated damages, and ultimately help you negotiate for a satisfactory payout. What’s more, if the insurance adjuster ends up being uncooperative, your attorney can help you file a formal lawsuit.
Discuss Your Claim with a Burn Injury Attorney in Long Beach
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we know how devastating burn injuries can be. That’s why we’re determined to advocate for those who have been seriously hurt through no fault of their own.
If you want to file a personal injury claim in California after sustaining a thermal, chemical, or electrical burn, we’ll help you navigate every stage of the proceedings. To set up a free case review with a burn injury lawyer in Long Beach, complete our Contact Form or call (562) 206-1939.
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