What to Prove in a Burn Injury Lawsuit
Whether they are caused by a defective product, a workplace injury, a car accident, or another act of negligence, burn injuries are some of the most painful and damaging types of personal injuries. Burn injuries can impact a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
If burn injuries are the result of another person or party’s recklessness or neglect, victims can file a burn injury lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages. Here, personal injury lawyer Michael E. Shelton, who serves the Houston, TX, area, explains what to prove in a burn injury lawsuit, so that injury victims can be justly compensated for their losses.
The Defendant Owed the Plaintiff a Duty of Care
The first thing that needs to be established in a burn injury lawsuit is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, or the burn injury victim. Proving duty of care is straightforward. Whether burn injuries are caused by an employer, a driver, a property owner, or a product manufacturer, duty of care should apply. In nearly all situations, people have a legal obligation to practice reasonable care to avoid injuring or harming others.
The Defendant Breached the Duty of Care
After establishing duty of care in a burn injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached that duty of care. This is where a lawsuit becomes more complex. Michael E. Shelton works with investigators and other experts in the field to gather evidence necessary to show that the duty of care was breached. Depending on the details of the accident, evidence that may be used to demonstrate that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care includes:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Police reports
- Injury reports
- Documents pertaining to a defective product
The Defendant’s Negligence Caused the Plaintiff Harm
Even if it is established that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, and that duty of care was breached, it still needs to be proven that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the breach, or that the breach of care was a significant factor in causing injuries. This essentially comes down to demonstrating that, if not for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred.
The Plaintiff Suffered Damages as a Result of Injuries
The final factor that must be proved in a burn injury lawsuit is that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injuries. Damages in a burn injury lawsuit may include physical damages (the injuries themselves), emotional damages (trauma caused by the injury), and/or financial damages (medical expenses, lost wages, diminished wage earning capacity, etc.). Pieces of evidence that may be used to demonstrate damages for our Houston clients include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs
- Expert testimony
Contact Michael E. Shelton
If you or a loved one has suffered burn injuries due to another person’s negligence, personal injury lawyer Michael E. Shelton can help you prove liability so that you can be justly compensated for related losses. To discuss your case in further detail, send us a message online or call our Houston law firm at (713) 807-0700.