A burn injury victim once suggested we consider the scope and breadth of the Great Fire’s impact on our city when thinking about how a burn injury impacts one’s life.
In October 1871, the Great Chicago Fire ravaged our city. It destroyed thousands of buildings, killed an estimated 300 people, and left countless others injured. We still bear the scars of that fire and heed the lessons it taught us a century and a half later.
As the impact of the fire on our city, the impact of a serious burn injury on a victim’s life is permanent. While doctors and scientists have made great strides when it comes to treating burn injuries, such injuries never fully heal. Burn victims live with their injuries for the rest of their lives. As burn injury attorneys, it is our job to get our Chicago area clients the compensation they need to move forward despite what they have suffered.
What Type Of Burn Cases Do We Take?
The Stein & Shulman team has decades of experience handling personal injury cases in the Chicagoland area. Over the years, we have helped numerous burn injury victims hold the people and organizations responsible for causing their injuries accountable.
While burn injuries are frequently the result of structural fires and motor vehicle accidents, there are a vast array of ways burn injuries occur:
- Improperly Treated Clothing: Sometimes clothing is not properly manufactured with fire-retardant materials or designed to reduce the risk of combustion. When an article of clothing catches fire because it was improperly designed or manufactured, the burn victim may be able to seek compensation.
- Defective Products: Some products have manufacturing or design defects that create an unknown fire hazard risk. Other products may pose a burn risk if used a certain way, and the manufacturer of the product may fail to fulfill its obligation to provide an adequate warning or safeguard against these risks. In the Chicago area, we see many burn injuries caused by defective space heaters, but that is just one example of a product that may be manufactured improperly, or have dangers the manufacturer should warn purchasers about.
- Industrial Accidents: Many workers are injured each year in industrial accidents. Workplaces that use highly flammable chemicals put employees and members of the surrounding community at risk. Workers may also be injured by equipment that causes burns.
- Burns from Chemicals: Chemical burns can be extremely painful because they can burn a victim’s muscle tissue and bone as well as the skin. Some victims cannot tell that they have suffered a chemical burn until a serious injury has already occurred, which makes them especially dangerous.
- Structural/Building Fires: When a fire is caused by faulty construction that violates building codes, substandard wiring, or other negligent practices like inattention while cooking or smoking, burn victims have the power to hold those responsible accountable.
- Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents always involve a risk of fire. When someone gets burned, they have the right to seek compensation for that injury just like they do for any other type of injury caused by the crash.
It is also important to note that just like there is no bar to seeking compensation based on the way an injury occurred, there is also no bar to seeking compensation based on the severity of the burn. First, second, and third-degree burns are all considered personal injuries.
Fighting For Your Full Monetary Compensation
In a typical personal injury case, the role of the lawyer is to get the client the money they need to put themselves in the position they would have been in if the injury had never occurred. That is difficult to do in a burn injury case when there is no treatment available that will completely heal the victim. Instead, our job is to estimate how much the victim lost, and how much they will continue to lose out on for the rest of their life.
Some losses are easy to estimate. We can gather evidence that shows exactly how much income a victim has lost, and estimate how much future income they will lose because of their injury. We can also look at medical bills to calculate how much has already been spent on treatment, and how much money will be needed to maintain a relatively normal lifestyle going forward. If any property was damaged in the accident that caused the burn injury, we can estimate the value of that as well.
What is more difficult to do is estimate the value of non-economic losses. Things like:
- Emotional anguish;
- Permanent disfigurement or disability;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Our legal system asks burn victims to put a price on these items. As attorneys, our job is to tell our client’s story so that the full scope of what has been lost is recognized. To do this, we work closely with our clients, but we also research what has been done in similar cases and consult with various experts. It is not an easy task, but it is rewarding to know that at the end of the day our clients are getting the compensation they need and deserve.
We Do Not Get Paid Unless Our Clients Do
It takes a lot of work to gather all the evidence needed to make a strong argument for compensation at the negotiating table or in the courtroom, even in burn injury cases where the injuries are obvious and serious. But our clients never pay us a dime upfront.
Stein & Shulman represents Chicago area burn victims on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid unless you do, and our fee will always be just a portion of what we recover on your behalf.
Contact Our Chicago Area Burn Injury Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one in the Chicago area has suffered a burn injury through no fault of your own, the Stein & Shulman team is here to help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have secured millions of dollars for personal injury and accident victims in the Chicagoland area. Burn victims can count on us to assess their case, and give them the advice and support they need as they decide if they want to seek compensation. Whether you are ready to take legal action right away or are simply curious about what options are available to you, let’s talk. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.