Balke & Williams

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Balke & Williams

Fire-related injuries usually occur in someone’s main residence or in their second home. Oftentimes, the members of a party will be negligent. For example, if there is a large party at someone’s house and one teenager suggests that they accelerate a bonfire with gas, another teenager actually purchases or retrieves the gas, and a third teenager actually pours the gas on the fire, then all three teenagers could be found liable for any injuries that were sustained as a result of accelerating the fire.

Third-degree burns occur when the skin has been severely compromised and may require skin grafting procedures, which usually involve hospital stays of over three months. As a result, the medical bills associated with fire-related injuries are unimaginably high; so high in fact that insurance policies will not be able to cover them entirely. If an injured person incurs one million dollars in medical bills and the homeowners policy only covers $100,000, that injured individual may think it is not even worth it to contact an attorney because the hospital will take the entirety of any settlement received. This, however, is not true; under the Illinois Healthcare Lien Act, the amount that the doctors and hospitals can get is limited to 40 percent of the total amount. This means that regardless of how high the medical bills are, if $100,000 is the maximum amount of coverage the injured person can get, then the hospital will only receive 40 percent of that amount, and the remaining amount would be available for the injured party and their attorney.

What Type Of Damages Can I Seek In a Fire Injury Claim?

A catastrophic injury case could result in damages valued in the millions of dollars. Damages include medical bills, disfigurement, loss of a normal life, loss of income, and pain and suffering. In some burn cases, there is a complete loss of normal life due to the injured party being in a coma for an extended period of time. However, even less severe forms of loss of normal life could be compensable, such as feeling unable to be shirtless at a beach due to significant scarring or disfigurement.

Can Punitive Damages Ever Be Available In A Fire Injury Case?

Seeking punitive damages can be a legal “dead-end” in fire injury cases because insurance companies do not cover them and private defendants can rarely afford to pay them. For instance, a judgment of one million dollars in punitive damages would likely be worthless because there would be no insurance company coverage and no defendant who could pay that amount. In other types of cases involving gross negligence, punitive damages can sometimes be awarded.

For more information on Scenarios Of Fire Related Accidents In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 495-5598 today.

Balke & Williams

Call Now For A Free Strategy Session
(815) 495-5598