Many Illinois work comp cases are denied without reason. They will say you have a pre-existing condition or that you were hurt away from the job. One of the hardest cases for an insurance company to deny is a burn injury.
The reason it’s hard for them to deny these cases is that a burn injury at work doesn’t happen anonymously. Unlike a back strain that you can try to work through, if you get scalded with hot grease or burned with oil you are going to notice right away as will everyone around you. How severe a burn is depends on the heat as well as the time your skin is exposed to it.
The reason for a lawyer in a case like this is that while the insurance company won’t deny you were hurt at work, they will try to fight you on two things.
The first thing they will fight you on is medical treatment. Not the initial care, but if you have a more severe, partial thickness burn, they will often argue against follow up medical procedures. Those burns are a big deal because they exist below the skin and can cause damage to nerve endings and blood vessels. It’s a big deal if you can’t get the treatment that you need because it will increase your risk of infection. More severe, full thickness burns, also known as third degree burns, can only be repaired with skin grafts harvested from other parts of your body. A delay in this care can have severe, long term consequences, but because the treatment is expensive insurance companies often fight them.
The second area insurance companies try to screw you over on with a burn injury is the settlement value. If it’s a surface level scar, they will low ball you. If the scar is keloid or on your face, they will try to minimize what it’s actually worth. For second and third degree burns, they will offer to pay you for the scar, but not for the damage to nerves or from having to have a skin graft. And if you are really deformed from a burn and need psychological therapy as a result, you can bet they won’t want to compensate you for that.
The good news, if there is any, is that these cases are winnable with the right attorney. You need someone in your corner who understands the medicine behind severe burns, knows how to properly value scar cases for the most money, and cares about their clients.
We, via our state-wide network, have helped hundreds of people with burns from work accidents and would be thrilled to help you. If you would like a free consultation, click on our contact form, start a chat or call us at 312-346-5578 any time.