Determining the Value of an E-Cigarette-Explosion Injury Claim

E-cigarettes have been a point of contention over the past several years for a number of reasons. Legislators and lobbyists have argued, for instance, over whether vaping is a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. The idea that vaping is a healthier alternative has been used to support legislation that seeks to reduce (or eliminate) regulations affecting e-cigarettes. To that end, sights are mostly trained on the regulation known as the “Deeming Rule,” an Obama-era rule that defines e-cigarettes as tobacco products. But beyond that, there are also very serious concerns regarding the widespread phenomenon of e-cigarettes exploding due to issues with the lithium ion battery.

Types of Injuries

In 2015, an injury claim case made headlines after a woman received $1.9 million for injuries sustained due to an exploding e-cigarette. In most injury cases related to e-cigarettes, a person has been harmed due to an exploding lithium ion battery. In addition to flying sparks, battery acid can spray onto a bystander resulting in severe burns. And if someone happens to have a vaporizing device in their pocket as it explodes, they can suffer second or third degree burns. An exploding e-cigarette was caught on tape at a wine shop in New York.

Calculating the Value

So how do you determine the value of an e-cigarette injury claim? Well, there are a number of factors to consider in any personal injury case. The number one thing to think about is the severity of the injury in question. This will have the biggest impact on the value of your claim.

Economic Damages

Of course, there are a number of other points to keep in mind when pursuing monetary retribution for damages incurred at no fault of your own. Some of the most important things to consider are:

  • Whether there are long term consequences of the injury
  • The financial impact of medical costs (present and future)
  • The extent of the harm caused
  • Decreased or lost earnings

In terms of the consequences of your injury, you will be able to receive more compensation if an e-cigarette causes permanent disfigurement or impairment than if it inhibits your activity for a short period. In the end, there is no strict method for calculating the value of a personal injury claim. In many cases, the medical bills will serve as a litmus for the overall value, but even these kinds of costs are subject to variation. For instance, the compensation for medical costs might go directly to a hospital for repayment of bills or to your insurance company who may seek relief from having to pay for your treatment (this is known as subrogation).

Non-Economic Damages

Beyond compensation for medical bills (or economic damages), you may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering incurred by the injury – otherwise known as non-economic damages. To that end, you would have to prove that the injury directly resulted in emotional distress, damaged relationships, humiliation, life-altering injuries or other intangible effects. As a related side note, there are efforts in Congress to implement a federal cap on non-economic damages, a move that has consequences for those who benefit from Obamacare.

Of course, proving that you’ve suffered in this way can be difficult. But there are methods of proving pain and suffering damages. For example, you might be able to get a note from a mental health professional showing that the injury directly caused you extreme emotional distress.

Personal injury cases can be incredibly stressful. That’s why it’s important to seek out the help of a lawyer who handles these types of cases. With the right help, you won’t have to take on the burden of proving your own injuries all by your lonesome.

Sean Lally About Sean Lally

Sean Lally holds a BA in Philosophy from Temple University where he also studied theatre for several years. Between 2007 and 2017, he worked as a professional actor for several regional theater companies in Philadelphia, including the Arden Theatre Co., EgoPo Productions, Lantern Theater and the Bearded Ladies. In 2010, Sean co-founded Found Theater Company, an avant-garde artist collective with whom he first started to cultivate an identity as a writer.