An estimated 486,000 people in the United States require medical treatment for burn injuries each year, according to the American Burn Association. Approximately 3,275 people die each year from fire or smoke related injuries—including approximately 310 in motor vehicle crashes—and many more survive with permanent injuries or disfigurements.
How Burn Injuries Happen
Most burn injuries can be classified as either thermal (burns received from contact with fire, steam, hot liquids, or hot objects) or chemical (when the skin comes in contact with dangerous chemicals).
There are several different ways that serious burn injuries can occur, including:
- Motor vehicle crashes. This includes car, truck, motorcycle, and public transportation collisions.
- Explosions or leaks. Fuel or chemical leaks or explosions can result in burns.
- Fires. Any kind of fire may result in a burn injury.
- Electrical shock. In some cases, an electrical shock can result in a burn.
Many of these burns happen unexpectedly and may be due to the negligence of another person.
Burn can be extremely pain and may result in significant injuries including:
- Severe blistering.
- Respiratory problems.
- Hypovolemia (loss of blood).
- Joint and mobility problems due to scar tissue growth.
How significantly you are hurt may depend on where on your body you are burned, how much of your body is burned, and how deep the burn goes.
Not All Burn Injuries Are the Same
Many burn injuries can be extremely painful, emotionally difficult, and financially devastating. Burn injuries are broadly classified in three types, or “degrees,” with the higher numbers indicating more severe damage:
- First-degree burns. First degree burns are the least serious type of burn injury. This type of burn damages the epidermis—the skin’s outermost lawyer—and typically can be treated with first aid or topical medications.
- Second-degree burns. Second degree burns affect both the epidermis and the next layer of skin—the dermis. The extent of the injury depends on whether it is a partial thickness burn or a superficial burn. Antibiotics and creams may be needed to treat second degree burns.
- Third-degree burns. Third degree burns impact all levels of the skin and can destroy blood vessels, nerve tissue, and even bone. These burns can be disfiguring and life-threatening. Medical treatments may include skin grafts, multiple surgeries, and prolonged hospitalizations.
Some burn injuries get worse before they get better. A first-degree burn can turn into a second-degree burn, a second degree burn can border on a minor third-degree burn, and a third-degree burn can be terminal. With each progression, your physical, emotional, and financial suffering may also increase.
Treatment for Burn Injuries
Over the past few decades, treatment for burn injuries has improved and has allowed more people to survive their injuries. Specific treatment should always be discussed with your doctor after a burn diagnosis has been made, and may include:
- Medicated creams.
- Prescription cleansers.
- Skin grafts.
- Pain medication.
- Reconstruction surgery.
- Amputation surgery.
- Psychological therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Other treatment.
Many burn injuries often require more than just treatment for the damage that has been done.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can impact your daily activities and your ability to work or go to school for a long time. Long hospitalizations, multiple surgeries, and permanent disfigurements can occur. If you have suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligent or intentional acts, then you may be able to recover damages for your past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost income.
- Out-of-pocket costs.
- Pain and suffering.
You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake. Instead, we encourage you to find out more about your rights by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer before your time to file a case expires. Our team of attorneys, together with our staff nurse and other employees, will provide you with individualized attention and will work hard to get you the full recovery that you deserve. Please contact us via this website or by phone at any time to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with us.