Burn Injuries: Causes and Treatment
Each year, there are 1.1 million burn injuries in the United States that require medical attention. After a burn injury, many people develop debilitating symptoms and long-term complications. Among children and young adults, burns are one of the most common causes of death.
Because of how severe burns can be, the treatment process can take months or years to complete. During that time, you may no longer be able to go to work. A skilled attorney might be able to help you recuperate your lost wages, financial losses, and medical costs. Through a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you can discover what your options are and get help for your injury.
What Are the Types of Burns?
A burn can happen after a fire, cooking accident, chemical spill, or similar mishap. After the accident occurs, you can develop a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree burn. While a first-degree burn is the mildest type of burn, a fourth-degree burn is the severest kind of injury.
First-degree burns are quite mild and can typically be managed at home. You may suffer from damage to the outer layer of your skin and minor pain. To treat a first-degree burn, you can run cool water over the burn for several minutes to decrease the swelling and pain.
A first-degree burn will typically heal within a week or two. In the future, you are more likely to suffer from skin cancer. As it heals, you can use over-the-counter painkillers to deal with the pain.
Second-degree burns are slightly more severe. They generally impact the epidermis and the second layer of the skin. If you have a second-degree burn, you may suffer from swelling, clear blisters, and redness.
Like first-degree burns, second-degree burns are treated by running cool water over the injury. A cool compress may also help. These types of burns are generally more painful and may take several weeks to heal.
Third-degree burns can be life-threatening injuries. They impact every layer of the skin. While these burns generally look brown in color, they feel dry and leathery when you touch them. Because victims may go into shock and develop severe symptoms, it is important to get professional medical care. You should never move the burn victim.
Finally, there are also burns that are known as fourth-degree burns. These burns may involve damage to the skin, muscles, ligaments, bones, fat, and tissue. After a fourth-degree burn, the individual’s skin may have a charred appearance. Normally, these burns result in major scars, amputations, gangrene, and long-term disabilities. In many cases, the victim will die from their injuries.
Causes of Burn Injuries
A burn injury may happen because of a variety of reasons. For instance, someone may develop a burn because of a chemical spill, car accident, or property fire. Sometimes, burns from a car accident happen because someone was negligent.
While burns can happen because of many different reasons, the following mishaps are some of the most common causes of burn injuries.
- Car accidents.
- Fire accidents.
- Hotel fires.
- Restaurant fires.
- Vehicle fires.
- Chemical spills.
- Apartment building fires.
- Tanker truck explosions.
- Defective products.
- Industrial accidents.
- Cooking accidents.
- Oil rig accidents.
- Electrical fires.
- Propane tank explosions and barbecue fires.
It is important to seek out professional medical treatment as soon as you have been injured. You should also record as much information as you can about the accident. Once a burn injury occurs, you may suffer from a variety of different symptoms. The symptoms you experience can vary based on the type of burn.
- Chemical burns: A chemical burn happens after your skin is exposed to strong acids, solvents, or detergents. They can also occur after a battery causes a chemical explosion.
- Thermal burns: These burns happen because of hot liquid or steam. You may also get a thermal burn from an airbag deployment or a hot object.
- Friction burns: Friction burns take place when a hard object is rubbed against your skin. Normally, you will see these burns after a motorcycle accident.
- Radiation burns: These burns occur because of nuclear radiation, sunshine, x-rays, ultraviolet light, or radiation therapy.
- Electrical burns: An electrical burn can occur if your body comes into contact with an electrical current.
Burns and Car Accidents
Unfortunately, car accidents are a common cause of burn injuries. When someone gets into a car crash, toxic chemicals can be released. These toxic chemicals can burn passengers and drivers. In addition, you can become burned by the vehicle’s heat or electrical equipment.
If someone is negligent, it means that they are responsible for the accident. You may be able to get your medical expenses and other costs covered by the negligent party. A skilled attorney can demonstrate your case in a courtroom and show who is responsible for the crash.
Landlords are required to provide safe, healthy units. For example, a landlord must equip each unit with fireproof doors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire escapes, safe wiring, and clear escape routes. If the unit does not meet municipal, state, and federal requirements, the landlord could be held responsible for a burn injury.
Wrongful Death Cases
Unfortunately, some burns can lead to wrongful death cases. If a corporation or private party was responsible for the victim’s injury, you may be able to get them to cover the treatment costs. Your attorney can hire experts to figure out the origin of the fire, heat source, and cause of the injuries.
People can die from many different burn symptoms. Because many fires involve smoke inhalation, an inhalation injury or bacterial pneumonia can cause someone to die. Aspiration among unconscious victims and pulmonary edema are also common causes of death. Even when the victim does not die, they may develop psychological scars that last for the rest of their life.
Dealing With Catastrophic Injuries
After a burn injury, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. You should also document all of your injuries and information about the fire. Later on, this information can be used to bolster your legal case.
Most burns are initially treated with cool water. This can reduce swelling following the injury. Over-the-counter painkillers can also help you deal with the pain. Depending on the injury, you may also need skin grafts and other medical procedures.
While first-degree and second-degree burns are extremely treatable, third-degree burns can be complicated to treat. Patients who have third-degree burns are more likely to suffer from blood loss, infections, and shock. Bacteria can enter through broken skin and lead to tetanus or other secondary infections. In addition, severe burns can lead to low blood volume and hypothermia.
How to Submit a Personal Injury Claim
To file a personal injury claim, you should start by getting medical treatment. Then, you can use your medical records as evidence for your claim. Once you have prepared all of your documentation, you can technically file the claim on your own.
The legal system can be fairly complex to navigate for experienced lawyers. If you have never filed a case before, it can be extra challenging to figure everything out. This is especially true if you are still recovering from a major burn. By getting a free case evaluation, you can learn about the best steps for your case and get professional help.
After a lawyer is hired, they will interview witnesses and investigate the accident. They will request medical records and talk to accident reconstruction specialists. Through their research, they will try to establish negligence.
Next, your attorney will serve notice of the claim. This means that they will inform the other party that they will be filing a lawsuit. Afterward, your lawyer may start settlement talks or finish filing the lawsuit. Often, the parties will go through mediation to settle the case. If mediation is not successful, the case will go to trial.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney Today
With the help of a talented legal team, you can establish negligence and prove your case in court. Many people hire lawyers for personal injury cases because of how complex the legal system is. In addition, it is difficult to build a legal case when you are still struggling to recover from an accident.
Whether your burns are from a car accident or a problem at work, a personal injury lawyer can help you build your case. Through a free consultation, you can get help and learn what to do next. To find out more information, reach out to JT Legal Group today.