How To Deal with Burn Injuries

How To Deal with Burn Injuries

July 12, 2023

Every year in the United States, 1.1 million incidents of burn injuries necessitate medical intervention. A significant number of these victims suffer debilitating symptoms and chronic complications following their burn injuries, making such injuries among the leading causes of mortality in children and young adults.

Given the potential severity of burns, treatment can be an arduous and lengthy process, often stretching over months or years. During this period, the victim’s ability to work might be compromised. Expert legal assistance, such as that provided by the Avian Law Group, can help victims recoup lost wages, financial losses, and medical expenses. A free consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney can reveal potential courses of action and provide assistance during this trying time.

Understanding Burn Types

Burn injuries can result from diverse situations like fires, cooking mishaps, chemical spills, among others. These accidents can lead to varying degrees of burns: first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree, each representing a different level of severity.

First-degree burns, being the mildest, primarily affect the outer layer of skin and cause minor pain. Typically manageable at home, these burns are best treated by running cool water over the affected area to mitigate swelling and pain. Healing generally takes a week or two, during which over-the-counter pain relief can be used to manage discomfort. However, these burns may increase the risk of skin cancer in the future.

Second-degree burns are more severe, affecting the epidermis and the second layer of skin, resulting in swelling, clear blisters, and redness. Like first-degree burns, running cool water over the injury is recommended, along with a cool compress. These burns take several weeks to heal and are often more painful.

Third-degree burns pose a serious threat to life, as they penetrate all skin layers. They are characterized by a brownish hue and a dry, leathery texture. Victims often go into shock and develop severe symptoms, making immediate professional medical attention crucial. Moving the burn victim is strongly discouraged.

Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and can damage skin, muscles, ligaments, bones, fat, and other tissues. They often leave the skin charred and can lead to significant scarring, amputations, gangrene, and enduring disabilities. The mortality rate is high in fourth-degree burn victims.

Causes of Burn Injuries

Numerous circumstances can lead to burn injuries, including chemical spills, car accidents, or fires. Some burns resulting from car accidents occur due to someone’s negligence.

Although burns can happen for myriad reasons, the following are the most commonly reported causes:

  • Car accidents.
  • Fire incidents.
  • Hotel fires.
  • Restaurant fires.
  • Explosions.
  • Vehicle fires.
  • Chemical spills.
  • Apartment building fires.
  • Tanker truck explosions.
  • Defective products.
  • Industrial accidents.
  • Cooking mishaps.
  • Oil rig accidents.
  • Electrical fires.
  • Propane tank explosions and barbecue fires.

Upon sustaining a burn, immediate professional medical help is critical. Additionally, keeping a record of as much information about the accident as possible can be beneficial, given that burn injuries can yield diverse symptoms depending on the type of burn.

  • Chemical burns: Occur when the skin is exposed to strong acids, solvents, or detergents, or in the event of a chemical explosion caused by a battery.
  • Thermal burns: Result from contact with hot liquids or steam, or from incidents like airbag deployments or contact with a hot object.
  • Friction burns: Occur when a hard object rubs against the skin, as commonly seen in motorcycle accidents.
  • Radiation burns: Caused by nuclear radiation, sunlight, x-rays, ultraviolet light, or radiation therapy.
  • Electrical burns: Result from contact with an electrical current.

Burns Resulting from Car Accidents

Car accidents are unfortunately common causes of burn injuries. Toxic chemicals released during a crash can cause burns to passengers and drivers. Burns can also be caused by the vehicle’s heat or electrical equipment.

If the accident occurred due to someone’s negligence, they might be held accountable for the accident. Victims may be eligible to have their medical expenses and other costs covered by the negligent party. Skilled legal professionals can present your case in court and establish who was responsible for the accident.

Landlord Liability

Landlords are legally obligated to ensure their units meet safety and health standards. Fireproof doors, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, fire escapes, safe wiring, and clear escape routes should all be present in each unit. If a unit fails to meet these and other federal, state, and municipal requirements, a landlord could be held liable for a burn injury.

Wrongful Death Cases

Regrettably, some burns can result in wrongful death cases. If a corporation or individual is found responsible for the victim’s injury, they might be held accountable for treatment costs. Legal experts can assist in determining the origin of the fire, heat source, and cause of the injuries.

Burn victims can suffer fatal symptoms, often related to smoke inhalation. Aspiration in unconscious victims and pulmonary edema are common causes of death. Even if the victim survives, they might suffer psychological scars that can last a lifetime.

Coping with Catastrophic Injuries

The primary response to a burn injury should be to seek medical treatment promptly and document all injury-related information. This information can later serve to strengthen your legal case.

Most burns are initially treated with cool water to reduce swelling, and over-the-counter pain relief can help manage the discomfort. More serious injuries may require skin grafts and other medical procedures.

First-degree and second-degree burns can be effectively treated, but third-degree burns can pose more significant challenges. These patients often face complications like blood loss, infections, and shock. Bacteria can enter the body through damaged skin and lead to secondary infections such as tetanus. Severe burns can also lead to low blood volume and hypothermia.

Initiating a Personal Injury Claim

To begin a personal injury claim, secure medical treatment and gather medical records to serve as evidence. Though you can technically file the claim independently, navigating the legal system can be complex, particularly for those recovering from a significant burn injury. A free case evaluation can help identify the optimal steps for your case and offer professional guidance.

Once an attorney is engaged, they will interview witnesses, investigate the accident, and request medical records. They’ll collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists to establish negligence. The attorney will then serve notice of the claim, notifying the other party of an impending lawsuit. This may lead to settlement discussions or the filing of the lawsuit. If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to trial.

Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney

With a competent legal team, negligence can be proven, and your case can be successfully argued in court. Many individuals engage attorneys for personal injury cases due to the complexities of the legal system. Further, building a legal case while recovering from an accident can be strenuous.

Regardless of whether your burns resulted from a car accident or a workplace incident, a personal injury lawyer can help you construct your case. Through a free consultation, you can secure assistance and learn the next steps. For more information, contact Avian Law Group today.

Posted by

Laura Delgado

Laura Delgado is an accomplished digital marketing specialist at Avian Law Group. She brings with her a wealth of experience and a strong background in criminal justice and psychology, which has proven to be invaluable in her role at the firm. Laura’s exceptional leadership qualities and her ability to excel under pressure enable her to adapt to any situation and contribute significantly to the team.

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