According to the American Burn Association, over 450,000 people each year suffer burn injuries requiring medical attention in the United States alone. Though the majority of burns are relatively minor, severe burns are extremely painful and may cause scarring, disfigurement, loss of mobility and infections. Severe burn victims require hospitalization and skin grafts and face a long road to recovery.
At the Rothenberg Law Firm LLP, we understand the way a burn injury can place major emotional and financial burdens on both the burn victim and their loved ones. Medical bills add up quickly, and family members must also carry the burden of arranging medical care, physical therapy appointments and managing medical expenses all at once.
If you or a loved one have suffered a burn injury, it is critically important to seek legal representation from a personal injury lawyer who can skillfully navigate your case with care and sensitivity. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help you with a free case review and consultation.
Types of Burn Injuries
There are several kinds of burns, of varying severity. However, in almost all of these cases, it is important to seek immediate medical attention:
- Thermal Burns – the most common type of burn injury, thermal burns occur when the skin is exposed to extreme heat, such as fire, hot liquids (such as boiling water or oil) and heated objects (such as hot pots and pans).
- Chemical Burns – Chemical burns occur when corrosive chemicals such as acids and alkali come in contact with one’s skin. Detergents, solvents, lye, lime and ammonia are some everyday products that can cause chemical burns. Chemical burns may not be immediately painful or apparent, as they sometimes damage layers of skin below the skin’s surface.
- Electrical Burns – Electrical burns occur when an electric current passes through the body. Although electrical burns are relatively rare, they can cause significant internal damage to tissues and organs.
- Radiation Burns – Radiation burns occur when the skin is damaged by exposure to radiation. The most common type of radiation burn is sunburn, which can cause significant pain. Overexposure to tanning beds, sunlamps, X-rays or cancer treatment radiation can cause dangerous and painful burn injuries.
Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are generally categorized by their severity:
- First-Degree Burns – Minor burns that damage the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, are categorized as first-degree burns. Burns that redden the skin, such as mild cooking burns and sunburns, are common first-degree burns. These burns typically heal within a few weeks, cause mild pain and do not cause blisters.
- Second-Degree Burns – Burns that damage both the epidermis and dermis, the second layer of skin, are categorized as second-degree burns. These burns cause the skin to become extremely red, often result in blistering, and may leave a scar.
- Third-Degree Burns – Serious burns that damage all layers of the skin and reach the fat layer beneath the skin are categorized as third-degree burns. Also referred to as full-thickness burns, these burns may make the skin appear leathery, and can cause the skin to turn white, black or brown. Skin grafting may be required as part of the treatment.
- Fourth-Degree Burns – Extremely severe burns that destroy all layers of skin, bone, muscles and tendons are categorized as fourth-degree burns. These burns are likely to be life-threatening.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns can occur in a wide variety of situations, both at home and in the workplace. Many severe burns that require long-term medical treatment are caused by the negligence of others. These are some of the most common causes of burn injuries:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – When a vehicle catches fire due to a car accident or truck accident, victims may suffer serious burn injuries.
- Private Property Accidents – Business and private property owners are obligated to ensure their properties are safe for renters, visitors and customers. When burns are caused by unsafe conditions, such as apartment or hotel fires, the owners may be liable for damages due to premises liability.
- Defective Products – When burns are caused due to a product’s design defects, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warning labels or instructions, the manufacturer may be responsible due to product liability.
- Workplace Accidents – Construction, industrial and factory workers are at the greatest risk of suffering a severe burn injury in the workplace. When an employer fails to follow required safety guidelines, the employer may be liable for injuries that an employee sustains while on the job. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, burn injury victims may be able to bring a 3rd party action to obtain full financial compensation for the pain, suffering and economic loss they have sustained.
- Medical Malpractice – Burns injuries often occur in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes due to a variety of reasons, including the improper use of medical equipment, failure to follow proper medical procedures and human error due to overwork and exhaustion.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of others, it is important to seek legal representation to explore your personal injury case.
Call a Burn Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, it is critically important to speak with a burn injury lawyer to discuss your personal injury claim. An experienced attorney will help you communicate with your insurance company to ensure that any conversations you have with an insurance adjuster will not be used against you to compromise your claim.
Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP for a free case evaluation by filling out a contact form online at InjuryLawyer.com or by calling our phone number, 1-800-624-8888. The initial consultation is FREE of charge. Our legal team works on a contingency fee basis; if we agree to handle your case, there are no legal fees unless we are successful in getting you money.
Lawsuits must be filed before an expiration date known as the Statute of Limitations. Call our law offices today to speak with a real person today for real-time assistance with your burn injury case to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.