Types of Burn Injury Claims: Causes, Severity & Liability
Even minor burns can cause severe pain. They may prevent you from engaging in your usual activities or interfere with your enjoyment of life for some time, especially if they are accompanied by significant scarring. If someone else’s negligence causes a burn injury, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim that will help you receive compensation for those injuries.
Types of Burns
When you think of burns, you likely think of heat burns–most often, those caused by direct exposure to flame. However, in addition to heat burns, you may suffer burns in a variety of other ways.
Electrical burns can cause immense trauma, not only at the site of the burn itself, but throughout the rest of the body. Electrical burns often involve an immense jolt of electricity. Sometimes, it passes fairly harmlessly through the body or causes only external damage. In other cases, however, electrical burns can cause organ damage and trauma throughout the body as the electricity passes through.
Like extreme heat, extreme cold can also cause burns. Often, extreme cold exposure comes through exposure to chemicals or on specific job sites.
Exposure to caustic chemicals can cause serious burn damage. The longer those chemicals linger on your skin, the more severe the burns they may cause. Chemical exposure can cause immediate signs of burning, or you may not notice the burn until some time after that initial exposure. Chemical exposure may also have lingering impacts that go through the rest of your body, including respiratory distress. Always see a doctor after exposure to dangerous or hazardous chemicals so you can receive proper treatment.
Friction burns occur when something drags across the skin repeatedly or very rapidly. For example, in an auto accident, dragging across the road can cause severe road rash. Often, friction burns include foreign debris in the wound, which doctors will need to remove in order to decrease the risk of infection and reduce scarring.
Exposure to high levels of radiation can cause severe burns to the victim. Often, radiation exposure occurs in a medical or construction setting.
Determining Burn Severity
Whether you’re seeking treatment for your burns or you need to file a personal injury claim following severe burns, you will need a doctor to grade the severity of the burn. Doctors use a numeric system to grade burn severity.
First Degree Burns
First degree burns usually involve minor redness and some sensitivity. While first-degree burns can cause some pain and may limit immediate activities, victims usually recover with minor medical attention and at-home treatment. They usually involve only the first, top layer of the skin. If first degree burns occur on the face or around the genitals, or on an infant or senior of any age, they should always receive medical attention.
Second Degree Burns
Second degree burns involve both the top level of skin and the second level. They may cause immediate blistering and severe redness. Second degree burns frequently result in significant scarring, especially if they involve a large area of the skin. Second degree burns often involve immense pain and have a high risk of infection, since burns strip away the protective layer of skin that usually prevents bacteria from entering the body. Second degree burns may involve a long road to recovery. In some cases, especially if they cover an extensive area of the skin, second degree burns may pose substantial danger to the victim.
Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns pass below the skin and into the underlying tissue. Third degree burns may not involve as much pain as second degree burns because they often include the destruction of the nerves around the injury. Victims with third degree burns will usually experience severe scarring and may need multiple procedures. Without prompt medical attention, third degree burns can quickly grow life-threatening. Victims should expect a long stay in a burn unit and extensive rehabilitation. Victims with third degree burns may also experience immense medical bills related to their injuries.
Determining Liability in Burn Claims
Most burns occur as a result of high heat exposure at home, from a cooking accident to a curling iron. However, burns can also occur in a variety of settings. They may result from a hot water heater in a public building set too high, from an unsecured stove, or from inattention on the part of someone handling hot items. Chemical exposure, which can lead to severe chemical burns, often occurs around construction sites or factory settings, frequently due to improper storage or disposal of those chemicals. Electrical burns often occur because of open electrical panels or improper electrical work.
How do you know who bears liability in your burn injury claim? Take a look at these vital elements.
- Who bore a duty of care to you at the time of your accident? Your landlord? The construction company working on a building you needed to visit or inhabit? The owner of the building, whether a business or private property?
- Who committed the act of negligence that led to your burns? An attorney can help investigate that negligence and how it impacted you, whether you suffered burns on a construction site because of a negligent electrician or in your home due to the negligence of your landlord.
- How did that act of negligence contribute to your injuries? In order to establish the right to a burn injury claim, your attorney will need to show that you suffered injuries as a direct result of an act of negligence. If you did not sustain injuries, even if the other party’s negligence put you in danger, you may not have the right to file a personal injury claim.
Serious burns can lead to a long-term hospital stay and substantial medical bills. A personal injury claim can help you seek compensation for those expenses. Did someone else’s negligence cause your burn injuries? Contact Gina Corena & Associates today at 702-680-1111 for a free consultation regarding your right to a claim.