According to the American Burn Association, over 480,000 burn injuries require medical attention annually, there are 40,000 hospitalizations every year related to burn injuries, and over 3,000 fire/smoke inhalation deaths occur every year. Burns can happen at home, at work, on the roads, anywhere. Burn injuries can result from:
- Fires and explosions
- Vehicle crashes and accidents
- Defective products
- Hot liquids
Burn injuries, however they are caused, can be catastrophic and can dramatically change the lives of the burn victim and his or her family. Depending on the extent and severity of the burns suffered, burn victims can experience:
- Scarring and other disfigurement
- Loss of function in the burned area
- Loss of limbs
- Blood complications
- Protracted physical therapy and other ongoing treatment
- Emotional and psychological issues
Burns are classified by severity as first, second, third, and fourth degree.
First degree burns are relatively mild, and consist mostly of redness and minor pain. First degree burns usually only affect the epidermis, or outer layer of skin.
Second degree burns are more serious, extending to the deeper layers of skin, the superficial dermis, and may also extend somewhat into the deep dermis. Second degree burns become filled with clear fluid and cause blistering of the skin.
Third degree (full thickness) burns are extremely serious. This type of burn extends into the deep dermis and causes blisters similar to second degree burns; and in addition, causes severe charring and hard, leathery scabs that become separated. This may result in a purple fluid seeping from the skin as well. Many third degree burns completely destroy the nerve endings, causing loss of sensation as well.
Fourth degree burns are full thickness burns that extend into muscle and bone.
Treatment of burns varies with their severity, but even minor burns may cause complications if they are not properly treated. For the most serious burn injuries, treatment of the burns and related complications may extend for months and even years. The financial and emotional toll of burn injuries can be staggering. Indeed, third and fourth degree burn survivors face a host of ongoing challenges including extended recovery and rehabilitation from the physical and psychological injuries, enormous medical bills, lost wages and income, strained family relations, and much more.
Many times, burn injuries result from the negligence or recklessness of others. Burn injury victims may be entitled to compensation from the responsible parties or their insurance companies for:
- Economic Losses, including past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and out-of-pocket costs
- Non-Economic Losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional distress, inconvenience
- Permanent impairment
- Loss of consortium by an affected spouse
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Has Suffered a Severe Burn Injury?
The most important action of course is to take is to take care of yourself or your loved one and obtain the necessary medical treatment. But if you or a loved one have suffered a severe burn injury because of someone else’s fault, it is critical that you immediately contact a lawyer experienced in handling burn injury cases. It can be a confusing and emotional time. Insurance companies may be calling. Time is running on bringing a claim. You need someone on your side to help make sure your rights are protected.
Contact Burg Simpson Now
Burg Simpson’s Colorado personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping seriously injured people seek compensation for their injuries after an accident or injury caused by the fault or negligence of another. Our experienced lawyers have helped thousands of persons suffering from serious personal injuries—like burns—rebuild their lives. We have the experience and resources to help injury victims navigate the many legal issues that surround fires, explosions, vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and other causes of burn injuries, including accident investigation, insurance claims, settlement negotiations, and litigating in court against persons and companies who won’t take responsibility.