Nearly 490,000 Americans require medical treatment for burn injuries each year. Of the 40,000 hospitalizations that occur every year because of acute burn injuries, 30,000 are treated at specialized burn centers. The vast majority of fire-related fatalities are a result of smoke inhalation. Less than one-third of these personal injuries and deaths are a result of actual burns.
Burn injuries occur most often either at home or at work, which combined, account for more than 80 percent of all burn injuries and fatalities. If you have been injured or lost a loved one to burn injuries suffered from the negligence of another, a defective product, or an unsafe workplace, reach out to one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Burg Simpson. Call us at (720) 500-5995 or fill out our FREE case evaluation.
Leading Causes of Burn Injuries
The World Health Organization classifies burns as a personal injury to the skin or other tissue caused by heat, radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction, or chemical contact. The most common cause of burn injuries and fatalities are:
- Direct contact with fire: This accounts for more than 40 percent of all hospital admissions
- Scalding injuries: Hot tap water burns lead to more hospitalizations than any other liquid burns
- Thermal injuries: These are burns that occur as a result of contact with a hot solid material, such as curling irons, space heaters, stovetops, and irons
- Electrical burns: These kill approximately 1,000 people in the U.S. per year
- Chemical burns: Also known as caustic burns, these can be caused by battery acid, bleach, ammonia, and other hazardous chemicals
Burn injuries may result from:
- Fires and explosions
- Vehicle collisions
- Defective products
- Hot liquids
Burn injuries, whatever the cause, can change a life forever, drastically altering the victim’s quality of life. These are often the result of negligence. If you have suffered burn injuries, especially at work, it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer who has experience with these particularly painful and often serious personal injuries.
Categories of Burn Injuries
Burns fall into a few different categories, ranked in increasing order of severity:
- First-degree burns are the mildest of burn injuries. These appear as a slight redness and are accompanied by relatively minor pain. They affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin.
- Second-degree burns are partial thickness burns that are much more serious, extending beyond the epidermis, and into the dermis, or the lower layer of skin. Second-degree burns become filled with clear fluid, may show blistering and swelling, as well as being quite painful.
- Third-degree burns are full thickness burns, are extremely serious, and can even be life-threatening. These can cause white or blackened, charred skin that can be numb because of destroyed nerve endings.
- Fourth-degree burns are full thickness burns that extend much deeper into muscle and even bone tissue.
For the most severe burn injuries, treatment can take months or even years because of the high risk of infection. Roughly 97 percent of burn victims survive their injuries, but many of them have to endure serious scarring, possible skin grafts, and possible permanent disabilities. The financial and emotional toll can be devastating. Serious burn survivors face lifelong challenges, such as extended rehabilitation, medical bills, lost wages, and years of constant pain management.
What to Do If You Have Suffered a Burn Injury
Getting medical treatment is the most important thing you can do for yourself or an injured loved one. If the injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, speak to a lawyer with experience in these cases.
Burg Simpson’s personal injury attorneys are committed to helping burn victims fight for compensation for their injuries. We have helped thousands who have suffered from major personal injuries get what they deserve to help through such a traumatic experience.
If you need legal assistance for a burn injury, call us now at (720) 500-5995 or fill out a FREE case evaluation form as soon as possible.