Nearly 490,000 Americans require medical assistance for burn injuries annually in this country. Of the 40,000 hospitalizations that occur every year because of acute burn injuries, 30,000 are treated at specialized burn centers. Nevertheless, the vast majority of fire-related fatalities are a result of smoke inhalation. Less than a third of these personal injuries and deaths are a result of actual burns.
The personal injury attorneys at Burg Simpson in Colorado are here to help you!
Children and women are particularly susceptible to burn injuries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burns are the eleventh leading cause of death of children under 10, and the fifth most common cause of childhood personal injuries. Children under 5 are twice as likely to die in a fire as any other age group. WHO, which declares burns a global public health problem, also points out that non-fatal injuries of this type are also the leading cause of morbidity worldwide.
Burns occur most often either at home or at work, which combined, account for more than 80 percent of all burn injuries and fatalities. Residential fires and injuries are typically caused by cooking equipment. As a result, most women and children are injured at home, while men are much more likely to be burned while they are on the job. 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 our experienced Denver personal injury lawyers.
Burns, as defined by WHO, are classified 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 deaths 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 deaths and 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, or irons.
Electrical burns – These kill roughly 1,000 people a year in the United States.
Chemical burns – Also known as Caustic burns, can be caused by battery acid, bleach, ammonia, among other things.
Burn injuries may result from:
- Fires and explosions.
- Vehicle crashes and accidents.
- Defective products.
- Hot liquids.
Burn injuries, whatever the cause, can change a life forever, drastically altering one’s quality of life. These are often the result of negligence. If you have suffered burns injuries, especially at work, it is important to speak to an accident lawyer who has experience with these particularly painful and often serious personal injuries.
Burns fall into a few different categories, ranked in increasing order of severity, as first, second, third, and fourth degree.
First-degree burns are the mildest of burn injuries, by comparison. They appear as a slight redness and are accompanied by 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 burns reach into the deep dermis, harming deeper tissue. 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 bone tissue.
For the most severe personal injuries, treatment can take months or even years, because of such a 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 paralyzing. Serious burn survivors face lifelong challenges such as extended rehabilitation, medical bills, lost wages and years of constant pain management.
- Stop the burning. Remove the burning clothing, if any, or extinguish the flames by rolling the victim on the ground, covering them with a blanket or with a fire extinguisher.
- Treat the burn. Once any flames have been doused, it is important to irrigate any burns immediately and thoroughly. Use cool, running water, if possible, which helps reduce the temperature and treat the pain. Chemical burns, in particular, require more irrigation than most.
- Get help. Wrap the victim – or yourself – in a clean cloth and get them – or yourself – to the nearest available medical care.
- What not to do. Do not apply any pastes or oils, or raw cotton to the burn. Do not apply ice or any topical treatments.
What Should You Do if You or a Loved One Has Suffered a Severe Burn Injury?
Getting medical treatment is the most important thing you can do for yourself or the injured loved one. If the injury occurred from the fault of another, you need to talk to our lawyers who have handled these cases. It can be an incredibly painful experience, as well as a confusing and emotional time. Insurance companies may also be calling you when you are not ready to discuss what happened.
Burg Simpson’s Colorado personal injury attorneys are committed to helping burn victims fight for compensation for their injuries caused by the negligence of another. We have helped thousands who have suffered from major personal injuries—such as severe burns—get what they deserve to help them through such a traumatic experience. We are able to work with victims who have endured residential fires, motor vehicle explosions, workplace accidents, and other causes of serious burn injuries. If you need help, call us now at 720-500-5995 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form before time runs out.