Burn Injuries: An Overview
Burn injuries and injuries sustained in a fire can be among the most serious a person can sustain. Serious burns can cause extreme muscle, tissue, and nerve damage and even leave one paralyzed or in a coma. Often, there is a need for painful and expensive skin graft surgeries. Additionally, smoke inhalation in fires can severely burn a person’s throat, windpipe, and lungs, necessitating special treatment or care for an extended period of time. These types of injuries are all too frequent, as shown in statistics. Approximately 2.4 million burn injuries occur every year, with 650,000 requiring treatment from a medical professional. 75,000 of these catastrophic injuries require hospitalization, and 12,000 have fatal results.
Types and Causes
Burns are classified in three main ways. A first degree burn damages the outer layer of the skin only. A second degree burn damages the outer layer of skin and the layer directly beneath it. A third degree burn damages or completely destroys the deepest layer of the skin and the tissues beneath it. Burn injuries can result from contact with or exposure to a variety of substances, such as:
Thermal burns: the most common type of burn, resulting from contact with sources of heat. These can include contact with fire, hot liquids, steam, hot metals, and other hot objects.
Chemical burns: these burns result when the skin comes into contact with caustic chemicals, alkaloids, and certain acids. These harmful substances can be found on agriculture and construction sites, and are also commonly used in the automotive and medical industries.
Electrical burns: these injuries occur when an electric current passes through the body, which causes both internal and external damage, though most of the injuries are below the surface of the skin. The damages vary depending on certain factors, including the type and intensity of the current, the area of the body that the current passes through, the amount of moisture on the victim’s body at the time, and the duration of exposure to the current.
Are you a victim?
Burn injuries and fire-related injuries can occur in a myriad of ways, from building or house fires, to chemical burns, to recreation accidents such as fireworks or campfires. Fires can be caused by defective products such as heaters, furnaces, and stoves, hair curlers, defective appliances and lamps, candles, negligent storage or use of gasoline, butane, kerosene, or propane causing gas explosions, and negligent discarding of lit cigarettes.
Often fires in apartment complexes are caused by lack of a functioning smoke detector or the failure to install smoke detectors with “chirping” sounds advising the tenant that it is time to change the batteries. If you have suffered a burn injury in such an accident, and that accident was caused by the negligence of another, do not hesitate to retain experienced legal counsel to assist you in your case and help you acquire the compensation you deserve. Burn injuries can result from a variety of tragic circumstances, but if your accident was caused by the negligence of another, call our team today to discuss your legal options to seek a fair settlement.
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