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According to the American Burn Association, each year there are 1.1 million burn injuries in the United States which require treatment. Approximately 45,000 of these injuries require hospitalization and approximately 4,500 of these victims die. Many burn injuries are caused by the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another party. Burn injuries may result from fires, automobile accidents, work-related injuries, defective products and many other causes. Burn injuries often cause extreme pain and can lead to life-threatening infections and severe disfigurement. Often a burn victim faces many years of on-going treatment and surgeries, resulting in extremely high medical bills. Many burn victims are temporarily or permanently disabled, and may have many months or years of lost income. If you or a loved one has suffered an accidental burn injury, it is vital that you contact a law firm with experience and proven success in recovering substantial compensation for burn injury victims.
When handling an accidental burn injury case, it is important to understand the medical and financial impact of the various classifications of burns. Burns are classified by the type or cause of the burn. The most common types of burns are thermal burns, chemical burns and electrical burns. Thermal burns are caused by an external heat source which raises the temperature of the skin and causes the death of skin and underlying tissue. Flames, steam, scalding liquids and hot metals can all cause thermal burns. Chemical burns are caused by caustic chemicals such as acids, alkalies, detergents or solvents coming into contact with the skin or eyes. Electrical burns are caused by electric current passing through the body.
Burns are further classified as to the degree or depth of the burn. First degree burns are also called superficial burns. These burns damage only the epidermis or outer layer of skin. The site of the burn is red, painful and dry with no blisters. A mild sunburn is usually a first-degree burn. Second-degree burns are also called partial thickness burns. A second-degree burn involves both the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, and part of the dermis, the second layer of skin. A second-degree burn is red, painful and involves blistering. Third-degree burns are also known as full thickness burns. A third-degree burn destroys the first and second layers of skin and may even damage the underlying bones, muscles and tendons. The burn area appears white, leathery or charred. There is often no pain associated with a third-degree burn because the nerve endings in the tissue are destroyed by the burn.
The severity of burns is also judged by the amount
of body surface area involved. The greater the total body surface area
(TBSA) of the burn, the more serious the burn:
Minor burns can often be treated at home or at a doctor's office. Moderate burns should be treated at a hospital. Major burns should be treated in a specialized burn unit of a hospital.
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When a person's skin is burned nerve endings are
damaged, causing extreme pain. In fact, many medical professionals
consider serious burns to be the most painful type of injury one can
experience. Burns often lead to infection due to the damage to the
skin's protective barrier. Up to 10,000 people in the United States die
each year of burn-related infections.
The treatment available to burn victims has made steady progress in recent years. Burn victims with injuries which were once considered fatal may now survive. Twenty years ago, burns covering half the body where routinely fatal. Today, patients with burns covering up to 90 percent of the body can survive, but such burn victims normally have serious and permanent impairments.
Burn victims suffer physically, emotionally and financially. They may face many years of medical care, nursing care, physical therapy and psychological care. Burn victims may have to live with disfigurement, scarring and life-long emotional distress. In addition to these physical hurdles, victims also face astronomical medical bills, loss of earnings and other monetary damages.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious burn injury, it is vital to contact a law firm with substantial experience in handling the legal, physical and emotional challenges facing burn victims. An experienced and successful personal injury law firm can help burn victims facing expensive treatments and surgery obtain the maximum possible recovery in their case. Our attorneys understand the complex legal and medical issues involved in burn injuries and have the skill to effectively present these issues to a jury. We are a large and well-respected law firm with the substantial resources necessary to prosecute a serious burn injury case. Our firm has a proven track record of obtaining substantial recoveries for our clients in a wide range of burn injury cases.
For an immediate consultation for a burn injury, please call (800) 644-8000 or email us.