Burn injuries range from relatively mild to catastrophic, but each can be devastating to experience. Recovery may take a long time and medical care can be incredibly expensive.
According to the American Burn Association, approximately 450,000 people require medical attention after suffering a burn injury in the United States every year. Because of how common they are, it is important to know more about burn injuries and how to treat and prevent them.
If you or a loved one have suffered burn injuries, contact our personal injury attorneys today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. Call (212) 289-8351 or fill out our online contact form today.
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Burn injuries are categorized based on their severity or “degree.” A burn may be first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree.
First-degree burns, such as superficial sunburns or frostbite, are the least severe. They mainly affect the top layer of skin and do not cause blistering. The skin may peel, become red, and swell. However, first-degree burns usually heal within a week or so and rarely cause scarring.
Second-degree burns penetrate the epidermis and reach the layer of skin underneath, called the dermis. The pain level increases considerably, and the skin may appear red and splotchy. Your body may respond to the injury by developing blisters to ease the pressure and heat, and these lesions are extremely painful. They can also lead to significant scarring.
Third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and much of the skin’s dermis layer and can extend into underlying fat tissue. Surprisingly, you may not sense pain because the injury damages nerve cells. Your skin may appear charred and leathery, and the scarring can be substantial. Skin graft surgery is often necessary to replace the destroyed skin tissues.
Fourth-degree burns are the most severe, causing extensive damage to muscles, tissue, bone, and more. The injury site is likely numb due to nerve damage. These injuries can be fatal, and survivors often require significant skin grafts and other treatments.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are four types of burn injuries:
When the skin is exposed to a chemical, it may become burned by the substance or its fumes. A chemical burn ranges from slight irritation to severe damage.
Electrical burns, which occur due to electric currents, are especially dangerous because they may not appear severe. Sometimes, they may even be invisible on the surface of a victim’s skin. However, electrical burns can cause significant harm. The extent of tissue damage may be difficult to determine without the aid of a doctor.
There are several subtypes of electrical burns:
Thermal burns are caused by the flames or heat of an actual fire, explosion, or related combustible substance.
Additionally, thermal burns can result from contact with a hot liquid, usually water or cooking oil. Although a scald from hot steam or liquid might sound minor compared to an actual fire, all types of thermal burns injuries can result in fourth-degree damage.
Radiological burns can affect cancer patients receiving radiation therapy. These burns are a common reaction to x-ray or radiation exposure, and they are often mild and treatable.
There are multiple parties who could be held liable for the damages you’ve suffered depending on the details of your case. Damages can cover lost wages, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Liable parties in your burn injury case may include:
If it is an employer or coworker who caused your workplace burn injury, you will likely file a worker’s compensation claim. However, these claims won’t cover the entirety of your lost wages, and will not cover damages such as pain and suffering. Many people recover full compensation after a workplace injury through a third party liability claim or lawsuit.
If you have suffered a burn, seek immediate medical attention or visit a nearby trauma center. You should be evaluated by a doctor regardless of your injury severity. Even minor burns may require antibiotics to prevent infection. If your burns are more severe, you may need extensive treatment such as synthetic skin grafting.
A skin graft covers the exposed tissue and helps your body heal by growing new skin. These treatments can be costly and require a significant amount of your time and energy. If you were burned as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to recover compensation.
A burn injury can happen due to:
Burn injuries are common in the workplace, with over 30,000 cases in 2020. A wide range of occupational fields can encounter these hazards, including construction, cleaning, and medicine.
Some reasons behind work-related burn injuries include:
When you are suffering from burn injuries after an accident, your mind may not be focused on compensation. You have too much to deal with at home to concentrate on a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim. One of the reasons it is so crucial to contact a burn injury attorney is to have a legal advocate on your side who can and will pursue your compensation, including:
At Hecht, Kleeger, & Damashek, P.C., we know that a successful burn injury claim or lawsuit starts with the right lawyer. Our team has served clients for more than 75 collective years. Together, we have recovered millions in case settlements for personal injury victims. Let us put our experience to work for your case.
If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury in New York, reach out to Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. and see if we’re the right firm for you. Feel free to contact us online or call us at (212) 289-8351.
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