If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, you may wonder about the next steps. Depending on the severity of the burn, you may need to seek medical attention and/or legal counsel. Here are a few things you should know about burn injury cases.
What Is a Burn Injury?
A burn injury is any type of damage to the skin caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. There are four levels of burns, with first-degree burns being the least severe and fourth-degree burns being the most severe.
First-degree burns only affect the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and usually heal within a week without resulting in scarring. Second-degree burns damage the outer layer of skin as well as the layer of skin below it (the dermis). Second-degree burns typically heal within two to three weeks but may result in scarring.
Third-degree burns damage or destroy both the outer layer of skin and the layer of skin below it. Third-degree burns also damage the tissue beneath the skin (including muscles and bones). These types of burns often require surgery and can result in permanent disability or disfigurement.
Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn injury. They not only damage or destroy both the outer layer of skin and the layer of skin below it, but they also damage nerves, muscles, and bones. Fourth-degree burns often require amputation and can be fatal.
How Are Burn Injuries Classified?
Burn injuries are classified according to their depth, severity, and cause. The depth of a burn is determined by how deep it penetrates into your skin—first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree burns are classified according to this criterion. The severity of a burn is determined by its size—minor burns affect less than 10% of an adult’s body surface area, while major burns affect more than 50%. Finally, burn injuries are also classified according to their cause—thermal (caused by heat), electrical, chemical, friction, or radiation.
What Are The Treatments For Burn Injuries?
The treatment for a burn injury depends on its depth and severity. First- and second-degree burns can usually be treated at home with cool water compressions and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen. More severe third- and fourth-degree burns require professional medical attention and may necessitate hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and/or counseling services.
What Are The Complications of Burn Injuries?
In addition to physical pain and discomfort, burn injuries can also lead to other complications like infection (due to damaged skin), dehydration (due to fluid loss), shock (due to blood loss), respiratory problems (due to inhaling smoke or toxic fumes), and emotional distress (due to disfigurement).
When Should I Seek Legal Counsel?
Suppose you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness (e.g., an electrical fire at your workplace). In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages (including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering). An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the law.
Suppose you have suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages—an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights under the law. Don’t suffer in silence—get the help you deserve today.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber