Burn injuries are some of the most painful and costly injuries a person can suffer. Burns can be the result of car, truck or motorcycle accidents, workplace explosions, or defective product incidents. In the United States, there are 1.25 million burn injuries that require medical attention every year, according to National Institutes of Health.
Burn injuries are commonly classified by degree according to the severity of damage incurred:
- First Degree Burn: the outer layer of skin is damaged; redness, swelling and pain may be present.
- Second Degree Burn: the first layer of skin (epidermis) is burned through, and the second layer (dermis) is damaged; there may be blisters, severe pain and swelling.
- Third Degree Burn: extends into the full depth of the skin and reaches the underlying tissue; underlying muscle tissue, tendon, fat and bones may be damaged or destroyed.
First and second-degree burns can be extremely painful. Third degree burns usually are not painful because the nerves that transmit pain have been destroyed. In very severe cases of extensive burns, loss of fluids can lead to depletion of blood volume, shock and dangerously low blood pressure, and may result in death if not treated quickly.
Many burn injuries are the result of not following proper safety regulations, not using safety equipment, and not exhibiting responsible behavior when operating vehicles or dangerous machinery or when handling dangerous chemicals. A burn injury lawyer can help victims receive proper compensation from parties whose irresponsible behavior caused them harm.
Burns can be terrible injuries harming not only the skin, but the muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bone. Additional consequences include:
- Scars and disfigurement
- Extensive emotional and psychological damage
- Infection – burns can damage the skin's protective barrier
- Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – occurs in patients with severe burns and causes the lungs to fail, sometimes proving fatal
Common cases resulting in burns:
- Chemical spills
- Industrial fires
- Industrial accidents
- Car fires
- Electrical fires