According to The American Burn Association (ABA), it estimates that approximately 450,000 people received medical treatment for burn-related injuries back in 2011. Of these people, nearly 3,500 people tragically died due to the nature and extent of their burns. For those who were personally injured by burns, they often end up facing serious and sometimes debilitating consequences, such as disability, scarring, blindness and disfigurement, to name a few. Even more alarming is the fact that nearly 50% of burn injuries could have been easily avoided, as they are often caused by the negligent acts or omissions of others.
As most people are aware, there are many causes of burns. Some burns end up being minor while others fall into the "catastrophic injury" category due to their level of impairment and injury. In general, the majority of catastrophic burns are considered "thermal" burns, which encompasses the following:
- Contact: Contact burns are caused by coming into contact with a heated solid material, typically plastic, metal, glass or charcoal. Many times, defective products that result in overheating may cause these types of burns (i.e. defective blow dryers, etc.).
- Flame: These are burns that are caused by prolonged exposure to intense heat. For example, burns sustained as the result of house fire or car accident are often caused by overexposure to flames and heat.
- Scald: Burns caused by hot liquids such as water, oil, or tar often "scald" its victims, leading to painful and sometimes disfiguring injuries. For example, burns that are sustained as a result of a grease fire at a restaurant or due to the negligence of another person when handling hot liquids may cause these types of injuries.
- Flash: Flash burns are those that result from exposure to intense heat for a short duration of time. For example, those who come in contact with an exploding boiler or gas tank in a car often face these types of catastrophic burns.
In addition to the above, some catastrophic burns are caused by harsh chemicals, such as strong acids or alkaline-based substances. For instance, coming in contact with leaking battery acid can cause severe burns. Electrocution can also lead to severe injuries and burns. To illustrate, if a person's body is exposed to faulty and exposed electrical wires, they may be burned as a result. Unlike the other categories of burns, electrical burns may not appear on the surface, despite serious injuries that are sustained below the skin.
As most people know, burns are classified by their severity: first, second and third-degree. A first-degree burn refers to a burn that occurs to the first layer of the skin. A second-degree burn is more severe, which causes damage to the outermost layer and underlying layers of the skin. Lastly, third-degree burns are those that cause the deepest layers of skin and tissues to be damaged and sometimes, completely destroyed. Unlike first and second degree burns, third-degree burns are the most painful and require the use of skin grafting in order to correct the extent of the scarring and damage to the skin.
Overall, coping with catastrophic burns is not only physical challenging but also emotionally taxing as well. Recovering from a burn injury can also be difficult in addition to trying to prove what caused your burns in the first place. Specifically, there are many causes of burns, requiring the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you prove causation and obtain the compensation you deserve. As mentioned previously, many burns could have been avoided had someone exercised care and caution while using dangerous products or substances.
For more information or if you sustained catastrophic burns, contact my office today at 913-498-1911 for a free confidential consultation. For more than two decades, I have helped thousands of catastrophic burn victims fight for their rights and obtain the compensation they deserve. I look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 11:33 am and is filed under Personal Injury. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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