Representation for Burn Victims
The skin is one of the body’s most effective lines of defense. It protects us from disease and damage, and is essential to our overall health. Burn injuries can result from motor vehicle collisions as well as other accidents. They are extraordinarily painful and treatment is difficult.
When there has been a serious burn injury, the person not only suffers from the incredible pain of the burn itself, but also the dramatic imbalance imposed on the immune system. Additionally, the nerves, muscles, blood vessels and the bones are all severely affected by burn trauma. It is common that smoke inhalation will result in damage to the respiratory system.
Injury lawyers are well aware of the extreme, lasting psychological and emotional impact from a burn injury. According to the American Burn Association, there are over a million burn injuries each year in the United States which require medical intervention.
Causes of Burn Injuries Other Than Auto Accidents
A person can be burned in many different ways unrelated to a vehicle collision. The 6 primary causes of burn injuries are most often caused by the following situations:
- Chemical burns – factory accidents
- Thermal burns – ultraviolet exposure such as tanning beds
- Contact burns – touching a hot object, such as heated metal
- Flame burns – direct contact with an open stove flame
- Scalding burns – contact with hot water or liquids
- Electrical burns – faulty wiring or unsafe outlets
Many burn injuries are the result of a negligent person carelessly harming someone near them. Unfortunately, children are often caused to suffer horrific injuries because of being poorly supervised. Cincinnati is very blessed to have the Shriners Burns Institute. This is one of the finest burn care units in the nation for children.
Burns Come in Three Basic Degrees
First Degree Burns
First degree burns, although the least severe, can still be added as an element of damages if negligence can be shown. The outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis, is what is affected. Redness of the skin is accompanied by tingling as well as pronounced swelling and exquisite sensitivity to touch. Overexposure to the sun or spilled liquids are common causes of this variety of burn.
Second Degree Burns
In this degree of burn wound, the layer of skin beneath the epidermis is affected. This is the dermis, which is damaged, and the result is extreme pain. Not only is redness and swelling found, but blisters as well. If they are open, then moist “weeping” results. This later can develop into scarring, which may require plastic surgery to diminish the cosmetic compromise. Direct contact with flames or scalding liquids will produce a second degree burn.
Third Degree Burns
Here, not only is the full thickness of the skin affected, but the muscle tissue beneath is damaged. The embedded sweat glands and hair follicles are destroyed from the intense heat. The skin can produce a number of color appearances – red, white, black or yellow. These burns require emergency room care and later burn unit attention. If the nerves are substantially injured there is actually is less pain.
The focus of health care providers will be on preventing infection from taking over the wound site. In our experience of representing negligence victims, the primary causes of such injuries are exposure to road rash, friction from machinery, and electrical or chemical burns. Exposure to fire (dry heat) also produce these catastrophic injuries.
Fourth Degree Burns
The burn victim experiencing fourth degree trauma is in immediate danger of death. The layers of skin and muscle have been burned through, and even bone is charred. The skin is burned beyond repair, and often amputation is required. If not, the arm or leg may be completely disabled forever. Our experience with these massive injuries have included tragedies such as a chemical plant explosion, a house fire, and shocks from high voltage.
Burn injuries are very upsetting to view, when friends and family visit their loved one at the hospital. For the victims themselves, thermal injuries have long-term physical problems and cosmetic compromise which require sub-specialized care. Additionally, they often involve psychological injury requiring careful and sustained treatment.