Most people have suffered a burn injury at some point in their life. Cooking, grilling, camping, working with chemicals – these are all common scenarios that can lead to a very painful injury. But what about serious burn injuries that result in personal injury claims?
Burn injuries that result in personal injury claims are often severe, life-threatening, disfiguring, and in some cases fatal. These are injuries that extend far beyond a painful skin injury. These injuries often occur at work, but can happen at home, in public, or as the result of a criminal attack. Read on to learn more about some of the common burn injuries cited in personal injury claims.
Common Burn Injuries in Personal Injury Claims
Common burn injuries reported in personal injury claims include:
- Thermal Burns – Thermal burns are among the most common. These burns are the result of direct contact with fire, such as while grilling, using a fireplace, or during a house fire. Thermal burns damage the layers of the skin, and can penetrate through fatty tissue down to the muscle or bone.
- Chemical Burns – Chemical burns are also fairly common. These burns are the result of contact with chemicals or substances, such as cleaning products, acids, or certain chemical components. Chemical burns damage or kill cells quickly.
- Electrical Burns – Electrical burns can happen almost anywhere where there is electrical wiring. When the human body comes in contact with electricity, the damage mostly occurs below the skin (sub-dermal). Deeper tissues may be damaged, but may not be immediately visible. Electrical burns can also cause organ damage or failure, especially to the brain and heart.
- Radiation Burns – Radiation burns occur when the body is exposed to radiation. Radiation exposure is most common in the medical industry, where healthcare technicians work around radioactive equipment. Some radiation burns can also result from exposure to radiation as a medical treatment, such as for treating cancer. When ionizing radiation makes contact with cells in the human body, the cells are damaged, which results in redness and inflammation.
- Hot Liquid Burns – Hot liquid burns are common injuries suffered by children. One of the most common causes of these burns is overheated bath water and cooking-related accidents. People who work in the food service industry, laundry, agriculture, manufacturing, or healthcare may also be exposed to hot liquids in the course of their employment.
How Serious are Burn Injuries?
As we mentioned before, the most common burn injuries identified in personal injury claims are those that are very serious, result in permanent disability, or cause death. The severity of burns are broken down into four categories, which are:
- First Degree – First degree burns are the most common, often the result of cooking or being careless around sources of heat or flame. These burns affect only the outer layers of skin, and while painful, will usually heal well with over-the-counter treatment.
- Second Degree – Second degree burns may cause damage to the underlying layers of tissue below the skin. These burns often result in blisters that are blood or fluid filled. These burns are very painful, and may require medical intervention to properly reduce inflammation and repair damaged skin.
- Third Degree – Third degree burns are incredibly serious and require immediate medical attention. These burns damage all layers of skin, and can cause damage to surrounding tissue. Third degree burns often require skin grafting in order to repair the damage and promote healing.
- Fourth Degree – Fourth degree burns are the most severe. These burns penetrate through all layers of skin and fatty tissue, and cause damage to muscle, bone, and organs. Fourth degree burns cause incredible damage and often result in amputation of the affected area. Many cases result in serious infection or death.
Burn injuries may also be broken down into three categories based on the total body surface area (TBSA) that has been burned. These three categories are:
- Minor – Less than 15 percent of the TBSA is burned.
- Moderate – Between 15 and 25 percent of the TBSA is burned.
- Major – More than 20 percent of the TBSA is burned, or the patient’s hands, face, or joints are severely burned.
Burn Injuries and Personal Injury Cases
All burns are painful, and many are the result of pure accident. Unfortunately, many others are caused by the reckless or criminal acts of others. In such cases, burn injuries may be grounds to file a personal injury claim in order to seek compensation for expenses related to the injuries. A personal injury claim can also help hold the responsible party accountable for his or her negligence. If you’ve been injured in a burn accident, be sure to contact The Embry Law Firm, LLC at 1-844-44EMBRY for a free consultation.