Many burn injuries are minor. They can heal on their own. However, some burn injuries can be extremely serious. They take a long time to heal and may even cause damage to the underlying skin, muscle, bone and organs. For these burns, multiple surgical procedures and plastic or reconstructive surgery are often necessary.
Serious burns cause victims to undergo an immense amount of physical, emotional and financial stress. In extreme cases, entire families are affected by a person’s burn injury. If you or someone you know has suffered from a serious burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should speak to a Rock Hill personal injury lawyer at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC. We are here for you. Call or reach us online today for a free consultation.
Types of Burn Injuries
According to Stanford Children’s Health, burns fall into four categories. First-degree burns are the least serious, while fourth-degree burns are the worst a person could suffer. As such, the injuries sustained will differ depending on the degree of the burn. Let’s look closer at each category:
- First-degree burns – These are the most minor burns. They can range from anything from a sunburn to a light cooking burn. The skin will redden with these types of burns, but you likely won’t have any blisters. Long-term damage does not usually result from these types of burns.
- Second-degree burns – These burns affect the top two layers of skin, or dermis and epidermis. After a second-degree burn, the skin will become bright, red and swollen. Often, the skin appears shiny or wet. Blisters will likely form, and it will hurt when touched. Some second-degree burns are superficial and won’t cause scarring. Deep partial thickness burns are more severe and may leave a scar, or a permanent change in the color of the skin.
- Third-degree burns – These burns are also sometimes called full thickness burns. These burns completely destroy the dermis and epidermis. Skin may turn red, but these burns can also turn the skin black, brown, white or yellow. These burns often cause little to no pain because they severely damage the nerve endings.
- Fourth-degree burns – The most severe types of burns, these burns also reach the deepest levels. Fourth-degree burns destroy all layers of the skin as well as the underlying bones, tendons and muscles. These burns are often life-threatening.
Any time someone is injured by a burn that is more severe than a first-degree burn, they should seek medical treatment immediately.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
Burns from fires, scalding injuries, electrical injuries and chemical burns happen every day. While many assume that most of these burns happen in the home, many other situations can lead to burn injuries. The most common situations include:
- Car accidents – When a vehicle gets into a crash, the gasoline in the vehicle sometimes ignites, causing the car to burst into flames.
- Defective products – When products are defective or faulty, they can spark and overheat. These incidents can cause fires and burn injuries. Products that use batteries or combustible fuel sources are particularly at risk for explosions and fires.
- Scalding injuries – When a burn is caused by a liquid, it’s known as a scalding injury. Children and the elderly are most at risk for these injuries, as even hot water can cause delicate skin to blister and scar. Kitchen workers often suffer these injuries from exposure to grease and other hot liquids.
- Gas explosions – Explosions of this kind can occur at worksites when workers are handling certain gases, or they can happen in the home in accidents involving a grill propane tank, gas furnace or water heater.
- Chemical accidents – These accidents often happen at worksites when workers are handling certain chemicals. They can also occur at home when a person is working with bleach, concrete mix or pool chlorinators.
- Electrocutions – An electrocution can occur due to a lightning strike, exposed wiring or downed utility lines. Electrocution can be fatal or cause serious injury to the respiratory system and the central nervous system.
Unfortunately, these are only just a few of the many causes of burn injuries. Individuals can suffer from burns in a wide variety of situations and scenarios. As we have seen at McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, in all too many cases, the burns result from the negligence of others.
Treatments for Burn Injuries
The treatment for a burn will depend on the severity of the burn. First-degree burns typically will benefit from a soak in cool water for at least five minutes. Topical gels such as aloe vera can also help to relieve pain. To protect the wound, you should wrap it loosely in gauze to protect the burn from becoming more injured.
Due to the fact that second-degree burns are more serious, you should run them under cool running water for at least 15 minutes. After the skin blisters, apply antibiotic cream to the sores and wrap loosely. When second-degree burns cover a large area of the body or sensitive areas such as the face, hands or feet, you should seek emergency treatment. Do not use cotton balls on first- or second-degree burns. Never use ice as it can further damage the skin.
No one should ever try to treat third or fourth-degree burns on their own.
Compensation Available for Burn Injury Claims
When a person suffers burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. These claims can seek compensation for a number of losses, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages, benefits, and bonuses due to being unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Any out-of-pocket expenses such as traveling to medical appointments
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability.
We can review your case and determine what types of compensation you can demand, and we can provide an approximate valuation of your claim.
Get Help from Our Rock Hill Burn Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been seriously burned in an accident that was the fault of someone else, you need the help of our experienced Rock Hill burn injury lawyers. At McKinney, Tucker & Lemel, LLC, we know how devastating these injuries are. You should not shoulder this burden. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can begin reviewing your case.