While many people associate personal injury attorneys with injuries like car accidents and slip and falls, burn accidents make up a significant percentage of the complaints we see. With roughly 450,000 patients seeking care for these injuries every year, you can imagine a significant number of them are through no fault of the victim.
More than 3,400 people die every year from burn injuries. That is almost 10 people per day, making it the third leading cause of deaths in the home.
Sadly, that number is just a small portion of the victims of burn accidents. The numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding hospital visits do NOT include visits to private doctors’ offices, clinics, and community health centers.
What Are the Most Common Types of Burns?
Chemical Burns – these burns usually happen in an industrial setting, but they can also happen in the home (usually from household cleaners and swimming pools). The problem with this type of burn is that it does not always appear to be serious right away, allowing the burn to become more serious due to the fact it was not treated right away.
Cold Burns – the most common type of burn here would be frostbite from being exposed to cold weather for a prolonged period or from coming into direct contact with a very cold surface.
Electrical Burns – not only can these burns do serious harm to the skin, but they can often result in additional internal injuries, causing neurological damage, ruptured eardrums, and heart attacks, just to name a few. Due to the nature of these burns, even an injury that seems mild can result in a more severe injury and possible amputation if left alone.
Friction Burns – some might consider this type of burn a skin abrasion, but they are, in fact, a type of burn. These burns occur when a hard surface causes the loss of skin, such as a carpet burn. Additionally, burns from falling on hot cement or road surfaces, such as one would experience in a motorcycle or bicycle accident.
Radiation Burn – you may not realize it, but sunburn falls into this category. This type of burn is also often caused by radiation treatment for cancer as well as x-rays.
Scald Burns – while you may think this often happens in cooking accidents and the like, that it would be adults experiencing the most scalding burns, that is not the case. Children are far more likely to experience this type of burn. These are injuries that often occur from boiling water and hot grease.
Thermal Burns – generally caused by direct contact with a hot object, such a hot coffee pot, or direct flame contact.
The Three Classifications of Burns
To avoid any misinformation on the different degrees of burns, we are using the exact definition as provided by the University of Rochester Medical Center:
First Degree Burns – First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin, the epidermis. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Mild sunburn is an example. Long-term tissue damage is rare and often consists of an increase or decrease in the skin color.
Second Degree Burns – Second-degree burns involve the epidermis and part of the lower layer of skin, the dermis. The burn site looks red, blistered, and may be swollen and painful.
Third Degree Burns – Third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and dermis. They may go into the innermost layer of skin, the subcutaneous tissue. The burn site may look white or blackened and charred.
Fourth Degree Burns – Fourth-degree burns go through both layers of the skin and underlying tissue as well as deeper tissue, possibly involving muscle and bone. There is no feeling in the area since the nerve endings are destroyed.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Burns?
Car Accidents/Motorcycle Accidents – these injuries will often occur due to the driver being stuck inside the car or as mentioned above, when a motorcycle hits the ground and the driver skids across the road.
Defective Products – this is probably the most common cause of serious burns among people, falling victim to a product that is simply not functioning properly and cause for a lawsuit.
Workplace Accidents – there are many different types of jobs working around chemicals and equipment that could easily result in some type of burn, such as restaurant cooks, mechanics, and even janitors. This, of course, is not mentioning jobs where dangerous chemicals and fire are regularly used as part of the everyday work tasks.
Have you recently suffered a burn injury at your workplace or due to an accident or a defective product? If you need help from a persona injury lawyer, give us a call at 855-633-0888. Your initial consultation is free and you are under no obligation to use our services, so call us today to see how we can help. If you would like to learn a little more about our personal injury services before calling, click here.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and Injury law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any injuries from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice.