Burn Injury

Written by: David Azran

Major burn injuries can be life-altering for the victims. Not only will they need surgery to recover from the burn injuries, but it can also affect their quality of life. Some burn injuries can even lead to permanent disability. Suppose you or your loved ones have suffered a burn injury due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another individual or company. In that case, you can recover damages by contacting one of our personal injury claim attorneys at The Law Offices of Rosenstock and Azran.

Photo of a patient receiving first-aid treatment

What Are the Different Types of Burn Injuries?

Burn injuries can be caused by many things, such as electricity, hot liquid, fire, steam, chemicals, radiation, or harmful gases. Severe burn injuries can cause psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia. The psychological effect of a burn injury can make the victim hesitant and frightened. Here are some of the most common types of burn injuries: 

Thermal Burns 

A thermal burn is an injury sustained when the skin contacts a hot material such as boiling liquid, steam, oil, hot pans, flames, etc. Thermal burns cause swelling and blisters, and the skin may turn red, charred, or pale after the injury. First-degree thermal burns usually do not require immediate medical attention. These are typically superficial burns and usually result in minimal scarring. However, severe thermal burns can be serious and require medical attention. 

Chemical Burns 

Chemical burns are also called caustic burns, and these commonly occur when the skin is exposed to highly reactive or corrosive chemicals. For example, chemicals in battery acids, cleaners, chlorination products, whitening products, ammonia, and bleach can cause chemical burns. These chemicals penetrate the skin, causing severe irritation. The victim may feel irritation on the skin and a burning sensation.  

Electric Burns 

Many things can cause electrical burns, including electrical outlets, stun guns, tasers, or lightning. Electric burns can cause blisters, and severe cases can cause heart arrhythmia or even cardiac arrest. After an electric burn, the person may feel excessive pain due to muscle contractions or seizures.  

Friction Burns 

If the skin rubs against a rough surface for a prolonged period of time, it can cause a friction burn. Friction burns commonly cause abrasions and are often caused by materials such as carpets or ropes. 

How are Burn Injuries Classified?

First Degree Burns

First-degree burns only impact the epidermis (outer layer) of the skin and do not require immediate medical attention. First-degree burns can alter the color of the skin of the impacted area. There is rarely any tissue damage in first-degree burns, and they can heal within a week or two. First-degree burns can cause pain and mild scarring.   

Second Degree Burns

Both the epidermis and dermis are affected by second-degree burns, which are also called partial-thickness burns. These injuries can be moderate or severe, depending on the reactant and the extent of the damage. 

Second-degree burns result in blisters and take several weeks to heal, and require immediate medical attention. In addition, the wound resulting from a second-degree burn can be red or pinkish and causes severe pain.   

Third Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are more severe than the other two categories of burn injuries. These are known as full-thickness burns. Third-degree burns impact the subcutaneous tissue and cause excessive damage or complete loss of the dermis and epidermis. 

Third-degree burns result in the loss of sweat glands and hair follicles in the affected area, making the skin appear severely charred. These types of burns require surgery, take months to heal, and may even lead to permanent disfigurement.    

If the extent of the injury encompasses the subcutaneous layer, it can reach the muscle and ligaments below the skin, resulting in loss of nerve endings in the area. This type of injury can be treated through surgery. 

Some burn injuries can reach the bone, making the victim’s condition critical, and they might not survive the extremity of the damage. In rare cases, the burn incapacitates the body, making it unable to heal itself. These burns are known as six-degree burns and can be fatal. 

Complications Arising From Severe Burn Injuries

The following are the complications that arise from severe burn injuries, such as third-degree burns: 

  • Open wounds that can result in infection. 
  • Inhaling harmful fumes can burn the mouth and impact the trachea, causing damage to the lungs. This can lead to respiratory issues. 
  • After a person suffers a burn injury, their tissues can tighten, causing problems with the movement of the muscles. This can even make muscle contractions painful. Contractures may impact the lungs and make breathing difficult for the victim. 
  • Severe burns can lead to organ damage that compromises the immune system.  
  • Visible disfigurement, resulting in enhanced psychological harm.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often needed, with a host of side effects and complications, including trauma to the middle ear, eye damage, lung collapse, low blood sugar, and sinus problems. In rare, severe cases, a person can get oxygen poisoning, which can lead to seizures, fluid in the lungs, lung failure, or other problems. The decision to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy must be carefully made after a discussion with your healthcare provider.
  • Substantial, and often overwhelming medical bills.
Photo of a patient receiving first-aid treatment

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Burn Injury Claim?

Burn injuries can cause severe physical and mental health issues such as PTSD. Therefore, the victim may be entitled to economic and noneconomic damages. 

Economic Damages 

Burn injuries may require immediate medical attention and intensive and long-term medical treatment. This can result in expensive medical bills. In addition, the rehabilitation period may prevent the victim from continuing their job, which results in a loss of wages. Therefore, the person or company responsible for the burn injuries should pay for the medical bills (past and future), house or work accommodations (past and future), loss of income (past and future), and other expenses. 

Noneconomic Damages 

Noneconomic damages are the loss of enjoyment of life (past and future), damage done to relationships, physical and mental pain, suffering, and mental anguish (past and future), loss of quality of life, loss of consortium (loss of love, care, comfort, relations, and society of loved ones, including spouse), of the victim due to the burn injury. For example, the emotional, and psychological impact of disfigurement on the victim’s mental health is one type of noneconomic damage. 

How Can a Burn Injury Lawyer Help?

The road to recovery from a burn injury can be long, which means the victim has to deal with several economic and non-economic challenges. Hiring a personal injury attorney to handle the legal proceedings of a claim or trial allows the victim to focus on their recovery. Our personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Rosenstock and Azran can handle all legal communications, negotiation, trial proceedings, and other legal aspects of your case to ensure maximum compensation for your personal burn injury.