Burns are among the most painful and dangerous of all injuries. Ten percent of the 450,000 patients those who suffer burn injuries annually in the U.S. require hospitalization, and approximately 3,500 of those die.
Burn injuries are often the result of another person’s negligence, whether a driver who caused a car crash, or a property owner or a party responsible for safety inspections in the workplace who allowed hazards to exist. Victims are able to make a claim for compensation for their losses with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling burn accident injury cases. In New York’s Southern Tier and Northern Pennsylvania, attorney Steve Proudfoot has the knowledge and experience to help you pursue a claim when another person was the cause of your accident.
Burns are excruciatingly painful and, depending on the severity, can result in blistering, infection, shock, scarring, disfigurement, and death. The degree, type, and size of the burn and the location on the body will determine the choice of treatments and the prognosis. Burns can be caused by contact with hot objects, steam, liquids, or flames; by electricity; by chemicals coming in contact with the skin; or by exposure to radiation, or friction.
Survivors of severe burn injuries often face months or years of painful medical treatment aimed at preventing infection, minimizing scarring, and controlling pain. In addition, many burn victims require occupational therapy and psychological counseling to help them adjust to physical challenges and permanent disfigurement.
How Burn Injuries Occur
The most frequent causes of burns are motor vehicle crashes, workplace accidents, and aircraft accidents. When an impact causes leaking of flammable fluids because of broken fuel lines, hoses, caps, or filters, it can ignite and cause a fire. If a fuel tank is cracked or punctured in a crash, the gas can cause an explosion that engulfs a vehicle or aircraft in flames. Being thrown from a vehicle to the pavement, can cause a friction burn.
About 60 percent of all burn injuries are work-related. Chemicals, electricity, radiation, scalding, flames, and contact with hot surfaces are common workplace injuries.
Classification of Burns
Burns are classified as being either major or minor and by degree: first, second, third degree:
- First-degree burns are those that affect the outer layer of skin only.
- Second-degree burns affect the two top layers of skin.
- Third-degree burns affect the deepest layer of skin
- Fourth degree burns extend into the tissues underneath the skin. They often requiring skin grafts and are the most likely to cause serious complications.
Burns often leave disfiguring scarring and skin contractures. These are especially traumatic for victims when they are on the face. Burns can decrease blood flow to the affected area, which can cause infection. When damage to a limb is s extensive, amputation may be necessary. The most serious complications include sepsis, organ failure, shock, gangrene, and respiratory problems, all of which are life-threatening.
Recovering for Burn Damages
If you’ve survived a serious traumatic burn injury, you may suffer the effects of the injuries for the remainder of your life. Steve Proudfoot understands that a burn victim must receive a sufficient recovery to cover long-term treatment and lost income if returning to work is impossible, along with compensation for pain, scarring, emotional anguish, psychological damage, and loss of enjoyment of life. He’ll demand a settlement that covers all of these damages, or he’ll take it to a jury.
Proudfoot Law is the place to turn when you need an experienced burn injury lawyer. Call Steve Proudfoot today for a free consultation.