Burn Injuries and Scarring
According to the Burn Survivor Resource Center, in the United States:
- Approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported per year. Approximately 650,000 of the injuries are treated by medical professionals; 75,000 are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 20,000 have major burns involving at least 25% of their total body surface. Between 8,000 and 12,000 of patients with burns die and approximately one million will sustain substantial or permanent disabilities resulting from their burn injury.
- Burn injuries are second to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
- Scalds are the leading cause of accidental death in the home for children from birth to age four and are 40% of the burn injuries for children up to age 14.
- Burns are one of the most expensive catastrophic injuries to treat. For example, a burn of 30% of total body area can cost as much as $200,000 in initial hospitalization costs and for physicians’ fees. For extensive burns, there are additional significant costs which will include costs for repeat admission for reconstruction and for rehabilitation.
Have you or a loved one received burns that required skin grafting or other costly surgical procedures? Have you or a loved one suffered from disfigurement or scarring as a result of a burn accident? If so, you need a burn injury attorney and Hanson & Hanson Personal Injury Attorneys can help.
A burn injury is one of the most complicated, painful and worst injuries one can suffer. The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects us from harmful elements and microbes. It also protects internal body tissues against injury. The skin helps the human body regulate its body temperature through the process of perspiration, and it also has thousands of nerve endings that allow us to feel temperature and pressure. When damaged, these functions are severely impaired which causes severe pain and discomfort to the injured person. Severe burn injuries can also leave the human body more susceptible to infection and diseases.
Different Burn Types
- Scalding Burns – If you spend any time cooking or working around hot liquids you have probably experienced this type of burn. Splashes from boiling water, hot oil, or even the exposure to steam can cause minor burns that are limited to the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin. Water based scalding injuries are typically less damaging than oil-based scalding injuries, which bond to the skin and cause deeper damage to the skin’s epidermis.
- Contact Burns – Hot objects, of all kinds, can cause deep, multi-layer contact burns, depending on the duration the skin remains in contact with the object. Contact burns can occur anywhere and mostly occur on job sites (while welding), in motor vehicle accidents and in the home (while cooking).
- Electrical Burns – Electrical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with an electrical current. The severity of an electrical burn depends on the duration and strength of the current exposure.
Ultraviolet Burns – Most people have some degree of familiarity with a sunburn caused from too much sun exposure. Accidental UV burns generally occur due to faulty tanning machines or negligence on the part of the operators of tanning businesses.
- Chemical Burns – Your work site and home contains many chemical agents and products. Acids, cleaners, oils and gases can cause severe and dangerous chemical burns. Chemical burns are extremely hazardous because many chemicals can cause further damage past the dermis layer until they are neutralized.
- Inhalation Burn Injury – Inhalation burns are caused from inhaling gases, chemicals or toxins. These burns are extremely devastating to the tissues in the lungs and cause severe difficulty with respiration. After exposure, it may take days to ascertain this type of injury, since it can not be seen so easily.
Different Burn Severities
- First Degree Burns – This is a burn that is only limited to the epidermis. The effects are relatively minor, such as moistening or redness of the burned surface. Minor scalding burns or typical sunburns fall into this group, and the burns usually heal within a short amount of time.
- Second Degree Burns – These types of burns can vary in intensity, listed as either deep or superficial. Second degree burns destroy the epidermis layer and affect the dermis, or second layer of skin. A superficial second degree burn can permanently alter the skin color and pigmentation of the burned area, while deep second degree burns can require painful skin grafts.
- Third Degree Burns – These types of burns destroy both the epidermis and dermis layer of skin, causing damage to all the tissue underneath. As a result of this burn, the skin becomes leathery in appearance and texture. The color of the skin can vary widely. There can be no pain involved in third degree burns due to the fact that the nerve endings in the injured skin have been completely destroyed. These burns are very disfiguring, and skin grafts are a necessary requirement.
- Fourth Degree Burns – This is a burn that goes deeper than the subcutaneous (fat) level and destroys muscle and bone. These types of burns can be fatal and almost always require amputation.
The Effects Of Burn Injuries
The physical effects of severe burns and nerve damage are undeniably horrific and immeasurable. The emotional costs of burn injuries are also devastating. Victims routinely suffer from severe emotional distress, depression and low self esteem. There are financial costs as well, including medical costs, lost earnings and lost earning capacity. It is important to realize that some burn injury victims never recover from the injury, even if the physical pain has gone.
Riverside Burn Injury Attorney
Hanson & Hanson Personal Injury Attorneys has a successful track record of securing fair and justified settlements for those who have been injured due to no fault of their own. We have extensive experience in dealing with insurance adjusters, and have proudly secured high dollar settlements for burn victims. If you need a burn injury lawyer, call today for your free consultation. (951) 688-0006.