According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 1.1 million Americans sustain burn injuries each year. The Mayo Clinic defines a burn as “damage to the skin or deeper tissues caused by the sun, hot liquids, fire, electricity, or chemicals.” Burns are one of the most painful types of injury, often requiring a significant amount of medical treatment in order to achieve a full recovery. If you’ve sustained a severe burn, you could be wondering how you will pay for all of your medical expenses while recuperating and unable to work. If you’ve sustained a serious burn through no fault of your own, contact an Orange County burn injury lawyer to learn how you can obtain compensation.
If your burn was caused by a car accident, a defective product, a dangerous condition on somebody’s property, or another type of negligence, we can help you collect financial compensation. Call the personal injury lawyers in Orange County at Crockett Law Group today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
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What Are the Types of Burns?
Burns from open flames are the most common, but there are many different types of burns including:
These burns are a combination of abrasions and heat burns that rub off a substantial amount of skin. They are frequently caused by skin that is dragged on concrete during motorcycle and bicycle accidents and often referred to as “road rash.” Accidents involving carpet can also cause friction burns.
Extreme cold can cause burns that damage the skin, either through exposure to cold outdoor temperatures or when the skin has prolonged contact with a very cold substance such as dry ice. Severe frostbite can cause the loss of a limb and other severe permanent injuries.
Contact with extremely hot objects such as heated metals, scalding liquids or steam can cause thermal burns.
The radiation used to treat cancer, x-rays, or sunburn can cause radiation burns.
Strong solvents, acids, or detergents can cause burns when they make contact with the skin.
Electrical currents can cause burns even in the absence of flame.
What Are the Degrees of Burns?
Burns are classified in stages or “degrees” depending on their depth and severity. The least severe is the first-degree burn, which can also be called a superficial burn. It only affects the outer layer of the skin which generally appears red, painful, dry, and does not have blisters. Mild sunburn and an injury from briefly touching a hot stove are typical examples of first-degree burns.
Second-degree burns are also called partial thickness burns because they penetrate into some, but not all of, the dermis layer of the skin. The site of the burn usually appears red and blistered. Second-degree burns are the most painful because they impact the nerves without deadening them.
Third-degree burns are called full-thickness burns because they destroy both the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. They can also damage the bones, muscles, and tendons. They appear white or charred, and there is no sensation due to the destruction of nerve endings, making them less painful than first- or second-degree burns. Fourth-degree burns are even more severe and are usually life-threatening.
How Do You Treat a Burn Injury?
A first-degree burn usually doesn’t require medical treatment. These burns can be treated by soaking in cool water, taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, and applying aloe vera gel to soothe the skin. If there is a break in the skin, antibiotic ointment can be applied with loose gauze as protection. It’s important to avoid using ice on any type of burn, as it can cause damage to the skin.
Second-degree burns usually require medical attention because professional cleaning of the skin and proper bandaging is necessary to prevent an infection. More serious second-degree burns can take weeks, or even months, to heal and can cause permanent skin discoloration. More severe second-degree burns will require skin grafting, which takes healthy skin from another part of the body and moves it to the area of the burn.
Third-degree burns usually require surgery and skin grafting to heal properly, and self-treatment should not be attempted. While waiting for help to arrive, try to keep the burned area above the heart. Burns that cover more than twenty percent of the body usually require extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. Severe burns can have complications such as infection, blood loss, and shock that can sometimes lead to death. Severe scarring and disfiguring can have a huge psychological impact on victims.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for A Burn Injury?
Severe burns are the type of catastrophic injury that can result in millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims. In less serious cases, six-figure settlements are not at all uncommon. Victims can receive compensation for their economic losses such as out of pocket medical expenses and lost earnings, but the largest amounts of money are usually for the pain, suffering, and mental anguish sustained by burn victims, especially when there is facial scarring or other permanent injuries.
Some burn victims become permanently disabled and suffer from severe psychological distress. This is why many of the highest settlements and verdicts for personal injury claims are for victims of burn injuries.
Our Orange County Burn Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help You
Please call our Orange County burn injury attorneys to learn more about your claim. We’ll review how your accident happened, the extent of your injury and advise you of all of your legal rights. We’ll consult with you at no charge and advise you about the best legal strategy to collect a large amount of compensation. We’ll explain everything clearly and patiently and you don’t have to pay us until we collect money for you. Please call our personal injury firm at (800) 900-9393 today.