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Dealing with Cases of Burn Injuries

Aug 30, 2014 @ 10:00 AM — by Lynn Harris
Tagged with: Burn Injury | Personal Injury | Wrongful Death |

A survivor being taken away from a building fireBurn victims suffer from some of the most traumatizing and painful injuries, especially when the burns are severe or cover a significant portion of the body. Unlike other injuries such as fractures or contusions, burns arise from very unique circumstances and environments. Unless someone was burnt in his or her own home, there is a very good chance that someone else can be held responsible.

Our Salt Lake City office is dedicated to ensuring that our clients are not held financially responsible for any injuries caused by another party. In the event you suffer from burns that require medical attention, be sure to speak with personal injury attorney Lynn Harris as soon as you can.  

The Risk of Burn Injury

Burn injury may seem like a relatively rare and far-fetched occurrence, but as many as 500,000 people are reportedly treated for burns each year. 4,000 of these injuries result in death annually, making burns one of the top five causes of accidental death in America.

The severity of a burn is classified into one of three categories:

  • First-degree burns are considered superficial in that they only damage the top layer of skin. Medical treatment may not be sought for first-degree burns, although they are painful and may take over a week to fully heal.
  • Second-degree burns extend down past the initial layer of skin, resulting in splotchy discoloration, blisters, and swelling. If burns are extensive, they require immediate medical attention, possibly in the form of skin grafting.
  • Third-degree burns extend through the entire dermis. In severe cases, burns may even affect the underlying muscle, fat, and bone. These burns appear black or light grey as the tissues becomes charred, and are often painless due to damaged nerves. Skin that is burned to the third degree usually needs to be excised so that it does not continue to damage surrounding tissues. Second- and third-degree burns that cover a significant portion of the body can result in amputation or death if not treated promptly.    

Causes of Burn Injuries

Just as burns come in many shapes and sizes, so too can they be caused by a variety of events. Some causes for sizable burn injury include:

  • Building fire: Whether you are exposed to a kitchen fire or a widespread fire throughout a building, thermal burns are the most common type of burn. Nearly half of all house fires are caused by either smoking or a heating device, potentially resulting in injury to family and friends.
  • Car accident: Car fires are incredibly dangerous due to the risk of explosion. But even if you make it out of the car in time to head to safety, you may still have experienced burns in the process.
  • Hot water:  Boiling water has the potential to scald a victim, especially if it is being haphazardly handled by another person.
  • Chemicals: Chemicals that have a high or low pH level can result in burns. Common cleaning agents such as bleach and sulfuric acid have the potential to leave significant burns if the solution is highly concentrated.
  • Electrical injuries: High voltages can leave burns of their own, such as when coming in contact with a faulty electrical cord or outlet. In some cases, patients who suffer electrical burns also experience heart complications due to the shock.

Liability for Burns

Unless you are solely responsible for your own injuries, it is worth asking who is liable for the events that led to your burn. If you were burned by a fire in someone else’s house or building, for example, whose negligence allowed the fire to start? Similarly, accidents caused by another party make that party responsible for ensuing injuries. If the burns are a result of a defective product, such as a faulty space heater or faulty wiring in a car, that manufacturer should be held responsible.

The sooner you speak with an experienced attorney, the sooner you can get a clear idea of who is legally at fault. Likewise, we can determine whether the case is simply one of personal injury or also includes a lawsuit such as premises liability or product liability.

Contact Us Today

Burn injuries are a painful experience, so we don’t want you to also suffer financially. Call our office to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

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