When you think about a skin burn, your first thoughts might be of burning yourself while cooking, ironing, or lighting fireworks for the 4th of July. Any of these scenarios can cause serious injury, but there are many more ways you could be vulnerable to a severe burn.
The World Health Organization defines a burn broadly: “A burn is an injury to the skin or other organic tissue primarily caused by heat or due to radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction, or contact with chemicals.” WHO also cited that non-fatal burns are a leading cause of death because of long-term hospitalization, disfigurement, and resulting disabilities.
With WHO’s definition, it is important to recognize there are burn injuries that may not be your (the burn victim’s) fault.
Considering legal options for your burn injuries? Contact Meyers Injury Law today!
How Were You Burned?
In order to be aware of your rights, there are several types of burns worth knowing about:
Thermal burn: Cell death or charring due to exposure to a heat source (metal, liquid, steam, flame).
Radiation burn: Caused by prolonged exposure to an ultraviolet ray or source of radiation (sun, X-ray).
Chemical burn: Contact of the eyes or skin with harsh chemicals (strong acid, detergent, solvent).
Electrical burn: Caused by an electric current (alternating or direct current).
Depending on the circumstance, the type and severity of burn you have incurred might warrant discussing with a lawyer.
For example, defective products or drugs, car or motorcycle accidents, scalding food or drink at a restaurant, and contact with dangerous chemicals at your workplace could all cause severe burns, burns that could not only require surgery and long-term treatment, but also affect your ability to work or conduct everyday tasks.
But how do you know a burn is severe?
First-, Second-, and Third-Degree Burns
The short answer is that burns are categorized by their scope of damage to the skin and body, from first-degree to third-degree:
- Also known as superficial burns, first-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin and are typically mild.
- Second-degree burns, on the other hand, involve the epidermis, which result in painful, swollen skin and sometimes blisters.
- Finally, third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and dermis, which means the burn can reach the bones, muscles, and tendons; such burns also destroy the nerve endings and cause a lack of feeling in the area.
Seek Treatment for your Burn
How do you know whether or not you should seek treatment for a burn injury?
- A burn on your face, hands, feet, groin or genital area
- A burn that spans a portion of your body (back, arm, leg, chest, etc.)
- A burn that is affecting your breathing
- You have an existing condition (diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
- A second-degree burn on 10% or more of your body
- Any chemical burn or electrical burn
- Any third-degree burn
Why Consider Legal Help for Your Burn?
As mentioned previously, if you were in a car accident, over-exposed to radiation at your doctor’s office, or came in-contact with toxic chemicals at your workplace – all of which were a direct result of someone’s negligence – you may be entitled to compensation!
If you believe you were not at-fault for your burn injury, here are 3 reasons to consider speaking with an injury attorney:
In addition to the burn injury and physical pain you are experiencing, other damages and expenses you could prove as a loss include the loss or damage of your vehicle or residence.
Medical Costs & Treatment
Medical costs from burn injuries can be significant, whether you are hospitalized long-term for your wound care or need to receive skin grafts and therapy treatments.
Disruption to Your Daily Life & Employment
It is all too real that burn injuries can be life-changing. If you are facing long-term or chronic pain, a loss of mobility, or disfigurement, you are going to need a plan for your medical treatments, employment status, and more.