Burn injuries are some of the most painful types of injuries possible. The American Burn Association reports that approximately 486,000 people each year receive hospital and emergency room treatment for burns. This doesn’t take into account the thousands of burn injuries treated in clinics and private medical offices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also reports that roughly 14,500 people die annually from either burns or burn-related infections.
The people most vulnerable to burn accidents and injuries include young children and older adults. Part of the reason this is true is that their skin is more delicate and sensitive. Another issue with these groups is that they may have less mobility in a fire situation. The fact is that a burn injury can occur in just about any setting, from a home to a business to a crashed car.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a burn injury, these are not only painful, but they also take a long time to heal. Burns that are severe can require treatment that is incredibly complicated and expensive. When those injuries were caused by the carelessness or negligence of another party, you have the right to make a claim for damages. Here are several things that you need to know about burn injuries and filing a burn injury claim.
Common Types of Burn Injuries
A majority of burn injuries are the result of contact with hot steam or flames, but some may also be caused by electricity, extreme cold, harsh chemicals, sunlight and other radiation, and friction. Depending on the extent of the exposure, burns are generally classified as first, second, or third-degree burns.
- First-degree burns affect just the skin’s top layer, or the epidermis, with little to no further damage.
- Second-degree burns will affect the entire epidermis as well as deeper layers. There will be significant pain as well as blistering and possible nerve damage. Infection and shock are possibilities with these burns.
- Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn that destroys the skin’s layers as well as underlying tissue, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. Because there is nerve damage, there may not be as much pain associated with these burns, but long-term implications will include significant scarring and surgery for skin grafts.
The treatment necessary for burn injuries depends on the nature and location of the injury. For example, a severe burn on a limb could require amputation while other burns may call for extensive plastic or cosmetic surgery.
Who Can File a Burn Injury Claim?
Burn injuries have far-reaching consequences. Not only can the medical care be costly, but a burn victim could be prevented from returning to work and suffer from severe emotional trauma as well. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, you have the right to file a claim for fair and just compensation. Your Columbia, South Carolina burn injury attorney will evaluate your case and speak to you about your legal options.
Typical Sites of Burn Injuries
Where your accident and burn injury took place could determine the direction of your case. For example, many serious burn incidents happen on the job, where there might be explosions, fires, and risk of electrocution. Your right to recovery in these cases would fall under your employer’s workplace accident coverage, and a qualified South Carolina worker’s compensation attorney can help ensure your access to benefits.
Other common sites of burn injuries include public spaces, schools and nurseries, and road accidents. A restaurant could be held liable for spilling a hot beverage on a patron, or a school that doesn’t supervise children closely enough could create unnecessary hazards. Car accidents not only cause serious damage and injuries, but they can also result in fires that leave victims with additional damages.
Protecting Your Rights in a Burn Injury Case
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury that was caused by the careless acts or negligent behavior of a third party, you may be able to file a burn injury claim for damages. It’s vital that you not only seek medical attention immediately after the accident but that you also consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your case and advise you of your options. Contact our Columbia, South Carolina office now at (803) 788-4370 or online to schedule a free consultation.