Burn injuries are more common than most people realize. According to the American Burns Association (ABA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 million people seek medical treatment for burn injuries each year in the United States. Many of these burn injuries are serious, with approximately 50,000 requiring hospitalization and roughly 4,500 resulting in death.
Personal injury accidents are a common—and often preventable—cause of devastating burn injuries. If you or someone you love sustained burn injuries in a California accident caused by another person or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. Here's what you should know.
Common Burn Injury Causes
Vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of severe burn injuries. Crash victims can sustain burns if their car catches fire, or if they come into contact with hot vehicle components, electrical wires, or hazardous chemicals.
However, car, truck, and motorcycle crashes aren't the only kind of personal injury accident that can lead to severe burns. Other common causes of burn injuries include:
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can be classified by both degree and type. Burn degrees indicate their severity. For example:
- First-degree burns are superficial injuries that damage the skin's top layer, resulting in red and painful skin, but no blisters.
- Second-degree burns affect the top two layers of skin—the epidermis and dermis—and cause redness, pain, and blistering.
- Third-degree burns permanently destroy the epidermis and dermis, and may even affect the muscles, tendons, and bones underneath. Unlike first- and second-degree burns, which are often red and painful, third-degree burns usually appear white, charred, or leathery and may be relatively painless due to the destruction of nerve endings in the affected area.
Common types of burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns. Caused by contact with flames or hot objects, thermal burns are what come to mind for most people when thinking of burn injuries. These burns raise the temperature of the skin, resulting in its death and potentially the death of the underlying tissue.
- Electrical burns. These types of burns occur when an electrical current passes through a part of the body, causing serious damage to the tissue below the skin's surface.
- Chemical burns. These burns are the result of contact with—or, in some cases, ingestion of—hazardous substances, leading to skin or internal organ damage.
- Scalds. Caused by the skin coming into contact with hot liquid or steam, scalds are one of the most common types of burns sustained by children age 5 and younger.
Living With Serious Burn Injuries
Severe burn injuries often require extensive—and expensive—medical treatment, including hospitalization, skin grafts, and other reconstructive surgeries. Burn injury victims also have an increased risk of infection, with as many as 10,000 people dying each year due to infections stemming from their burns.
In addition to being extremely painful, burn injuries can also be disfiguring or even disabling, causing intense humiliation or making it impossible for the victim to hold a job. However, if you sustained significant burn injuries in an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Related medical expenses (including emergency treatment, hospitalizations, doctors and specialist visits, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, prescription costs, mileage to and from appointments, and more)
- Lost wages and income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Consult an Experienced California Attorney About Your Burn Injuries Case
Treatment for serious burn injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your burns were caused by someone else's negligence, the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you deserve to get the treatment you require. Have questions about your case? Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 or (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation to speak with a skilled member of our legal team. You can also submit your inquiry in one of our conveninent forms and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.