Burn injuries are among the most common injuries in the home (especially among children), and they can result in long-term physical damage. With minor cases, a person can recover from burn injuries without any major health problems, but in more severe cases, patients may need months, years, or even a lifetime of medical treatment.
What are the most common causes of burn injuries?
The most common types of burn injuries are thermal burns – like the burns you get from touching a hot surface, or from making contact with an open flame. In the home, burns can be caused by candles, hot embers in a fireplace, or from a stove or grill.
Other types of burns can include:
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Radiation burns
- “Cold” burns, like frostbite
It may not always be possible to avoid a burn injury; sunblock can fail, or defective products can short circuit and flame out. Some burn injuries, however, can easily be avoided by taking preventative measures. For example, don’t hold firecrackers that should be set on the ground, and don’t handle household chemicals without wearing gloves (and possibly protective goggles).
Do I need to seek medical treatment for my burn injury?
Not all burns are life threatening. You may be surprised, however, how serious your burn actually is. An injury you may initially think is mild may, indeed, need medical attention. It likely depends on how your burn is classified, and highlights how important it is to seek medical attention after an accident.
- First-degree burns. First-degree burns affect only the top layer of your skin, and result in minor damage, redness, dry skin, pain, minor inflammation, and no scarring. If the burn occurs on your face, or covers a large swath of your body, you should see a doctor to be safe. Otherwise, you can treat the burn at home.
- Second-degree burns. Second-degree burns are more severe and result in blisters, soreness, and more serious redness beyond the top layer of your skin. These types of burn injuries should be checked by a medical doctor. Remember that you can easily develop second-degree burns from being out in the sun.
- Third-degree burns. Third-degree burns are extremely serious. They affect every layer of your skin, and can penetrate fat and muscle tissue. They often present with no pain because they damage the nerve endings. These types of burns usually require skin grafts, lead to permanent scarring, and ultimately disfigure the victim in some way.
- Fourth-degree burns. Fourth degree burns are deadly. The reach the bone, and most victims succumb to the wounds. Those who do not will likely have the affected limb amputated.
Can I file a lawsuit if I sustain a burn injury?
If you burn injury was the result of the negligence of another person, then you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. If, for example, you were injured because of a defective product, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable. If your burns were caused by medical negligence, the doctor and/or hospital may be liable.
In order to prove that someone else is liable for your burn injuries, your attorney will investigate the circumstances of how, when, and why you were injured, and review your medical records. After that, they will assess the costs associated with:
- Your medical care, both now and in the future
- Your lost wages, including any loss of future earning potential
- Property damage and losses
- Pain and suffering
Here at the Mezrano Law Firm, we protect the rights of the injured in Alabama. If you suffered a burn injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help you secure the compensation you need and deserve. Talk to our personal injury attorneys today. We have offices in Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Call our office at 205-649-3552 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation today.