According to the American Burn Association, as many as 50,000 people require hospitalization for severe burns every year. Many of these injuries are sustained in car crashes and household accidents, while others are the result of electrical problems and toxic exposure. As a result of these accidents, many burn victims are required to undergo multiple surgeries, spend months in the hospital, and suffer from permanent scarring. As a result, cost of paying for these treatments can be extremely expensive. If you or a loved one suffered serious burns as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness, it is crucial to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Types of Burns
Generally, burns are divided into three categories, including:
- First degree burns;
- Second degree burns; and
- Third degree burns.
As the name suggests, first degree burns only involve damage to the top layer of a person’s skin and are usually the result of overexposure to the sun. First degree burns can almost always be treated at home through the application of cool compresses, although infants and the elderly may need medical attention if the burns are especially severe.
Second degree burns are more serious and affect the top two layers of the skin. Reddened skin, blisters, and skin loss are common indicators of second degree burns. Because these types of burns are so much more severe than first degree burns, they almost always require immediate medical attention.
Third degree burns penetrate the entire thickness of the skin, permanently destroying underlying tissue and even damaging a person’s bones. Third degree burns are incredibly painful, so victims are often placed in a chemically induced coma for the first weeks of treatment. Those suffering from these types of burns are also at risk of sustaining serious and even deadly infections.
Burn injuries can be caused by a variety of different types of accidents, but the most common include:
- Car crashes;
- Exposure to caustic chemical compounds;
- Electric shocks; and
- Accidental contact with scalding liquids.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, any one of a number of different parties can be held responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
- Employers who fail to provide employees with protective clothing or proper training;
- Business owners and employers who fail to inspect workplace premises or repair uncontrolled short circuits;
- Medical professionals who fail to use conductive gel when defibrillating a patient;
- Manufacturers of defective products, such as radiators and water heaters;
- Restaurant owners who fail to warn customers of high temperature food or beverage items;
- Drivers who cause car crashes through negligence; and
- Trucking companies who failed to take proper safety precautions when transporting dangerous materials.
Plaintiffs who can establish that another party’s negligence caused their burns may be able to collect compensation for their losses. For burn victims this is especially important because treatment usually involves surgery, physical therapy, and multiple hospital visits, all of which can quickly bankrupt a family. Obtaining compensation for these costs, as well as lost wages and pain and suffering can help burn victims and their families begin the long process of recovery.
Contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin to Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you recently suffered from serious burns as a result of a car crash or a defectively manufactured product, please contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin and we will help you set up a free consultation with a dedicated Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.