Severe burns are one of the most debilitating types of injuries that can occur in an accident. Not only are burns exceptionally painful and disfiguring, they create a significant risk to the victim’s health. Many severe burns cannot be treated in a traditional hospital setting and must be treated at a specialized burn unit. If you or a loved one have been burned in an accident, it’s important to seek both medical and legal assistance as soon as possible.
Types of Accidents That Cause Burn Injuries
Almost any type of accident can result in a burn injury if the circumstances are right. For example, a car accident can result in burn injuries if the car catches fire or explodes after the initial collision, and a motorcycle rider can receive friction burns if he or she is dragged across the pavement during a motorcycle accident. Burn injuries can also occur as the result of work accidents, chemical accidents, electrical accidents, and industrial accidents.
Burns are usually graded and put into one of four classifications:
First Degree Burns
A first degree burn is the least severe type of burn and involves only the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. For example, a sunburn that involves red, irritated skin with no blisters would likely be classified as a first degree burn. Healing takes a little less than a week, and most of the time, only mild medical care is recommended, if any.
Second Degree Burns
A second degree burn can be graded as a partial thickness or full thickness burn.
Partial Thickness Second Degree Burn
This type of burn may involve blisters and involves the outer layer of skin in addition to a few layers of skin underneath. Unlike the dry appearance of a first degree burn, this type of burn may weep or look wet. Although a partial thickness second degree burn is very painful, it typically heals in a few weeks and does not require major skin grafting procedures.
Full Thickness Second Degree Burn
A full thickness second degree burn will also look dry like a first degree burn, but involves both the top layer of the skin and all the layers beneath, called the dermis. The skin may be red or white in color. This type of burn usually does not heal on its own and must be removed and a new piece of skin surgically grafted onto the area.
Third Degree Burns
A third degree burn also involves all the layers of skin and appears dry, but can be white or black in color. Since the nerves are destroyed in the subcutaneous tissue, victims typically do not feel pain with this type of burn. Like a full thickness second degree burn, the tissue must be removed and a surgical graft will be required.
Fourth Degree Burns
This is the most severe type of burn and not only involves all layers of skin, but also extends deep into the muscle tissue and in some cases, even bone.
When to Contact an Attorney After a Burn Injury
Often, accidents that cause burn injuries are the result of negligence or carelessness on the part of another individual. If you or a loved one have been burned, it is important to consult with an experienced Salt Lake City, Utah burn injury lawyer that can evaluate your case and determine if you may have a claim. Bringing forward a personal injury claim can help you mitigate many of the costs associated with burn injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disability.
Contact George Tait Law today at 801-487-6454 or toll free at 855-207-6118 for a consultation to learn more about your legal options. We’re here for you.