Many kinds of injuries can scar your body. But one of the worst, most painful, horrific and long lasting are those sustained as the result of a burn.
Burns occur when the skin is exposed to temperatures above 140ºF (60ºC). Fire is not the only way a person can sustain a burn injury. Exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light, such as from a sunlamp or tanning bed, hot liquids or steam, hot metal, glass or plastic, electrical currents, chemicals, such as strong acids, alkalis (such as lye or cement), paint thinner or gasoline, even medical treatments, such as radiation or x-rays, can all cause burns. Burns can also be internal, such as those sustained as the result of inhaling smoke or chemical fumes.
Even the smallest, most minor burn injury can cause catastrophic damage to a person’s body. Depending on the severity of a burn, it can take weeks or a lifetime to recover from its damage. Burns are categorized as first, second, third and fourth degree.
First Degree Burn
This minor burn affects only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). It causes redness and pain and usually resolves with first-aid measures within several days to a week.
Second Degree Burn
These burns affect both the epidermis and the second layer of skin (dermis), causing redness, pain and swelling. A second-degree burn often looks wet or moist. Blisters can develop, and pain can be severe. Deep second-degree burns can cause scarring.
Third Degree Burn
Third degree burns involve the epidermis and the dermis, reaching down to the subcutaneous tissue. The skin might appear stiff, waxy white, leathery or tan. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness.
Fourth Degree Burn
The most severe form of burn reaches beyond the subcutaneous tissue and into the nerves, muscle and bones that lie beneath. The skin may appear blackened or charred. If nerve damage is substantial, you may feel no pain at all.
Because of the severe damage a burn can cause, it leaves a victim prone to a number of complications. Severe, serious and even life-threatening infections, respiratory problems and even bone and joint problems can all result from a burn injury.
Once sustained, burned skin on our bodies, as resilient as it may be, can take weeks or years to heal, and even then, in severe cases, never heal completely. The scarring can go far beyond an unsightly appearance. Scar tissue can form and cause contractures, when skin, muscles or tendons shorten and tighten, permanently pulling joints out of position.
Any of these conditions can require a lifetime of suffering and treatment.
How We Can Help
Burn victims might have massive medical bills, loss of wages and loss of employment. They might require a lifetime of medical treatment. Also, the psychological impacts of the resulting scarring can be tremendous, the pain and suffering, intolerable. And if the victim was burned through someone’s negligence, the knowledge that the injury could have been avoided makes the pain all the worse. The burn victim and their family need someone on their side, to advocate for their legal rights and make sure they get the compensation they deserve.
Contact the Paige Donnelly personal injury law firm. Our attorneys are experienced in handling cases with burn injuries. We will always place your feelings and interests above all considerations. We welcome the privilege of serving the severely injured and their loved ones by relieving them from worrying about legal matters at a time when they are occupied with recovering from their injuries.
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