Burn injuries can occur out of nowhere. One second, everything is fine, the next thing you know, someone is screaming out in pain. Even immediately after a burn injury, the true extent of the damage may be hard to understand. Burn injuries often require immediate medical attention, and if not treated properly, can lead to permanent damage, scarring, and even death. A burn injury can result in pain and suffering, medical bills, and affect the victim for the rest of their life. After a burn injury accident, the injured victim and their family can seek compensation from the people responsible for the injury.
There are a number of types of burn injuries that harm people every day across the country. These include burns from an open flame, touching hot objects, flammable material burns, scalding water burns, chemical burns, electrical burns, radiation burns, and gas explosions. Individuals may face these burn risk from everyday objects, during celebrations, or as an occupational hazard. When people act recklessly or negligently around flammable or combustible materials, innocent people can be injured.
According to the American Burn Association, there are about 450,000 burn injuries which receive medical treatment in the United States every year. Fire and smoke inhalation caused over 3,000 deaths in 2014. That is higher than one death every three hours in the U.S. Of the burn injuries which required admission to burn centers, 43% were from fire or flame, 34% scalding burns, 9% contact burns, 4% electrical burns, and 3% chemical burns.
Causes of Burn Injuries
There are a number of causes of burn injuries. In the workplace, workers may not be properly warned about burn hazards, or they may not be properly trained by a company looking to maximize profits. In some cases, a co-worker or third party may fail to take protective measures, leaving others in the path of harm.
Workplace-related burn injuries are common, especially in certain industries. Electrical work and construction have a higher risk for electrical burns. Manufacturing and cleaning jobs have a higher risk of chemical burns. Some farming work or mill work may carry a higher risk of explosion burns. Restaurant workers are often subject to burns from open flames, boiling liquid, or contact burns with cooking equipment.
Some of the worst burn injuries involve children. In some cases, parents may not understand that a child is screaming because they are being burned, and think the child may just be throwing a fit. Young children do not understand the dangers of a boiling water pot, electrical outlets, or dangerous chemicals. They may also be unable to protect themselves against severe sunburns, scalding baths, or being placed in contact with an object that is too hot for skin. A child's smaller and still growing body may be more susceptible to serious burn injuries.
While they are supposed to be a time for family fun, a number of burn injuries result from summertime activities. Serious sunburns can go beyond just a painful redness. Unprotected exposure to the sun, especially around the water, can lead to second or even third-degree burns, damaging nerves and requiring medical treatment. Other summertime injuries involve burns around the campfire or firecracker-related burn injuries.
Burn Injuries and Treatment
Burn injuries are generally classified as first, second, or third-degree burns. Superficial burns may not require a trip to the hospital, but any burn injury is best evaluated by a doctor. Second or third-degree burns should be evaluated by a doctor, and may require emergency treatment. Serious burns can lead to infections, blistering, nerve damage, and result in permanent scarring. In some cases, the patient may suffer from hypothermia due to heat loss after the injury, or hypovolemia if the patient loses too much blood.
Serious burn injuries are often handled in dedicated burn centers. Burn centers have the resources to deal with severe burns. Burn center doctors, surgeons, and nurses have specialized training and the experience to deal with burn injuries. Serious burn injuries may require surgery, reconstructive surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and even long term assisted care.
Burn Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a burn injury accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help you through this difficult time, and make sure you have an advocate to fight for you. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.