Burn injuries are something that everyone typically suffers at one point in their life or another. Whether it’s accidentally touching a hot pan, or being exposed to piping hot liquid, burns are a common occurrence when it comes to people of all ages.
Sometimes, however, these burn incidences can be much more severe. In fact, in 2011, there were over 486,000 burn injuries that needed medical treatment. These injuries can often be much more complex, and can sometimes even affect appearance, nerves and limb use.
When most people think of burns, they typically associate injuries with fire. However, there are a number of other kinds of burns, with varying sources, that can rival fire in the type of burn injuries they cause. These can include:
These are burns that come from an electric source, such as unprotected electrical wires or exposed outlets. These burns can not only be dangerous for the direct victim, they can potentially injure those trying to help, as electrical currents can run through multiple victims.
Thermal burns typically result from touching objects or liquids that are at a high heat. These are typically some of the most common types of burn injuries, and can affect individual body parts, such as a limb or finger, or in severe cases, multiple areas of a person’s body.
When an irritating substance comes into contact with skin or a mucus membrane, such as eyes, a chemical burn can occur. These types of burns are often treated by flushing away any chemicals, and then treating the injury left behind. Although the damage is usually seen immediately, these can be tricky because, with certain substances, the true severity of the burn may not be known until much later.
Radiation burns often happen in the workplace, especially in industries where radiation use is common (such as hospitals or treatment centers). These types of injuries typically happen when radiation penetrates through to a person’s body cells, effectively damaging them and often, creating visual injury around the site or sites of contact.
Fire burns can happen in a variety of settings, but are often prevalent in workplaces where things like gas, and other flammable chemicals or materials, are used often. Fire burns can come from a number of different sources, including oil and gas explosions, explosions that happen within buildings, car and truck explosions, and more. These injuries can vary in severity, depending on the proximity to the initial explosion site and intensity of the blast itself.
When it comes to burns, there are usually four main characterizations when it comes to gauging how severe the injury actually is:
These burns can be painful, but typically don’t get past the outer layer of a victim’s skin. Although the site of injury can look irritated or have redness, these burns are typically fairly mild. There are usually no blisters or major damage done to the skin or anything underlying.
When it comes to second-degree burns, the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, and the layer that’s underneath it, the dermis, are both typically affected. In this case, a victim may start to see blisters, experience more pain that they would with a first-degree burn, and may even see some swelling.
Third-degree burns are definitely more damaging than first or second-degree burn injuries. These types of burns typically destroy two full layers of tissue, the epidermis and dermis. Sometimes, they can even go a layer deeper, with injuries that go beyond swelling or redness. These burns can often look white, blackened, or even yellow. In these types of burns, nerve damage can occur, creating the possibility that these burns are less painful.
For fourth-degree burns, both the epidermis and dermis are typically destroyed, as well as the subcutaneous tissue underneath. However, in these injuries, burns can go even deeper, even potentially harming muscles or bone. In these types of burns, there is typically no feeling at all in the area that is affected, since the nerve endings in the area are often completely destroyed in the accident.
Often, burn injuries can happen due to negligence, a person’s misconduct, or even in an unsafe work environment. In all of these cases, victim’s may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and may be eligible for compensation for hospital bills, time off of work, and pain and suffering.
These cases can be complicated, so always make sure that you’re working with a lawyer that can fill you in on all of your options.
An Attorney at Zaner Harden Law can help to protect your rights and fight for you.
Call Zaner Harden Law for a free and confidential consultation at (303) 558-6221, or complete our Free Case Evaluation Form and we’ll reach out to you.
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