If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, the attorneys of Wilshire Law Firm want to express our sincere wishes for your speedy and complete recovery. If that burn injury was to any extent due to the negligence of others, or if an insurance company does not want to adequately compensate your losses, the legal services of our personal injury attorneys can ensure those parties uphold their obligations to restore your financial circumstances and long-term health.
Types of Burn Degrees in Burn Injuries
Medically, burns are classified according to their severity. That is, how many layers of skin have been affected.
- First-degree burns – Minor burns to the epidermis or outermost layer of the skin fall into this category. The skin will appear red, dry and painful to the touch. There is no blistering or noticeable long-term scarring.
- Second-degree burns – Burns to the outer and second layer of skin (the dermis) are classified as second-degree burns. These painful burns can cause blistering, scarring and swelling.
- Third-degree burns – These are the most severe burns a victim can suffer. Both outer layers of skin are burned through. The burn has penetrated the deepest layer of skin, known as the hypodermis and can even reach the victim’s muscles, fat, tendons and even bones. Paradoxically, the severest burn can also be the least painful, as the affected area will feel numb due to damaged nerve endings.
Types of Burns in California
Burns are also classified according to the source of the burn. A person who has been burned by a chemical will need to be treated differently than someone burned by fire.
Thermal burn – These burns happen when a victim comes into direct contact with fire or an extremely hot object. This category can be further broken down into:
- Steam burns – Steam burns, as the name implies are burns caused by a vaporized liquid. Steam burns are more damaging than liquid burns because when steam comes into contact with skin, it condenses into liquid. The energy required for that steam to turn to liquid raises its temperature, resulting in a more serious burn than boiling water, which does not change its form or temperature when it hits skin.
- Flame burns – Occur when an individual has been burned due to direct contact with fire.
- Contact burns – When a person touches a hot object, such as a cooking pan or an iron, this is known as a contact burn. Generally, these burns happen most frequently in the home, while doing everyday tasks.
- Explosion burns – Being burned in an explosion can have catastrophic consequences, including disfigurement, the loss of a limb and even death.
Chemical burns – A person can suffer a chemical burn by coming into contact with a harsh substance, such as chlorine, acid or bleach. This type of burn is most commonly seen in people who work in an industrial setting. Identifying the chemical that caused the burn is important to successfully treat the victim.
Electrical burns – Electrical burns can be thermal, such as the victim’s skin being singed by a burning wire, or the injury can be due to an electrocution. Being electrocuted can have serious long-term consequences. A current that goes through the victim’s body usually results in major internal injuries. The person may look alright on the outside, but they should seek immediate medical attention since internal organs and muscles are most likely affected.
How to Treat Burn Injuries
First-degree burns can be successfully treated at home. Of course, if there is any doubt as to whether the victim has suffered a first or second-degree burn, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
More severe burns require on-going medical treatment, ideally at a specialized burn center. This is especially true of certain victims:
- Victims with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- The elderly and children.
- Burns resulting from contact with chemicals.
- Burns to the hands, face, feet or genitals.
- Victims who have suffered burns over 10% of their bodies.
When treating second and third-degree burns, there are several objectives. The most important ones are to reduce pain, avoid infections, remove dead tissue and regain feel and function in the affected area. In cases where burns are more serious, skin grafts may be necessary. If there has been any disfigurement, plastic surgery can also be beneficial. The plastic surgery isn’t just for appearances; it may help improve flexibility in areas with excessive scar tissue.
But the treatment of burn victims isn’t just limited to their physical injuries. Suffering severe burns is one of the most traumatic injuries a person can endure. Many burn victims experience nightmares, flashbacks, depression and anxiety. Joining support groups and seeking the help of a mental health professional can help in their emotional recovery.
Compensation for Burn Injuries in California
If you’re reading this because you or someone close to you has suffered burn injuries, you have the right to seek justice and compensation against the person or entity that caused those burns.
The insurance company or corporate entity may appear to be making a generous settlement amount. But that money can quickly run out if your recovery takes longer than expected or if complications arise. Certain expenses need to be taken into account when calculating a fair and just compensation for burn injury victims. Some are easily added up with a calculator, while others are intangible:
- Past hospital and medical bills related to the accident.
- Ongoing medical treatments including surgeries and rehabilitation.
- The cost of mental health care, such as a psychologist or therapist.
- In the most severe cases, the cost of long-term care.
- Lost and future wages caused by being out of work either for an extended period of time or permanently.
- Loss of any property due to a fire and/or explosion.
- The victim’s pain and suffering.
- The victim’s emotional anguish.
In addition, medical science continues to make advances in the treatment and care of severe burns, but these new treatments can prove to be incredibly expensive. With the right settlement amount, you or your loved one can research all of your treatment options without worrying about the cost.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer in California Today For Help!
A burn injury is incredibly painful and traumatic. This is not the time to deal with an insurance company or corporation on your own. The attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have helped other burn accident victims get the compensation they deserve and we can do the same for you. We’ll handle your claim with a sense of justice and compassion, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery. Don’t wait, call us at 1-844-979-0933 for a FREE consultation today.