Did You Suffer A Burn Injury In An Accident?

Having the financial security to face the challenges created by a burn injury accident is essential to a person's recovery. At Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst in Oklahoma City, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you need after a burn injury so that your future quality of life is protected.

Burns are among the most painful and difficult injuries to treat, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They require immediate medical care, and must be monitored to prevent dangerous infection and other complications. Severe burns may even require multiple surgeries in order for the skin to actually heal.

Three Categories Of Burn Injuries

A burn injury may be caused by heat, chemicals, electricity or radiation, and are classified by "degrees," depending on their severity. The most common degrees of burns suffered are:

  • First-degree burns destroy only the top layer of skin. Mild burns are typically first-degree burns. First-degree burns typically heal without the need for skin grafts, but should be kept clean and watched closely for signs of infection.
  • Second-degree burns destroy the outermost layer of skin and the layer directly underneath it. Second-degree burns frequently require medical treatment, either in a doctor's office or in a hospital. These burns usually heal without skin grafts.
  • Third-degree burns destroy all layers of the skin and may also damage tissues beneath the skin layer. Third-degree burns require specialized care, and patients frequently need skin grafts in order to aid healing and stave off infection.

What Are The Main Causes Of Burn Injuries?

Because burns may be caused by heat, fire, electricity, chemicals and/or radiation, there are a number of different situations where a person can suffer a burn injury. Common causes of burn injuries include:

  • Workplace accidents. Depending on the tools, equipment, and materials used in a workplace, burns from heat, chemicals, electricity, and/or radiation may all occur. Employers should provide equipment to help reduce the risk of burns and training so that employees know how to handle different types of burn injuries if one occurs.
  • Defective products. Most household products that pose a risk of burn injuries are clearly labeled. However, when a product is not labeled or when it contains a hidden defect, it may overheat, short out or otherwise cause a serious burn injury. These types of burns may be suffered either by touching the product directly, or from a household fire caused by a defective product.
  • Cooking. Cooking and heating implements are a leading cause of burns among small children, who don't yet understand the risks of being around hot objects. Caregivers should watch children carefully, and keep them away from stoves, space heaters and other hot objects in order to reduce the risk of burns. Checking the temperature of bath water before placing a child in it can also reduce burn risks.

Consequences Of Burn Trauma

Burn injuries typically result in swelling and blisters. These are caused by the loss of fluids from damaged tissues and blood vessels. When a burn is large, severe or both, the loss of fluids can cause the body to go into shock or even cause cardiac arrest, resulting in death.

Secondary infections after a burn injury are also a major concern. The skin is the body's best defense against infection-causing bacteria. When burns damage the skin, this defense is lost, and infection can easily set in unless the injured person receives closely monitored medical treatment. Many patients with severe burns are treated in special hospital burn wards in order to ensure the best possible healing and to control the special risk of infection burn patients face.

Helping You Get The Care And Support You Deserve

Treatment for burn injuries has improved dramatically in recent decades, according to the NIH. While patients with burns covering half their bodies were not expected to live even a few years ago, now patients with burns covering up to 90 percent of their bodies may survive. However, severe burns like these frequently cause scarring and other permanent impairments. Call our attorneys at 800-539-0652 today for a free consultation of your legal rights and options.