Burn injuries are extremely painful injury types, and when they are serious, they can also be disabling and disfiguring, permanently altering the course of the life of an affected individual. While these injuries may at first seem less severe than other injury types, they should not be dismissed as insignificant; a burn injury can have permanent consequences, and even be fatal in severe cases.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to the negligence of another party, it is important that you understand your right to seek damages via a personal injury claim. Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know about burn injuries, negligence, and working with an Alabama personal injury attorney–
Burn Injuries – Types, Causes, and Degrees
Burn injuries are classified by type of burn (which directly relates to the cause of the burn) and the degree of burn, which deals with burn severity. There are multiple causes of burn injuries, including:
- Thermal burns, which are caused by direct heat (i.e. boiling water, a hot stove, open flame, etc.);
- Electric burns, which result from electrocution;
- Chemical burns, which develop as a result of exposure to certain chemicals, like bleach or ammonia; and
- Radiation burns, which are a result of radiation exposure, and may affect certain workers or patients undergoing radiation treatment.
Thermal burns are the burn type that are most common, and that most people have experienced themselves, if even to a very minor degree.
Burns are further classified by severity. Degrees of burn severity include:
- First degree – First degree burns are the least serious and most common, resulting in red skin, pain, but no permanent damage.
- Second degree – Second degree burns are more serious than first degree, and affect both the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and the dermis (layer directly below the epidermis). These burns may blister and appear swollen, and can lead to scarring.
- Third degree burns – Third degree burns are extremely serious, as all layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissues are affected. These burns can be fatal, and are often less painful than first degree or second degree burns due to the extent of damage to nerves.
- Fourth degree burns – Those in the medical community are now recognizing fourth degree burns, which are burn injuries that go beyond third degree burns to cause damage to bones, tissues, or even organs. If an individual survives a fourth degree burn injury, it will not be without tragic complications.
Damages from Burn Injuries
While most minor burn injuries will clear up on their own without any major medical intervention, more serious burn injuries require immediate medical care. Complications of severe burn injuries include:
- Low blood volume;
- Joint and bone complications;
- Organ failure; and
Those who are severely burned often spend months of their lives in a burn treatment center, with these months being characterized by severe pain. Not only is this time excruciating, but it is also incredibly expensive, and of course means time off work and lost wages. After treatment is complete, the individual may be so physically disabled, or may have developed such severe psychological complications, that returning to life as normal is impossible.
Negligence and Liability
Most accidents that occur are a result of negligence, or the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care. When another party’s negligence leads to harm, the injured individual has the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. If your or your loved one’s harm was caused by another party’s failure to act reasonably, you can seek damages for the full extent of medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, disability, pain, suffering, and more.
Our Alabama Burn Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
Our experienced Alabama burn injury lawyers understand how severe burn injuries can be. If you have suffered serious losses, you need a serious advocate on your side. Please call our law offices today at 205-251-9000 to schedule your free consultation. You can also visit our Birmingham office in person, or contact us using the form found on our website. We promise to work hard for you.