According to the American Burn Association, roughly 450,000 burn victims visit the emergency room each year. Of those burns treated in the ER, every year there are around 3,400 that are fatal.
If you or a loved one have suffered any kind of burn, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. If you aren’t sure if you have a case, you can schedule a free consultation with the burn injury lawyers at Colombo Law to find out.
Burn Injury Statistics
Burn injuries can occur in almost any kind of accident or atmosphere that involves heat, chemicals, or the potential for a fire to start. The following statistics provide some further insight on the real impact burn injuries can have:
- Children are most commonly burned by being scalded by hot food or water. These pediatric scalding burns occur 200,000 times per year.
- Each year, 250,000 children require treatment for burn injuries, 15,000 have to be hospitalized, and 1,100 die.
- Of the 3,400 total burn injury deaths in the U.S. each year, 2,550 are caused by house fires, 300, are caused by motor vehicle accident fires, and the last 550 are attributed to other causes.
- Caring for those who have been burned is expensive. Fatal burns that are the result of fires cost $3 billion every year in treatment.
- Men seem more likely be burned and account for 64 percent, or $4.8 billion, of medical treated burns. By contrast women account for 36 percent, or $2.7 billion.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that the majority of burns (44 percent) are caused by flames or fires. In fact, fires and fire-related burns are the third most common cause of home deaths. On average, a fire injures someone every 30 minutes and kills someone every 2.5 hours. Additional facts show that:
- 33 percent of burn injuries are caused by being scalded by steam or another hot liquid
- 9 percent of burn injuries can be attributed to direct contact with a heat source
- 4 percent of burn injuries are electrical burns
- 3 percent are chemical burns
- And 7 percent are attributed to other causes
As burn injury attorneys, we’ve worked with the victims of burns caused by:
- Defective Products
- Chemical burns
- Natural gas accidents
- Electric burns
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
Types of Burns and Treatments
The kind of burn that is inflicted depends largely on two factors: time and temperature. Though the internal organs can suffer damage from a burn, they are categorized by the severity of damage caused to the skin and are either first degree, second degree, or third degree. Additionally, sometimes the degrees of burn are referred to as full-thickness or partial thickness burns.
- First degree burns (partial thickness) are most likely to cause red, non-blistered skin and/or slight swelling. They generally heal in a few days and can be cared for at home unless they become infected. The best way to treat a first degree burn is by running it under cool, but not cold, water and applying burn ointment. If it doesn’t clear up in a few days or the swelling, pain, or redness increase, you should visit your doctor for follow-up treatment.
- Second degree burns (partial thickness) are caused when more than the first layer of skin is damaged. Most are accompanied by blisters that can burst and make the skin look as if it’s wet. If the burn is not too severe, it can be treated by running it under cool water, applying ointment, and wrapping it lightly with a clean bandage or gauze. If it is more severe, or does not clear up within 2-3 weeks, or hurts for longer than a week, you should see your doctor.
- Third degree burns (full thickness) are those that damage all the layers of the skin and can even hurt major organs or bones. Nerve damage can extend to a point where the burn victim can’t feel pain. Third degree burns make the skin look thick, leathery, black, and/or bumpy. Because third degree burns are so severe, they should never be treated at home. If you or a loved one sustains a third degree burn, do not rinse it. Elevate the burn site, remove any clothing that can touch the burn, and get to the hospital as soon as possible.
Burn Injury Complications
Burns can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. If not treated correctly and quickly, they can lead to blood less, infections, tetanus, shock, and death. Electrical and chemical burns can be even more severe because they may do damage to internal organs without being physically visible.
Some areas of the body can result in more harm when burned than others. If you or a loved one have had your feet, hands, face, or groin region burned, you must seek medical treatment immediately.
If severe enough, burn injuries may require skin grafting or surgery. These procedures can be incredibly painful and expensive. In addition to the physical complications of burns, many burn victims suffer emotional trauma that can require years of counseling or therapy to help them adjust.
Why Should I Hire a Burn Injury Lawyer?
Whether or not you can be compensated for a burn injury depends on where and how it occurred. For example, if you were burned at work, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits and, in some cases, sue your employer.
If you were burned while in another establishment, like a school, retail store, or restaurant, you may be able to sue the owner, manager, or company for negligence. If you were burned by a defective product, you may be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer or retailer of the defective product. A burn injury lawyer should be able to evaluate your case and let you know whether you have a valid claim.
Severe burns are complicated and may require significant treatment in the future. Our burn injury lawyers will work with medical professionals that specialize in treating burn injuries to determine your future burn injury treatment needs and put together a comprehensive life care plan to recover the cost of that treatment from the at-fault party.
At Colombo Law, our attorneys have years of experience helping the victims of severe second and third degree burns. Contacting us will allow you to figure out if you have a case and begin the process of seeking compensation for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at 888-860-1414.