Most burns are preventable injuries that stem from mistakes that may be out of a victim's control, such as a negligent driver that caused a wreck or a product defect that malfunctioned due to an error made on behalf of a manufacturer. If victims of these incidents decide to pursue legal recourse, they may be able to hold the party at fault accountable, while seeking compensation for all the losses they had to endure because of their injury.
Types of Burns
A competent attorney will be able to handle complex injury cases involving the following burns:
- Heat burns
- Friction burns
- Internal burns
- Chemical burns
- Radiation burns
- Cold temperature burns
- Friction burns
- Inhalation injury
Doctors characterize burn injuries by measuring the damage it has inflicted to the skin. There are three different types of degrees of burn levels: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. They range from minor burns that could be easily treated with a first aid kit to severe burns that require immediate medical attention.
First-degree burns, also known as “superficial burns,” cause very minimal damage to the skin. It only affects the top layer of this skin, which is why this type of burn is categorized as the most minor of the three degrees of burns. When a victim suffers a first-degree burn, he or she will experience pain, inflammation, and swelling in the area. The infected area will be red and dry, and the skin may peel as the burn heals. Medical professionals say that it will heal on its own within the span of a week to ten days without leaving a scar. But they still encourage those inflicted with a minor burn to see a doctor for an evaluation, especially if the burn is located on the face, it affects a large area of the skin (covering more than three inches) or is on a major joint. Basically, a person should seek medical help if a person suffers a burn on his or her knee, forearm, elbow, shoulder, foot, spine, buttocks or ankle.
First-degree burns can be treated right at home in most cases. Medical professionals suggest that burn injury victims soak the wound in cool water for a few minutes, take a pain reliever, apply an anesthetic along with aloe vera cream to soothe the burn and use a gauze with antibiotic ointment to protect the area. It's important to note that contrary to popular belief, ice will not make the condition better, it will actually make the injury worse. Also, the use of cotton balls may increase the risk of infection.
Second-degree burns cause damage beyond the top layer of the skin and are more painful than first-degree burns. These inflictions are categorized by their trademark symptom of blistering accompanied with extreme soreness and red, splotchy skin. The blisters on the affected area may bust open and make the burn appear to be moist, creating an opportunity for the burn to become infected. It's important that victims consistently clean the area and bandage it correctly so that it can heal. A victim will notice that the healing has begun when a thick, scab-like tissue, medically known as fibrinous exudate, emerges over the wound. Medical experts estimate that it takes about two to three weeks for a second-degree burn to heal without leaving a scar, but changes in skin pigmentation may occur.
Second-degree burns can be considered minor or major depending on the size of the affected area and the number of blisters a victim suffers. However, just like the treatment for first-degree burns, unproven home remedies are discouraged in order to treat these injuries. When these types of burns are mild, medical professionals suggest victims run cool water over it for 15 minutes or more extensive periods of time, taking prescription medication and applying topical antibiotic creams or gels to the blisters to treat them. Major burns or burns covering the face, hands, buttocks, groin or feet require immediate medical attention.
Third-degree burns are the most severe out of the three categorized levels of burns. They cause maximum damage, which means that they spread through every single layer of skin and fat. With these types of burns, the muscle or even bone may be damaged. The affected skin and area of this infliction may appear to be charred black or white, and the skin may have a leathery texture to it. Burn injury victims may develop serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing and a lack of pain. Many people assume that third-degree burns would be the most painful due to them being extremely severe. However, they are actually the least painful of burns because the nerve endings in the area are most likely destroyed in these cases.
Third-degree burns require medical attention in order for them to heal properly. If one suspects they have been suffered a third-degree burn, they should call 911 immediately. These types of wounds tend to come with life-threatening complications such as infections, shock and the loss of large amounts of blood. These burns also carry a risk of serious conditions like tetanus, hypothermia, and hypovolemia.
Compensation For Burn Injuries
If your burn injury has been caused by the negligent actions of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. If you choose to pursue a claim you could receive damages for financial losses and emotional hardships you've endured due to this injury. If your case is taken to court, you could be able to recover the following damages for:
- Hospital fees
- Pain and suffering
- Surgical fees
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy/rehabilitation
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Ambulance fees
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of earning potential
Experienced Peoria, Illinois Burn Injury Attorneys
You shouldn't have to deal all the costs associated with a burn injury if the incident wasn't your fault. Contact the attorneys at Benassi & Benassi for a consultation and a chance at recovering the damages owed to you.