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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Monday, November 19, 2018

Understanding Burn Injuries

Burns are painful. However, burns can cause life-threatening conditions, scarring, disfigurement, and disability. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a burn to reduce the risk of permanent impairment. Your physician can help you understand your treatment options. It is also important to seek legal counsel from experienced Texas burn injury attorneys who can explain your legal options for recovering compensation from the party who caused the burn injury.

What Types of Burn Injuries Can Be Caused by an Accident?

Several types of burns may give rise to a personal injury claim. Thermal burns are caused by heat sources coming into contact with the skin such as flames, hot metal, or steam. Radiation burns are caused by exposure to radiation sources or ultraviolet rays. Burns from exposure to acids, detergents, solvents, and other dangerous materials can cause chemical burns. Exposure to an electrical current can result in electrical burns.

The type of burn and the severity of the burn determine the treatment plan for the accident victim.

What are the Classifications of Burns?

Burns are classified into four categories based on the level of damage the burn causes to the skin. Victims who suffer a third degree burn often sustain permanent scarring and disfigurements. For some accident victims, a burn can cause a secondary condition that could result in a permanent disability or death.

  • First Degree Burns — A first degree burn is the least serious burn because it only damages the outer layer of the skin or the epidermis. The burn may cause mild pain, redness, and dryness.
  • Second Degree Burns — A second degree burn causes damage to the dermis, which is the layer of skin below the outer layer. Many burn victims notice blistering, swelling, pain, and redness in the area of the burn. A second degree burn may be treated with antibiotic creams and other ointments prescribed by a doctor, along with medication for the pain. To avoid infections and other secondary conditions, you should see a doctor if you believe you have suffered a second degree burn.
  • Third Degree Burns — A third degree burn penetrates through the outer layers of skin to cause damage through both layers of skin. The burn is characterized by brown, black, white, or yellow skin. There will be very little pain because the burn has damaged the nerve endings.
  • Fourth Degree Burns — The fourth degree burn is the deepest and most serious of all burns. Fourth degree burns can cause permanent disabilities and life-threatening conditions. In some cases, the burn can damage muscles, bones, and tendons in addition to the layers of skin.

How are Burn Injuries Treated?

The treatment of the burn depends on the severity of the burn. Minor burns, such as first and second degree burns, may be treated at home. However, if a minor burn does not respond to treatment or covers an area larger than three inches, you should see a doctor. Of course, if you are in doubt, go to the doctor to make sure that you are treating the burn correctly.

If a burn is deep, covers more than a 3-inch area of the body, the skin appears charred, or the skin is dry and leathery, call 911 immediately. A medical professional should treat major burns. Prompt medical attention is the best way to decrease the risk of death or permanent impairment from a major burn.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) provides detailed information on how to treat a minor or first degree burn on its website. The AAD advises individuals to go to the emergency room immediately for any burn more serious than a first degree burn or when the victim is elderly or an infant.

Contact Our Texas Burn Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Review

Burn injuries can change a person’s life forever. The damages from a burn injury include physical, emotional, and financial losses. For some burn victims, they may never recover fully from a burn injury. For other victims, partial recovery may only come after years of painful reconstructive surgery.

Let our Texas burn injury attorneys help you file the necessary claims to protect your legal right to receive the compensation you deserve for your burn injury. The money will not undo the damage, but it can help pay for necessary treatment and expenses. Call today to schedule a consult.

 


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