You can treat minor burn injuries, but other injuries cause lasting damage to your bones, muscles, or skin. It may require long-term medical care. The kind of burn injury you experience often depends on how severely your skin has been damaged and what caused it. Burn injuries often hurt a few layers of your skin. Deeper burn injuries may damage your bones, tissues, and muscles.
According to the World Health Organization, burn injuries are a global public health problem, causing an estimated 180,000 deaths annually. Non-fatal burns are the leading cause of morbidity, including temporary and permanent disability, disfigurement, or prolonged hospitalization. It often leads to rejection and stigma.
Common Causes of Severe Burn Injuries
Open flames are one of the standard causes of people getting burned, but there are other causes, too, including:
You can suffer thermal burns from touching an extremely hot object. “Hot” things can range from scalding liquid, steam, fire, and more.
Your exposure to X-rays, UV rays, or other sources of radiation can cause radiation burns. On top of that, overexposure to the sun’s UV rays is also one of the leading causes of radiation burns. Such burns can be noticed from days to weeks as compared to thermal burns which can be immediately seen.
Using harmful detergents, substances, acids, or solvents without any protective gear can result in chemical burns. Additionally, misuse of household products, including cleaning solutions, is another leading cause of this problem. Handling strong chemicals or acids at the workplace, especially in industrial settings, can also cause chemical burns.
You can also suffer from electrical burns if your skin comes into contact with electricity. It can happen when you don’t turn off the circuit breaker when repairing appliances, children play with electrical cords, or if you touch exposed wiring from a device. Electrical burns can be either a superficial skin injury or a serious one that damages the organs and tissues.
Different Types of Severe Burn Injuries
Doctors have categorized burn injuries based on how deeply your skin has been damaged, labeling them as “degrees.” You can suffer a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree burn. The more serious the burn injury is, the higher the degree.
First-degree burns are superficial injuries that only affect the upper layer of your skin. Swelling, itchiness, and redness of the skin are some of the symptoms you can get. In a few days, you may even notice skin peeling from the affected area
Second-degree burns are not as superficial as the first level because it damages the upper two layers of the skin. It can result from contact with boiling water, exposure to fire, or severe exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Depending on the affected area, its symptoms can include intense pain, discoloration, moisture, and blisters.
Doctors also call these injuries “full-thickness burns.” It damages the fat tissues underneath the skin and the upper two layers. Your skin will look charred and appear black, brown, or white. You may also feel a dry, leathery texture if you touch the damaged area.
Fourth-degree burns damage the upper layers of your muscles, nerves, tissues, and skin. Your skin can also have a charred appearance, and bones can also be exposed. You won’t feel any discomfort because the injury may have seriously damaged the nerves.
Prevention Tips Against Severe Burn Injuries
You can always prevent burn injuries in different ways. Burn prevention strategies should address the other dangers associated with specific injuries, training communities in first aid. It should focus on educating the particular population and group that’s more susceptible to these injuries.
But you don’t have to depend on those kinds of strategies. Here are a few things you can do at home to lessen the chances of suffering from severe burn injuries.
Set the thermostat’s temperature low.
Your water heater’s thermostat should only be at 120 F (48.9 C) or lower.
Be careful not to spill hot beverages.
Don’t cook, drink, or carry hot meals or beverages while taking care of your child. You should also keep those away from tables and countertops.
Don’t forget to unplug your appliances.
Home appliances, like the iron, will get extremely hot. You should remember to unplug appliances to stop them from starting a fire or burning other people, especially children.
Make sure your food isn’t hot.
Be careful with beverages or meals warmed in a microwave oven. There are also objects that you can’t put in a microwave oven because they can’t warm up evenly.
Use covers for your outlets or sockets.
Make sure to use safety caps for electrical outlets and sockets. You should also repair damaged, brittle, or frayed cords.
Compensation for Severe Burn Injuries
One example of economic damages is lost income. It may refer to lost income since the accident and the income you may be expected to lose in the future if permanent injuries affect your work from now on. You can be compensated for out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the injury. You can also claim payment for medical treatments expected in the future and past medical bills.
Non-economic damages may refer to pain and suffering resulting from the recovery, injury, or accident. It can also affect your relationship with other people. Emotional and mental anguish caused by accidents or injuries is also a part of non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages. It’s awarded to stop the defendant and others from causing the similar accident that gave rise to the lawsuit. Punitive damages punish the defendant for their actions. Judges use punitive damages to set a public example.
Did you or anyone you know suffered from severe burn injuries? Contact a personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond to help you navigate every step of your case. We can represent you to ensure that you receive the compensatory benefits you deserve.
Soak the burned area in cool water to relieve the pain immediately. Seek medical attention promptly.
Consult With A Severe Burn Injury Lawyer
Getting severe burn injuries can be traumatic. It can also take a long time to heal. Your injuries can significantly affect your daily lifestyle, which is why you should reach out to a burn injury lawyer. Contact Diamond & Diamond to get your case started and get the compensation you deserve.
Severe Burn Injuries FAQs
What are the common complications of severe burn injuries?
Severe burn injuries may cause complications, including:
- Joint and bone problems: It may include when scar tissues cause the tightening and shortening of tendons, muscles, and skin.
- Ridged areas or scars caused by an overgrowth of scar tissues
- breathing problems from the intake of smoke or hot air
- Dangerously low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Fluid loss such as low blood volume (hypovolemia)
- Bacterial infections that lead to bloodstream infection (sepsis)
Is there a statute of limitations for severe burn injury cases?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases which include severe burn injury cases. Under the Ontario Limitations Act, the general statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of discovery of the claim. A lawsuit filed after the expiration of two years is subject to dismissal by the court.
A severe burn injury case may constitute a personal injury case in the event that the injury was caused by negligence of other parties.
What happens if I am partially responsible for my severe burn injuries?
Your settlement depends on who was responsible for the burn injury. One party may be ultimately responsible, or the victim may be partially at fault. Often, the responsibility for compensating a victim can be split or reduced among different parties accordingly.