A serious burn causes so much more than a physical injury. In addition to the lasting pain, scarring, and possible disfigurement, burns can cause emotional trauma for a lifetime. It’s also not just the victim who suffers from the effects of a burn. Family members also feel the impact in their lives. When a person is severely burned because of someone’s negligent actions, we can help. We welcome you to contact Gay & Chacker to speak with an experienced Philadelphia burn injury lawyer. During your free consultation, you’ll discuss how we can help you get answers and hold those parties accountable for the devastation they have caused you and your loved ones.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
The American Burn Association, which has compiled data from health data systems, reported that 486,000 burn injuries received medical treatment in the ER between 2011 and 2015. Common causes of burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns. Contact with hot surfaces or liquids, steam, or fire can cause thermal burns. The most common type of burn injury, 86 percent of patients requiring burn center admission have thermal burns. Hair styling tools such as curling irons as well as heaters, stoves, irons, gasoline, and fireworks are the most common products that cause thermal burns among children ages 14 and younger.
- Fires. In addition to causing severe burns, fires can also lead to death and injury by smoke inhalation. In 2018 alone, 15,200 people suffered injuries in a fire-related incident. The same year, 3,655 people died.
- Scalds from hot liquids and steam. Children are at a particularly high risk of suffering burns from scalding water and other liquids. Sixty-five percent of children ages four and under who are hospitalized for burn injuries suffer from scald burns.
- Electricity. Each year, electric injury accounts for 1,000 deaths in the U.S. In addition to burn injuries, people can suffer electric shock and life-threatening electrocution.
- Chemicals. The most common areas of the body that suffer chemical burns requiring hospitalization are the skin and eyes.
Careless or negligent behavior can lead to burn injuries in a variety of situations, such as:
- Poor maintenance in the home involving appliances, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc.
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Unsafe workplace environments
- Defective products or those that come without adequate burn warnings
In many of these cases, the burn injuries that occurred were preventable, but the building owner, employer, or a product manufacturer acted carelessly. Knowing that someone’s negligence led to these incidents makes them all the more devastating.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burns are categorized by severity. Each degree requires more treatment and will likely lead to more permanent damage.
First-degree burns only impact the outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, dry, and painful. There are no blisters, and there is rarely long-term tissue damage.
Also called partial-thickness burns, second-degree burns affect the top layer of skin as well as the dermis below it. The burn site has blisters and is red, swollen, and painful.
Third-degree burns destroy the top layer of skin, the dermis, and possibly also the tissue below. The burn site could be black, white, or charred.
In addition to impacting all layers of skin, fourth-degree burns affect deeper tissue such as muscle, tendons, and bone. The nerve endings are destroyed, causing loss of feeling in the area.
Emotional Injuries Caused by Burns
A person who has been burned has dealt with an extremely traumatic experience. He or she may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other lasting emotional effects. Disfigurement, scarring, and disability can change the course of a person’s life and impact their ability to enjoy hobbies and take on daily activities. The severity of the injuries and necessity of long-term treatment can impact family life and relationships, which makes the whole situation feel even worse. People with severe burn injuries may need psychiatric treatment to help manage the emotional impact.
Compensation for Burn Injuries Caused by Negligence
A person who suffers a severe burn will require extensive treatment. In addition to emergency medical attention, burn injuries will require long-term care, therapy, and treatments. When someone else is responsible for a person’s burn injuries, they should be held accountable for covering the victim’s losses, also known as damages.
When filing a burn injury claim, victims often seek compensation for the following:
- Related medical care
- Lost past and future income
- Disfigurement and disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the incident
If you or a family member has suffered a burn injury caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, our dedicated attorneys can fight for your rights. Contact our firm at (215) 567-7955 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. When we speak with you, we will get all the facts and hear your concerns. An experienced Philadelphia burn injury lawyer will explain the legal processes involved and provide sound advice for moving forward with legal action. As we build the strongest claim for you, we will work tirelessly to get you maximum compensation with as little stress on you as possible.
Contact a Philadelphia Burn Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
For more 50 years, the Philadelphia law firm of Gay & Chacker has represented injured people and the families of those who died as a result of negligence. Contact our firm at (215) 567-7955 to learn more about how we can help if you or your family member suffered burns. There is no risk or obligation when you call. We charge you no legal fees unless we recover compensation for your damages.