According to the American Burn Association, over 450,000 severe burn injuries requiring medical treatment occur yearly. The major causes of such burns usually include burns from fire or flames. According to statistics, 44% of all burn injuries are due to fire or flame burns. Other causes of severe burn injuries include chemical spills, scalding liquids, electrical fires, radiation exposure, and contact with hot objects.
In addition, these burn injuries can happen anywhere — at home, work, in an auto crash, etc. However, many times, burn accidents happen due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. For example, it could result from a defective product, poor electrical wiring, lack of proper premises maintenance, etc.
If someone else caused your burn injuries, you need to speak with your burn injury attorney as quickly as possible. That’s because burn injuries are painful to deal with, and you deserve compensation for the exorbitant medical bills. Usually, the seriousness of your burn injury significantly affects your settlement sums. We’ll discuss how to determine the severity of your burn injuries in this article.
How Do I Determine the Severity of My Burn Injuries?
Burn experts categorize burn injuries in degrees:
First-degree burns are the least severe burn injuries, and doctors refer to them as superficial burns. This burn injury usually doesn’t require medical treatment and can heal in a few to several days. Common symptoms of first-degree burns are pain, blisters, swelling in the affected part, and skin redness.
You can almost always compare first-degree burns with sunburns as they affect just the first layer of skin. Apart from sunburns, other examples of first-degree burns include scalds from hot liquids and electrical appliances.
Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and dermis, the outer and second layers of skin. Therefore, they are more serious than first-degree burns. When they affect only the first and second skin layers, they’re called superficial partial-thickness burns. When they go a bit deeper than that, doctors refer to them as deep partial-thickness burns.
Second-degree burns can take several weeks to heal and may require grafting. This degree of burn may need medical attention, especially when it affects the face, groin, hands, feet, and buttocks. Major symptoms include blisters, pain, scarring, skin redness and swelling, and splotchy skin.
Third-degree burns are severe injuries that can go as deep as the fat layer under the skin. Sometimes, victims may not feel any pain because third-degree burns can damage the nerves. Third-degree burns always require urgent medical treatment.
Doctors strongly advise against treating this type of burn injury at home. Common symptoms of third-degree burns include blisters that don’t develop, char, leathery-looking skin, and numbness. Many third-degree burns will require surgery.
Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and life-threatening injuries ever. Beyond the fat layer, this type of burn injury affects nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones. Some fourth-degree burns may require amputation.
Major symptoms of this burn type include exposed muscles and bones, charred-looking appearance, and numbness. Fourth-degree burn injuries also place victims at a high risk of developing shock.
Other factors that affect the severity of burn injuries include:
- The size of the burn. If the injury affected more than 15% of the body surface (10% in the case of children), it’s pretty severe.
- The body part that was affected. Burn injuries on the hands, genitals, face, and feet are usually severe.
- The cause of the burn injury
- The age of the burn victim
- The victim’s health history. Victims with pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk of sustaining severe burn injuries.
- If the victim suffered other non-burn injuries
Contact the Best Maryland Burn Injury Lawyer Right Now!
Burn injuries can have devastating, life-long physical and psychological effects on victims. The least that any at-fault person can do for burn victims is to provide compensation for them. As such, you don’t have to bear the costs of treating your burn injuries alone. That’s why our personal injury attorneys at Pinder Plotkin, LLC, are available round the clock to help you get the compensation you deserve.
We have the most brilliant, most compassionate, and dedicated burn injury lawyers you can find in Maryland at our law firm. We’ll ensure that you concentrate fully on your recovery while we take up all your legal burdens. So, regardless of the severity of your burn injuries, give us a call immediately for a free case review. We are eager to offer the best help that we can.