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Burn Injuries – What You Need to Know

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Burn injuries are among the leading causes of unintentional injuries and deaths in the country today. Every year, thousands of people are killed and tens of thousands more are severely injured as a result of burn injuries, many of which are caused as a result of someone’s negligence.

Types of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can be broadly classified into four types based on their severity – first degree burns, second degree burns, third degree burns, and fourth degree burns.

First Degree Burns

These are mild, superficial burns that are not serious in nature and only affect the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. The injured portion of the skin tends to be red for three to five days, after which time it heals without leaving any scars.

Second Degree Burns

These are more serious than first degree burns and damage the epidermis (the first layer) and the dermis (the second layer) of your skin. The injured portion of the skin appears red and swollen with blisters. These types of burns also cause your skin to thicken to some extent, which is why they are also called partial thickness burns.

Second degree burn injuries can take anywhere from two to four weeks to heal completely. The injured portion of the skin usually grows back after a while, except in cases where it gets infected. 

Third Degree Burns

These are severe burns that tend to damage the epidermis, dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue. The injured portion of the skin might appear charred, waxy, white, black, or dark brown in color, depending on the nature and extent of the burn injury. The burned portion of the skin also tends to be thick with a leathery texture.

The damage caused by third degree burns can be extensive. So, skin grafting is needed in a vast majority of cases.

Fourth Degree Burns

These are the most serious types of burns you can suffer. They can damage your skin, tendons, nerves, and muscles. In some cases, the damage can extend to your bones as well. The damage caused by these burns is usually permanent and irreversible. So, the damaged body part might have to be amputated in most cases.

Contrary to what many people think, fourth degree burns are not painful. Since your nerve endings are severely damaged in these types of injuries, you might not be able to feel any pain.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

  • Flame burns are caused as a result of accidental contact with fire or flame.
  • Flash burns are caused as a result of the immense heat generated by an explosion involving flammable gas or liquids. They can also be caused as a result of an intense flash of light in some cases.
  • Scalds are caused as a result of accidental contact with extremely hot liquids or steam.
  • Contact burns are caused as a result of accidental contact with an extremely hot surface.
  • Grease burns are caused as a result of accidental contact with hot grease.
  • Electrical burns are caused as a result of accidental contact with electricity.
  • Chemical burns are caused as a result of accidental contact with corrosive substances like concentrated acids and alkalis.
  • Inhalation burns are caused as a result of inhaling smoke, harmful vapors, and irritants.

Consequences of Burn Injuries

Second and third degree burn injuries can be extremely painful and can take a long time to heal. Severe burn injuries to your face and other parts your upper body can leave you disfigured and adversely impact your personal, professional, and social life.

If your tendons, nerves, and muscles are badly damaged as a result of a burn injury, the injured body part might have to be amputated, leaving you with a lifelong disability. As a result, your earning capacity might be severely reduced. In some cases, you might be rendered permanently incapable of working ever again.

The costs of treating burn injuries can also be substantial. Apart from the expenses associated with treating the injury itself, you might also have to spend a significant amount of money on rehabilitation, therapy, and cosmetic surgery.

Burn Injury Lawyers in Louisville, Kentucky

If you or someone in your family has suffered burn injuries due to the carelessness of a third party, you have the right to recover compensatory damages from them.

The personal injury lawyers of John H. Ruby & Associates have successfully represented numerous burn injury victims in Kentucky over the years. We know how painful it can be for you – physically as well as emotionally – to deal with a severe burn. We can file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf against the parties at fault and ensure that you are fully compensated for the damages you incurred in the accident.

You can contact our attorneys at 502-895-2626 or message us online for a free consultation today.