According to Medical News Today, there are about 4,000 deaths and more than 745,000 non-hospitalized burn injuries in the US every year. A burn can be a painful and debilitating ordeal, depending on the degree of the injury and its location on the body. There are three types of burns, each more severe than the last:
First-degree burns: Also known as superficial burns. These are burns which affect only the outermost layer of the skin.
Second-degree burns: Also known as partial thickness burns. These are burns which affect the outermost layer of the skin and the layer underneath it.
Third-degree burns: Also known as full thickness burns. These are burns which affect all layers of the skin as well as tissues underneath. These burns often require skin grafts to protect tissue and initiate new skin growth.
There are many causes of burns, but for the purposes of a personal injury case, the most relevant burns are:
Electrical burns: These are burns which occur as a result of direct contact with electricity. Those most commonly affected by these burns are construction and similar workers as they often deal with power lines or in-house electrical wiring.
Thermal/contact burns: These are burns which are caused by contact with fire or flames; for example, on an open stove, a barbecue grill, a house fire, a fireplace, or a fire resulting from a car accident.
Inhalation burns: These are burns or other injuries which come as a consequence of breathing in heat, fire, or smoke. Inhalation of hot air or flames can cause burn damage to nasal passages, the trachea, or the lungs. Smoke inhalation is harder to detect immediately but can lead to serious medical complications, or death, if not properly treated.
First-degree burns and some second degree burns can be self-treated using aloes, antibiotic ointments and pain relief medication. However, if you have experienced a particularly deep or painful burn injury, you should seek medical attention at once. For more information on injuries associated with construction accidents or motor vehicle accidents, please see our article on leg fractures or visit our Personal Injury Law Articles page.