While everyone knows what a burn injury is, not everyone is aware of how many different types there are, how common and devastating they are, or how negligence can result in this form of personal injury. If you have been burned by a hot surface, a fire, boiling water, chemical exposure, or anything else, and if that incident occurred due to someone else’s negligence, then you may have a valid personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Burn injuries are among the most common types of injuries that people experience in the US and among the most disabling in many cases. The CDC reports that there are more than a million burn injuries that need to be medically treated every year, with more than 50,000 hospitalizations for treatment.
Burn Injuries by Type and Severity
There are three types of burn injury, based on severity, that can be caused by hot surfaces, chemicals, electrical sources, boiling liquids, and much more. These are first degree, second degree, and third degree burns.
First degree burns are painful, but are not as severe as the other two types, and may not always require medical attention. They are defined as affecting the first layer of skin, and they cause the affected area to become red in color and in some cases, to swell. With a first-degree burn, you may be able to treat the injury on your own with cool water or an ointment. However, if you have any doubts at all, it is wise to seek medical care.
Second-degree burns are more severe and involve damage to the top two layers of your skin. Like first-degree burns, they are associated with redness of the affected area and swelling, though these burns can also cause blistering and a greater amount of pain. Second-degree burns should be treated by a medical professional.
Third-degree burns are the most serious and often cause damage to much more than just the skin. These burns go through all of your skin layers and proceed to damage what’s underneath, including your muscles, nerves, etc. Such burns are not associated with general redness and blistering, but with skin that is charred or leathery in appearance and feel. Further, you may not experience any pain at the site of a third degree burn injury, because of the associated nerve damage. You should never try to treat a third-degree burn on your own; seek immediate and urgent medical attention. A third-degree burn often requires a call to 911.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries in North and South Carolina
There are many ways that you or someone you love could suffer a burn. Of course, direct contact with fire is one way to sustain a burn injury, and this can happen in a home, in an auto accident, or by accidentally getting too close to bon fire, for example. Direct contact with boiling liquids is also a common cause of burns, though similar burns can occur from hot food or even hot steam. Then, there are the common hot surface burns, such as direct contact with a hot stove, hot metal, hot glass, or anything else that reaches a high temperature.
Beyond these commonly-referenced burn injuries, however, there are many other sources of serious burn injuries in North and South Carolina. For example, you can be burned by an electrical current, by ultraviolet light, by toxic chemicals, and by radiation. Ultraviolet light burns are a common injury from tanning beds or even the sun. Toxic chemical burns are often caused by such substances as gasoline or acid. Radiation burns can be caused by X-Ray machines or by treatment methods for illnesses like cancer.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Seek Damages for Your Burn Injury?
If you’ve sustained a burn injury on someone else’s property or through someone else’s negligence, then you may need an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney to seek damages. Burn injuries are frequently caused by the negligence of businesses (such as hotels and restaurants), homeowners, or manufacturers of defective products. In such circumstances, Elrod Pope Law Firm is prepared to help you in your pursuit of compensation from the at-fault party. We know that a burn injury can be devastating and can have an immeasurable impact on your present life as well as your future wellbeing. We’re happy to provide a free consultation and help you to seek compensation in a personal injury claim in North or South Carolina. Call us today.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.