While everyone knows what a burn injury is, that is an injury obtained through contact with something extraordinarily hot, not everyone knows how many different types there are, how common and destructive they are, or how neglect can result in this type 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. Read on to learn more about the different types and severities of burn injuries, how they occur, and when you might need a personal injury attorney to seek damages for your burn injury.
Burn Injuries by Type and Severity
There are three kinds of burn injuries, based on severity, that can be caused by hot surfaces, chemicals, electrical sources, boiling liquids, and many more. These are 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd burns, with first degree being the least severe.
First degree burns are painful, but are not as severe as the other two types, and may not always require medical intervention. They are defined as affecting the first layer of skin, and they cause the affected area to become red in color and in some instances, 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, especially if someone else’s negligence is to blame for the injury or if it occurred on someone else’s property.
Second degree burns are more severe and include damage to the first 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 serious 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 then proceed to damage what’s underneath, including your muscles, nerves, etc. Such burns are not associated with general redness and blistering, like the first two types, 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 injury on your own; but you should seek immediate and urgent medical attention. A third degree burn often requires a call to 911.
Prevalent Causes of Burn Injuries in Kansas City
Many people instantly think of an actual fire when they think of burn injuries, or perhaps coming into contact with a boiling liquid or hot surface. While these are very prevalent causes of burn injuries, there are many others that could occur to you or a loved one. 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 unintentionally getting too close to a bon fire, for example. Direct contact with boiling liquids is also a prevalent cause of burns, though similar burns can result 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.
However, there are many, many other sources of serious burn injuries in Kansas City, in addition to these commonly referenced burn injuries. 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 – with sunburns being a frequent summer occurrence that can end up more severe than you might think. 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?
You may need a personal injury attorney to seek damages if you’ve suffered a burn injury on someone else’s property or through someone else’s negligence. Burn injuries are often caused by the neglect of businesses (such as hotels and restaurants), homeowners, manufacturers of defective products, and are frequently a prominent aspect of auto accident claims. In such instances, the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm 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 unmeasurable impact on your present life as well as your future wellbeing. Our dedicated Kansas City personal injury attorneys are happy to provide a free consultation and help you to seek compensation in a personal injury claim in Kansas City. Call us today.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.