The American Burn Association reports that over 450,000 burn injuries requiring medical treatment occur every year (source). While minor household burns are common, being exposed to a hot or acidic substance for a few too many seconds can have severe health consequences. When burn injuries are bad enough, they may even cause death.
Most people experiencing burns do live to tell about it. However, bad burns require immediate and long-term medical care for a patient to recover at all. Full recovery from a severe burn can take years, and in these cases, their effects last forever. Brain damage, nerve damage, limb loss, disfigurement, and scarring are all common after a severe burn injury. Emotional disturbances, like depression and post traumatic stress disorder, are also common.
The severe nature of a burn injury means a victim may be out of work for months or years. In bad cases, he or she may be never able to work again. If you or a loved one are a victim of burn injury in Los Angeles, and the cause of your condition was another person’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The experts at Grey Law can help. Our lawyers are experienced in helping victims of all kinds of burn injuries.
Severe Burn Causes
Many kinds of accidents can result in severe burns. Car accidents, plane crashes, acid spills, fires, and electric shock can all cause extremely bad burns. Burns are divided into three categories when it comes to their source: thermal burns, electric burns, and chemical burns.
• Thermal burns are the most common, and occur when skin comes too close to a heat source. When exposed to high heat, skin immediately dies. Thermal burns are classified according to the degree of damage caused.
In a first degree burn, only the first layer of skin dies and medical attention is typically not required. Longer exposure to the heat source or higher heat can cause second degree burns, where lower layers of skin die. Most of the time, these burns heal on their own, but some require medical attention. Third degree burns are the most extreme type of thermal burn, and require immediate medical attention. Several layers of skin die, and muscles and organs may die as well. Fire, hot surfaces, boiling liquids, and steam cause thermal burns.
• Chemical burns are caused by contact with harsh chemicals. You can sustain a chemical burn from a regular household cleaner. Solvents and acids can cause burns when exposed to the eyes or skin. Chemical burns are characterized by being extremely painful and difficult to treat.
• Electrical burns are another common hazard in the home. If your home or workplace is unsafe as a result of your landlord’s or somebody else’s negligence, you may be exposed to an electrical current. Direct contact with electricity can cause deep and painful burns.
When treating a severe burn, doctors must remove the damaged and dead tissue. They leave whatever tissue they can in the hope it will be able to heal. Sometimes, this tissue is too damaged to heal on its own, and skin grafts are needed.
Burn victims require intensive physical therapy as soon as possible to retain use of the burned parts of their bodies. Failing to use burned tissue for too long can make it permanently immobile. Burn injury victims can face years of rehabilitation.
If not treated promptly, burn injuries can result in lasting consequences. When skin and tissue death aren’t treated, they can spread and kill previously healthy organs. Dead tissue also attracts infection when not removed, which can be fatal.
Don’t let the medical bills from a burn injury cause more pain and suffering. If you experienced burn injury in Los Angeles, contact Grey Law today.