A severe burn injury often causes overwhelming pain and disfigurement that may entail a long difficult process of surgeries and rehabilitation. The physical challenges posed by severe burns may be equaled by the extreme psychological difficulty of coping with these painful debilitating injuries. More than two and a half million individuals suffer a burn injury annually. Over 600,000 of these burn victims suffer injuries serious enough to need medical treatment, and over 70,000 must be hospitalized. Because of the dramatic impact severe burn injuries can have on a victim of a motor vehicle accident or other traumatic event, our experienced Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Montlick and Associates have provided some key information for those who suffer serious burns in this blog post.
Common Causes of Serious Burn Injuries
If you suffer a serious burn injury caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of an individual, business or public entity, you may have a right to receive compensation for your injuries. Negligence in the simplest sense is a legal term to describe unreasonable conduct that results in foreseeable injury or harm.
Burn injuries are often caused by a broad spectrum of negligent conduct in an array of environments. If your burn is the product of negligence, which is really nothing more than unreasonable carelessness, you may have a legal right to compensation for your injuries. While burn injuries frequently are the result of a structural fire, motor vehicle accident or defective product, there is really a vast number of specific causes of burn injuries including:
- Structural/Building Fires: These fires may be the result of faulty construction that violates building codes and/or substandard wiring. A fire in a residential or commercial structure can also be caused by a wide range of other negligent practices such as inattention while cooking or smoking.
- Improperly Treated Clothing: When clothing is placed next to any source of ignition, there is a risk of clothing catching on fire. Sometimes clothing is not properly manufactured with fire retardant materials or substances to reduce the risk of combustion.
- Defective Products: Some products have manufacturing or design defects that create an unknown fire hazard. Other products may pose a burn risk if used a certain way, and the manufacturer of the product may fail to fulfill its obligation to provide an adequate warning regarding these risks. One of the leading causes of residential fires is defective space heaters. Many brands and models of portable space heaters have been recalled for exactly this reason. Virtually anything in your home that runs on electricity can potentially pose a risk of causing a burn.
- Car Accidents: If you are involved in a collision involving a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle or tractor-trailer, there is always a risk of fire. Because gasoline may leak from the vehicle when you are involved in a collision, it is generally advisable to get as far away from the vehicle as possible if you are physically able to get clear. If you suspect there is a fire under the hood of your vehicle, it is usually not advisable to open the hood because the sudden exposure to increased oxygen may greatly increase the extent of the fire.
- Accidents in an Industrial Setting: Many industrial settings utilize highly flammable chemicals or other substances as well as potentially defective machines that can create a risk of causing a serious burn. Even those in the vicinity of an industrial plant may be placed at risk of suffering a severe burn injury in the event of an explosion.
- Burns from Chemicals: Chemical burns can be extremely painful and can do substantial damage because they may not just burn a victim’s skin but also the underlying muscle tissue and even bone. Chemical burns can be misleading because victims sometimes cannot tell that they have been exposed to a chemical that is causing a burn until serious damage has already been done.
Types of Burn Injuries
There are different kinds of burns that are typically classified by the severity of the burn injury. The least severe type of burn is a first-degree burn. A first-degree burn involves injury only to the epidermis or outer surface of the skin. While the skin will be red and painful, these are typically less severe burns akin to sunburns. A second degree burn is more severe and involves not just the outer surface of the skin but also the dermis, which is the layer of skin beneath the outer surface of the skin. Second-degree burns require treatment to ensure that they do not develop into a third-degree burn. Third-degree burns affect not only both layers of skin impacted by a first or second degree burn but also the hypodermis. These severe injuries actually result in a charring of the skin and take a long time to heal because of the extensive damage to skin tissue and other structures. Third-degree burns also frequently result in significant scarring that can cause disfigurement and may require a course of reconstructive surgeries.
For every minute that goes by, three separate fire departments somewhere in the United States are responding to a fire emergency. If you are one of those victims who were injured in a fire caused by a defective product, negligent driver or poorly constructed dwelling, our Atlanta Burn Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates may be able to help you obtain the compensation you need to obtain reconstructive surgery and maintain the highest quality of life possible following a serious burn injury.
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years of Experience to Work For You!
Our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates invite you to contact us to set up a free consultation if you have specific questions about your legal rights and remedies. Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious personal injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.