Few accidents are as painful or debilitating as a burn injury, and such an accident can leave profound emotional trauma as well. Fires, chemicals, and electricity can all leave a victim with massive tissue damage. They often endure complications such as chronic pain, loss of mobility or limb use, severe scarring, and vulnerability to infection are all common. And these accidents can be caused by a huge variety of hazards. Vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, defective products, and environmental hazards are all frequent sources of such injuries, and they are preventable as long as others are observing proper safety measures.
HOW SERIOUS CAN A BURN INJURY BE?
These accidents are measured on a scale, ranging from first to fourth degree, according to the depth of tissue damage. For example, a first-degree burn causes damage only to the epidermis and is often caused by overexposure to the sun. Second and third-degree damage is most common during a vehicle or workplace accident and involves tissue damage that extends to and through the dermis. In severe third-degree accidents, the tissue damage may extend below the skin to fat and lining tissues. Fourth-degree accidents cause the worst instances of damage, and this is when muscle and bone damage is involved.
A burn injury is often extremely painful, and this pain may last to some degree after the tissue has healed the best it can. If nerve damage is present, numbness or loss of limb use may occur. Affected parts of the body are also compromised to some degree immunologically, so they often act as a vector for disease and infection.
Scarring, though, is the most visible aspect of a burn, and can be severely disfiguring. Cosmetic surgery, such as skin grafting, can restore a person’s appearance to some measure, but the gains are often limited and can take several operations to realize. And with additional surgeries comes added expenses.
HOW IS A BURN INJURY HANDLED IN SETTLEMENTS?
These accidents are often weighed heavily on the side of the victim, as their potential for emotional and physical harm is almost unmatched. A superheated beverage, an overfilled propane tank, an exposed bit of wiring, or a poorly designed tea kettle can all present a danger. If a victim pursues a claim against the responsible party, they may be able to recoup significant damages.
In addition to medical and immediate physical damages available for restitution, victims can also seek damages for any long-term or emotional damage suffered as a result of an accident. If the injury has left scarring on the face or other clearly visible part of the body, for example, the victim may be able to receive additional compensation due to the emotional toll. A personal injury attorney can be particularly helpful when negotiating a settlement for long-term or emotional damages, as they will be able to assess them accurately and ensure the victim gets everything they are owed for their suffering.
A burn injury has the potential to change a victim’s life forever, and when carelessness is the cause of one, the responsible party must answer for their negligence.