4 Types of Burn Injuries
Getting burned can be seriously devastating. The pain may be affecting your daily activities. If you are angered by your injury, you may want to know how you can be compensated. Here are four types of burn injuries that may be eligible for a personal injury claim.
While the skin (the body’s largest organ) is generally resilient and heals quickly in most cases, burns can be an exception. Burns can cause long-lasting pain and leave you seriously disfigured. Severe burns can require expensive medical treatment. Pain from a burn can make it difficult for you to do your job, and if you’re seeking a job, disfigurement from a burn can be a very real barrier to employment, sapping your confidence and triggering bias. It’s important to understand the types and classifications of burns, and the ways in which you might be entitled to compensation.
Everyone knows what a sunburn feels like: skin turns red and becomes sensitive to the slightest touch. If you spend a day outside and come home with a sunburn, you have only yourself to blame. However, if a caregiver leaves a child or an elderly person in the sun too long due to carelessness, the child or elderly person might be entitled to compensation. If you were burned in a tanning bed, you might also be able to pursue a successful claim, depending on the frequency, scope, and detail of any warnings, and in any case of faulty equipment.
You can also burn your skin from direct exposure to high temperatures – for example, touching a stove. The most famous example of a personal injury case resulting from a thermal burn is Liebeck v. McDonald’s (1994), in which a 49-cent cup of coffee led to an undisclosed settlement probably between $400-600,000. While the “hot coffee” case remains controversial, still the poster child for tort reform more than 20 years later, it offers valuable lessons about claims for thermal burns. Liebeck’s attorneys won the case in part because the jury deemed the coffee to be unreasonably and dangerously hot, and the warning on the cup to be inadequate. If you’ve suffered a thermal burn, dangerous temperatures, unsafe conditions, and inadequate warnings could all entitle you to a claim.
Most chemical burns result from household products like bleach, chlorine, and other cleaning solutions. These burns can be devastating, affecting the deepest layers of your skin.
Electric burns result from high-voltage electricity traveling through the body. Lightning could be a cause, but more commonly electrical burns come from contact with an electrical outlet, wire, or appliance. Beyond burns, enough voltage could damage internal organs and even cause the heart to stop. The most severe electrical burns usually occur in a construction or industrial site.
There are also three classifications, or degrees, of burns:
- First Degree: These are superficial, damaging only the top layer of skin (the epidermis: e.g. sunburn).
- Second Degree: These burns extend into the second layer of skin (the dermis).
- Third Degree: These burns damage the epidermis, dermis, and fatty tissue beneath the skin. Third degree burns cause damage to the skin’s nerve endings and could result in permanent disfigurement. Third degree burns require long-term, painful treatment.
If you have been burned, consult with an attorney who can help you get compensation for your damages. Friedman and Ranzenhofer have the experience and dedication that you need