How Serious Is Your Burn Injury?
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), around 450,000 people sought medical help in 2011 after suffering a burn. In some cases, the burn injuries were minor and healed on their own. In other cases, the burns had devastating consequences. In fact, 45,000 of those who sought treatment as a result of a burn had to be hospitalized, and around 3,500 died from burns.
Whether you require hospitalization as a result of a burn injury will depend upon the severity of the burn. Electrical burns and chemical burns, as well as burns from fires and scalding, can all result in injuries that are both painful and very expensive to treat.
New Jersey law allows burn injury victims and their family members to recover compensation if a burn injury or death has occurred due to a workplace accident or the negligence of another.
To learn more about your legal rights and whether you are entitled to damages, contact an experienced New Jersey burn injury lawyer at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Call us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or complete our online form. Your initial consultation is free, and we will not charge for our legal services unless we recover for you.
The Severity of Your Burn Injury
When a burn injury occurs, the severity of the injury is based on how deeply the burn penetrates. Burns are classified into different degrees of severity:
- First-degree burns are the most minor. Only the top layer of skin is impacted. You may experience swelling, redness and pain, but no permanent scarring should result. Unless the burn covers a substantial portion of the face, hands, feet, major joints or buttocks, medical intervention may not be necessary. You can treat the burn by running it under cold water and covering it with a loose bandage.
- Second-degree burns are more than just superficial. The second layer of skin is penetrated. Second degree burns result in red skin and could cause blistering. You may experience significant pain, requiring a trip to the hospital or a doctor. Although some second degree burns can be treated without medical intervention, you are at risk of going into shock due to the pain. Infection is also a possibility. The injury should be closely monitored.
- Third-degree burns penetrate the skin and affect the nerves. You may feel numbness due to nerve death. However, you may also experience significant pain in areas surrounding the burn. It is likely you will go into shock as the result of a third-degree burn. You will also need immediate medical help. Medical care can include antibiotics, pain medications, IV fluids, bandaging and surgical removal of dead tissue. Scarring is likely. Skin grafts may be necessary.
- Fourth-degree burns penetrate beyond the skin and nerves to impact underlying muscles and bones. These burns are an extreme medical emergency. You must get medical help right away. These burns often cause death and always cause severe skin damage. Those who survive fourth degree burns will likely need extensive skin grafts.
- Fifth-degree and sixth-degree burns destroy everything between the skin and the bone. The burn actually penetrates the bone. These burns are almost always diagnosed during an autopsy. In the unlikely event that they are not fatal, immediate amputation of the affected area of the body is usually required.
Those who experience serious burn injuries may seek assistance at urgent care clinics or from doctors, hospitals or burn centers. According to the ABA, 68 percent of individuals who seek treatment at burn centers are burned in their home. Ten percent of victims seeking treatment at burn centers are injured as a result of a workplace accident, while seven percent are hurt on the highways or streets. The remaining 15 percent suffer their burns in other environments.
Get Legal Help from a New Jersey Burn Injury Lawyer
Because of the difficulty of repairing damage to the skin, nerves and muscles, burn injuries are among the most difficult injuries to treat. Unfortunately, it is often impossible for a victim to make a full recovery. Multiple surgeries, including painful skin grafts, are often necessary. Permanent disfigurement is a likely result.
Burn injuries can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. Sadly, many families also experience significant loss when a loved one dies as a result of a burn injury.
At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., our dedicated New Jersey burn injury lawyers have extensive experience representing victims injured due to fires, chemical burns, electrical burns and other burn accidents. We have also handled cases involving burn injuries to children and exploding gas tanks and car fuel tanks.
To learn more about how we can help you recover money you need and deserve from those who caused your burn injury, call us today at 1-800-LAW-2000 or complete our online form. We do not charge for our initial consultation, and you will not pay for our legal services unless we recover for you.