Millions of individuals across the country suffer burn injuries each year. Fortunately, the vast majority of these cases involve minor burns, such as sunburns or cooking injuries. Such injuries can be painful, but are easily and safely treated at home and perhaps carry the benefit of teaching a lesson about sunbathing or carelessness in the kitchen. Of the one million individuals with severe enough burns to require medial attention each year, 45,000 are hospitalized and 4,500 die as a result of their injuries. These numbers indicate how widespread and common burn injuries are, but also how deadly serious they can be when severe. While in California the dangers of wildfires grab the headlines, most serious burns have far less sensational causes.
There are four causes of burns:
- Heat – the body is exposed to hot objects or liquids
- Electricity – electricity flows through the body
- Radiation – ultraviolet radiation (sunlight or another source) damages the body
- Chemicals – the body is exposed to strong acids or alkaloids
There are three classifications of burn severity, based on the depth of the burn:
- First-degree burns damage only the first or outer layer of skin, with redness and potential swelling.
- Second-degree burns penetrate to the second layer of skin and cause blistering, swelling, and a great deal more pain. Second-degree burns can also result in scarring.
- Third-degree burns are exponentially more serious and potentially damaging that either first- or second-degree. While the latter two affect at most the first two layers of skin, third-degree burns affect all layers of skin as well as, potentially, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, and even bone. Third-degree burns always require medical attention.
In cases of severe or extensive burns, the injury is often assessed in terms of percentage of the body affected. 15-20% for an adult is a major injury, and recovery is a long and painful process of skin grafting, reconstructive surgeries, and rehabilitation. When severe burns cause death, it is mostly often caused by infection, as the damage to the skin leaves the body unprotected. An individual who finds him/herself with a severe burn as a result of work or the negligent or intentional acts of another may be entitled to legal action under personal injury law, but will need an experienced Los Angeles burn injury attorney.
If you or someone you love is in need of legal assistance, call Sheridan & Rund, at 310-640-1200, toll free at 888-640-6789, or contact us online. Our initial burn injury consultation is absolutely free, and if our firm agrees to handle your case, our Los Angeles burn injury attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. You pay nothing out of pocket until our firm retrieves the compensation you deserve. It is imperative you contact our firm today because a lawsuit must be filed before the legal expiration date known as the statute of limitations. Please call Los Angeles attorneys Sheridan & Rund immediately to ensure you are rightfully compensated the money you deserve.