Burns can range from minor to severe, first degree to fourth degree. Where someone is severely burned as a consequence of the carelessness or recklessness of others, those responsible may be held accountable in the civil justice system. Examples of situations where someone may be severely burned in an accident caused by negligence include large car or truck accidents causing flammable liquids to ignite, chemical spills, explosions, and unsafe premises. It is important to contact a personal injury lawyer to review your case. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement and lost income. Call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500 for a free consultation.
Burns are categorized according to degrees, or how many layers of skin and tissue the burn affects, ranging from first degree (more minor) to fourth degree (most severe). An example of a first-degree burn is a mild sunburn. Only the top skin layer is affected, and can easily be treated at home with aloe, other soothing lotion or a cold compress. An example of a second-degree burn is scalding from hot water. Whereas a sunburn, or first-degree burn, may cause the skin to peel, a second-degree burn may have a deep redness to it, appear wet and shiny and be painful to the touch. According to the University of Virginia Health System, as long as the second-degree burn covers less than 10% of the body, it can be treated without hospitalization.
Third and fourth degree burns, however, are more severe and require immediate medical attention. Deeper layers of skin and nerve endings have been affected, and in the case of fourth degree burns, ligaments, tendons, bones, blood vessels and other organs may be severely damaged, leading to catastrophic damage to the hypodermis. Third and fourth degree burns may require extensive surgeries and skin grafts to repair, along with extended hospital stays and monitoring for infection. If muscles, tendons or ligaments are damaged, physical therapy may also be required in order to regain normal strength and use. Burns of this sort are extremely painful and permanent injuries, leaving permanent physical, as well as emotional scarring.
The American Burn Association reports 4,000 fire and burn deaths per year, 500 of which are the result of car and truck accidents, aircraft crashes, chemical spills and electricity. The American Burn Association also reports 40,000 hospital admissions relating to burns, more than of which are admitted to hospitals with burn units. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe burn as the result of someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced burn injury lawyer in Chicago about your case. Call Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500 for a free consultation.