A burn injury can range from minor to severe. Severe burns, especially when they appear on the face or across a large portion of the body, have a life-altering impact. They can come in different degrees and happen in a variety of ways. Treatment options often depend on the severity of the burn, but they can be expensive. In some cases, they can also take years to undergo.
A significant burn injury has the potential to alter your life in an instant. Unfortunately, keeping up with treatment costs and living expenses can be a challenge. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer who handles burn injury cases can help you understand whether you qualify to receive compensation.
An Overview of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries come in many forms and can appear on many parts of the body. Even a burn injury that only covers a small portion of the skin has the potential to leave a significant impact. For example, serious burns on the hands or feet can result in lifelong disability, leaving a victim unable to ever return to work.
In some cases, burn injuries can even cover all or most of the body. Injuries like these can be severely debilitating, often leaving the victim on bed rest for a significant period.
Understanding Burn Classifications
Burn injuries are classified by medical professionals using a scale of degrees ranging from one to three. The grade of a burn identifies how deep the injury goes or how many layers of skin are harmed. The skin has three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous tissue. The more severe a burn, the higher the degree number.
The three types of burns a burn victim can experience are:
- First Degree: Epidermis (top layer) only
- Second Degree: Epidermis and dermis (top and middle layer)
- Third Degree: All three layers of skin are injured
A small burn might have one uniform degree across the surface of the burn. However, when a large area of the body is burned, the degree can vary in different areas. Third-degree burns have the most severe impact; they lead to higher treatment costs and involve a much longer recovery time than first- or second-degree burns.
What Are Some Common Causes of Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries happen to people in a variety of ways. Some happen more often than others, but all accidents that result in burn injuries can have a severe impact and can leave the victim in need of expensive treatment.
Some of the most common accident types that result in burn injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Accidents involving defective products
- Medical malpractice
The risk of experiencing a burn injury depends on what type of accident you were involved in. Motor vehicle accidents always include the possibility of suffering a burn injury.
Some workplaces, like office settings, bring a low risk of experiencing a burn injury. Others, like the construction and food service industries, carry a much higher risk of a workplace burn accident. These workers are often in close proximity to chemicals or equipment that can cause serious burns.
Burn Injury Types
There are four primary types of burn injuries:
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Radiation burns
- Thermal burns
A thermal burn is caused by contact with high heat. This is what most people think of when they hear the term “burn injury.” When you burn yourself by accidentally touching a hot pan, you experience a thermal burn. The other three types of burns are commonly experienced in workplace accidents, car crashes, and medical malpractice cases.
What Treatment Options Are Available For a Burn Injury?
Burn injury treatment depends on both the degree and type of burn. Burn injuries are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. The severity of the burn is usually the factor that most directly impacts the costs of treatment.
Minor burns consist of first- or second-degree burns that cover less than 10% of the body. Minor burns are most likely to result in a full recovery. They don’t usually require hospitalization or high treatment costs. Treating minor burns usually involves keeping them covered and lubricated until they are healed.
Moderate burns are second-degree burns that cover 10% or more of the body. Treatment for a moderate burn usually involves taking antibiotics and keeping the burn covered. However, treatment can vary based on the burn type. For example, a moderate chemical burn might require hospitalization, while a moderate thermal burn might not.
Treating Severe Burns
Severe burns reach the third-degree level and cover 1% or more of a person’s body.
Depending on where they appear, the percentage of the body they cover, and the type of burn, severe burns can result in death and often entail high treatment costs for things like:
- Attendant care
- Skin grafting
- Reconstructive surgery
- Physical and occupational therapy
Severe burns also bring the highest risk of additional health complications.
Some of the many complications that can arise during the treatment of severe burns include:
- Organ failure
- Respiratory failure
Long-term healing outcomes after a severe burn vary widely. The treatment process for severe burns can last months or even years. Outcomes for mobility, scarring, and nerve function can be hard to predict and often differ by individual.
Can I Recover Burn Injury Compensation?
Severe burn injuries come with a high financial burden. For instance:
- Hospitalization alone can cost thousands of dollars
- A single skin graft can cost a few thousand dollars, and multiple grafts are often needed
- Severe burn victims will miss a lot of work — if they ever return at all
In addition to the physical and emotional suffering that accompanies a severe burn, this type of injury can lay a significant financial burden on the victim and their loved ones. Your best option for recovering compensation to help offset the costs of a burn injury is to consult a personal injury lawyer.
A lawyer can help identify whether another party can be held liable for the burns. If you have a valid case, a lawyer will work to help you recover money for things like medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses you incur as a result of your burn injury.
Consult an Experienced Orlando Burn Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve suffered a burn injury in Orlando, Payer Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Our personal injury firm works with burn injury victims like you, fighting to recover the compensation they need. Contact our law office today to learn how an Orlando burn injury attorney can help. For a free consultation, you can call us today at (407) 648-1510.