When a loved one is involved in a fire, many questions arise about the care they will need, the burn treatments they will receive, and the expense of the burn injury. The California burn injury attorneys at the Liljegren Law Group can help you ascertain the answers you need. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in California who have been victims of burn injuries. We have extensive experience helping victims and their families comprehend the nature of a loved one’s burn injury and the treatment they need.
Burns are a common but extremely painful injury. While minor burns will heal without much medical attention, severe burns require special care to prevent infection and reduce the severity of scarring. Before you treat a burn, it is important to understand what kind, or degree, of burn you have suffered.
First degree burns – are the most common and happen as a result of light scalding, brief contact with hot items, and the sun. They will likely appear red, slightly swollen, and may or may not be slightly painful. First degree burns affect only the outermost layer, the first layer, of your skin. First degree burns are classified as ‘minor burns’ and should be treated as such, usually treated at home.
Second degree burns – same characteristics as first degree burns (redness, swelling, and pain) but additionally the skin may appear blotchy, blisters will form, and the pain will be much more intense. Second degree burns can occur from brief contact with hot things such as boiling water, extended contact with hot items, and prolonged exposure time in the sun. A second degree burn burns through two layers of your skin. If your second degree is wider than three inches, you should call your doctor for medical help.
Third degree burns – are the most serious of the three and require immediate medical attention. These occur when extended exposure to a very hot object burns through all three layers of your skin, sometimes causing muscle, fat, and bone damage. They will look leathery and have a white or black appearance on the skin. Third degree burns are major burns and require treatment from a doctor as soon as possible.
Source: American Burn Association 2016 Burn Incidence and Treatment Report
Burns can be caused by fires, electrical shock, exposure to chemicals, or from scalding liquids. The American Burn Association compiled data from admissions to burn centers between 2005 to 2014. Fortunately, they also found patients- 67 percent male and 32 percent female- had a 96.8 percent survival rate. Seventy-three percent of the fire incidents happened at home, followed by work with eight percent and the street or highway (car fires) at five percent.
Serious burn injuries are sometimes manageable through wound care, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and surgical procedures. If an adult suffers a burn injury that covers more than 15% of his/her body, doctors will most likely treat the victim with intravenous fluids. This treatment is especially important during the 24 hours following the initial injury. Inhalation burn injuries may require more fluids. Wound care involves keeping the injury dry and covered. Exposed burns are subject to infection. Sometimes, burn victims suffer devastating illness after the initial accident because the wound becomes infected. To avoid infection, doctors will keep the wounded area clean and cool. Not only does this manage pain, but it allows the patient to avoid further illness and injury. Antibiotics are often used to avoid and treat burn related infections.
Serious burns often result in nerve damage and scarring. Fortunately, medical professionals have developed a variety of surgical procedures to help burn victims regain their motor function. Additionally, some surgeries can be used to reconstruct damaged skin through skin grafts. Plastic surgery may be used to reconstruct portions of the face that suffered extreme damage.
If your burn injury was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. If you or a loved one has suffered from a burn injury in California, please contact the Liljegren Law Group today at 866.613.9906. Our attorneys can help you carefully assess the full extent of your damages and fight to help you pursue the full amount of compensation you will need to recover from your injury. Call us today for a free legal consultation.