Burn injuries are some of the most painful injuries a person can sustain. The complications associated with burn injuries, and the treatment to recover from them, can last for years, and may result in permanent disability. Severe burn injuries can result in the inability to perform physical tasks that one previously took for granted, the loss of limbs, disfigurement, loss of mobility, scarring, recurring infections, and a compromised immune system that makes it harder to prevent infections.
There is also a deep and profound emotional and psychological trauma associated with suffering a burn injury. The victims of burn injuries often have to endure, in addition to the physical pain, depression, nightmares, and may even experience flashbacks to the event that caused the burns.
In addition to the pain and limitation caused by burn injuries, treatment often requires substantial medical expenses, and a victim may never fully recover.
Burn injuries have three primary classifications:
- First Degree – These burns are superficial in nature and only affect the outer layer of a person’s skin. This layer, in medical terms, is referred to as the epidermis.
- Second Degree – These burns, sometimes referred to as “partial thickness” burns, involve both the outer layer of skin (epidermis), as well as the blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and nerves that can be found directly beneath the outer layer. This level of the skin is referred to, in medical terms, as the dermis. Second Degree burns appear red, blistered and can be swollen and painful.
- Third Degree – These burns, sometimes called “full thickness” burns, destroy both the outer layer of skin as well as the secondary layer while also damaging the underlying bones, muscles, and tendons. The site of full thickness burn will often appear white or charred. In addition, the person who has suffered such a burn will frequently lose feeling in the area due to the destruction of the nerve endings at the burn site.
A person who has suffered severe burns usually requires extensive and specialized treatment. The primary factors that determine the extent of the treatment required include the age of the burn victim and the percentage of the body surface area that has been burned.
Treatment at a specialized burn center facility is usually required in situations where:
- A victim has suffered partial thickness burns (second degree) over 10% or more of the total body surface area;
- A victim of any age with full thickness (third degree) burns
- A victim who, in addition to suffering any degree of burn injury, has also suffered injury to the lungs or airway as a result of the inhalation of smoke or other damaging substances.
- A victim who has suffered burn injuries and also has chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
There are several varieties of burn injuries. They include:
- Thermal burns – these burns are caused by heat from liquids (often referred to as “scalding”), open flames, and explosions.
- Chemical burns – these burns are usually the result of skin or eyes coming into contact with acid, or other corrosive and caustic materials that eat away at the skin and deep tissue.
- Electrical burns – these burns result from electrical current traveling through the body and meeting resistance in tissue.
- Friction burns – these burns occur when the skin is scraped off by contact with a hard object, such as the roadway or a floor. This burn is a combination of both an abrasion and a heat burn.
Accidents, or negligent conduct that can lead to burns may include:
Construction Site Accidents:
- Welding accidents
- Electrical shock accidents
- Chemical burns from dangerous substances
- Heat or contact burns from hot machinery and equipment
- Explosions/combustion of flammable materials and equipment
- Detonation of demolition devices
If you suffered a burn injury on a construction site, either a property owner or contractor may be liable.
- Chemical burns
- Contact with exposed electrical wires
- Exposed pipes and other equipment which cause burns
- Scalding accidents
- Splashing of cleaners, and other chemicals used in the workplace
If you suffered a burn injury at a workplace, building owners and other third parties may be liable
There are laws in New York State to protect you from being burnt while working. If you have sustained a burn injury you have the right to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages to compensate for the inability to work, your pain and suffering as a result of your injuries and the changes that happened in your life because of that pain. Call Gorayeb & Associates to learn your rights and begin the process of obtaining compensation and security for you and your family.