Breaking Down the Categories of Burn Injuries
A burn occurs when some type of outside condition, like heat, chemicals, sunlight, electricity, or radiation, damages skin tissue. Most burns are accidental. There are different degrees of burns, and your doctor will determine the seriousness, i.e., degree, of a burn based on the depth of the burn and the amount of affected skin. Burns can be exceptionally painful. When left untreated, burns can lead to infections. If your burns were caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional unlawful acts, a Boca Raton burn injury attorney at the Grife Law Firm can help you recover the financial compensation you’ll need for treatment, especially with major burns.
According to the National Library of Medicine (NIH), a major burn injury is “a burn covering 25% or more of total body surface area, but any injury over more than 10% should be treated similarly. Rapid assessment is vital. The general approach to a major burn can be extrapolated to managing any burn. The most important points are to take an accurate history and make a detailed examination of the patient and the burn, to ensure that key information is not missed.”
Analyzed in somewhat more familiar terms, generally speaking, a third-degree burn and some second-degree burns are considered “major” burns. Burns are commonly categorized by “degrees:”
- First-Degree Burns. These burns are generally mild; the top layer of skin turns red and is painful but doesn’t typically blister. Sunburns would fall into this category. When a specific area of the body, such as a finger, gets burned while cooking, a soothing home remedy is to apply sour cream to the finger.
- Second-Degree Burns. These burns affect not only the top layer of skin but also the lower layers of skin. You can expect to experience not only pain and redness but also swelling and blistering.
- Third-Degree Burns are very serious burns and would almost surely be considered major burns. These burns affect all three skin layers: epidermis, dermis, and fat. These burns also destroy hair follicles and sweat glands. They also damage nerve endings, so you may not feel pain in the area of the burn itself but rather around it. The affected skin may be black, white, or red with a leathery appearance.
- Some classifications include fourth-degree burns, which go through all layers of the skin and underlying, deeper tissue, possibly involving muscle and bone. There is no feeling in the area since the nerve endings are destroyed.
A Boca Raton burn injury lawyer can help you speak with your doctors regarding the seriousness of your burn injuries.
Other Types of Injury Claims Handled by a Boca Raton Burn Injury Lawyer
According to Johns Hopkins, there are other types of burns that are not caused by fire. These include:
- Thermal burns. These burns are due to heat sources that raise the temperature of the skin and tissues and cause tissue cell death or charring. Hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, and flames, when coming into contact with the skin, can cause thermal burns.
- Radiation burns. These burns are due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, or to other sources of radiation such as X-rays.
- Chemical burns. These burns are due to strong acids, alkalies, detergents, or solvents coming into contact with the skin or eyes.
- Electrical burns. These burns are from electrical current, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).
Taking Care of Your Health After a Major Burn
The American Burn Association (ABA) recommends that burn victims should seek help at a specialized burn center for:
- Burns that involve the face, hands, feet, genitalia, or major joints
- Third-degree burns can appear whitish, charred, or translucent with no pinprick sensation in the burned area
- Burns that cover more than 10 percent of total body surface area
- Electrical or chemical burns
- If you have pre-existing medical conditions that can complicate recovery
The ABA goes on to state: “[e]ven [s]urgeons outside of burn centers can perform amazing skin grafts and debridement (removing damaged tissue from a wound). But what makes a burn center unique is the team approach we take to treating burn patients.”
Burn center specialists are dedicated to treating only burn patients. They can include:
- Burn rehabilitation specialists
- Burn surgeons who have additional training in burns, trauma, or [other critical skills]
- Nurses with special training in caring for burn patients
- Social workers
Understanding Liability in Burn Injury Claims
Serious burn victims are left with not only the physical pain of the injury itself and the hours of rehab they may be facing but also suffer mentally and emotionally, with all manner of disorders from nightmares, flashbacks, trouble sleeping, loss of self-esteem, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They also have to deal with overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and financial disasters. When your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional act, you may be able to seek compensation for these and other losses.
Insurance adjusters, landlords, work ownership, and others will work hard to talk you into undervalued settlements with the lure of quick cash. These tactics are rarely even attempted when your response to them is “speak with my attorney.” Never speak to any insurance company before contacting us beyond the basics, such as your name and address. Never sign anything, and never agree to a recorded conversation.
That’s why you need to contact a Boca Raton burn injury attorney at the Grife Law Firm as soon as possible after an accident. We will represent you to these adverse parties, help you hold them accountable for their actions, and get you the compensation you deserve.
Turn To A Boca Raton Burn Injuries Attorney At The Grife Law Firm
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If you have suffered from burn injuries, contact a Boca Raton burn injuries attorney at The Grife Law Firm to learn more about your legal options. We assist injured individuals throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, including in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
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