Skin covers our entire bodies and keeps our internal organs and other body parts safe from external dangers. Although most people don’t think of it this way, the skin is the largest organ in the body. That’s why burn injuries can be so dangerous—when too much of the skin is burned, a person can suffer significant damage and could even die from the injuries.
When you’ve suffered from a burn injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you could use the help of a lawyer from our office. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we are here to protect your rights and ensure that you get the justice you deserve for all that you’ve been through. One of our attorneys will fully investigate what happened so that we can hold the negligent party accountable for the damage they caused you.
How Car Accidents Cause Burns
While not all car accidents cause burn injuries, they are one of the common injuries that people sustain from a collision. Car engines get hot when they’re driven because they use gasoline and combustion to move. Since vehicles are made of metal, they can heat up and cause burns for drivers and passengers when a collision happens. The burns could be from a passenger touching or being pressed against the hot surface for just a second, or they could be from sustained contact and cause severe injuries.
Thermal burns are possible from car accidents when the skin comes in contact with a hot surface or liquid in the vehicle, but electrical burns can also occur if any wires become exposed from the collision. Both types of burns are dangerous for crash victims. Here are some instances that cause burns in car accidents:
- Air bag deployment
- Contact with hot surfaces
- Contact with leaking chemicals
- Contact with live wires and electric currents
- Nearby explosions
- Hot debris
If you suspect you’ve been burnt in an auto wreck, you should seek medical attention immediately. Burns aren’t just incredibly painful—they can also be fatal if not properly or promptly treated. Make sure that you go to the hospital directly after an accident that causes any suspected injuries, but especially if you believe you’ve been burnt.
Burn Injury Levels
In the United States, around 1.1 million burn injuries are seen and treated by medical professionals each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these burns, approximately 50,000 require hospitalization, 20,000 cover over 25% of the victim’s body, and about 4,500 of these victims pass away from their injuries.
Burns are classified by the amount of damage they cause the skin and body. Let’s take a look at the different levels of burn injuries, how they affect the body, and the healing process, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences:
- First Degree. First degree burns are categorized by damaging only the outermost level of skin, or the epidermis. They can heal on their own, and typically heal quickly—within a week. An example of a first degree burn is a sunburn.
- Second Degree. These burns damage the outer layer of the skin as well as the layer below, otherwise known as the dermis. These injuries often blister. Second degree burns could require a skin graft to heal and will likely scar. The healing time is between one to three weeks.
- Third Degree. Third degree burns destroy both layers of skin as well as hair follicles, sweat glands, and other tissues in those layers of skin. These burns will definitely require a skin graft to heal. The healing time is over three weeks and cannot heal properly if you don’t get medical attention.
- Fourth Degree. The next degrees of burns also destroy both layers of skin but are more classified by the extent of other tissue that they destroy as well. In fourth degree burns, the fat is also burned. In fifth degree, the injury extends to the muscle, and in sixth degree, the damage is to the bone. All of these burns are considered medical emergencies and need immediate medical attention. Even then, these levels of burns are often fatal.
Our Firm Can Help You
When you get into a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, and you suffer from burn injuries as well as other damages, you likely want to hold that driver responsible for their actions. At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC in Jackson, we offer you the legal support you need to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve for your damages. Reach out to us today so we can discuss your legal options and how we can help.
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