Disfigurement, scarring, wound infections, shock – these are just a few of the permanent and painful effects of serious burn injuries. Victims may also face emotional difficulties, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the resulting physical and emotional pain can last a lifetime.
If someone else is to blame for your burn injuries – whether by causing a fire, selling a dangerous product, or enabling a workplace accident – consulting with a dedicated personal injury attorney could help. A Rapides Parish burn injury lawyer could be an effective ally in your efforts to recover compensation for your injuries.
Burn injuries were responsible for 486,000 emergency hospital visits in 2016, according to the American Burn Association. With 40,000 hospital admissions and 5,000 burn-related deaths on an annual basis, burns are both common and dangerous – and if they were caused by another person’s carelessness or recklessness, they could serve as the foundation of a Rapides Parish burn injury lawsuit.
Burn injuries are typically broken down into categories by severity and source.
When assessing the gravity of a burn, medical professionals look at the depth of the injury and how much of the victim’s body was affected.
First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer. Second-degree burns reach the dermis, or lower skin layer, and can cause damage to nerves, hair follicles, blood vessels, connective tissues, and sweat glands. Third-degree burns are the most dangerous, as they can penetrate skin, fat, muscles, bones, and tendons. They often result in open wounds that can easily become infected.
Burns affecting less than ten percent of the total body surface area of adults or less than five percent for children and seniors are considered minor burns. Burns impacting between ten and 20 percent for adults and between five and ten percent for children and seniors are deemed moderate. Major burns are those covering more than 20 percent of adults and more than ten percent of children and seniors.
Thermal burns occur when an external source of heat, such as a flame, hot surface, or steam, comes into contact with the body. Thermal burns often cause blisters and may leave the skin looking either white or charred. They also can destroy skin, nerve endings, tissue, muscles, bones, and tendons.
Chemical, or caustic, burns can happen when acids, bases, or other irritants make contact with someone’s skin, eyes, or lungs. Chemical burns may lead to vision loss, charred skin, numbness and pain, headaches, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
Electrical burns can be deceiving – they may not look severe on the outside, but they can cause serious internal damage. Contact with live wires can leave a mark on the skin, and the currents running through the body can cause cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, seizures, and tissue and nerve destruction.
A Rapides Parish burn injury attorney could help burn victims recover different categories of damages, where appropriate.
If you are suffering from burn injuries resulting from another’s carelessness or recklessness, a skilled attorney could help identify potential defendants and sources of recovery on your behalf. Recovering damages could help secure your financial wellbeing now and in the future.
Louisiana law provides victims just one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit, so reach out to a Rapides Parish burn injury lawyer today.