Heat, electricity, sunlight, radiation and chemicals can cause serious burns, whether at home, on the job or in a car fire. Scalds from extremely hot liquids, building fires, and flammable gases and liquids are the most common causes of severe burns.
Following any serious burn injury, it is advisable to talk to one of our personal injury attorneys about your legal rights to compensation and other benefits for your lost wages and medical bills.
Three Degrees of Burns
According to the American Burn Association, there were approximately 3,400 burn-related deaths in the U.S. in 2012, including 2,500 from residential fires, 400 from electricity, hot objects or scalding liquids, 300 from vehicle crash fires, and 150 from flame burns or smoke inhalation in non-residential fires. It is estimated that there were 450,000 burn injuries that required medical treatment last year.
Doctors rate burns on this scale:
- First-degree: damage to the outer layer of the skin
- Second-degree: damage to the outer layer of the skin, and the layer underneath
- Third-degree: damage the deepest layers of skin and tissues underneath
Burns can cause blistering, swelling, scarring and even shock and death in extreme cases. Infections are also common after burns due to the damage of the skin’s protective barrier. First and second-degree burns usually heal. A third-degree burn may require grafts to cover exposed tissue and for new skin to grow.
Workplace Burn Injuries And House Fires
Approximately one-quarter of all serious burns requiring hospitalization occur in the workplace. Jobs where fires are common include construction sites, scientific laboratories, chemical plants, refineries, roofing companies, steel mills and restaurant kitchens.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace explosions and fires injure more than 5,000 U.S. workers each year, frequently causing injuries to employees’ throats, lungs, eyes, and skin.
Deaths from house fires are the third leading cause of fatalities in homes and apartments, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Victims of house or building fires may receive a combination of external burns to the skin and inhalation injuries caused by breathing smoke.
Specialized Care at Burn Centers
For specialized care, many burn victims are admitted to one of the 127 burn centers located in cities across the U.S. There were approximately 30,000 admissions last year to such burn centers, which represents over 60 percent of all burn injury admissions.
Reports from burn centers reveal interesting data for the 10-year period from 2002-2011:
- Survivors: Most victims recover (survival rate of 96.1%)
- Gender: More male victims (69%) than female (31%)
- Admission cause: Fire/flame (44%), Scald (33%), Contact (9%), Electrical (4%), Chemical (3%), Other (7%)
- Occurrence: Home (69%), Work (9%), Street (7%), Recreation (5%), and Other (10%)
Regardless of the cause or location, victims of fires and burns experience physical and emotional trauma, incur exorbitant medical bills, and a lengthy recovery period. It is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney who knows how to fight for the compensation you are entitled in order to cover costs of your care.
Contact Our Orange County Burn Injury Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Avrek Law Firm, have the experience to fight for you. Through aggressive negotiations, we can help you recover the settlements you need to recover lost wages and pay for expensive hospital costs, skin grafts and reconstructive surgeries. We are able to obtain the best medical and surgical treatment for our clients who do not have medical insurance and are unable to pay the medical costs and bills.