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What is a burn injury and what can cause it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, burn injuries can occur under various circumstances such as in a home, hotel, workplaces and even in car accidents. A burn injury is an injury that affects the layers of skin and could be a thermal burn, chemical or electrical burn. Thermal burns refer to burn injuries which occur when a person comes in contact with hot surfaces, flames and even hot liquids.

Burn injuries can be divided into three types, first-degree burns, second-degree burns and third-degree burns. First-degree burns only affect the top layer of the skin. For instance, sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn. Such burns typically do not require any medical treatment and will heal on their own. Second-degree burns affect the first two layers of the skin and can result in blistering of the affected area, and potentially some loss of skin. An individual who suffers second-degree burns can go into shock and will require medical treatment. Finally, third-degree burns are the worst and most severe as they penetrate all layers of skin and destroy tissue.

Data gathered and analyzed by the American Burn Association estimates that in 2013 nearly 450,000 individuals received medical treatment for burn injuries in hospital emergency departments. Additionally, nearly 3,400 people died as a result of smoke inhalation or some related burn injury in a fire. Nearly 300 of those deaths were due to car collision fires.

Burn injuries, particularly second and third degree burn injuries, can result in disfigurement and a lot of physical pain and suffering for the victim, as well as require on-going treatments such as skin grafts. Additionally, the on-going medical expenses for the treatment may be prohibitive for many. Though the cause of a fire, which may result in a burn injury, is different in every case, the harm done is similar. For those who have sustained a burn injury due to the negligence of another, they may find it helpful to have the facts of one's specific circumstances evaluated by a competent personal injury law firm.

Source: Center for Disease Control, "Burns - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Accessed Mar. 2, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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