A burn injury can be one of the most painful injuries a person can experience, both physically and emotionally. Serious burns are also difficult to treat, and survivors typically face a long road to maximum recovery. And, although medical options continually advance, burn injuries are still extremely expensive to treat and can lead to lifelong disability.

Anyone can be at risk for a burn injury, for a variety of reasons. Some people suffer burns from tragic accidents, like a house fire or kitchen accident. However, others suffer injury due to someone else’s negligent or careless behavior. According to the American Burn Association (ABA), common causes of burn injuries include:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Contact with hot surface
  • Electrocution
  • Exposure to fire
  • Scald injuries (hot water, steam)

The vast majority of burns happen at home, and are typically caused by things like defective appliances, like heaters, faulty wiring, or even dangerous conditions of the premises. Burn injuries can also happen on the job, when employees work with chemicals or live electricity.

Classification of burn injuries

Although not every burn is life-threatening, it is important to understand the severity of your injury. What appears to be a minor burn may actually be severe enough that you are not feeling pain. Ensure you seek medical attention for anything more serious than a first-degree burn.

  • First-degree burns. A first-degree burn affects the top layer of skin only. It results in minor redness, inflammation, pain and little to no scarring. These types of burns can typically be treated at home unless it is located on your face or over a large area of your body.
  • Second-degree burns. These burns are more severe and can result in pain, blisters, and injury beyond the top layer of the skin. You can get a second-degree burn from too much sun exposure. These types of injuries require being seen by a medical professional.
  • Third-degree burns. Third-degree burns are very serious injuries and affect just about every layer of the skin, including fat and muscle. These types of burns can be painless because they damage nerve endings. They also lead to skin grafts, scarring and disfigurement.
  • Fourth-degree burns. These types of burns are catastrophic and deadly. They reach the bone, and many victims do not survive. Others may suffer amputations and other permanent injuries.

Even a minor or moderate burn can be extremely painful and leave a person with chronic pain and scars. Burn victims can also experience complications during the recovery process, like vulnerability to infection and the risks of multiple surgeries. Permanent consequences of a burn injury can include nerve damage, loss of sensation, and loss of dexterity. Patients may also need long-term physical therapy or adaptive assistance.

Survivors of burn injuries can face a lifetime of medical and emotional challenges. If you suffered a burn injury due to another person or company’s negligence, the Los Angeles injury attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas LLP want to help. We will fight to ensure you secure the compensation you need to recover. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out how we can assist you. Call us at 310-474-1582 or complete our contact form.