Burn injuries are painful and can cause scarring, make everyday living difficult, and could be fatal. These burns can happen in structure fires and vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of others. If this happened to you, you might have legal rights to compensation for the harm you suffered.
If you have burn injuries caused by another party and they’re severely impacting your life, contact the Fleck Firm so we can discuss what happened and whether you might be entitled to compensation. Our consultation will be free, and our conversation may be life-changing.
A Severe Burn Could Cause Life-Long Disfigurement, Disability, and Death
A burn is an injury to the skin or other tissue caused by heat, radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction or contact with chemicals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). They estimate 180,000 deaths are caused by burns annually, most in low- and middle-income countries.
Non-fatal burn injuries can weaken victims and shorten their lives. Those with severe burns may die of infections their bodies can’t fight off because burn injuries impair their overall health. In 2004, according to WHO, almost 11 million people worldwide had burns severe enough to need medical treatment.
Burns in a vehicle accident can result from skin contact on hot metal or plastic, burning gasoline splashed on the victim or indirect heat by a fire under or near the passenger compartment. A structure fire can burn someone due to direct contact by flame, hot building materials or objects on the person’s skin, or due to hot air or smoke produced by the fire.
First Aid for Burns
Most burns are painful but minor. They quickly heal, leaving a bad memory but no scarring. A burn’s treatment depends on its severity. Here’s advice on what to do from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They involve the top layer of skin and include sunburn. Symptoms include red skin, they’re painful to touch, and may swell slightly. Treatment includes:
- Apply cool, wet compresses to the area. Submerge or pour cool, fresh water on the burn until the pain subsides
- Cover the burn with a sterile bandage or clean cloth
- Don’t apply ointments or butter because they may cause infections
- Over-the-counter pain medications could help with pain and inflammation
- If it’s a large burn, or the person burned is an infant or elderly, get emergency medical care
These involve the first two layers of skin. Symptoms include:
- The skin becomes deeply red
- The injury causes pain and blistered skin
- The burn looks glossy due to leaking fluid
- You may suffer the loss of some skin
Treatment is similar to that of a first-degree burn but adds:
- Don’t break blisters
- Elevate burned arms or legs
- Prevent shock by laying the victim flat while elevating their feet, and cover the person with a coat or blanket. This won’t be a good idea if there’s also a head, neck, back, or leg injury or it makes the person uncomfortable
- The victim needs professional medical treatment. Don’t try to treat them unless you’re trained to do so
This burn penetrates all the skin layers and permanently destroys tissue. Symptoms include:
- Loss of skin
- The person may not feel pain from third-degree burns but may feel other areas of skin with first and second-degree burns
- The skin is dry, leathery, and may look charred or have white, brown, or black patches
Treatment is similar to first-degree burns but adds:
- Prevent shock by laying the victim flat, but elevate their feet
- The person should sit up if their face is burned and watch for possible breathing problems
- Elevate their burned areas higher than the victim’s head if possible
- Keep the person comfortable and watch for possible shock
- The victim shouldn’t have a pillow under their head if they’re lying down and they have an airway burn due to steam, smoke, or hot air. This may close their airway
- Call 9-1-1 and get immediate medical attention. Don’t try to treat these burns unless you’re a healthcare professional
Get the Legal Help in Kentucky
If you or a family member suffer severe burns in a vehicle accident or structure fire in Kentucky, we can help. Call the Fleck Firm at (270) 446-7000 or reach out to us online today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll talk about what happened, your injuries, the law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.