What You Should Know About the Different Kinds of Burns
Everyone has experienced a burn at some point in their life. Whether it was a minor one from touching a hot pan, or a severe one from a catastrophic auto accident, everyone has had at least one burn at some point. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are many kinds of burns, and many ways to sustain one. Even worse? When these burns happen due to someone else’s negligence.
Thermal is the kind of burn injury that most people think of automatically. This burn happens when you are exposed to high levels of heat. You may get a thermal burn if you accidentally brush by a hot piece of metal, such as in a car accident, or if you are caught in a house fire caused by a negligent landlord. There are different categories of thermal burn, ranging from first-degree to fourth-degree burns. A first-degree burn is minor and will heal with time. But anything greater than that should be treated by a medical professional, and has the chance to lead to scarring, infection, and even death.
Electric burns are incredibly common, and incredibly dangerous. Thermal burns must travel through each layer of the body, including skin, muscle, and bone, in order to cause fatal damage. Electricity, however, can flow through the body in a matter of milliseconds. This means that you can suffer electrical burns throughout your entire body almost immediately. This can quickly lead to catastrophic injuries, or death. Electrical burns are often caused by faulting wiring or defective products, such as household appliances or power tools.
Most people don’t realize that it is possible to suffer cold burns. These happen when your skin is exposed to extreme levels of cold. This causes the skin to freeze, leading to extreme damage. Cold burns are more commonly known as frostbite, and, in severe enough cases, they can lead to limb loss.
Chemicals, even ones you find around your house, can cause extreme irritation and damage to your body. For example, bleach can cause a chemical burn if it comes in contact with your skin. The first step you should take if you are suffering from a chemical burn is to wash the chemical off, whether it be on your arm, leg, or in your eyes. If you do not get the chemical off quickly, it can lead to severe damage. Chemical burns are a common cause of vision loss, for example.
When most people hear the word “friction” they think of the small amount of heat they get from rubbing their hands on a carpet, or of the rough feeling of gravel on their feet. However, high enough levels of friction can lead to severe injuries. These injuries are not technically burns, but are actually small abrasions on the skin. When enough force, these abrasions can cut deep into the body. Road rash is a severe friction burn, and serious road rash can easily lead to scarring, limb loss, and death.
Radiation burns may sound like something out of a comic book or sci-fi movie, but they are actually the most common kind of burn. That is because a sunburn is actually a radiation burn, which is why you can suffer a sunburn even on a cool day. While sunburns are accidental, radiation burns can also be caused by negligence. For example, if a cancer patient is being treated with x-ray therapies, and the x-rays are not monitored properly, the patient can develop severe burns. This would be considered a case of medical malpractice.
What You Can Do
Seeking treatment should always be your first priority if you are suffering severe burns. An untreated burn can worsen or become infected. Both possibilities could actually lead to death. After getting your wounds treated, you should then look into filing a claim against the liable party. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., have helped countless clients suffering from severe burns. If you want to work with a skilled personal injury attorney, then you should call our firm at (602) 267-1280 today.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer