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Overview of Burn Injury Claims: Causes, Severity & Liability

According to the American Burn Association (ABA), nearly 10 Americans will lose their lives to fires and burn injuries every day. More than ten times that amount will suffer a serious burn injury that requires medical attention. With burn injuries being such a prevalent concern, it may be useful to understand the basics of burn injuries and accidents, in case you or a loved one are ever seriously burned and need to file a claim for compensation.

Different Types of Burn Injuries

While the most obvious source of a burn injury may be open flames and hot surfaces, this is not the only source. Burn injuries can also be caused by electrocution and exposure to hazardous or acidic substances. However, many burn injuries that occur within the home are indeed caused by something combusting into flames or overheating, like a defective product. The source of the burn will change the methods needed to treat it. When in doubt of the right treatment method, or if the burn is severe, get emergency medical attention for help.

Severities of Burn Injuries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes burn injuries into three distinct severities, as follows:

  • First-degree: Mild burn that reddens skin and may cause sensitivity for a day or more. Basic first-aid techniques should suffice and injury should heal. Infants and elders with a burn of any degree should be taken to a doctor to ensure no infection occurs.
  • Second-degree: Painful that may cause blistering, scarring, and infection. Medical attention is advised. Victim may experience extreme, extended pain depending on the region of the body affected by the burn.
  • Third-degree: Extremely dangerous burn that will become life-threatening if victim is not given emergency medical attention immediately. Skin will be entirely destroyed down to the underlying tissue, muscle, or bone. Be aware that the victim may not report any pain due to destruction of nerves. Extensive hospitalization followed by lengthy rehabilitation should be expected.

Some medical journals do further the categories into fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-degree burns. Since burns of this intensity are not considered survivable, the CDC does not include them in its data.

Proving Liability in Fire & Burn Accidents

After you establish the source and severity of your burn injury, it is time to consider who might be accountable for what happened. Who is liable for your burn injury, and how can you prove as much? Securing compensation for your resulting damages will rely on your ability to bring forth convincing arguments and evidence in your claim, as the liable party and their insurance company are sure to contest you at every turn.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and experience of Habbas & Associates, the leading personal injury law firm in San Jose. The people of the Bay Area know they can trust us with their most sensitive and high-stakes injury claims due to our impressive experience – more than 200 years collectively – and case results. Find out how we can empower your burn injury claim today by contacting us and setting up a free consultation.