Understanding Burn Injuries in Louisiana
There are many types of injuries that your body can sustain during an accident. We often think of the ones that cause “breaks”: to your skin, bones, or nerves. But one of the most common—and potentially serious—kinds of injuries you can suffer from are burns. It is important to get in immediete contact with a Louisiana burn injury lawyer if hurt due to the negligence of someone else.
Types and Causes of Burn Injuries
Simply put, burn injuries occur when your skin tissue is damaged by one of 5 forces:
People can sustain burn injuries in many different types of accident, including:
- Open flames from a burning building or other source
- Chemical spills that contact the skin
- Defective products that may heat to unsafe temperatures or ignite
- Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, which catch on fire after a vehicle accident
- Hot steam
- Electrical accidents including faulty electrical systems, wiring hazards, or even power tools
There are 4 types of burns, which are all classified by severity.
In a superficial or first-degree burn, only the outer layer of skin (also known as the epidermis) is damaged. While these burn injuries can be quite painful, they usually heal within 5 to 7 days. Topical treatments are often applied to ease discomfort and facilitate the healing process. In most cases, there is no permanent damage to the skin.
A second-degree burn, also known as a dermal or partial thickness burn, occurs when the damage is deeper than a superficial burn. In these cases, the dermis (or second layer of skin) is affected. In the majority of cases, treatments are similar to those applied with superficial burns; however, skin grafts are sometimes used if the dermal burn is large.
Since the dermis is 15 to 40 times thicker than the epidermis, the seriousness of a dermal burn can vary widely. In addition to increased levels of pain, dermal burns usually leave scarring after the healing process is complete.
When a burn extends to the third layer of skin, which includes fat and subcutaneous tissue, it is categorized as a full thickness or third-degree burn. In addition to causing agonizing pain, these burns often lead to the destruction of the sweat glands, hair-follicles, and areas where new skin cells are generated.
Skin grafts are almost always used to treat full thickness burns, and healing times are usually much longer than superficial or dermal burns. Unfortunately, scarring and discoloration are common even after the pain disappears; and internal skin systems usually do not fully recover.
Contrary to popular knowledge, there is a more serious classification than a third-degree burn. Fourth-degree burns occur when full thickness burns extend through the entirety of the skin and into the underlying tissue. These can be life-threatening and cause irreversible damage to muscles, ligaments, or nerves.
If you or your child has suffered burns as a result of an accident or the negligence of someone else, you should strongly consider engaging the services of a Louisiana personal injury lawyer.
Contacting a Louisiana Burn Injury Attorney
After a serious accident, while you are dealing with injuries, medical bills, and insurance companies, it’s important to have someone working on your side.
Speaking with an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney after an accident can help you understand your legal rights and options, and if necessary, help you file a personal injury lawsuit to help you recover compensation for your losses.
The Louisiana personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara can help you recover damages for medical bills, ongoing medical treatment, property damage, and other accident-related expenses. Contact us to schedule your FREE legal consultation today.