Burns can be suffered from any number of sources like heat, chemicals or electricity. Severe burns can financially and emotionally devastate victims and their families. If you have suffered a serious burn injury in the Louisville area, Kentucky, or Indiana, as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, you’re going to need an experienced lawyer. Talk with us. The first consultation is always free and you will speak directly to a lawyer about your injury.
Common Causes of Burn Injuries
A variety of acts or omissions can cause serious burn injuries. Here are a few of their causes:
- Residential fires from poor electrical wiring, improper furnace installation or maintenance, candles being knocked over, misuse of space heaters and cigarette smoking.
- Industrial fires from sparks, metals at extremely high temperatures, dangerous electrical connections, flammable liquids and gasses, combustible dust and machinery.
- Hot work like welding, torch cutting or brazing.
- Other work accidents involving flash burns, explosions, hot oils and liquids or thermal contact burns.
The Degrees of Burns
Burns are classified into different categories on the basis of how deeply the burn might have penetrated a person’s skin. They’re separated into degrees, but they’re not classified as thermal degrees. They’re classified by severity. A person can suffer from first to fourth-degree burns. The higher that the degree is, the more severe the burn injury is.
These are the typical household or work-related minor burns that everybody gets. Cooking oil might splatter onto an unprotected hand or foot, or a hot surface might be touched. Cool water will provide some relief, and it’s unlikely that a blister will even appear. Symptoms might include some redness and minor pain.
These burns affect both the outer layer of the skin as well as the skin below it. There will be blistering and increased pain if you touch the burn. You might even want to see a doctor about a second degree burn. Expect moderate to severe pain, swelling, blistering and discoloration. Scarring is possible.
These might be referred to as full thickness burns. That’s because the burn injury damages or destroys the two full layers of the skin. Rather than turning red from the burn, a victim’s skin turns black, brown yellow or white. What’s odd about third-degree burns is that rather than pain, victims are likely to feel numbness or tingling. That’s because nerve endings have been burnt.
Burns of this type can be fatal. They’re almost always the result of prolonged exposure to flames. All levels of skin have been burned through along with fat, nerves, muscles and tendons. Even bones can be affected. If you survive, expect to see irreparable charring and a stiff, leathery or waxy appearance.
Treating Burn Injuries
Treatment of first-degree burns, has already been discussed. For second-degree burns, see an emergency room physician or your doctor right away. If you were injured near Louisville, you’ll likely end up at the Burn Center at University of Louisville, the only dedicated burn unit in the State of Kentucky. If the burns that you suffered are deep, on your face, feet or groin, your attending physician might refer you to a burn center for evaluation and treatment. Here are some of the treatments that you might expect:
- Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Medications for pain and anxiety.
- Ultrasound mist therapy.
- Burn ointments and antibiotic cremes.
- Special wound dressings.
Depending on the severity of the burns, a victim might need one or more of the following treatments or procedures:
- As the throat can swell up from burns to the face or neck, a tube might be placed through the nose down to a victim’s trachea in order to keep the lungs and body supplied with oxygen.
- Throat swelling might also require another tube directly to the stomach for purposes of feeding the victim.
- Scabbing is of particular concern. Severe scabbing can tighten tissue and interfere with blood flow. Scabs might be surgically removed for purposes of maintaining that blood flow, especially when a limb is involved.
- Surgical skin grafting when a doctor takes skin from one part of the body and transplants to another severely burned part of the body. There are different types of skin grafting procedures. In some cases, skin from a pig might even be used.
- Amputation of a limb might be necessary with some catastrophic burns.
Plant fires and explosions occur across the United States on a daily basis. The presence and availability of fuel to feed industrial fires is nearby in any industrial fire. That fuel is far more flammable than what might be found in a home. Dangerous chemicals are on site in industrial fires too. Flammable fuel and chemicals can cause far hotter and more dangerous fires.
Contact a Louisville Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were severely burned in a fire in or around Louisville or anywhere in Kentucky or southern Indiana as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, don’t hesitate to contact our offices to arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’re going to carefully listen to you in evaluating your claim, and we’ll answer your questions too. After that, we will advise you of your complete range of legal options. Contact us right away after any severe burn injury.