Burn Injury Accident FAQs

Every year, approximately 1.1 million people suffer burn injuries requiring medical treatment in the United States. Some 50,000 of these burn injuries are severe enough to require hospitalization, and 20,000 burn injuries are considered major burns. Major burns are defined as burn injuries that affect twenty-five percent (25%) of a person’s total body surface. Unfortunately, every year, about 4,500 burn injury victims succumb to their injuries.

Our Burn Injury Lawyers can Help

Extensive burn injuries nearly always require overnight treatment in a burn treatment center, and depending on the severity of the injuries, treatment can extend for several days or weeks, leading to extensive medical costs. In incidents in which a person’s or a company’s negligence caused someone to suffer burn injuries, the Charlotte burn injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can assist the burn injury victim in securing payment under applicable insurance policies for medical costs and in securing compensation for the victim for pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, our law firm can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

What is the Difference Between First, Second, and Third-Degree Burns?

First-degree burns are considered the least serious types of burns. First-degree burns usually do not require medical treatment. The affected skin may look red, and it also may feel dry and painful to the burn injury victim. A victim of a severe first-degree burn or a mild second-degree burn may exhibit pink and red skin that feels especially dry and painful. The skin may also exhibit welts—or raised areas of skin where the burn injury was most severe. Applying pressure to the affected area may cause the skin to blanche white and may cause exquisite pain symptoms to the burn injury victim.

Victims of severe second-degree burns exhibit reddened skin that is moist and glistening. Small and large blisters may form in affected areas. Unlike first-degree burns and mild second-degree burns, the affected skin will not blanche white when pressure is applied to it. In many cases, different layers of defined skin can be observed at the edges of the burn. A severe second-degree burn usually destroys the top two layers of a burn victim’s skin.

Third-degree burns are considered the most severe types of burns. In addition to redness, the affected skin will have a leathery, dry appearance. Instead of blisters, white and brown patches may appear around the burned area. The affected skin is usually not painful to the touch because third-degree burns destroy the nerve endings that cause pain sensations.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Burn Injuries?

When in doubt, a burn victim should seek treatment for any burn injuries. In many cases, healthy adults and children can treat first-degree burn injuries at home. However, sometimes victims require more aggressive care. One should seek medical attention when the following conditions are observed:

  • Burns that cover an entire limb or torso;
  • Burns that cross a major joint, such as the knee joint;
  • Burns affecting infants under the age of three or elderly people, no matter how severe;
  • Second-degree burns that injure the neck or face, in any age group;
  • Severe second or third-degree burns that anywhere on the body of a person of any age.
How Long Will a Burn Take to Heal?

First-degree burns often take around a week to ten days to fully heal. Severe second-degree burns usually take two to three weeks to fully heal. The healing process can cause scarring or discoloration. Third-degree burns often require surgery, including skin grafts. Severe third-degree burns often require multiple surgeries and a lengthy recovery period.

Why are Burn Injuries so Painful?

All burn injuries produce specific levels of pain that range from mild to excruciating. The pain, agony, and discomfort caused by burn injuries can make the healing process feel intolerable and horribly painful. Burn injury victims typically undergo frequent wound cleansing and dressing changes, and rehabilitation as the healing process progresses. A medical doctor may manage a burn injury victim’s pain levels by administering methadone, morphine, and injections for acute pain, and oral medications for pain that is not as severe.

When Will Burned Skin Stop Feeling Tight?

Tight skin over a burned area can represent a difficult problem to ameliorate, especially when the affected area extends over a knee, ankle, wrist, or other joint. Limited range of motion caused by an injury can make moving one’s arm or leg difficult. Medical doctors sometimes recommend positioning one’s limbs in an anti-contracture position to minimize skin tightness. A medical professional may require a burn victim to wear plastic orthotic devices for up to twenty-four hours at a time.

Our Burn Injury Lawyers can Help

If you have suffered a Charlotte burn injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation in North Carolina. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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