You have probably suffered a burn at some point in your life, whether from a hot liquid or surface, overexposure to the sun or an accident involving a caustic chemical substance. At The Homyak Law Firm, P.C., we know that burns are often catastrophic injuries, and the physical, emotional and psychological effects may last a lifetime.

According to Stanford Health Care, burn injuries typically occur due to one of four different sources: external heat sources, radiation, chemicals or electricity. There are three different burn classifications, as well: first-, second- and third-degree.

  • Superficial (first-degree) burns may damage the outer layer of skin, causing redness and pain.
  • Partial thickness (second-degree) burns affect the first and second layers of skin, and cause blisters, swelling and pain.
  • Full thickness (third-degree) burns do more than damage the first two layers of skin; they destroy them. They also affect the muscles, tendons and bones, but these severe burns may not immediately cause pain because they destroy the nerves, as well.

If the burn areas affect 15% to 20% of an adult’s body or 10% of a child’s body, medical care providers consider it to be a major injury, and the victim will need to be hospitalized and undergo extensive rehabilitation. Often, people with severe burns lose physical functions and mobility, or even lose a limb. Disfigurement is also common. Burn injuries are particularly susceptible to infection due to the loss of the protective outer layer of the skin.

The accident that causes the burn is often traumatizing for the victim, and may lead to emotional and psychological issues such as depression or anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks. For more information about catastrophic burn injuries, please visit our webpage.