Severity of Burn Injuries
A burn occurs when the skin is damaged, typically by hot materials. This kind of injury is often associated with fire, but fire is not always the cause of burns. The following are just as devastating:
- Chemicals and other strong liquids
- Electricity, such as those from wiring systems
- Hot liquids like boiling water
- Hot materials like heated metal and glass
- Ultraviolet light
Burns are probably one of the worst injuries a person can sustain. It becomes worse if the accident that has caused the injury has been triggered by another person. According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, those who have suffered from burn injuries may have legal options, such as trying to get compensation from the damages they have sustained.
For example, if a drunk driver suddenly swerved into oncoming traffic, crashed into your vehicle, and your vehicle caught fire, the drunk driver may be held liable for the burns you may sustain.
Burn injuries can be classified according to their severity.
- First-degree burns – These burns affect the outer layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. This usually occurs in simple incidents, such as when you accidentally touch a curling iron and sunburn. The affected areas are typically red and dry.
- Second-degree burns – This kind of burn injury is sustained if the outer layer of the skin and part of the next layer, called the dermis, are affected. Liquids that are hot enough can inflict this kind of burn. The affected areas will have a red and blistered appearance.
- Third-degree burns – Third-degree burns occur if both the epidermis and dermis are affected, and the damage may be deep enough to reach the subcutaneous tissues. Severe burn injuries such as these can be sustained from direct fires. The affected areas can have a white or charred appearance.
- Fourth-degree burns – These are the worst kinds of burn injuries victims may sustain. They occur if even the bones and muscles are damaged. Large fires and high-voltage electricity are the main causes of fourth-degree burns. The affected areas are usually impaired and amputated.