Experienced Burn Injury Lawyer in West Virginia
A serious burn can cause permanent disfigurement and disability. Not only are burn injuries painful, but treating them can be equally traumatic. In extreme cases, burn injury treatment can take weeks, months or years to complete. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury, our firm can help you understand your legal rights as an accident victim. If your burn was the direct result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Contact our West Virginia personal injury lawyers to see what a skilled, compassionate, and an experienced attorney can do for your case.
First, Second, and Third Degree Burns
There are three types of burn injuries: first, second, and third degree burns. The term “burn” refers to a specific type of injury to the skin or flesh. You might think that burns are caused by exposure to fire. In reality, electricity, toxic substances, chemicals, boiling water, steam and other substances can cause burn injuries too.
- First degree burns are usually considered “mild.” While first degree burns can be very painful (such as sunburn), they usually heal in one to two weeks and do not leave significant scarring. First degree burns only damage the victim’s outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. This type of burn is identifiable by red coloring, dry texture, and sensitivity. Most first degree burns can be treated from home and do not require professional medical attention. You may treat a first degree burn by running it under cool (not cold) water for several minutes. This prevents the burn from getting worse.
- Second degree burns are more significant than first degree burns, but can sometimes be treated from home as well. This type of burn is identifiable by its red or mottled coloring (usually accompanied by blisters), and pain. Severe second degree burns can progress may progress to third degree burns if they are not treated properly. To immediately treat a second degree burn, submerge the affected area under cool water. If the burn is too large to keep underwater, you can cool it with a clean, moist cloth instead. Minor second degree burns can be treated like first degree burns, while more extensive cases should be treated by a medical professional.
- Third degree burns are extremely severe and may result in death. Third degree burns are painless and identifiable by their white/brown appearance and dry texture. Sometimes, severe burns will appear black or charred and may extend to the bones, muscles and ligaments under the skin. Third degree burn victims require immediate medical attention. However, first aid should be used to treat the burn victim for shock, first. Then, a sterile cloth may be placed over the affected are to keep the wound from becoming infected. If possible, elevate the injury above the heart and try to keep the injured person still.
Burn Injury Statistics
According to the American Burn Association, approximately 450,000 burn injuries received medical treatment nationwide in 2011, and approximately 3,500 people are killed by burn injuries annually. Three quarters of these deaths occur at the scene of the accident or in transit from the accident site to a medical facility. Additionally, about 45,000 people are hospitalized in the United States every year because of a burn injury – 25,000 of these people are treated at specialized burn treatment centers. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury, contact a West Virginia accident attorney from Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC today. We will exhaust every resource to make sure that you receive the best legal help and the fair compensation you need and deserve.