Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler November 8, 2015

Texans injured by burns suffer a great deal and often need costly and extensive treatment. These victims of burn injury also may need legal help to recover financially.

Burns Injure Millions

According to the National Institutes of Health, thousands of Americans die from burns annually, and over two million seek treatment for burn injuries. Of those, around four out of five are treated as outpatients.

The American Burn Association asserts that one million Americans yearly suffer burn injuries and, of those, 450,000 need medical treatment and around 3,400 persons die from fires or burns.

For adults, the most common type of burn injury is flame burns. For children, the most common burn injury is scald burns. Such injuries often are caused by carelessness or negligence, perhaps by an adult’s employer, and may merit a burn injury lawsuit for victims to gain financial compensation.

Types of Fires

As for types of fires, they include:

• Auto fires: Among the 30,000 or more Americans who die each year in motor vehicle accidents, over 500 persons die from auto fires, often when the victim is trapped in the vehicle after a crash in which it catches on fires. These motor vehicle fire statistics are from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Fire Protection Association reports that the United States had 164,000 vehicle fires in 2013 alone.

• Building fires: The biggest danger in terms of burn injuries is from building fires. Buildings — whether homes, business or public places — are filled with flammable elements such as natural gas and electricity connections, fireplaces, furnaces and flammable wood, papers and other materials.

Just as persons can be trapped inside autos during a fire, they can be trapped inside a burning building, especially a high-rise edifice. An estimated 80% or more of civilian fire fatalities are in residential building fires.

• Natural gas explosions: Many explosions occur when propane or natural gas is ignited. These gases may be used for cooking, doing laundry or heating a home. They can explode when hot water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, furnaces or other items are not properly installed or maintained.

• Flammable materials burns: Carpets, drapes, mattresses, rugs, curtains and furniture such as sofas covered by cloth can be fire hazards. In fact, even the clothes we wear may be dangerous since garments can be highly flammable. Some products recalled due to fire risks include scarves, fleece items and pajamas.

• Defective or dangerous products: Burns also can come from products which are defective or dangerous, including candles, space heaters, tea kettles and fire extinguishers.

• Workplace burns: Employees also can suffer workplace burns, as when a refinery or chemical plant explodes. An example is the Oct. 2, 2015 explosion at a SunEdison chemical facility in the vicinity of the Houston Ship Channel.

Four workers suffered serious burns when the explosion erupted at the silicon manufacturing plant.

Pipeline accidents also can cause serious burns, while electrical burn injuries also often occur to workers on a job.

Types of Burn Injury

Flame burns or scald burns are both caused by heat, as are burns from steam or hot liquids. Other types of burn injury include exposure to radiation, electricity or chemicals.

Victims of burns can suffer in a variety of ways, including infections, shock, blisters, swelling, agony and tissue damage.

Tissue damage can include burns via flames or electricity. These can char muscle or skin, leading to extreme pain, scarring and bleeding. Following tissue damage, other ailments may arise, such as infections.

Burns can do great damage to the skin, which otherwise shields the body from infection and disease. As a result of such burns, victims can suffer infections of a viral, fungal or bacterial nature.

Depending on their severity, burns are categorized as first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree. The worst burns are fourth degree burns.

Third degree burns, or full thickness burns, can go more deeply than the skin and may necessitate amputation. Fourth degree burns can lead to amputation and even death.

As for shock, this can occur in response to burns. Shock can be a physiological or psychological response to burn. In burns, shock often takes the form of circulatory shock, in which low blood perfusion to tissues leads to inadequate tissue function and cellular injuries. This form of shock is life-threatening.

Burn Treatments

According to the Mayo Clinic, treatments for severe burns can come at burn centers which specialize in such work. In some cases, skin grafts are taken to place skin from one part of the body over especially large or deep burns.

Burn victims also may need lengthy physical therapy as well as emotional and psychological help to overcome not just physical scarring but also mental scarring from burn accidents.

Avoiding Burns

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers several tips for avoiding burns from fires or explosions, particularly in the home.

These tips include installing smoke alarms throughout a home and ensuring they remain in proper working condition; taking care in cooking on stoves or in ovens; and having an escape plan in place in case a house catches on fire.

Help for Victims

Victims of burn injuries caused by another person’s negligence can get help from the burn accident lawyers at Jim Adler & Associates. We have decades of experience helping injured persons get justice and financial compensation. Whether you were injured in a car accident or suffered a workplace injury, let us help you, too, starting with a free legal consultation.

Just fill out our free case evaluation form on this Web page or call our toll-free number. We’ll quickly respond with your free case review, and then you can decide if you want to engage our services in seeking payments for your burn injury losses.

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