Most people do not realize how common burn injuries are in motor vehicle accidents. Hot metals, fires, and explosions incident to an accident can cause severe burns, leaving a person’s skin severely damaged and in need of immediate medical attention. A burn injury may also be sustained due to airbag deployment or by coming into contact with dangerous, leaking chemicals as a result of the accident. The risk of burn injuries in an accident is real and can have lasting impacts on those who sustain them.
For your injuries, seek immediate medical attention. For your personal injury claim seeking monetary compensation for the harm you have suffered, contact our Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. right away. While your doctors look after your health and well-being, we will dedicate ourselves to preserving and promoting the well-being of your legal right to be fully and fairly compensated for your accident-related damages.
Common Car Accident Burn Injuries
When you get down to it, there is a number of ways to sustain burns in a car accident. Most people think of injuries like broken bones or damage to the back and neck in motor vehicle accidents, but the risk of sustaining a burn injury should not be underestimated. Some of the most common ways accident victims sustain burns are due to:
- Hot metals
- Exposure to hot metal, liquids, or steam
- Airbag deployment
- Nearby vehicle explosions
- Making contact with toxic chemicals and hazardous material leaked in the accident
- Making contact with a live current
Burn Injury Treatment
To minimize scarring and maximize recovery, burns must be carefully treated. The nature and extent of burn injury treatment will depend on factors such as the severity of the burn. Burn injuries are categorized into three levels: first, second, and third degree.
- First degree: These are burns that only impact the top layer of skin.
- Second degree: These are burns that reach the second layer of skin, causing more severe pain and blistering.
- Third degree: These are burns that reach deeper still and can cause permanent damage to skin tissue and nerves.
What makes burn injuries complex is that a burn is not likely to fully develop at the scene of the accident. The body often responds to the burn by going into shock and this can prevent the full severity of the symptoms from presenting themselves right away. Be aware of this because many sustain what they initially thought to be minor burns, but they end up being much more severe. Take a pause before dismissing your need for immediate medical attention. Go get checked out. Your minor burn may go on to blister and end up being much more serious than your own initial evaluation.
Burn injury treatments run a wide range. In more minor cases, antibiotics and rehydration may suffice to sufficiently address the injury. You may also be prescribed pain medication to help alleviate your discomfort while the injury heals. In more severe burn cases, the impacted area may be subject to debriding so that the dead skin tissue can be removed. If the burn is bad enough, skin graft surgery may be necessary. In some of the most serious burn injury cases, amputation surgery may be ordered.
Regardless of the treatment, the road to recovery starts with immediate medical attention. This is critical. Burn injuries identified earlier will allow you to receive the medical treatment you need and minimize the chances of complications arising. With burn injuries, there is a great risk of infection setting in. Your skin is, after all, a primary barrier against infection entering the body. Damage to this vital barrier opens the body to be susceptible to infection. Infection can be more than a mere inconvenience. It can be fatal. If the infection enters the bloodstream, your body may go into septic shock.
Compensation Available in Burn Injury Cases
If you have sustained burns and other injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are legally entitled to pursue compensation. The bulk of damages awarded in personal injury cases is compensatory in nature. This means that the damages are intended to compensate you for your losses. Compensatory damages include:
- The cost of medical care
- The cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- The cost of follow-up treatments (such as physical therapy)
Compensatory damages will also include pain and suffering experienced by the injury victim. This is important because injuries, including burn injuries, can take a serious physical toll on the body, but they can also bring serious mental impacts as well. Victims may struggle with the pain of the injury, the invasiveness of the treatments, the scarring that may result, and the difficulty in living with the long-term impacts brought by the injury as well.
Contact Our North Dakota Burn Injury Attorney Today
Time is a precious resource under the best of circumstances. After an accident, this may be even more true. The sooner you reach out to our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys for assistance after an accident, the sooner we can begin enforcing your legal rights to compensation. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. is committed to supporting individuals in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and Minot, as well as the surrounding areas, who have suffered from burn injuries in an accident. Our dedicated team is here to provide legal assistance and guidance to those facing the complex challenges that arise from these incidents.