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Burn Injuries Cause Physical and Emotional Damage

by onJune 26, 2018

Of all the injuries we see, burn injuries are some of the most haunting. Whether caused by explosions, defective products, or car accidents, burn injuries can leave their victims physically immobile and emotionally scarred. If you have been burned through no fault of your own, you might be entitled to compensation.

Burn Severity

Burn injuries are classified by how deeply they penetrate the body. Generally, there are three types of burns:

  • First-degree burns. These burns only damage the epidermis, which is the outer layer of skin. You can experience redness, pain, and swelling.
  • Second-degree burns. Damaging both the epidermis and the underlying dermis, second-degree burns are more serious. They can cause blistering as well as redness and pain.
  • Third-degree burns. A third-degree burn will burn all the way through both layers of skin and damage underlying tissue, muscle, bones, and nerves.

All burns—even first-degree burns—are serious and should receive prompt medical treatment. Generally, you can treat a first-degree burn by applying cold compresses and taking over-the counter pain medication. You might also apply an antibiotic ointment to the burn.

A second-degree burn might require a trip to the hospital, especially if the burn is larger than three inches in diameter or if it occurred on your face, hands, feet, buttocks, or over a joint. Your doctor can clean the burn to make sure that it does not get infected while assessing whether other treatment is necessary.

Third-degree burns might require skin grafts to the affected area. If the burn is particularly bad, then the affected limb might need to be amputated. Third-degree burns over a large percentage of the body are often fatal.

Psychological Fallout from Burn Injuries

Burn injuries leave more than physical scars. Doctors and therapists have carefully documented the emotional distress that follows bad burns. For example, a burn victim might suffer from:

  • Anger or sadness when thinking about their burn injury
  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Loneliness and withdrawal from family and friends
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Fear for the future

Emotional distress is particularly acute immediately after the injury, as the patient has little to do other than reflect on their burn. Over time, the distress might lessen, but many burn victims continue to deal with repercussions, such as:

  • Embarrassment about their appearance
  • Physical pain
  • Traumatic flashbacks to the burn accident
  • Depression over physical limitations

Burn victims and their family members often benefit from support groups where they can talk to other burn victims. Frequently, burn survivors require psychotherapy and medication to manage psychological distress.

Speak with a Toledo Burn Injury Lawyer

Medical and psychiatric treatment cost a considerable amount of money, and burn survivors will need financial resources to pay for it. Although your medical insurance might cover a portion of this treatment, you might need to bring a lawsuit to receive full compensation for your injuries.

At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, our lawyers have helped multiple burn survivors receive the financial compensation they deserve. To schedule your free consultation, please reach out to us today.

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