Florida Burn Injury Attorney
Burn injuries are among the most catastrophic and traumatic injuries one can suffer in a serious motor vehicle accident, construction accident or other tragic incident. The Florida burn injury attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. apply their decades of experience in personal injury matters to help burn injury victims get the medical care and compensation they need to heal to the maximum extent possible and to regain as much quality of life as they can, after their life has been turned upside-down by another’s negligence or misconduct.
Types of Burns
First degree burns – Other than the instant and lingering pain, a first degree burn is usually not that serious and can be treated at home by running cool water over the affected area and applying a burn ointment along with topical pain relief or an oral analgesic. In a first degree burn, the top layer of skin is damaged and typically becomes red or inflamed. This kind of burn takes about a week to a week and half to heal. However, if the burn covers an area more than three inches around, or if the burn is located on a major body joint, it may be wise to seek medical treatment to make sure the burn is properly cared for and heals properly.
Second degree burns – In a second degree burn, the burn extends past the top layer of skin (epidermis) and damages the dermal layer beneath. A second degree burn is characterized by redness along with painful sores or blistering. Burn victims with blisters and sores run the risk of getting a serious bacterial infection, so it is important that the wound area be kept clean and bandaged. A victim of a second degree burn may be able to care for the burn at home or may need medical treatment, depending upon how large the burn is and whether it covers sensitive areas on the body, such as the hands, feet, face or groin. Second degree burns can result in scarring if not treated promptly and correctly. If scarring does occur, corrective surgery may be needed.
Third degree burns – A burn that goes through all three layers of skin (epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous fat layer) is known as a third degree burn. These burns may affect more than just the skin and can cause damage to muscles, nerves and internal organs. The skin may appear anywhere from white and waxy to dark brown, charred and leathery. All third degree burns require medical care from a doctor or specialist. Treatment is necessary to prevent infection and scarring as well as permanent damage to the body. Damaged tissue may need to be removed (debrided), and depending on how large the burn area is, skin grafting or other surgical techniques may be necessary to replace the damaged skin.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents – Explosions and fuel-fed fires that occur in a car, truck or motorcycle accident can cause serious or fatal burn injuries to those hurt in the crash. Persons may be trapped in a burning vehicle or simply come into direct contact with superhot engine components or liquids, causing contact or thermal burns.
Defective products – Electrical appliances that are defectively designed or manufactured may spark, overheat or catch fire, causing electrical burns, contact burns or burns from a house fire.
Construction accidents and industrial accidents – Construction workers and other industrial workers run the risk of electrical burns, contact burns, chemical burns, and thermal burns from fires and factory explosions.
Major risks of burn injuries
Infection – Any time the skin is broken, there is a risk of bacterial infection. In the case of a severe burn that goes through many layers of skin or takes several weeks to heal, there is a greater risk that infection will occur. Not only may the wound site itself become infected, but the bacteria may get into the bloodstream and cause sepsis or septic shock, which is a serious condition that can lead to the shutdown of critical organs and body functions.
Scarring – Scarring is always a risk when burn injuries heal. Scarring and disfigurement can cause limited mobility and motor function in the infected area, as well as psychological and emotional trauma that endures long after the burn has healed. Special care during the treatment of the burn may minimize scarring, but later surgery and other treatments may be required to reduce or eliminate scarring that is interfering with one’s ability to function in life.
Call Our Florida Burn Injury Attorneys for Help after a Burn Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury in a car accident, construction accident, or other incident at the hands of a negligent party, contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. at 305-445-1111 or toll-free at 877-529-6211. From our offices in Coral Gables, we serve clients in Miami and across the state of Florida. Our personal injury trial lawyers offer a free consultation and do not charge a fee if we don’t recover for you.