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Types of Burn Injury Accidents and Potential Liable Parties

Fire-related accidents are a leading cause of death, injury, and property damage in the U.S. and throughout the world. The World Health Organization reports that about 180,000 people die each year as a result of these injuries.

The American Burn Association indicates that nearly 490,000 burn incidents occurred in the U.S. in 2016 that required medical attention, 3275 of which were the result of smoke inhalation or fire deaths. In addition, nearly three-quarters of burns in the U.S. occur as a result of in-home accidents. A significant percentage of burn injuries also happen as a result of chemicals, hot scalding water, and electrical accidents.

Types of burn injuries

The various burn injury levels and their associated symptoms are as follows:

1st degree burns

These burns affect the exterior portion of the skin and often result in minor irritation, swelling, redness, and peeling skin. Sunburns often fall into this first-degree category. They usually heal within one to two weeks.

2nd degree burns (partial thickness burns)

Extending deeper than the top layer of the skin, these second-degree burns often produce blisters and appear as red and sore. The blisters may also open up and secrete fluid. They are extremely painful, but often heal within 2 to 3 weeks. It is very important to keep these burn areas clean at all times.

3rd degree burns (full thickness burns)

These are very serious burns and often appear leathery as they reach through multiple layers of skin. They produce scarring and disfigurement and require skin grafting procedures. These burns destroy the nerves and can lead to numbing of the skin, while also producing incredible pain.

4th degree burns

These are the most serious type of burns. They extend through the skin, down to the fat, muscles, and bones. Often these burns leave a charred and black appearance. They produce significant disfigurement and can be life-threatening. Victims require extensive surgery.

Potential Responsible Parties

Some fires are started as a result of faulty electrical work, defective products, and inadequate installation or maintenance of equipment and appliances.

When fire alarms and smoke detectors have not functioned properly, leading to burn injury, victims may have the right to bring a legal claim against the owner of the property or the manufacturer of the device if it was faulty.

Owners of apartment complexes and hotels are uniquely vulnerable to lawsuits resulting from fires. This is due to the fact that they have a responsibility to institute safety measures related to fire protection. If safety equipment or devices fail, viable claims may be leveled against owners for the failure to provide adequate notification of the fire emergency. They may also bear liability if an adequate means of escaping the building was not provided.

Burn injuries, and the painful treatments that follow, can be devastating. If an accident leading to your injuries was caused by a negligent party, the experienced Nashville personal injury attorneys at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 615.246.5549, visit our offices in Nashville, Knoxville, or Hendersonville, or contact us today for a free consultation. 

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