Depending on a burn’s severity, the skin, nerves, and even vital organs can suffer damage. Third-degree burns damage all layers of skin down to the hypodermis, causing severe pain and often resulting in permanent damage.

Pursuing damages can help you move on with your life while you recover. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident that caused third-degree burns, contact our law firm for a complimentary consultation to learn your next steps.

Common Causes of Third-Degree Burn Injuries

Third-degree burns can result from cooking accidents, exposure to electrical wires, or improperly stored chemicals. However, they can also stem from malfunctioning products or another party’s negligent behavior.

Defective products

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, burns from defective products are a leading injury in the United States. Each year, about 22,500 hospitalizations are caused by product-related burns. These injuries can result from several factors, including faulty wiring, improperly installed appliances, and defective consumer products.

Landlord negligence

Each year, tenants are injured in house fires caused by landlord negligence. For example, many landlords fail to install smoke detectors or ensure they are working correctly. Tenants may not receive proper instructions on using fire extinguishers or escaping safely in the event of a fire. Faulty electrical wiring and defective appliances can also lead to fires.

Employer negligence

Fires are common in industries where workers are handling hot or dangerous materials. These can occur when workers are:

  • Welding
  • Soldering
  • Brazing
  • Drilling
  • Blasting
  • Thawing pipes

Exposure to corrosive or caustic chemicals, such as paint thinner, solvents, lye, or gasoline, can also result in injuries. Using acids, bases, and oxidants can cause short-term or lifelong injuries and scarring.

Employers must provide their workers with the appropriate protective gear and ensure they receive adequate training to handle hazardous materials. They should also have an evacuation plan in place for potential fires. Additionally, employers should regularly inspect work areas for potential hazards and take steps to mitigate any risks.

Car fires

According to FEMA, 171,500 car fires occur in the United States. When a car gets impacted in an accident, the fuel tank can rupture, igniting a fire. Damage to the battery and electrical wiring increases the risk of fire.

Burn injuries from car fires can be severe, as the fuel and materials used in the car’s construction can act as an accelerant, increasing the flame’s heat. A vehicle fire can generate heat to 1,500°F, which can cause extensive damage to the skin and internal organs. Accident victims may be trapped in their vehicles, unable to escape in time to avoid serious burns.

Types of Burn Treatments

Treatment options for burn victims include cool water therapy, sterile dressings, grafts, and surgery. These treatments aim to prevent infection, promote healing, and minimize scarring. Physical therapy is also often needed to restore movement to the affected area.

Cool water therapy

Cool water therapy is the most common treatment and involves running cool water over the burn for several minutes. This helps to soothe the pain and reduce swelling.

Sterile dressings

Sterile dressings using nanocrystalline silver, silica, or hydrogel are used to cover the wound and protect it from infection. Grafts involve taking skin from another body part and using it to cover the burned area.

Surgery for severe burns

Surgery is usually only necessary for severe burns. The type of treatment that is best for a particular burn depends on:

  • Severity of the burn
  • Size of the wound
  • Location of the burn

Recovering From Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns penetrate all layers of the skin. As a result, the damage they cause can be extensive, and recovery is typically a long and challenging process. Healing can take weeks or even months, and patients often require multiple surgeries.

Compensation for Burn Victims

The compensation you receive depends on the severity of your injuries, the medical expenses you have incurred, and the circumstances leading up to the injury.  You may be entitled to more compensation if you sustained permanent scarring and disfigurement. The amount of damages you can recover depends on:

  • Scar visibility: Visible scars usually recover more compensation than those out of view.
  • Victim’s age: The younger the victim, the higher the case value. This stems from the fact that the victim will have to live more of their life with disfigurement.
  • Gender: Burn victims can receive greater compensation for their scarring if they are female. Female burn victims can suffer body image issues and have a tougher time coping with burns than do male burn victims.
  • Victim’s marital status: Single burn victims tend to receive higher compensation than those who are married.
  • Permanent vs. reparable scar: Permanent burn scars usually recover more compensation due to the impact on victims’ lives.

Seek an Injury Lawyer if You Suffered Third-Degree Burns

An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what type of compensation you may be eligible for and assist you in pursuing your claim. Don’t pay out-of-pocket for your burn injuries. Instead, trust your third-degree burn claim to knowledgeable attorneys with a proven track record.

Contact an Indianapolis burn injury lawyer from Wagner Reese today to discuss your case and find out how much it may be worth.