The Long-Term Impact of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are some of the most serious injuries that are not often discussed in the area of personal injury law. A big reason for this is the fact that not all burn injuries are the result of someone’s negligence, especially when you consider some of the natural ways in which burns occur.
However, just like any serious injury, burn injuries are often considered catastrophic and the more severe, the more potential damages the injured individual can experience. This is because of the amount of impact the burn is likely to have on not only the outer surface of the body, but also under the skin.
Burn injuries also come with potential emotional trauma that should be considered. Unfortunately, these types of injuries often lead to long-term effects with which those affected must cope. Here are some of the things a burn injury victim can expect moving forward as they begin the process following the accident.
The Physical Damage Caused By a Serious Burn
The physical injuries a person may sustain are dependent on a number of factors, including the cause of the burn and the severity. However, in the worst-case scenarios, the individual can expect to experience some of the most impactful damages, including to the skin and as deep as the internal organs.
The most severe types of burns do enough harm to cause long-term damage to both the upper and bottom layer of skin, as well as to the tissues and nerves under the skin in the affected area, muscles, and even bone—depending on the degree and cause.
With both third and fourth degree type of burns, there is the potential for even the body’s sweat glands to be significantly damaged. The sweat glands are what help to control the temperature in the body. The moment they are damaged or destroyed, the injured individual may have trouble when dealing with specific climates and it may be wise to avoid workouts, as the damaged sweat glands increase the chance of heat stroke.
The area of the burn—depending on severity—can be damaged to the point where the skin is no longer being lubricated by their own sebaceous glands. This may require regular application of lotion to prevent problems with the skin and tissue in the damaged area.
When a person suffers a serious burn, one of the other physical effects they may experience is loss of—or change in—sensation in the affected area. This means the individual may not feel when an item is hot or cold, and there may be difficulty determining between sharp and dull and amounts of pressure applied. If the sensation is not entirely affected, the individual may be more sensitive to specific elements, such as weather.
How Burn Victims Sustain Emotional Trauma
Not all injuries following a serious burn can be seen or have physical pain associated with it. For many, the traumatic experiences can lead to long-term emotional pain and suffering as the individual may relive the situation for a long period of time following the burn.
Not only is the burn victim impacted, but his or her family may also experience the difficulties when it comes to treatment, recovery, and life moving forward. It’s important for all those around the injured individual to remain supportive, providing a system on which he or she can rely.
One of the biggest factors regarding emotional trauma for a burn victim is the battle they must have with their own self-consciousness regarding their image. This is especially true for those who have sustained burns to visible parts of the body such as the upper torso, neck, and face.
The victim may begin to isolate themselves out of fear of public perception, creating the potential need for therapy or psychiatric treatment. With the change in lifestyle, some individuals may exhibit a change in behavior that can be worrying to some family members. It’s important to note that these feelings are valid, but also note that being as supportive as possible is the best answer.
In some cases—if the emotional trauma is significant enough—there are situations that can be considered triggers in the injured individual. For instance, if the person was burned in a fire and they heard a firetruck siren during the incident, the sound of a firetruck could cause them to rehash the unwanted memories, triggering fear, anxiety, and numerous other feelings of panic.
The emotional trauma of a burn injury can be treated over time with the proper avenues and those affected should be able to return to a healthy living situation.
What Legal Options Exist for Burn Victims?
Unfortunately, not all burns are caused by negligence—and we sympathize with that fact. For those who are significantly burned because of someone else’s reckless actions, though, legal action may be possible depending on the circumstances involved.
The following are ways in which burn injuries can be caused by negligence:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: You may have heard of situations in which two vehicles crash and one catches fire. This puts anyone in or near the vehicle at a significant risk of sustaining a burn injury. In this case, the party responsible for the car accident may be responsible for the burn injury.
- Chemical Burns: While we always hope that our workplace is safe, there are some occupations that require the use of certain chemicals or expose workers to gases which may be flammable. If not properly used or if an ignition source is leaked through a problem pipe, any injury caused by the chemical may be chalked up to negligence.
- Scalding Burns: Have you ever gone to take a sip of coffee and pulled back immediately because it was too hot? Ever feel fresh soup and how hot it can be? Imagine someone who is reckless spilling these items on you, or heating the food up too much, creating a hazard. This is negligence.
- Electrical Burns: This type of burn can cause both external and internal damage to the victim, and may be caused by a number of situations, including faulty wiring in a home, business, or construction site. The party(ies) responsible for the faulty wiring may be considered negligent if their oversight leads to injuries.
Regardless of the situation, when negligence exists, so does legal action. This means there was a duty of care, that duty was breached, the breach led to an accident, and that accident resulted in the injured party suffering a burn.
If this happened to you or someone you love, it’s very important to understand your rights and having a Michigan burn injury attorney on your side can help. This means putting together the necessary evidence to build a strong case against the negligent individual and pursuing justice through civil action.
At Fieger Law, we fight for you. We guide you through the process because we know how difficult it can be. We don’t take negligence lightly and we go above and beyond to help you seek the most favorable outcome, including compensation for the damages you sustained associated with the burn injury.
Trust that we have your best interests in mind at all times and aim to walk by your side, step-by-step, until we can help you move forward. Don’t let negligence go unpunished—let us represent you and your rights.Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 and discover more about what options you have after a burn injury and what you can do to move forward. With Fieger Law, justice is possible.