Carolina Accident Lawyers

Burn Injury Attorney

Traumatic Burn Injury Lawyer Serving North and South Carolina

Burns are among the most common household injuries, with an estimated 1.25 million burn injuries occurring each year in the United States. Due to burn prevention and education programs, this rate has actually dropped by 50% in the last 30 years. Also, because of the advances in the burn treatment an individual is now much more likely to survive a serious burn injury. But for survivors, that can mean months or years of expensive medical treatment and care—and a lifetime of permanent disabilities and scarring. When you are ready to explore your legal options, we will be here for you. Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 500-BICE or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a burn injury attorney.  We’ll review your situation free of charge and advise you of your legal options.

A burn is an injury caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction. Burns can vary in terms of the amount of tissue affected, the severity, and resultant complications. Blood vessels, skin tissue, muscle and bone can be damaged and involve pain due to the injury to nerve endings. Depending on the location and severity of a burn, a victim may experience a wide number of potentially fatal complications such as respiratory distress, shock or infection. Beyond physical complications, burns can also result in severe psychological and emotional distress due to scarring and deformity.

Burns are classified as first-, second- or third-degree. Sometimes this is extended to include a fourth or even up to a sixth degree, but most burns are first- to third-degree, with the higher-degree burns typically being used to classify burns postmortem.

  • First-degree burns are usually limited to redness, a white plaque and minor pain. First-degree burns only involve the skin or epidermis.
  • Second-degree burns involve a superficial blistering of the skin, and can involve more pain, depending on the level of nerve damage. Second-degree burns involve the superficial (papillary) dermis and may also involve the deep (reticular) dermis layer.
  • Third-degree burns occur when the epidermis is lost with damage to the hypodermis and possibly muscle underneath. Burn victims will exhibit charring and extreme damage of the dermis, and sometimes hard eschar will be present. Third-degree burns result in scarring and victims will also exhibit the loss of skin, hair and keratin. These burns are likely to require hospitalization.
  • Forth-degree burns involve damage to muscle, tendon, and ligament tissue, thus resulting in charring and catastrophic damage of the hypodermis. In some instances the hypodermis tissue may be partially or completely burned away. Skin grafting is required if the burn does not prove to be fatal.
  • Fifth-degree burns result in the hypodermis being burnt off, leaving blackened muscle, tendon, and ligament. Fat, nerves, veins, and arteries are destroyed and the burn area is paralyzed as a result. Amputation or grafting is required if the burn does not prove to be fatal, depending on the amount of bone involvement.
  • Sixth-degree burns leave blackened bone and damaged marrow tissue. These burns always require amputation if they are not fatal.

Burns can be caused by a wide variety of substances and sources such as exposure to chemicals, friction, electricity, radiation, and extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.

Most chemical burns are from strong acids or bases. Chemical burns are usually caused by caustic compounds, such as sodium hydroxide, and more serious compounds such as sulfuric and nitric acid.

Electrical burns include lightning, radiation caused by UV light, radiation therapy and x-rays. By far the most common burn associated with radiation is sun exposure. More severe cases of sunburn result in what is known as sun poisoning.

The most common burn injuries occur as a result of automobile gas tank ruptures, house fires started by faulty electronics or appliances, hot water scalding, chemical contact and defective workplace products or machinery.

Burn Injury Treatment

Specific treatment for third-degree burns will be determined by your physician, based on your age, overall health, and medical history in addition to the extent of the burn, location, cause and tolerance for specific medications and therapies. Cleaning and debriding (removing dead skin and tissue from the burned area) are important. This procedure can be done in a special bathtub in the hospital or as a surgical procedure. Physicians also use intravenous fluids, antibiotics, nutritional supplements, high protein diets, pain medications and, in the worst cases, skin grafting or amputation.

A skin graft is a piece of unburned skin that is surgically removed to cover a burned area. Skin grafts can be thin or thick. Skin grafts are performed in the operating room. The burn that is covered with a skin graft is called a graft site. The area where the skin is removed to be placed on the burn is called the donor site.

The dressing is left on the graft site for two to five days before it is changed, so that the new skin will stay in place. For the first several days, graft sites need to be kept very still and protected from rubbing or pressure. Proper medical care is essential for the burn to heal correctly.

Patients with severe burns often spend a significant amount of time in the hospital and have substantial medical expenses. It is also important to have access to ongoing medical attention to assure proper care and rehabilitation take place.

Contact the Burn Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

If you have suffered a serious burn injury, take the first step to protect your legal rights contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.   We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 500-BICE or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a burn injury attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.