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Main Causes of Burn Injuries

Main Causes of Burn Injuries

The main causes of burn injuries include:

  • Chemical burns from harsh chemicals
  • Radiation burns from radiation from the sun or artificial light sources
  • Electrical burns from direct exposure to electricity
  • Thermal burns from hot objects or open flames
  • Cold burns from cold objects or extreme cold
  • Contact

    How Do Burn Injuries Happen?

    Causes of Burn Injuries

    Exposure to heat, cold, and/or certain substances can cause burn injuries. You encounter these dangerous environments and objects in your daily life more often than you might expect.

    The main causes of burn injuries include exposure to:

    • X-rays
    • Microwaves
    • Ultraviolet light
    • Hot or cold metal
    • Boiling water
    • Bleach
    • Acid
    • Uninsulated or faulty wires
    • Poorly maintained machinery
    • Very hot or very cold working environments
    • Controlled or uncontrolled fires

    In far too many cases, burns occur because someone behaved negligently or carelessly. If you can prove negligence played a role in your burn injury case, you could hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions.

    Examples of situations where negligence can lead to burns include when:

    • A speeding driver instigates a major car accident that causes your car to burst into flames.
    • A piece of equipment you use at work malfunctions due to faulty wiring and poor maintenance.
    • Your boss does not provide you with safety gear (e.g., insulating gloves) that could prevent burn injuries.
    • You go to a tanning salon that does not warn you about the dangers of tanning, uses poorly maintained equipment, or does not monitor you during tanning.
    • You visit a building with inadequate fire alarms or firefighting measures (e.g., sprinklers), so that when a fire does break out, you suffer worse injuries than you should have.

    In each of these cases, someone else neglected to take reasonable actions to prevent burn injuries.

    The liable parties discussed above may include:

    • The speeding driver
    • The maintenance supervisor
    • The employer
    • The tanning salon owner
    • The building owner and/or manager

    You may take legal action if you have suffered because of the main causes of burn injuries or any other type of burn injury.

    What Do Burn Injuries Feel Like?

    Burns present many complexities to both injury survivors and those treating them.

    For example, you could suffer burns to one or more layers of skin, which contain not just skin but also:

    • Hair follicles
    • Nerves
    • Glands
    • Fat cells

    The symptoms you experience after a burn vary depending on the cause and location of your injury.

    Depending on how deep your burn goes, your symptoms may include:

    • Pain at the site of contact
    • White and red splotchy skin
    • Swelling and blisters

    In addition, you could experience other symptoms, like difficulty breathing due to smoke inhalation, if a fire or explosion caused your burns.

    How to Respond to a Burn Injury

    Fast, effective burn injury treatment could speed your recovery and protect your health over the long term. If you suffer any type of burn, see a doctor as soon as possible. If necessary, call an ambulance and go to the hospital for emergency treatment.


    • Tell the doctor everything you know about your injury and how it happened.
    • Allow the doctor to run as many tests and ask as many questions as they need to diagnose your injuries.
    • Follow through on all of the treatments your doctor suggests.
    • Continue to see your doctor for as long as necessary to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI).

    In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you visit a burn injury specialist. They can provide more intensive, personalized treatment than a general practitioner could.

    Follow these steps even if the burn does not seem bad to you because:

    • Some injuries take longer to present symptoms. In other words, just because you do not feel bad now does not mean you have not sustained an injury.
    • Some injuries can rapidly worsen without prompt intervention.
    • You can save yourself unnecessary suffering through prompt treatment.
    • You can use the resulting medical records to help prove your case against the liable party.

    Do you want to take legal action following a burn injury? You have the right to do so, but your health must always come first. See a doctor for your burns and talk to a personal injury attorney afterward.

    How Long Burn Injuries Last

    Some people can recover completely from a burn injury.

    Others will suffer permanent disabilities, such as:

    • Nerve damage
    • Extensive scarring
    • Chronic pain
    • Amputation

    Such disabilities could, in turn, affect your ability to:

    • Work
    • Take care of your children
    • Take care of yourself
    • Spend time with friends and family
    • Enjoy activities like travel and sports

    Only your doctor can tell you whether you have a chance of making a full recovery. They can improve your chances by providing timely care.

    You Can Sue for Your Burn Injury

    If you start your case in time, you could collect several kinds of compensation from the responsible party—or, more specifically, from their insurance company, which covers the cost of lawsuits like yours.

    Below you can find some factors you must consider as you pursue compensation:

    The Statute of Limitations

    In each state, accident survivors have a limited time period in which to file a case. Called a statute of limitations, this time period varies from state to state and from situation to situation.

    You may find it helpful to consult a local personal injury attorney before starting your case. They can tell you about all of the deadlines you must comply with.

    Your Case’s Worth

    Before you ask the liable party for damages, you must figure out how much money your injuries entitle you to collect.

    A lawyer could help you add up all of your losses, such as:

    • Loss of income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Medical bills
    • Impaired quality of life
    • Loss of earning capacity
    • Scarring and disfigurement
    • Property damage
    • Disabling injuries

    These and other damages serve several purposes.


    • Make it easier for you and your family to afford the things you need
    • Compensate you in some small way for the pain and inconvenience of the injury
    • Allow you to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence

    You Can Sue Only Once

    This fact could have major implications for your case.

    Consider the following example:

    • Person A has suffered $10,000 worth of damages due to burns sustained in an accident.
    • Person A sues Person B, the liable party, for $10,000 and wins.
    • Several years later, Person A realizes they must undergo additional medical treatment to reduce painful, lingering symptoms related to the burns. This treatment will cost them an additional $2,000.
    • Person A has already sued Person B because of these burn injuries. They have no right to sue again, so they cannot get compensation for this new $2,000 medical bill.
    • Person A would have to rely on their own savings or medical insurance to pay for treatment.

    This rule does not have to prevent you from recovering the compensation you need: you could have your lawyer estimate the probable future costs of your injury and include that amount in your lawsuit.

    The Insurer Does Not Want to Pay

    After any accident, the insurance company sends an insurance adjuster to investigate what happened and limit its liability.

    The adjuster will:

    • Talk to everyone involved in the incident, including you
    • Collect documentary evidence, such as photos or video footage
    • Examine all available materials and deciding who caused the accident

    Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster has their own agenda. They will do all they can to save their employer money by reducing or eliminating your payout.

    For this reason, you should consider hiring a law firm to protect your interests. An attorney could prepare you for the insurance adjuster’s questions and provide them any other materials they ask for.

    Multiple Parties May Share Liability

    Say that your burn injury occurred at work because a contractor did not receive proper training and accidentally caused a fire. The property owner knew the contractor did not have adequate training procedures in place but allowed them to operate on their land regardless. Who should you sue?

    In a case like this, you could potentially sue both the contractor and the property owner. Both parties displayed negligence by allowing unsafe work conditions to go unchallenged.

    Filing suit against multiple liable parties could get you the money you need, but it could also make your case more complex. An attorney could tell you how many other parties contributed to your injuries and how you can collect compensation from each of them.

    Recovering Fair Compensation for Burn Injuries

    Deciding to sue the liable party represents just the first step in what could turn into a very lengthy procedure. Even a healthy individual would find the legal system challenging, but if you still have not fully recovered from your burns, the process could rob you of the strength and concentration you need to recuperate.

    Your personal injury attorney could fight for the money you need in all of the following ways and more:

    Investigating the Injury

    You might remember the incident perfectly or have no memory of it at all. Either way, your lawyer would have to build a case strong enough to prove that someone else caused your injuries and that you deserve compensation for those injuries.

    In burn injury cases, your lawyer might pull evidence from:

    • Photos or video footage of the incident
    • Testimony from you, the other party, and/or witnesses
    • Testimony from experts who can confirm how your burn occurred and how it will affect your life
    • Medical records that prove you suffered a burn that required treatment

    Pursuing Burn Injury Compensation

    Armed with sufficient evidence, your lawyer can confidently identify the liable party and approach their insurance company with a demand letter. Your case could then end with successful negotiations for a pretrial settlement or with your lawyer taking the liable party to trial in search of a jury award.

    Each case requires a different approach. Your attorney should adjust their strategy to your situation.

    Protecting Your Interests

    The insurer does not want to pay you what you need—or anything at all. A personal injury attorney could make sure they do not try to withhold the money you deserve or undermine your rights in any way.

    Fatal Burn Injuries

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths caused by fire or flame represent a small percentage—just 1.5 percent—of all fatal injuries in the United States. This still means that thousands of Americans die in fires every year, and thousands more must grieve for their loved one’s sudden death.

    If your loved one passed away from their burn injuries, or if you yourself expect to pass away soon, you have legal options:

    • If you yourself suffered a burn, you may file a personal injury lawsuit now.
    • If you pass away before you complete your lawsuit, an attorney could help your surviving relatives convert your personal injury case to a wrongful death case. Your relatives could then collect compensation on your behalf.
    • If your loved one has already passed away, you may start a wrongful death lawsuit from scratch.

    If you face such a situation, try to find a law firm that has experience with both personal injury and wrongful death cases. This way, no matter what happened, your family could rely on the same attorney throughout the entire process.

    If your loved one passes away because of a burn injury, you could qualify for wrongful death damages, such as loss of companionship and loss of financial support. Just like with a personal injury case, a lawyer could determine how much you should ask for.

    Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert - Owner & Attorney

    Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was seriously injured in a collision and experienced firsthand dealing with uncooperative insurance companies. She knows what it is like to feel overwhelmed and under-educated about your rights after a collision. That is why she has dedicated this firm to fighting for accident victims and their loved ones. The goal of The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is to provide you with excellent legal advice, based on our experience in representing injured automobile drivers and passengers from all across the State of Georgia.

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