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Common Causes of Louisiana Burn Injuries

hand being bandaged after suffering a burn injury

If you’ve ever touched a hot surface or sat too long in the sun, you know how badly burns can hurt. Burns aren’t just painful, though—they can also be extremely damaging to your health. According to our experienced personal injury lawyers, victims can be left with extensive skin damage, internal injuries, or even require amputation of the affected limb. You might require extensive medical treatment, including rehabilitation, counseling, and surgeries, which means you need a knowledgeable burn injury lawyer in Louisiana.

More than 400,000 people receive treatment for burn injuries each year, as reported by the American Burn Association. While all but the very worst burns are survivable, victims can be left with scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and other hardships.

The primary causes of burn injury include thermal burns, electrical burns, and chemical burns. Each of these are different, with different symptoms and treatments. No matter what kind of burn you receive, the injuries are often catastrophic and can even lead to death.

Thermal Burns

By far the most common type of burn injury, thermal burns include exposure to an open flame, contact with a hot object, sunburns, and scalds. Around 45% of all burns are caused by a fire or flame, and another 33% are caused by scalding, or contact with a hot liquid. These are pretty common after some sort of gas explosion occurs.

The main factors in the severity of a thermal burn are the temperature of the heat source and the duration of exposure. Exposure to any heat source above 115° Fahrenheit (46° C) can cause a burn, and the severity increases with the temperature. In addition, the longer you’re exposed to a heat source, the deeper the heat can penetrate, leading to more extensive burn damage. These can happen in major crashes, like car accidents or truck accidents.

Electric Burns

Electric burns are caused by electric current flowing through the body. The body provides resistance against the electric flow, which causes heat to build up, generating burns. These burns are generally most serious under the skin, but entrance and exit wounds on the skin’s surface are also possible.

Electric burns are usually caused by touching a live wire, though they can also be caused by short-circuits, children inserting objects into electrical sockets, being too close to broadcasting stations or other high-voltage areas, or even lightning. Other than burns, electrocution can cause a number of other issues, including nerve, muscle, and other tissue damage.

Chemical Burns

A chemical burn occurs when the skin comes into contact with a strong acid or alkaloid. Nearly 5% of all burns are caused by a corrosive substance. Chemical burns are usually immediately painful, but sometimes a victim will feel no pain at all, even with extensive tissue damage.

The severity of a chemical burn depends on the strength of the chemical and the length of time you’re exposed, which is why it’s important to immediately wash chemicals off your skin if you’re exposed. Some of the most common chemicals that can burn you include

chemical bottles, labeled toxic, that can cause chemical burns
  • Hydrochloric acid, found in cleaning products
  • Hydrofluoric acid, used in industrial processes and cleaning
  • Sulfuric acid, a common cleaning product ingredient
  • Sodium hypochlorite and calcium hypochlorite, used in pools
  • Phosphates and ammonia, both of which are in common household cleaners
  • Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, which are present in drain cleaners

Chemical burns can also be caused by solvents and oxidizers, by airbags when they deploy, and by cosmetic products such as makeup, hair dye, deodorants, and lotions. Symptoms can range from pain or numbness to an itching or burning sensation, skin discoloration, or breathing problems. Symptoms might occur immediately, but sometimes they might not appear for hours or even days after the incident. 

These types of burns, especially chemical burns, can often take place after an industrial accident at work in chemical plants, manufacturing facilities, and many more places that house dangerous chemicals, substances, and materials. If you’ve been burned at work from a chemical leak, some sort of explosion, or any other type of accident, contact a workers’ comp attorney in Louisiana immediately, who’ll fight to get your life back!

Degrees of Burn Severity

Burn injuries are classed by their severity into one of four degrees:

  • First-degree burns affect the outermost layer of the skin, or epidermis, and can cause redness, pain, and discomfort. These burns are usually treated with over-the-counter medications.
  • Second-degree burns extend deeper into the skin and can cause redness, blisters, discomfort, or muscle or tendon stiffness. These burns can take 3–8 weeks to heal.
  • Third-degree burns penetrate completely through the skin and damage the fatty layer underneath. They can destroy nerves and leave lasting scars, and are extremely painful. Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention and may never fully heal.
  • Fourth-degree burns affect deep tissue, such as muscle and bone, and leave permanent damage to nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fourth-degree burns often require amputation.

What Should I Do If I’m a Burn Injury Victim?

Suffering a burn injury can be one of the worst experiences of your life. You’re probably in a lot of pain and worrying about your medical bills and other expenses. If you are left unable to work, you might be unsure of how you’ll pay your bills.

At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we understand how you feel. Our experienced team of burn injury attorneys are available day or night to provide a free consultation to help you get justice for your injuries.

The big G stands for Gordon McKernan attorneys in Louisiana

If your burns were caused by another person’s negligence, carelessness, or malice, you deserve compensation to help you pay for your treatment, lost wages, and other damages, and to help you move on with your life. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 888.501.7888 for a legal consultation on your next steps, and we’ll get started on your case right away.

Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers are compassionate victim advocates, and we know what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. If we don’t win or settle your case, you won’t owe us a dime.

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