Burn injuries are among the most common of personal injuries that people in Charlotte, North Carolina, are likely to experience in their lives. Of course, not all burns warrant a personal injury claim. It all depends on the severity of the injury, how much of the body is affected, and what caused the injury.
What Caused Your Burn Injury?
Some burns are caused by fire, in the form of a candle flame, a fireplace, a bonfire, or a gas stove burner, for example. Other burns are caused by hot surfaces without an open flame, such as an electric stove burner, the oven, a hot engine, or another heated surface. Then, there are the burn injuries that arise from contact with boiling water or steam. Certain products and machinery can cause explosions, and some chemicals are hazardous because they cause chemical burns.
The cause of your burn injury is important when it comes to seeking compensation, because it is the first step in establishing whether it was a result of someone else’s negligence. If the injury occurred in someone else’s home or on the property of a business, you may have a premises liability claim. If a defective product caused your injuries, then you may have a product liability claim. If it happened in an auto accident, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the auto insurance policy of the at fault driver. If it happened at work, then you likely have a valid workers’ compensation claim. Yet, if there is nobody to blame for the injury but yourself, if the injury was caused by your own mistake in your own home, then you may not be able to pursue compensation at all.
How Serious is Your Burn Injury?
The next factor that matters when it comes to pursuing a burn injury personal injury claim in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the severity of the injury. This is because not all burn injuries can be compensated by the at fault or negligent party. In fact, not all burn injuries that happen at work warrant a workers’ compensation claim. If you are dealing with a first degree burn, then it is unlikely that you will require any medical treatment or time off of work. You can typically treat a first degree burn with first aid, bandages, and ointments. If you do not face any expenses or losses because of your injury, then you don’t have any damages to be compensated through a personal injury claim.
Second and third degree burn injuries are far more likely to result in a Charlotte, North Carolina, personal injury claim. You will need to seek medical treatment for a second degree burn, but it won’t be as severe and disruptive to your life as a third degree burn. Third degree burns require a significant amount of medical treatment and long term recovery. You are likely to be out of work for a long time and will end up with permanent scars. You may also become disabled by a third degree burn.
While first degree burns are unlikely to lead to a personal injury claim at all, second and third degree burns will involve significant losses and expense. Third degree burns may even impact the quality of your life for years to come, after a painful, lengthy, and expensive treatment and recovery process.
What Can You Do to Minimize the Damage of a Burn Injury?
The first thing to understand about burn injuries is what to do in the immediate aftermath. In the most severe cases, there may be little that you can do for yourself. If you are able to call 911 or call for help from other people who may be around you, then this is the first and most important thing you can do in severe third degree burn cases. In some cases, there is much more that you can do to minimize the damage of a burn injury. Removing jewelry is far more important than many people realize, because if you are able to do so before your wounds swell around the jewelry, then you may be saving a limb or a finger, and preventing a substantial amount of harm.
Then, there are steps that you can take after many burn injuries, such as putting the burned skin under cool running water, applying antibiotic ointment, and covering the with non-stick bandages. You can also take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain before you get medical treatment. Seeking medical treatment is important, though, for second and third degree burns.
While the need to seek urgent medical care is obvious with a third degree burn, many people make the mistake of not seeking medical treatment right away for second degree burns. This is especially true when the burn affects a very small area, and you think you can take care of it yourself. You would be wise to seek medical treatment for any burn that goes beyond first degree, though you don’t necessarily always need to be rushed to the hospital for a second degree burn. If there are any blisters, then you need to avoid picking at or breaking them. It is also possible to mistake a second degree burn for a first degree burn, and the blisters are an indication that it may be more serious. If those blisters ooze or if you have a fever, then your burn may be infected, and it requires treatment.
Third degree burns can be a whole different world of pain and emergency medical response. It may not be possible to put your injury under running water, and you may even go into shock. In third degree burn cases, you are going to need to rely on others for help. Again, if you can remove your jewelry, you should, but you should not try to remove any clothing. This is because clothing can become fixed to the skin in a third degree burn case, and you might be peeling your skin off along with the clothing. Attempt to elevate the burned body part, if possible, and seek medical treatment as quickly as possible.
Contact Ted A. Greve & Associates to Learn More About Your Burn Injury Claim
The compassionate Charlotte personal injury legal team at Ted A. Greve & Associates are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss the value of your burn injury claim. Call today, and get started in the right direction towards recovering compensation.