Burn injuries can be devastating, and they are almost always discussed as catastrophic injuries. What is a catastrophic injury, and are burn injuries always catastrophic? If a burn injury is serious but perhaps does not rise to the level of being catastrophic, can an injury victim still file a claim for compensation?
According to federal law, a catastrophic injury is defined as one that prevents a person from permanently performing any sort of gainful work. To put it another way, catastrophic injuries might be defined as those that result in a permanent and life-altering injury. Often catastrophic injuries result in physical or intellectual disabilities.
I want to tell you more about burn injuries and how they happen, and to explain how they can range in severity. Then I want to emphasize that, regardless of whether your burn injuries are debilitating, I can help you file a claim to seek the financial compensation you deserve.
Learning More About Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can vary in terms of their severity, and they can affect different parts of the body. As MedlinePlus explains, burns can have many sources. They can be “caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation.” The most common causes of serious burns are hot liquids that scald, flammable liquids, and building fires. Inhalation injuries can also occur in building fires, including home fires.
Just as burn injuries come from many different sources, they can also vary significantly in terms of their severity. There are three different types of burns, which are classified according to their degree severity:
- First-degree burn: A first-degree burn is the least serious type of burn injury since it only affects the outer layer of the skin. First-degree burns can still require extensive medical treatment, especially when they cover large areas of the body. With a first-degree burn, according to WebMD, long-term damage is rare, but they can result in painful red blisters.
- Second-degree burn: Second-degree burn injuries are the next most serious type of burn injury. It affects both the outer layer of the skin and the next layer underneath, which is the dermis. These types of burns can be more superficial, resulting in damage to only part of the dermis, or they can be “deep partial thickness” burns, in which there is damage to a significant portion of the dermis. Depending upon the type of second-degree burn, these burns may or may not result in permanent damage and scarring. With a second-degree burn, blisters appear, the skin becomes swollen, and the skin is very painful to touch.
- Third-degree burn: Third-degree burns are often cited as the most serious type of burns from which a person can partially recover, and they cause damage or destruction to the deepest layer of a person’s skin, and sometimes to the surrounding tissue. They often are known as “full thickness” burns, and the skin often turns “black, brown, white, or yellow” due to the destruction of the skin. A third-degree burn almost always results in permanent damage and scarring, including nerve damage.
WebMD explains that sometimes there is a more severe category of burns known as fourth-degree burns, which are life-threatening and cause damage to the skin and to the surrounding bones, muscles, and tendons.
Are All of These Types of Burns Catastrophic?
As you might imagine, first-degree burns, and often second-degree burns—depending upon their size and where they are on the body—may not result in a permanent disability. In this sense, the injury may not produce catastrophic results, but it can still result in significant pain and suffering as well as a temporary disability.
In short, you can still seek compensation for a burn injury even if it may not result in permanent disfigurement or scarring, or a permanent disability.
Contact Me for Help with a Burn Injury Claim
Do you need to file a burn injury claim? I’ll Make Them Pay!® You can call me at 877.944.4373 for more information about filing a burn injury lawsuit.