Understanding Burn Accidents

Understanding Burn Accidents: How to Prevent and Respond

This blog will detail catastrophic burn accidents, how they happen, and how a burn and explosion lawyer can help protect an individual’s rights. 

Understanding Burn Accidents

Many burn accidents happen during typical encounters and everyday activities. For example, people may experience a traumatic burn as a result of a:

  • Boat explosion
  • Car explosion
  • House fire
  • Propane tank explosion
  • Consumer good explosion
  • Chemical burns 
  • Power plant explosion

How to Prevent and Respond to Burns

Burns resulting from an accident or explosion are often catastrophic in nature, making them significant and debilitating. When a burn is severe, a person may need extensive treatment that could be expensive. Although burn prevention isn’t always possible, the following details burn prevention tips, burn response examples, and common burn treatments.

Burn Prevention

It’s often difficult to avoid some burn injuries, as they may be caused by someone else, are the result of an accident, or are because of a product malfunction; however, the following are general examples of ways people could better protect themselves and their belongings or workplace:

  • Wear well-fitting clothing around hot objects or open flames.
  • Keep a safe distance from open flames.
  • Never leave open flames unattended.
  • Consider your risk of sustaining common workplace burns, including thermal burns, chemical burns, electrical burns, and sun exposure burns. 
  • If you own a boat, have fire extinguishers on board, check your exhaust system, turn off portable heaters when sleeping or when you leave the boat unattended, and be careful when handling fuel and entering fuel-filling areas. 
  • When it comes to car fire awareness, maintenance, fuel safety, and safe driving are key. If your car catches fire, pull over quickly, turn off the engine, get out of the vehicle, keep a safe distance, and call 911 for help. 

Burn Response

There are different types of burns people can experience. While minor burns can likely be treated at home by the victim, other burns, like serious and severe burns, often need treatment from a medical professional.

Minor Burns 

People often treat minor burns at home. Common minor burns include burns people get from touching hot household items, such as:

  • Irons
  • Stoves
  • Hair straighteners or curling irons

A minor burn only involves the top layer of skin. Burns can feel painful and may become red and swollen. These types of burns typically heal in a few weeks.

Serious Burns 

Serious burn injuries typically require medical attention. These burns may need medications, burn wound dressing, therapy, and possibly surgery. Burn treatment is often performed to help the patient control their pain, eliminate dead tissue, prevent wound infection, reduce scarring, and regain function in the burn area.

Severe Burns

People who have sustained severe burns may need treatment at burn centers. Physical treatment may include skin grafts followed by physical therapy. Patients may also need emotional support to cope with memories from the accident and to help maintain their mental health during burn recovery.

Burn Medical Treatment

Generally, there are 3 different types of treatment for burn injuries: medical, therapeutic, and surgical. 

Medical Treatment

Depending on the type of burn an individual sustains, medical professionals may apply, prescribe, or administer the following types of treatments:

  • Water-based treatments to clean and stimulate wound tissue.
  • Fluid administration through intravenous (IV) fluids to prevent organ failure and dehydration. IVs are often paired with antibiotics to help fight off infections. 
  • Prescription medication, like pain and anxiety medications, can help reduce pain and stress while a victim heals.
  • Burn ointments and creams that can promote wound healing.
  • Dressings to help wounds heal.
  • If a patient isn’t up-to-date on vaccinations, a doctor may recommend a tetanus shot.
Physical and Occupational Therapy

When someone gets burned on a large area of their body, they may require physical therapy to help joints remain flexible and improve muscle strength and coordination. Some patients may also need occupational therapy to help them regain the ability to complete daily tasks. 

Surgery and Other Serious Medical Procedures

Individuals who have experienced severe burns may need additional medical assistance to treat their burns and help them recover:

  • Breathing assistance: Patients with facial or neck burns may experience throat swelling, requiring a trachea tube to help oxygen reach their lungs.
  • Feeding tube: These tubes run through the nose and into the stomach. They help people who are undernourished and need nutritional support.
  • Wound blood flow: If a scab goes around a limb or body part (like the chest), a doctor may cut it to keep blood flowing and relieve pressure.
  • Skin grafts: During this procedure, the patient’s healthy skin is used to replace deep burn scar tissue.
  • Plastic surgery: Reconstruction surgery may be used to increase joint flexibility impacted by scarring. 

These types of medical procedures can be costly, time-consuming, and distressing. 

Mental Health Support

Serious and severe burns can lead to mental distress for various reasons, including memories from the accident that caused the burn, stress from burn recovery, pain, reduced mobility due to an injury, and scarring. Patients can find support by seeking therapy and attending support groups for people who have experienced significant burns.

Why work with an explosion and burn attorney?

Because burn accidents are often catastrophic, more resources are often necessary for the individual involved. 

A fireman watches a building catch fire after discussing understanding burn accidents

Working with a lawyer experienced in burn accident litigation is essential for clients needing compensation for their injuries. 

What to Expect During a Burn Injury Lawsuit

Before an individual chooses to work with a law firm, they will have a consultation to discuss the accident with a lawyer. If a lawyer determines the individual may have a case, they will commonly take the following steps:

  • Ask questions about what the individual remembers about the accident.
  • Gather additional information (like medical records) and evidence, and talk to witnesses.
  • Work with experts to get insight about the accident and who may be responsible.

Burn Attorney Attributes to Look For

Oftentimes, individuals who have suffered burns are catastrophically injured. This means they will have tremendous needs to restore balance to their lives. In turn, this means that any litigation will be complex and hard-fought. It increases the need for the individual to work with an experienced attorney. An individual only has one opportunity to make a recovery of their losses; they need to ensure it is handled properly.

Burn Accident Litigation Experience

Between long-term medical bills and the value of a victim’s pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, and lost wages, it is nearly impossible to determine the value of a case without an experienced burn attorney. A burn attorney will have extensive experience with this subject and be qualified to handle these cases.

Substantial Support

Burn and explosion cases are typically a team effort and require experience. As a result, there are significant logistical considerations, which, in turn, require considerable resources to manage. 

An individual will likely benefit from partnering with a burn and explosion lawyer with a strong team experienced in providing support throughout the case’s litigation.

Compatibility and Trust

An individual and their case will benefit from working with a burn lawyer who has an understanding of burns and is experienced and prepared to handle the challenging aspects of the lawsuit. 

Effective Litigation Skills

A burn and explosion lawyer should have the experience and knowledge to use their internal and external resources to protect their client’s rights.

An individual should feel confident that their lawyer can effectively litigate their case and is dedicated to helping them get compensation for their suffering. 

Feeling comfortable with a lawyer is often an invaluable part of the process. 

Understanding burn accidents and their complexity takes experience.

Understanding burn accidents and their catastrophic results is essential to litigating burn and explosion cases.

When the lawyers at Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader represent a client who has experienced a catastrophic injury, we devote the time, resources, and experience to achieving the best possible result.

Individuals will benefit from working with a burn and explosion attorney with a proven track record of successfully handling personal injury claims. The complexities and challenges of burn and explosion lawsuits require a legal team that knows the intricacies of these cases. 

Litigating burn cases often requires a great deal of technical and specialized knowledge. The attorneys at Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader use every resource available to learn everything about how the burn accident happened and everyone responsible.

Our team has an extensive network of experts we call on to help us understand how a burn accident could have been prevented. With the help of experts, we aim to identify the key issues and areas of vulnerability for our opponents. With this knowledge, we are equipped to maximize the value of a case.

For more than 40 years, the attorneys at BFRR have successfully represented some of the region’s most high-profile and high-stakes cases. Although we are centrally located, we have a national impact.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a burn or explosion, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. 

The above is not intended to be legal advice. Each individual case is different and must be analyzed on its own set of facts and circumstances. If you believe you may have a case, it is critically important that you timely contact a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.