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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Are the Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Ohio?

Burn injuries often result from exposure or contact, either direct or indirect, with electrical currents, heat, radiation, chemical agents, and electromagnetic energy. Although many are minor and don't cause major medical problems, some are considered life-threatening emergencies.


People who sustain burn injuries should seek medical attention immediately. Victims may also need help from an experienced attorney if they were injured in an accident caused by another person.


This article explores the most common causes of burn injuries and what victims can do to recover compensation if they're caused by another party's negligent actions.


Understanding What a Burn Injury Is

Understanding What a Burn Injury Is


A burn occurs when there's tissue damage due to direct or indirect contact or overexposure to certain types of energy and agents. Although many are mild, these wounds can cause cell death, which can be fatal and often require hospitalization.


Common Causes of Burn Injuries


As mentioned, burns are caused by direct or indirect contact with the following:


  • Heat

  • Electricity

  • Radiation

  • Chemicals

  • Electromagnetic energy

  • Sunlight


In the United States, smoking and open flame are the most common causes of burn injuries in older adults. Children, especially those aged between one and two years, are vulnerable to scalds, as they're at risk of suffering burns from boiling water and other hot liquids.


However, burn injuries can have different causes, including the following:


  • Fire or flames

  • Scalding from steam

  • Touching hot objects, including those made of metal or glass

  • Electrical currents

  • Exposure to radiation, such as that from X-rays

  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as that from a tanning bed

  • Contact with chemicals, such as gasoline, strong acids, lye, and paint thinner

  • House and industrial fires

  • Faulty space heaters, industrial equipment, or furnaces

  • Playing with matches

  • Using firecrackers and other fireworks unsafely

  • Kitchen accidents, such as children touching the oven or stove


Sometimes, hot smoke can burn the mouth and throat. Also, exposure to substances that carry more heat energy, such as steam, chemical fumes, and superheated air, can burn the airways in the lungs.


Burn Symptoms


Burn symptoms vary depending on the severity of the wound and the depth of the damage to the skin. However, the most common ones include the following:


  • Pain, although this may be unrelated to the degree of burn since a severe burn can be painless

  • Red, white, or charred skin

  • Peeling skin

  • Blisters that are intact or unbroken

  • Blisters that have broken and leak fluids

  • Shock


If the injury affects airways, these are some of the symptoms victims can experience:


  • Coughing

  • Burns on specific body parts (nose, head, eyebrows, and neck)

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Burnt lips

  • Burnt mouth

  • Voice changes

  • Dark or black-stained mucus

  • Wheezing


Different Types of Burns


The types of burns can also vary depending on what caused them. The following are the most common:


  • Thermal burns: They result in burned skin and tissue due to an increase in temperature, which is often caused by contact with heat sources, such as scalding fluids, hot metals, and flames.

  • Electrical burns: They're often caused by any of two types of electrical current – ​​alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

  • Chemical burns: They often occur when strong acids and other potentially dangerous substances, such as alkalies, solvents, and detergents, come into contact with the skin.

  • Radiation burns: They're usually caused by overexposure to radiation sources, such as the sun (ultraviolet radiation) or X-rays.

  • Fire-flame burns: They cause tissue damage due to exposure to flames or dense smoke. An inhalation injury in the respiratory tract could be an example of this.


Classification of Burns


Burn wounds are classified depending on how deep they penetrate the surface of the skin. In this regard, they can be:


  • First-degree burns: Also known as superficial burns, they cause damage to only the outer layer of the skin or epidermis, which means they aren't deep. Mild sunburn is an example of these wounds.

  • Second-degree burns: These wounds, also known as partial thickness burns, not only affect the epidermis but also a part of the dermis layer, causing pain and swelling.

  • Third-degree burns: Also known as full-thickness burns, these wounds can destroy both the epidermis and the dermis because they penetrate deeply into the skin. They can also cause damage to tendons, muscles, and bones.

  • Fourth-degree burns: This term is often used to describe severe burns that damage bones and can even destroy nerve endings.


If burns are more serious, victims will need more severe and extensive treatment. According to the American Burn Association, if they affect 10% of the total body surface area, injured individuals should be immediately treated at a specialized burn center. The same is true for burn patients with existing chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.


If a Person Sustains a Burn Injury, Do They Need Help from a Personal Injury Attorney?


Even if they sustain minor burns in an accident caused by someone else, victims may need help from an experienced personal injury law firm in Cincinnati OH.


Most burn injuries are avoidable. People should follow recommendations for burn prevention, such as installing smoke detectors on their premises and stocking their properties with fire extinguishers, to avoid causing accidents that harm others.


If someone fails to keep their properties in excellent condition or acts negligently and causes a burn injury to another person, they may be held responsible for victims' burn care costs and other damages.


Recovering Compensation for Burn Injuries


Burns can be painful and traumatic wounds. Additionally, they may require expensive and extensive treatment, which will cause bills to pile up. However, it isn't fair for victims to have to go through that experience because of someone else's negligence.


People who sustain a burn injury can take legal action against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the following:


  • Current and future medical expenses

  • Lost earnings

  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury

  • Physical pain and suffering

  • Emotional trauma

  • Loss of enjoyment of life


What Attorneys Can Do for Burn Injury Victims

What Attorneys Can Do for Burn Injury Victims


Whether it's a minor or third-degree burn, if someone sustained one of these injuries due to someone else's actions, they may need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer.


Seasoned attorneys can help them build their cases to hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence and recover fair compensation for the damages they caused. Plus, experts can handle the legal process while victims focus on recovering from such a traumatic experience. They are also able to help with questions like can I hire a personal injury lawyer from another state?


Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!


People who have suffered burns in Cincinnati, Ohio, can find a trustworthy personal injury lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. A legal team will review their cases to determine the best course of action if their injuries were caused by someone else. Schedule a free consultation today!

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