What is the Difference Between First, Second, and Third-Degree Burns? 

What is the Difference Between First, Second, and Third-Degree Burns

Burns accounts for hundreds of thousands of injuries and many deaths every year across the United States. Some people may assume that all burns occur because of home fires due to careless smoking, or minor burns that occur during cooking or when touching a hot stove. The truth is that there are many cases of burns that result from the negligence of another person or business. Individuals that experience these types of burns often contact an experienced Atlanta burn injury lawyer.

Burn Injury Facts  

The American Burn Association (ABA) reports that burns continue to be a leading cause of injury and death and injury in the United States. A fire death occurs approximately every two hours and thirty-five minutes. 

First degree, second degree, and third-degree burns can all lead to serious injury, a difficult recovery, and physical and psychological trauma. Some people are permanently disfigured, while others die of their burn injuries, leaving loved ones to grieve the loss of their family member. 

Although many burns occur because of an accident, many others occur because of the negligence of another party, including in the workplace. Burns are sometimes related to chemicals, scalds, electrical, and fire flames. Some other burns occur when an individual comes in contact with a hot object. The fact that many burns are serious, and that the ABA indicates that although most people at a burn center will survive, many of those individuals “will sustain serious scarring, life-long physical disabilities, and adjustment difficulties.”  

What are the Different Types of Burns? 

The first, second and third degree burns each have different symptoms and risks associated with them. The CDC published information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that explains that burns are classified by how seriously tissue has been damaged as a result of a burn. 

A first-degree burn injury includes: 

  • Redness and swelling in the outermost skin layers 
  • Pain at the site of the burn 
  • Skin is hot to the touch 
  • Local irritation 

Second degree burn involvement may include: 

  • Redness and swelling  
  • Damage to the epidermis and dermis 
  • Blistering and sloughing of the skin 
  • Severe pain 

Second degree burns may require a skin graft and may leave a noticeable scar. The burns can cause pressure on nerve cells and can potentially restrict blood flow to other areas of the body not affected by the second-degree burn. It may also result in loss of function of the affected body part. 

Third degree burn involvement may include: 

  • Destruction of all layers of the skin 
  • Destruction of pain sensing nerves 
  • Significant scarring  
  • A blackened center area of the burn 
  • Lack of severe pain due to destruction of the nerves 

Third degree burns may also cause destruction of fat, organs, muscle, and bone. People may die of third-degree burns. 

Causes of Burns 

Burns often occur because of a house fire. Some house fires are the result of faulty electrical systems or electrical appliances. Heating systems that are not properly cleaned and maintained may lead to house or business fires. 

There are several potential burn hazards in the workplace. Injuries that occur at work because of burns may lead the worker to contact an experienced Atlanta burn injury lawyer. 

The NIOSH indicates that scald injuries may occur in workplaces such as restaurants. Carrying or being near hot liquids such as hot water or hot oil or being around hot steam can lead to serious burns. In fact, these examples are frequent in the restaurant industry and can “lead to third degree burns almost instantaneously if the water is boiling or simmering.” 

Some other work-related fire hazards include slip and fall injuries that can cause an employee to experience burns, and cleaning cooking equipment. Working around hazardous chemicals or equipment also poses high risks of burn injuries. Did you or a loved one experience an on-the-job burn injury? Contact an Atlanta burn injury lawyer with expertise to help you get compensation for your burn injuries caused by the negligence of another person or company.  

Compensation for Burn Injuries 

People with first degree, second degree or third-degree burns can seek compensation for their injuries. You or your loved one do not have to struggle with more discouragement or legal complexities of trying to get compensated for your injuries and the losses from the burns.  

The Atlanta burn injury attorney that has knowledge of the law and the types of compensation that you can potentially receive works in your interest. Some factors that may determine the type and amount of compensation awarded may depend on factors that include: 

  • Your age and family circumstances along with earning capacity 
  • Severity of the burns 
  • Whether there is permanent scarring or disfigurement or any loss of body function 
  • The effects that the burn injury has on your life 
  • The skill of your attorney 

Damages may include economic damages, non-economic damages, and possibly punitive damages, whether you are seeking compensation for first degree, second degree or third-degree burns. Your attorney will fight for you to get the best possible outcome for your case.

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