Car accidents can cause a myriad of injuries ranging from broken bones to concussions, depending on the severity of the crash.
Burn injuries are also possible if you come into contact with hot liquids like water or oil following an accident. They can also occur if you are trapped in a car on fire.
Here is all you need to know if you have been a victim of burn injuries in a car crash.
Types of Burns
Typically, burns are classified according to their extent on the skin: how deep they have penetrated and the affected surface area. Below are common types of burn injuries and the steps to take in healing them:
- First-Degree Burns – These are superficial and only affect the outer skin layer, known as the epidermis. The burns are usually mild, and the skin may appear red and dry but without blisters.
- Second-Degree Burns – These involve the epidermis as well as the underlying layer, known as the dermis. The skin appears red with blisters, and may also be swollen.
- Third-Degree Burns – These are more severe than the above two and affect both layers of the skin. They may also extend to the innermost skin layer and make the skin appear charred or blackened.
- Fourth-Degree Burns – These are the most severe kinds of burns and penetrate all layers of the skin. They may also reach deeper tissues like bone or muscle and are often painless since the nerve endings have been destroyed.
How to Treat Burn Injuries
There is no one way to treat car accident burns and it all depends on their severity. Basic first aid measures involve running cool water over the burned area for minor burns, applying a moisturizing lotion or burn cream, and covering the burn with a sterile gauze or bandage. Pain killers may also help alleviate the discomfort and swelling.
For more severe burns, treatment includes specialized care at a hospital’s burn center. You may require an intravenous drip to avert dehydration, and depending on the burn location, doctors may use breathing assistance or feeding tubes. Expensive surgery and procedures like skin grafting are an alternative in extreme circumstances.
It may take weeks or even months for your car accident burns to heal fully. Complications like infections may arise within that time. It is vital to follow up with your doctor to ensure that the treatment is on course.
The Road to Recovery
There is more to burns than physical pain. The healing phase may mean reduced mobility and disruption from regular duties like attending work or leading a normal life.
In addition, victims endure emotional and psychological suffering brought about by some of these injuries, some of which may be life-changing. For example, trauma from burns may be lifelong and can even persist after full physical recovery. Permanent disability and disfigurement is also a grim reality, especially when the burns are severe.
Compensation for Your Injuries
Complete recuperation involves monetary compensation for your injuries in terms of medical bills, time spent away from work, as well as emotional and psychological suffering. Therefore, it is important to get knowledgeable car accident lawyers to look into your case since there may be more than one responsible party for your injuries.
For instance, if a defective car part caused the fire, the vehicle manufacturer and the dealership that sold you the car may be at fault. In addition, your car accident attorney will review the circumstances surrounding the crash and even gather statements from eyewitnesses to build your case.
Finally, bearing in mind that insurance companies will contest the claims, professional legal assistance will go a long way in ensuring that you are adequately compensated.