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Burn Injury

Types of Burns

A burn occurs when heat, chemicals electricity or radiation damages the skin. Nearly 500,000 report each year to emergency rooms with burns. Likely many more attempt to treat without emergency case. Burns are typically classified in as one of the degrees:

· First Degree Burns – Most mild. The epidermis (top layer of the skin) becomes painful, and possibly discolored, but does not typically blister.

· Second Degree Burns – Affect the top and lower layers (dermis) of the skin and will likely cause blistering in addition to pain, discoloration and swelling.

· Third Degree Burns – All of the layers of the skin are affected and may also destroy hair follicles and sweat glands. Third degree burns damage nerve endings as well. Burned skin may be black, white or red with a leathery appearance.

If you or a loved one have blisters, pain, swelling white or charred skin or peeling skin you may want to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How are burns treated?

· First Degree Burns – first degree burns can typically be treated initially with running cool water, pr aloe vera for sun burns. Over the counter pain medication may be recommended.

· Second Degree Burns – In addition to the treatments given for First Degree Burns you may be treated with stronger antibiotic creams that contain silver to kill bacteria. Other measures may be taken to reduce pain and swelling. Continued monitoring is likely.

· Third Degree Burns – Often require skin grafts. Skin grafts replace damaged tissue with healthy skin from another part of the body. You will likely be monitored and given IV fluids. Third Degree burns can be life threatening. Potential complications may include: dehydration, scars, heart arrhythmia, edema, organ failure, pneumonia, hypotension and infection.

How do cases involving burn injuries arise?

· Product defects/Dangerous products

· Vehicle fires after collision

· Construction site accidents

· Smoke alarm failures

· Hot-water heater accidents/Scalding Water

· E-Cigarette and Lithium-Ion Battery explosions

· Workplace accidents

· Chemical accidents

· Dropped matches and cigarettes

· Heater, Dryer and

· Hot liquid spills

· Fireworks accidents

· Fires

· Restaurant accidents

· Electrical Accidents/Electrocutions

What to do if you are burned?

1. Seek medical care – If you are severely burned call 911 or go straight to the hospital.

2. Document what happened – take photos, get contact information for witnesses, and if at a business ask them to document the incident

3. Speak to an experienced burn injury lawyers.


Your experienced burn injury lawyers at Coughlan & Vinel have handled a wide variety of burn injuries from chemical burns and scalding water burns to exploding vaping devices and lithium-ion batteries. Our lawyers have had recoveries of up to $12 million in burn injury cases.

Image by Christopher Burns
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