Burn injuries are especially traumatic, but most people equate them with house fires, faulty electronics, and cooking accidents. Traffic accidents, however, also commonly—if unexpectedly—cause burns. Traffic accidents are hard enough to endure, but burn injuries makes them that much more difficult, dangerous, and devastating.
Traffic Accidents and Fires
Because the vehicles we drive run on fuel, they are capable of bursting into flame in the impact of an accident. A collision can cause a car’s fuel tank to leak or gush gas, which can ignite if it strikes a hot surface. Burn injuries are also commonly caused by accidents that involve trucks hauling combustible cargo or chemicals. The fires and chemical burns resulting from these terrifying accidents can trap drivers and passengers in their vehicles and can also burn victims as they attempt to escape.
If you suffered a burn injury in a traffic accident that another driver’s negligence caused, you need experienced legal counsel. Burn injuries are serious, and they often lead to long-lasting damage, including disfigurement. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia understands the harrowing injuries such accidents can leave, and we have the experience, skill, and compassion to fight for your claim’s best possible resolution.
Burns can range from quite mild to extremely serious and even life-threatening. If you suffered a burn, seek immediate medical treatments. Burn injuries require skilled medical care with a quite lengthy healing process. The severity of your injury will determine whether you sustained:
- First-degree burns. A first-degree burn only damages your epidermis—your skin’s outer layer—which usually entails swelling and reddened skin. Though first-degree burns are the least damaging, they can cause significant pain.
- Second-degree burns. Second-degree burns damage both the epidermis and the dermis—your skin’s inner layer. These burns cause reddened skin, swelling, blisters, and considerable pain.
- Third-degree burns. A third-degree burn is the most serious of all, and it can involve damage to both of your skin’s layers and to the tissue underneath your skin—as well as your nerves, muscles, and bones.
Burn injuries often heal slowly and cause extremely dangerous secondary infections.
Most significantly, perhaps, burns may cause considerable psychological trauma that leads to mental health issues, including depression and increased anxiety. Victims of burn injuries caused by car accidents, for example, may suffer from an ongoing fear of driving. A highly visible burn injury, such as on or near your face, can also lead to significant, life–altering disfigurement. Due to how closely our appearance is tied to our sense of who we are, some victims even experience an altered sense of self, which can lead some burn victims to engage in self-isolation.
Treating Burn Injuries
Burns necessitate immediate medical attention, so if you suffered a significant burn, you’ll need both emergency transportation and treatment. If you suffered first–degree burns, apply cool (not ice-cold) running water to the wounds for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also apply over-the-counter pain medications. If any foreign objects lodged in your burns, such as melted plastic or debris, leave those foreign objects in place and allow a medical professional to attend to them. Removing them by yourself can lead to further complications.
Your Burn Injury Claim
Burn injuries are some of the most difficult injuries to recover from, and they are often result in extraordinary costs:
- Emergency transportation
- Emergency medical care
- Surgeries (including reconstructive surgery and skin grafts)
- Medical care from doctors, specialists, and therapists
- Prescription medications
- Ongoing medical treatments and therapies
- Medical adaptive devices
- Mental health care
These extensive medical expenses don’t take into consideration:
- The wages you lose due to time off from work
- Your diminished earning potential (if your injury precludes you from returning to your job at your previous level), which will affect your ability to earn during your lifetime
- Your pain and suffering, including your psychological damages
Never discount the pain and suffering that ensues from the terror of fires and the injuries associated with them.
Protect Your Claim
- If you suffered a burn injury in a traffic accident that someone else’s negligence caused, protect your claim.
- If you’re able, take pictures that document the scene of the accident from every angle. (If your injury prevents this, try to enlist a bystander.)
- Keep and compile all documents related to the accident, including medical costs, property damage, and ongoing treatments.
- Sketch the scene of the accident, including vehicle locations and any mitigating factors such as inclement weather or obstacles in the road.
- Jot down everything you remember about what contributed to and caused the accident as soon after the accident as you possibly can. The chaos of traffic accidents can upset anyone, and your accurate memories can fade quickly.
Traffic accidents are overwhelming. If you also suffered a burn injury, you may not know where to turn, but an experienced car accident attorney will help guide your claim toward the just compensation to which you’re entitled.
If You Suffered a Burn Injury in a Traffic Accident, Consult an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer
If another driver’s negligence has left you with a burn injury, you need a skilled car accident attorney. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our dedicated car accident attorneys are here to help guide your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled. Your claim matters, and we care—so please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.