The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. Minor burn injuries typically affect only this part of the skin and can heal with proper care and monitoring. More serious burns penetrate deeper and cause more damage to the skin. Fayetteville burn injury lawyer Ken Kieklak handles personal injury lawsuits involving burn injuries and other serious accidental injuries. To learn more about the types of burn injuries and how to file a lawsuit for a burn injury in Arkansas, contact our law offices today.
Types of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries are classified based on how deeply they penetrate into the skin. There are three major layers of the skin, and burns that reach lower levels are considered more severe. However, there are other factors that help classify the type of burn.
The skin has three layers, each of which is quite different:
- Epidermis – This is the outermost layer of skin. This is the part that people see every day, and it provides protection for the lower layers and the muscles and blood vessels underneath.
- Dermis – This the second layer of skin. This is where hair follicles and sweat glands are located, just below the epidermis.
- Hypodermis – This is the last layer of the skin. It contains subcutaneous fat and connective tissue that rests under the visible skin, also helping to protect and pad internal parts of the body, such as blood vessels that run just under the skin.
Burns are typically classified by three “degrees” of burn severity:
First-degree burns are the lightest type of burn. These burns affect only the outer layer of skin – the epidermis – and are sometimes called “superficial burns.” These burns are usually mild and require the least amount of treatment.
First-degree burns are the most common type of burn and are the most likely type to occur from minor injuries like a sunburn or scalding yourself on hot water or steam.
Second-degree burns are much more severe burns. These burns are often characterized by blistering and swelling and often appear wet or shiny. Second-degree burns cause damage to both the epidermis and the dermis, causing more pervasive damage. They are sometimes called “partial thickness burns,” since they penetrate partially through the thickness of your skin.
These can be quite painful and may require medical treatment. Ointment, painkillers, and clean bandages are often used to treat second-degree burns, but you may need to see a medical professional if the burn is quite bad.
Many common burns, such as a burn from the stove or even a sunburn, can be serious enough to qualify as a second-degree burn.
Third-degree burns are incredibly severe. These burns penetrate through the epidermis and the dermis and are often called “full thickness burns.” Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn and often cause charring and pervasive tissue death at the site of the burn. The skin in this area may be completely numb, since the burn often penetrates deep enough into the skin to damage nerve endings. These burns are often treated with hospitalization, intense medical care, skin grafts, hyperbaric chamber “dives,” and other advanced medical techniques.
Suing for Burn Injuries in Arkansas
Many burns can lead to a lawsuit if the burn occurred because of someone’s negligence. When people think of burn lawsuits, they often think of the famous hot coffee lawsuit or other cases that seem “frivolous.” In fact, many of these cases cause serious damage, pain, and suffering to the victim. For instance, the victim in the McDonalds coffee case suffered third-degree burns and spent 8 days in the hospital and needed skin grafts. While many of these cases may look simple from the outside, even mundane sources of injury can cause serious damage.
First-degree burns do not often lead to lawsuits, but they could if the burns were caused by serious negligence or if they were particularly pervasive. Second-degree burns are more likely to cause enough damage to require treatment in a hospital, missed work, and other damages. Third-degree burns are almost always incredibly severe and could lead to a lawsuit if they occurred because of someone else’s negligence.
Many burn injuries occur from heat, but burns can also be caused by chemical exposure, electrical exposure, and other dangers. These burns could occur as part of a products liability case, whereby the victim is injured by a dangerous or defective product that causes burns. These injuries are also quite common as workplace injuries, especially for electricians, people who work with chemicals, and people who work in kitchens.
Any time someone else’s negligent or dangerous behavior causes your injury, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for compensation. This compensation can include any damages you faced because of the burn, including damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Fayetteville Burn Injury Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
To learn more about your right to sue after a burn injury, contact Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak. For decades, Ken has represented victims of injuries and serious accidents, fighting to get them the compensation they need. For help with your burn injury case or another injury case, contact our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our number is (479) 316-0438.