When a person sustains third degree burns in an accident that was someone else’s fault, he or she can file a legal claim against the responsible party in order to receive compensation for his or her medical costs, lost income, pain & suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability and other damages. How much compensation the burn victim may be able to gain is dependent upon the severity of the burns and on any complications that arise from those injuries.
What is a Third Degree Burn?
A third degree burn or a full thickness burn as it is also called, destroys the outer layer of skin and the entire layer beneath. These very serious burns can also affect the underlying muscles, connective tissue and bone. Third degree burns cause swelling and make the affected skin appear dry and leathery with a white or charred appearance. There is typically a lack of pain associated with these burns due to the fact that the nerve endings have been destroyed.
Third degree burns are characteristically slow to heal due to the deep damage done. Most often, there is significant disfiguring scarring as well as impaired function associated with these burns.
Third degree burns can be sustained in many ways including:
- When a body part or area of the body come into contact with flames
- When a body part or area of the body comes into contact with a hot object
- When a body part or area of the body comes into contact with a scalding liquid
- When a body part or area of the body comes into contact with an electrical source
- When a body part or area of the body comes into contact with a chemical
Complications of Third Degree Burns
There is a high risk of infection associated with third degree burns. When the wound area of a third degree burn is infected, the victim can suffer from sepsis and septic shock. When a patient develops septic shock, the blood pressure drops very quickly, putting his/her life in danger. An infectious third degree burn can also cause a loss of skin wherein skin grafting is necessary.
Many times, third degree burn victims develop a condition called Compartment Syndrome. This is a life-threatening condition that causes increased pressure in a muscle compartment. Surgical intervention is needed to relieve this pressure. Following the first surgical procedure, the wound can be left open for two or three days wherein a third surgery is done to close the wound. Quite often, skin grafting must be done in order to properly close the wound.
Third degree burn victims often suffer from dehydration due to fluid seeping from the burned area. If these lost fluids are not replaced immediately, renal shutdown and shock will occur which can cause the patient to lose his or her life.
The disfiguring scarring caused by third degree burns can be significant and life-altering. When this scarring affects the peripheral nerves, it can result in neurological complications including central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, peripheral nervous system dysfunction, seizure disorders and symptoms which mimic progressive debilitating spinal cord disorders.
If you have suffered third degree burns due to the negligent actions of another, The San Francisco burn lawyers at Hogan Injury can help you gain the compensation you need to secure your financial future. We understand how serious burn injuries can change lives. Our legal team works hard to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation they are deserving of. We can be reached via our website or by telephone at 866-205-4971.