More than 450,000 people suffer a burn injury requiring treatment in a hospital or emergency room every year, according to the American Burn Association.

Burns are catastrophic injuries that can cause significant — often permanent — damage. Each year, roughly 3,500 burn victims die as a result of their injuries.

Depending upon the circumstances of the accident, victims or their surviving family members may be able to file a legal claim for financial compensation for these injuries and associated losses.

About Burn Injuries

Virtually every burn injury causes some degree of disfigurement to the skin.

The more layers of skin that are damaged, the greater the severity of the burn. The most serious injuries are third-degree burns, which destroy all skin layers as well as the underlying muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Burns often create permanent scarring, affecting the victim’s appearance. Many also are life-threatening. These injuries may lead to dehydration and an inability to regulate body temperature, as the skin loses its ability to control body fluid loss.

A burn injury can also cause lifelong disabling injuries, such as nerve destruction. Victims may require skin grafts, multiple surgeries or even amputation.

In some cases, burns and burn-related infections can result in death.

Causes of Burn Injuries

Most burns are the result of direct contact with intense heat, often flames from a fire. Defective industrial products and appliances, including barbecue grills, furnaces and hot water heaters, are responsible for many of these injuries.

Faulty smoke detectors and fireworks also account for a large number of accidents. In some cases, a burn injury is caused by another form of intense heat, such as steam or scalding food or liquid.

A burn injury also may be caused by contact with a chemical or corrosive substance, or by inhaling its fumes. Injuries can occur at work as the result of an industrial accident, or they may happen elsewhere as the result of using common products like bleach, drain cleaners, paint thinners and gasoline.

Legal Claims for Burn Victims

Victims of burn injuries may be able pursue legal action if the accidents occurred due to a faulty or defective product or someone’s negligence. A legal settlement or court victory can never undo the damage; however, it can hold the responsible parties accountable.

An experienced personal injury attorney is best equipped to handle such cases, which can enable burn victims or their families to obtain monetary damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of income or lost earning capacity.

If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury and would like to learn more about pursuing legal action, call Montgomery Dowdle in Boise, Idaho, today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.