Burns are the second most frequent emergency during the summer months, coming in behind car accidents.
When we think about summertime, outdoor grilling, fireworks, and all kinds of outdoor activities leap to mind. It is fun to make memories with the special people in our lives unless the memories have to do with burns caused by those activities. Sometimes, a burn accident is just that; no one is at fault, and it just happens, but there are times when burn injuries result from another person’s negligence, and that is when you should seek legal representation.
Burn injuries are fairly common and can range from first degree to third degree. They are categorized using 3 factors: patient age/overall health, burn depth, and TBSA (also known as Total Body Surface Area). A first-degree burn involves only one layer of skin, red and maybe somewhat swollen while painful to the touch. It should be treated with cool water (never ice). Avoid using creams or ointments. Second-degree burns affect two layers of skin, are red, have blisters, are painful, and may show some skin loss. Do not break the blisters as you could further damage the skin and/or cause infection. Put cold water on these burns (never ice) and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Third-degree burns involve a loss of several layers of skin, excruciating pain, and depending on the location of the injury and the burn’s size, external and internal inflammation. To treat the most severe type of burn injury, contact emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to treat the affected areas in any way.
Despite being very common, there are nearly 100,000 burn cases seen in emergency rooms across the country. Fortunately, only 2% of them are life-threatening and have a TBSA of more than 40%. Third-degree burns can cause internal injuries as well. ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), dehydration, renal failure, hepatic issues, edema, necrosis, and sepsis are all complications related to the treatment of 3rd-degree burns. These complications can be deadly.
As was mentioned early, thankfully, most burns aren’t serious enough to put your life in danger; however, burns can cause scars and trauma. They should always be taken seriously. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
It Starts At Home
The majority of burns happen at home. Scalding by hot liquids such as water or soup is the most common burn and affects children two-thirds more often than adults. Children reaching for a pot handle can scald their faces, necks, arms, and chests severely. It is always recommended to leave the pot handles facing the stove rather than hanging out over the edge and place tea kettles on the back burners to prevent an accident.
Fireworks, Friend or Foe?
The most frequent summertime burns involve fireworks. There is a reason why most states (including New Jersey) have made most fireworks illegal. In the hands of a novice, fireworks can become deadly. Consider something as mundane as a sparkler. They’re harmless, correct? A sparkler requires a flame, which means it can burn. If enough sparks fly into your hair or on your clothes, you could ignite. The more dangerous rockets are supposed to go vertically, but if there is a malfunction, they can shoot sideways, hitting the party guests. Then there are firecrackers, which are so small and harmless -until a child lights, one in their hand (or worse, a closed fist), and severe injuries ensue. Even professionals who make beautiful fireworks displays can make mistakes and cause injuries to the audience.
The Great Outdoors
Many families do get out into nature and enjoy a respite from the city’s noise and smog in the summer. Campfires are a frequent cause of burn injuries. Because they are in the open, unlike stoves or ovens, they present ample opportunity for disaster. It is suggested to create a perimeter of five feet around the campfire as a child-free area. You can even have fun with your children making up a name for it like “The Dead Zone” or “The Floor Is Lava.” Also, make the fire as small as possible, just enough to meet your needs. Building big fires can be fun, but the bigger the fire, the greater the danger of getting burned.
Not So Good Times by the Grill
Summertime meals cooked on the grill ate a barbecue with your neighbors are a real treat and the perfect storm for a burn injury. Many people gathered around the grill while everyone is drinking their favorite cocktail and talking about last night’s game, leaving little attention to watch over the children playing games in the same area. Putting too much starter fluid on a charcoal grill or not setting up the tank for a gas grill properly can cause a major fire. Children devour s’mores, but around a hot grill, they must always be supervised.
Whose Is At Fault for my Burn Injury? Contact a skilled Personal Injury Attorney.
If you have a burn injury or know someone who does, allow us to meet with you and discuss the possibility of acquiring a settlement for your damages and pain and suffering. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, we can build a case and seek damages that will pay your medical bills and compensate you for the many other losses you suffered. Scars can take years to heal, and burns may require surgeries. You deserve to recover knowing that your costs will be covered.
Contact us at 609-528-2596 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss the details of your particular incident. Our team of personal injury attorneys serving Mercer County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, and throughout New Jersey is ready to help you.