Maryland Burn Injury Lawyers Fighting for You
Advocating on behalf of burn victims throughout Maryland
Moderate burns can result in pain and tissue damage that can take anywhere from weeks to months to heal. Severe burns can cause permanent damage and chronic pain, often requiring extraordinary efforts by doctors and caretakers to ensure that the patient can lead a normal and pain-free life. Patients can experience burns from a fire, an explosion, toxic chemical exposure, or any number of ways. What is important is that if you are a victim of negligence, you are compensated for your losses.
At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., our burn injury lawyers understand just how serious burns can be, and what kind of medical attention they require. Our skilled team of Maryland catastrophic injury attorneys provide hope for a better future for Maryland burn patients, and we stop at nothing to obtain the compensation you need to care for your wounds and your family in the future.
What are the types and degrees of burns?
There are few people who haven’t accidentally burned themselves by touching a hot oven, or by turning the tap too far to the left. You put some ice on the burn or run cold water over it, and the pain goes away. When a burn is far more serious, however, it can have long-term effects on your health. Burns are measured in degrees of severity:
- First-degree. These are the least serious burns; the examples we listed earlier like touching a hot surface or running the tap too hot are good examples. A first-degree burn usually presents with redness or swelling, and medical treatment may not be necessary unless the burn encompasses a large part of the body.
- Second-degree. Second-degree burns reach the second layer of your skin and are painful. Most second-degree burns cause blisters, and if they cover a large enough area they require medical attention. There could be scarring, which may or may not be permanent. According to the Mayo Clinic, the in-home treatment of smaller second-degree burns is different than that of first-degree burns. If you are unsure what to do, however, you should seek out a doctor.
- Third-degree. A third-degree burn cuts through every layer of skin and will almost always result in permanent scarring. (J.R. Martinez, the Army veteran who won Dancing with the Stars a few years ago, experienced third-degree burns as a result of military combat.) The skin may turn white around the affected area, or may take on a charred look. Because third-degree burns reach the nerves, victims typically do not feel pain. These injuries are incredibly serious and require expert medical attention immediately.
- Fourth-degree. A fourth-degree burn is usually fatal. The injury extends into the muscle and tissues and eventually into the bones. If a victim survives, skin grafts and other surgeries will be necessary.
- Fifth-degree and sixth-degree. Usually diagnosed during an autopsy, burns of this severity are overwhelmingly fatal. If a victim does survive, the chances are high that the burned body part would need to be amputated.
It is possible to survive the most serious burns, but it is incredibly rare. Those who do so face almost unimaginable medical expenses and may not be able to return to their job, or get back to their everyday life and activities.
What are common causes of Maryland burn injuries?
Though most people think of fire when they think of burns, there are many ways to sustain a burn injury. The Mayo Clinic lists some of the common ways people suffer burn injuries in the United States:
- Electrical currents
- Hot metal, glass or other objects
- Radiation (like X-rays)
- Steam and hot liquids
- Sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet radiation, such as a tanning bed
The personal injury attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. have decades of experience working with these types of cases, and understand the medical complexities behind burn injuries.
What are chemical burns?
A result of touching or ingesting caustic substances, chemical burns can cause tissue damage similar to burns from heat. Caustic chemicals can be found in household or industrial products like drain cleaners, deodorizers, swimming pool chemicals, or home cleaning products. These types of burns are typically caused during an accidental spill, but sometimes a product may be mislabeled or a product may be misused, resulting in injuries.
Symptoms of chemical burns include redness and swelling of the skin, but usually not blistering unless the chemical burn is severe. Treatment of a chemical burn includes removing any contaminated clothing, brushing away any dry particles, and thoroughly and repeatedly rinsing the affected area with water.
What are electrical burns?
Electrical burns are caused by making contact with a source of electricity, like lightning, a taser gun, or the electrical current in your house. These burns occur when electricity enters and exits the body, and happen in several ways:
- Electric arcs. Electrical arcs happen when a strong current passes from its source to the ground via a person. This often occurs during on-the-job accidents, when a worker makes contact with a high-voltage power line, for example. This current can injure many internal organs as it travels through the body.
- Flash burns. These types of burns are caused by electrical arcs on the skin. Although flash burns typically don’t penetrate the tissues, they can cause burns over a wide area of the body.
- Flame burns. A flame burn is just what it sounds like, and is the result of a fire started by an electrical charge. A person may also suffer initial injuries from electric shock before experiencing burns from a resulting fire.
Many electrical injuries can be deadly without immediate intervention.
What are steam burns?
Steam burns are caused by heat and scalding, and mostly occur at home. Steam burn injuries can penetrate both the outer and inner tissues of the skin, causing severe damage. Younger children and older adults are more at risk for steam burns, as their skin is thinner and more vulnerable to these types of injuries. First aid includes cooling the injured area with cool, not cold, water, and seeking medical attention for serious injuries. One famous example of a serious scalding injury is the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.
Is sunburn considered a burn injury?
Yes. Injuries from sunlight is more serious than many people believe. Over-exposure to the sun can lead to second-degree blistering, and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Sunburn is a burn to the skin caused by the sun’s UV rays. Typically the skin will turn red, warm and tender to the touch. Mild sunburn will peel, itch, and heal within a few days to a week. However, severe sunburn can cause serious reactions, like:
- Heat exhaustion
Severe sunburn may require medical attention, including prescription creams and wound dressings. Additionally, if sunburn is caused by negligence – for example, if a sunscreen manufacturer puts a defective product on the shelves, or a school neglects to apply sunscreen to your child – you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim against that party.
Maryland burn centers
The American Burn Association (ABA) reports that over 450,000 burn injuries requiring medical treatment occur each year in the United States. Burn injury centers in Maryland include:
- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Burn Center
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Burn Center (Pediatric)
- National Burn Reconstruction Center at Good Samaritan Hospital
Our burn injury attorneys can work with your doctors and surgeons to ensure the court understands the full extent and scope of your injuries when we seek compensation against the negligent party or entity.
Burns can be caused by unsafe working environments, car accidents, defective space heaters and improperly labeled cleaners. At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we protect the rights of burn injury victims whose pain and suffering are the direct result of someone else’s negligence. We know what kind of treatments are necessary for burn victims, and how a serious burn may affect your ability to provide for yourself and your family. Our aggressive personal injury attorneys fight hard for our clients to ensure that their needs are taken care of, so that they can begin the healing process in a less stressful way.
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Maryland’s premier personal injury law firm
At Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we believe that burn injury victims deserve compensation that truly makes a difference. We never stop fighting on behalf of our clients. Talk to us today to put over 30 decades of experience in your corner. To learn more, or to schedule a free consultation, please call 410-730-7737 or fill out our contact form.