In the United States, approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported per year. According to the American Burn Association, each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention.

  • Approximately 45,000 of these require hospitalization, and roughly half of those burn patients are admitted to a specialized burn unit.
  • Each year, approximately 4,500 of these people die.

Up to 10,000 people in the United States die every year of burn-related infections; pneumonia is the most common infectious complication among hospitalized burn patients.

  • Twenty years ago, burns covering half the body were routinely fatal; today, patients with burns covering 90 percent of the body can survive (but often with permanent impairments).
  • Practices that have contributed to this improvement include advances in resuscitation, wound cleaning and follow-up care, nutritional support, and infection control.
  • Grafting with natural or artificial materials can also speed the healing process

The majority of serious burn injuries are caused by scalding water or flammable fabrics. Burn injuries are second to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accident death in the United States. If you or a loved one have suffered serious burns as a result of negligence or malpractice, contact us for Free Case Evaluation.

There are four main types of burns:

  • Thermal burns – caused by contact with flames, steam, hot water (or other hot liquids), and other sources of intense heat.
  • Light burns – caused by contact with sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light.
  • Chemical burns – caused by contact with an acid or an alkali.
  • Radiation burns – caused by contact with nuclear radiation or ultraviolet light.

The severity of a burn injury will fall into one of three categories:

First-degree burns – only the first layer of skin is burned. First-degree burns are characterized by reddened skin that will heal in approximately one week and may peel.

Second-degree burns – the first and second layer of skin is burned. Second-degree burns are characterized by moist-looking skin and blisters.

Third-degree burns – all layers of the skin are burned and the underlying tissue is damaged. Third-degree burns are characterized by a white or black dry wound. Permanent scarring is inevitable.

Burns are one of the most expensive catastrophic injuries to treat. For example, a burn of 30% of total body area can cost as much as $200,000 in initial hospitalization costs and for physicians fees. For extensive burns, there are additional significant costs which will include costs for repeat admission for reconstruction and for rehabilitation.

Compensation in the case of a serious injury, such as burns, must consider the impact upon the earnings and lifestyle of the victim. If a substantial loss of earnings or capacity to earn results from such an injury, or the victim must significantly alter his or her lifestyle as a result of such injury, then the compensation to that victim must be accordingly increased.

If you feel you have been the victim of such an injury, and the injury resulted from the careless or negligent actions of another, it is important that you do nothing that might adversely affect or prejudice your rights. Do not give any statements, written or recorded, without first consulting with an attorney. Do not sign authorizations permitting an insurance company to access your medical providers or records.

At Munley, Munley & Cartwright, our goal is to provide exceptional legal services to our clients. We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through team work and the use of our considerable resources and experience. Whether we’re gathering evidence, giving advice, or talking with insurance companies, we are always your representative.


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