If it’s bad enough, a burn injury can leave you with severe pain and suffering and lead to a burn injury lawsuit. Recovery, especially for severe burns, can be brutal. Documenting every stage of your recovery is essential for your case. 

Burn injuries in the workplace are a reality of working in a warehouse or manufacturing operation. Every workplace in America is held to specific safety standards to protect the well-being of employees and customers. 

Unfortunately, injuries will still occur. Safety protocols attempt to limit risk and provide support and intervention when errors are made. But still, severe burn injuries can happen in the workplace despite the best efforts made to keep you safe. 

When there is an accident or injury, you can be assured that the business will turn directly to lawyers for settlement or liability litigation. 

So what should you do if you’re injured in a workplace accident? 

You should turn to seasoned accident lawyers as well. You deserve the same care and attention as the person or company responsible for your burn injury.

There’s a lot to prove in a burn injury lawsuit, including how severe your burn is, how much of your body is burned, and the depth of the burn. These factors will show how much pain and suffering you are in and help convince a judge or jury that you deserve compensation.

Without further ado, let’s cover the bases.

What is Considered a Major Burn Injury?

A burn is considered a significant injury when at least 25 percent of your body surface area has been burned. This is a severe burn that requires immediate medical attention. 

While less than 25 percent of your body might not be considered a major burn, any burn that covers more than 10 percent of your body should be handled with the same urgency. 

5 Types of Burns

There are five primary degrees of burn injuries, as identified by the University of Rochester Medical Center. They include thermal, radiation, chemical, electrical, and friction burns. 

  • Thermal burns come from external heat sources like hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, or flames. Thermal burns can be mild but can also be life-threatening since they raise the skin’s temperature and kill tissue cells.
  • Radiation burns come from too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, cancer treatments, or nuclear power plant leaks.
  • Chemical burns come from strong acids, alkalis, detergents, or solvents.
  • Electrical burns come from electrical currents, whether alternating or direct.
  • Friction burns come from direct cell damage and heat friction. Rope burn is an example. 

Determine the Severity of a Burn Injury

You can determine how bad a burn injury is by assessing the patient’s airway, breathing, IV access, and fluid replacement. 

  • Airway – The airway is above the glottis, which can easily be obstructed from heat exposure. You’ll want to check the patient’s airway immediately, although signs of an inhalation injury might not surface immediately.
    Having burns on your face or neck are the most common cause of airway injuries. Symptoms include carbon particles in your spit and hoarseness.
  • Breathing – Take note if you’re put on oxygen, which indicates CO poisoning. You’re most likely to experience CO poisoning if you were burned in an enclosed area, have a headache, feel nauseous, or are confused.
  • IV Access – This is a two-way street. Hopefully, your airway is open so that you can drink water. But if it’s not, hopefully, you have IV access to get fluids in.
  • Fluid Replacement – Staying hydrated isn’t your only concern. You’ll also need Hartmann’s solution for partial-thickness and full-thickness burns or burns with an inhalation injury. 

How is a Burn Injury Diagnosed?

The Rule of Nines assesses how bad a burn injury is. The body is separated into sections so that most sections account for nine percent of the total body surface area.

Some areas, like your head and arms, only account for 4 ½ percent. Your groin accounts for one percent. When adding up percentages, over 25 percent of your body indicates an extremely severe burn.

To calculate your body burn percentage, multiply the different areas of your body that were burned. 

How is Burn Depth Measured?

Your burn depth is measured by how deeply the burn penetrates your skin. Burns are classified as one of the following:

  • Epidermal
  • Superficial dermal partial thickness
  • Mid-dermal partial thickness
  • Deep dermal partial thickness
  • Full thickness

It can take several days to determine the severity of a burn injury since some burns get worse over time. 

Speed of capillary refill is one of the most common ways to determine burn depth. This test determines how long it takes for the skin to return to normal after it’s been pressed in with a finger. 

Healthy skin takes less than two seconds to return to normal. The longer it takes for the skin to return to normal, the worse the burn is. 

Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson

Determining the degrees of burn injuries, tracking every part of your recovery process, and tracking your recovery expenses are all key parts of what you need to prove in a burn injury lawsuit. 

We recommend having an attorney on your team to give you the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. You know what you’ve been through, and we know the law inside out, making us the ideal team, whether we settle or take the case to court.

Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson has over 150 years of experience with personal injury lawsuits. We’re the only firm dedicatedly solely to personal injury in all of Salt Lake County, and we have offices in West Jordan and Provo where we’ll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to see how we can best help you. 

Let Flickinger Boulton Gooch & Robson represent you for your personal injury claim. Call us at 801.500.4000 to get started today.