Burn Scald Lawyer - Accident Injury Compensation Claims - CanadaLAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
A catastrophic injury lawyer is a specialist personal injury advocate with expertise in serious personal injury compensation claims including burns and scalds. Our burns and scalds lawyers offer a wealth of experience relating to injury compensation claims and give advice at no cost with no further obligation on legal liability and the potential value of a catastrophic injury damages claim. Payment for services is based on a contingency fee basis which means that we only get paid when you get paid. If the case is lost there is nothing whatsoever to pay. There are time limits in all personal injury compensation claims and failure to take legal action within the limitation period can mean that the opportunity to claim compensation is lost forever. If you have suffered a burn or a scald or other catastrophic injury caused by a negligent third party you should contact one of our burns and scalds compensation lawyers without delay.
Categories of Burns & Scalds
One of the most painful injuries a person can sustain is a burn or a scald. Patients at the greatest risk of burns and scalds are children under the age of 4 and the elderly. For adults the risk of burns and scalds comes primarily out of a work-related injury. Almost all burns and scalds need some medical attention but some burns and scalds are much more serious than others.
Burns come in three different types. Doctors use these different types to define the appearance of the wound and to indicate the best possible way to treat the injury. The types of injury are as follows: -
- First Degree Burns.
These are considered the most minor of all the burns. They come from scalding injuries or light thermal injuries. The major signs and symptoms include redness, swelling, pain and warmth of the affected area. First degree burns are often very painful—even more painful than third degree burns. They are often treated by applying cool packs to the affected area until the pain goes away and then keeping the wound clean and dry. Ointment may be used but is not really necessary.
- Second Degree Burns.
The hallmark of the second degree burn is a blister. The overlying layer of skin separates from the deeper layer of the skin, causing the blister. These occur in scalding injuries and in moderate to severe thermal injuries. Second degree burns are very painful and often require pain medication. The treatment is often to de-bride the dead tissue and cover the delicate skin with cream or ointment, changing the dressing daily. A skin grafting is rarely required.
- Third Degree Burns.
These are the most severe types of burns and involve a complete loss of the upper layers of the skin. The skin looks dead and often has no feeling. The skin can also look charred from severe burns. Such burns are usually caused be severe thermal exposure and can involve large areas of the body. The patient needs to be hospitalized, the dead skin needs to be debrided regularly and the wound needs to be dressed on a regular basis. Sometimes, skin grafting is needed to restore normal skin to skin that has been completely lost.
Burns and scalds are usually acquired by one of four main methods as follows :-
The first is a simple scald which involves a burn sustained when hot or boiling water comes into contact with skin. The end result is very red skin or skin that is covered with blisters. This is called a first degree or second degree burn. Doctors treat these kinds of injuries by keeping them clean, debriding off the skin of broken blisters and applying antibiotic ointment until the burn heals.
- Molten Metal
A common burn in foundries is that from molten metal. Molten metal is everywhere in foundries and many other factories. Molten metal can fall inside a boot or glove or can be splattered onto the worker. Such burns are usually severe with loss of the top layers of the skin. The end result is second to third degree burns. In third degree burns, the entire layer of skin is removed. This usually means the patient has to have a skin graft to cover the area lost to the burn.
- Thermal burns
The most common type of burn is the thermal burn. A thermal burn comes from contact or near exposure to fire. The heat can be capable of causing a first degree burn, a second degree burn or even a third degree burn. The doctors treat these burns according to their degree, debriding off burnt skin and tissue and allowing the underlying healthy tissue to heal, with or without a skin graft. Thermal burns are also dangerous because they emit smoke. More people die of smoke inhalation in fires than actually die from being burned. Smoke inhalation is treated with plenty of oxygen and sometimes ventilator support until the lung tissue heals.
- Chemical Burn
The fourth type of burn is a chemical burn. This can be caused be bodily exposure to a solvent-based chemical, an acid-based chemical or an alkaline substance. In many cases, the chemical quickly eats away at skin and underlying tissues, resulting in severe third degree burns. Measures must be taken to wash off the offending chemical as soon as possible. Once the chemical is removed, dead tissue is debrided and the burn is treated much the same as with a regular burn.
The first way to stop a burn is to prevent it altogether. You need to stop the burning process and get rid of any source of the heat and you need to stay away from dangerous heat sources. If you are on fire, you need to put out any flames with the application of water or you need to smother the fire with a heavy blanket or sweatshirt. Stop, drop and roll to remove sources of flame.
If you have a chemical burn, remove the chemical by adding copious amounts of water to the wounded area until the burning has diminished. Do not use baking soda or vinegar to try and neutralize the chemical burn. This will only add heat to an otherwise burned area.
If there is clothing that is covering the burn, remove it, but don't remove clothing that has stuck to burned skin. This can harm skin. The idea is to keep skin as cool as possible by keeping it open to the air so that it can keep the skin cool while the burning process is going on. If you are burned with tar, cool the skin with water but don't try to peel off the tar. Leave this to the professionals.
If you are exposed to an electrical burn, shut off all sources of power before attempting to apply aid to the affected individual. Do not get near someone who has been exposed to a high-voltage energy source until the energy source has been eliminated.
In a chemical burn, remove affected clothing and brush off any dry chemical. Water, as mentioned, is crucial to getting rid of the source of the burning. Aim to apply water for 20-30 minutes. Running water is best as it keeps cool water flowing over the burned area. Ice or very cold water can damage the skin so avoid these things.
Ideally, you should cover the burn with sterilized cling film that does not stick to skin. This can be rolled out and can put pressure on the skin so that blisters are less likely to form and get big. Let the cling film be applied to the skin up until the time it is seen by a doctor or other health professional. Don't wrap the cling film around the wounded extremity completely or you will potentially cut off the circulation to the affected area as it swells.
Be sure to give some kind of pain killer early on in the treatment. Tylenol or ibuprofen work well to ease the pain and inflammation of the burn.
Some things to avoid in the secondary stages include not to prick the blisters. This can cause bacteria to get inside the blister and cause a nasty infection. Also do not put butter, greases, oils or ointments to the wound unless it is a mild sunburn. In that case, use a soothing moisturizing cream as a soothing agent. Also don't put any adhesive, sticky substance or fluffy dressing on the wound until it is seen by a doctor.
When to get Help
If you have a simple first degree burn that does not have any blisters or a second degree burn with only minor blistering, you probably don't need medical attention and can manage the care of the burn at home. If you have deep tissue damage or large blisters, it is a good idea to get medical attention. Sometimes large areas of sunburn can be treated with oral corticosteroids and you need to see your medical provider for that. Small blistered burns are best left open to the air to keep them cool and so you can watch the burn for evidence of infection.
See a doctor if your burn oozes pus or has increasing areas of redness spreading from the burn. Burns that become more painful rather than less painful are suspicious for being infected. In addition, if you are not current on your tetanus shot, you should ask your doctor whether or not you need one. If the blisters are large, the doctor may want to strip away the blister and apply a burn cream to prevent infection.
When Burns get Severe
Any electrical burn should be considered severe because you don't know the extent of the burn internally. If a burn is third degree or full thickness, you need to seek medical attention. The burned area needs to be debrided, possibly in the operating room and skin grafts may need to be applied. Any partial thickness wound of the hands, face, genitals or large areas of the extremities are considered severe. They will cause blistering and can scar, especially if they get infected.
Burns & Scalds Compensation Lawyers
If you are an innocent victim of an accident, you need to see a burns and scalds compensation lawyer who will examine your case to see if it was simply an accident without negligence or if the company or another party was negligent in causing your injuries. Sometimes a factory has defective equipment that results in burns and scalds. In other cases burns and scalds are caused by the negligent action of another person who may be a co-worker. In most cases the matter will be taken up by the employers insurance company.
Many burns and scalds are associated with other injuries, such as breathing problems, organ failure and broken bones. Together these multiple injuries may form a catastrophic injury requiring urgent medical treatment and subsequent long term care. The personal injury lawyer considers all of these injuries together and determines the value of pain and suffering, the cost of long term medical care, the lost wages from the time of the accident, loss of lifestyle and all other relevant losses when coming to an overall valuation which forms the basis of the compensation claim. Burns can be disfiguring and, especially in women, a part of the claim is from the loss of appearance due to scarring.