Burns are fairly common injuries, that most Louisianans have experienced at one time or another. Burn injuries are classified in four ways: first-degree, second-degree, third-degree and fourth-degree. Most people have suffered at least one first-degree burn in their lives, for example, by touching a hot stove or experiencing a minor sunburn. These burns cause the skin to become red and are painful, but they usually heal on their own in a few days.
Second-degree burns are deeper and can cause blisters. Some make the skin appear white, since deep tissue is exposed. Third-degree burns are even more severe. They affect all layers of the skin and can also damage the victim’s nerves. The skin will become thick and hard. Often, those who suffer third-degree burns must have skin grafts and reconstructive surgery to heal properly.
Fourth-degree burns are the most serious. They affect all layers of the skin, as well as bones and muscle tissue. They can be fatal. Those who do survive often need extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery.
Of course, burn injuries are not just physical injuries. They can leave a person emotionally traumatized. The events that led up to the burn and the subsequent pain can cause a person to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. The emotional pain burn injuries cause is only amplified if a person is disfigured, unable to work and unable to resume their normal life.
When that happens, it is important to understand legal options. It is important for burn victims to obtain the resources they need to recover as fully as possible. Fortunately, professionals are available to help burn victims determine how to move forward with pursuing recovery, if such an act is appropriate in their case.