Federal surveys estimate that there are over 486,000 burn injuries reported every year. This makes it the fifth most catastrophic cause of severe harm and death in the U.S. If you or your loved one in Louisiana was badly burned, here’s what you need to know about the types and how to proceed to get the medical help and compensation you deserve.
What are burn injuries?
Burn injuries are a type of tissue damage that occurs when the skin is exposed to heat, chemicals, electricity or radiation. Burns can range from mild to severe, and they can cause permanent damage to the skin and underlying tissues.
Types of burn injuries
First-degree burns: These are burns that only affect the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. They usually disappear without scarring after the outer layer of the skin cells shed in approximately 7 to 10 days.
Second-degree burns: There are three layers of the skin: the epidermis (topmost layer), dermis (middle layer) and hypodermis (the bottom layer). Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and dermis.
Third-degree burns: This type affects all layers of the skin, sometimes including underlying tissues. Third-degree burns can be so extensive that you fail to feel any pain because of the nerve damage.
What to do when you get burn injuries
Seek immediate medical attention. Never underestimate a burn, especially from a chemical substance. You can never know the extent of the damage until it gets worse, so visit a doctor’s office immediately after you’re burned to prevent complications.
Next, give an official report to your supervisor or employer. If you were burned at your workstation, give an official report to your employer. If you were hurt at home, also provide official notice to your boss to get medical leave.
Then, file for workers’ compensation. If you have suffered a burn at work, you may be eligible for Louisiana’s workers’ compensation program. Benefits may include recompense for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
You should try to make your home and workplace as burn-proof as possible. For instance, keep flammable materials at a secure location, test and replace smoke detectors when needed and wear protective attire when dealing with something that could burn you in order to prevent injuries.