Brad Pistotnik Law
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How Are Burn Injuries Treated Following a Car Accident?

How Are Burn Injuries Treated Following a Car Accident?

How are burn injuries treated following a car accident? How common are transportation related burn injuries in the United States? Each year an average of 310 Americans die after suffering burns in a motor vehicle collision. Many thousands more suffer burns that require hospitalization and long-term rehabilitative care.

In 2016, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data shows that there were 173,000 highway vehicle fires in the United States. These fires caused 280 fatalities and 1,075 injuries. Nationwide, there is a highway vehicle fire every 3 minutes.

From 2005-2014, 5% of all burn center hospitalizations were the result of motor vehicle accidents. In the United States, 96.8% of burn injury victims survive their injuries. Of those who are hospitalized, 43% are from flame injuries. 34% are from scalding injuries, and 9% are from contact with hot surfaces. These can occur when fuel, solvents, fabrics, or other combustibles within the vehicle ignite.

There were a further 31,000 vehicle fires recorded that involved airplanes, trains, ships, construction vehicles, and farm equipment. These caused 75 deaths and 150 injuries. These fires occurred at a rate of one every 17 minutes. Overall, approximately 8.3% of all fire deaths, and 7% of fire injuries in the US occur following transportation accidents.

First-degree burns affect the outer layer of skin. These appear similar to a bad sunburn and usually heal within a few days of the injury. Usually, no special treatment beyond the use of over the counter pain medications and anesthetics is required to facilitate healing.

A second-degree burn injury causes blisters to the epidermis and dermis. When pressed, the skin will blanch when pressure is applied. These types of injuries take between 10-21 days to heal. In some cases, second-degree burns may require excision and skin grafting to heal. Often, these burns require the application of specialized ointments and systemic antibiotics to heal. If the burns cover more than 10% of the patient's body, hospitalization may be required until healing occurs.

Third-degree burns destroy all layers of skin. The burn may also cause extensive damage to subcutaneous tissue. When a third-degree burn is suffered, nerve damage is extensive and the individual is at serious risk of infection and complications. Third-degree burns require hospitalization, often within a specialized burn center where medical professionals can administer antibiotic ointments and intravenous fluids.

Fourth-degree burns cause extensive damage to underlying muscle and bone structures. Fourth-degree burn injuries have a high mortality rate. Those who do survive the initial injury require extensive skin grafting and rehabilitative treatment.

Call in the Bull when you suffer a burn injury in a car accident. Our attorneys represent clients pursuing accident claims in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Texas. You can call us at 1-800-241-BRAD, or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400 to speak with an attorney. You can reach Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL to discuss your legal options.