Most people are aware of the common injuries out there from auto accidents (e.g., broken bones, bruises, lacerations, nerve damage, etc.). But, many are unaware of the risk for burn injuries. A burn can happen in a car accident when:
- The vehicle ignites,
- Chemicals cause burning, or
- A malfunction in the vehicle itself causes injury.
Vehicle fires are much more common than people realize, too. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), vehicle fires account for 20 percent of all reported fires in the country. The most common reason for those fires is mechanical failure or malfunction, while electrical failures is a close second. Three percent occurred because of a collision; but, out of the reported deaths from 2003 to 2007, 58 percent of vehicle fire deaths occurred in a collision or overturn incident.
When burns occur, they can be severe and life-threatening. It is not just the burn that can be problematic for accident victims – rather, the common complications that come after a burn injury occurs are often just as difficult.
What Common Complications Occur After a Burn?
Any burn that is deep or widespread can lead to complications, including:
- Infection – This is the most common injury associated with second and third degree burns. A burn leaves skin vulnerable to bacteria, which can increase a victim’s likelihood of developing sepsis.
- Low Blood Volume – Blood vessels can become damaged after a burn, which causes a victim to quickly lose fluids in the body. This can result in low blood volume, which then prevents the heart from functioning.
- Body Temperature Issues – The skin is what controls the body’s temperature. When it is severely damaged, the body can lose heat – especially when burns cover a significant portion of the body. This increases a victim’s risk for hypothermia.
- Permanent Scars and Disfigurement – Despite advancements in plastic and reconstructive surgery, burns can cause severe scars and ridged areas due to the accumulation of keloids.
- Breathing Complications – When a person breathes in hot air or smoke, he or she can suffer from respiratory complications – some of which may be permanent.
- Bone and Joint Issues – Burns that are deep enough may limit mobility in the joints and bones. Scar tissue can also shorten or tighten up the skin, tendons, and muscles, making it difficult for a victim to move.
Burns Are Often a Long-Term Recovery
Most individuals who suffer from a burn after an accident will have a long recovery ahead of them, because burns may require multiple follow-up appointments, corrective surgeries, and even treatments to prevent or cure infections. Even with advancements in technology, severe burns will often leave a person permanently disfigured.
Did You Suffer Burns Do to Someone’s Negligence? Contact an Attorney Right Away
If you suffered from severe burns due to an accident or someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. You will first need to meet with a personal injury attorney to explore your options. The Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC can help. Schedule a free consultation now by calling us or requesting your appointment online.