According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies in a fire every three hours in the United States. On average, there are 40,000 burn-related hospitalizations and 3400 deaths every year. Many people think about burns only in terms of the minor incidents that only require a momentary application of ice, but the reality is that burn injuries are some of the most traumatizing injuries an individual can experience.
A burn injury is incredibly painful for the victim. The largest organ in the human body, the skin has billions of neuroreceptors that send and receive critical electrical impulses. One of the reasons burn injuries are so painful is because a serious burn exposes these neurons to the air. This causes them to produce high frequency impulses that are incredibly painful. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the pain and suffering experienced by the victim of horrific burns, as the medical procedures required for such injuries are actually even more painful than the original injury itself.
Burn treatment requires a scrubbing and removal of any remaining dead skin. This process, called skin debridement, is excruciating because the neuroreceptors and nerves exposed by the burn are being rubbed, often roughly. Frequent dressing changes are required to prevent infections, and these changes are also incredibly painful for the patient.
Pain and Suffering Continues Well Beyond Initial Medical Treatment
Unfortunately, a burn injury victim’s pain does not end with the initial medical treatment for his or her injury. Burned skin loses its elasticity and is highly prone to infection. Burn injury victims can experience life-long, debilitating pain, and they sometimes lost their sense of touch and/or ability to perspire. Sleep and work are often dramatically affected, and quality of life declines overall for many burn victims.
In addition to physical suffering, serious burn victims are left with disfigurement of the affected areas of their bodies. This can be traumatizing in its own way, leaving victims feeling emotionally isolated and fearful or uncomfortable with a normal return to their lives. Burn victims often suffer psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. Like others who suffer psychological effects of trauma, burn victims may even be suicidal.
Costs for Burn Victims Can Be Astronomical
The medical treatment for burns is not only painful physically but it can wreak havoc on the finances of an individual or family. Burn injuries require extensive treatment, often including a very lengthy hospital stay, skin grafts, and reconstructive surgery. The bills are simply massive. When a burn injury or death is caused by the wrongdoing of another, the patient deserves to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.
Burn injuries create multiple burdens on the victim or the victim’s family, including physical, psychological, and financial stressors. The burns themselves often leave a victim with life-changing injuries and ongoing need for treatment and support. If the wrongdoing of another has resulted in burn injuries leading to medical treatment, disfigurement, psychological suffering, or death, a personal injury lawsuit can ensure justice is served. Call the burn injury attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads at 888-709-9329 for a completely free initial consultation and discover how we can help you.