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When a car wreck results in catastrophic burn injuries

At the Law Office of Roland R Esparza, PC, in Texas, we know the devastating burn injuries you can receive in a car crash. Burns are some of the most painful injuries you can suffer, and burn victims sometimes die from their injuries. Luckily, vehicle fire fatalities are much rarer than home fire fatalities. The American Burn Association reports that in 2016, 3,275 Americans died from fire or smoke inhalation, but only 310 of them died in a vehicle.

Per the Columbia St. Mary's Regional Burn Center, you can suffer burn injuries four ways in a car crash as follows:

  1. You can come into contact with the fire’s flames or touch an extremely hot surface in your car, thereby sustaining a thermal burn.
  2. You can come into contact with hot gasoline or other liquid, thereby sustaining a scald burn.
  3. You can come into contact with a downed power line if your car hits an electrical pole, thereby sustaining an electrical burn.
  4. You can come into contact with one of your car’s caustic fluids, thereby sustaining a chemical burn.

Degrees of burns

In addition to four types of burns, you can suffer four degrees of burn. Unfortunately, car crash victims seldom suffer first- or second-degree burns, the least serious. If you have a fiery car crash, you likely will suffer third-degree burns at best. These burns burn away your skin and burn your underlying tissues and/or organs. Even if you do not feel excessive pain, this does not mean that you are not severely injured. What it more likely indicates is that the burns damaged your nerves that allow you to feel pain.

Fourth-degree burns are the most catastrophic of all. They not only burn away your skin, they go deep into your bones and tendons. These are the burns that threaten your very life.

If you ever receive a burn in a car crash, you must get immediate emergency treatment and must be transported to the nearest burn center. Only a qualified burn specialist can assess your injuries and begin appropriate treatment. In all likelihood you will have to undergo surgery and possibly several skin grafts to minimize the scarring that burns cause. Indeed, burns often result in permanent disfiguring scars.

For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.

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