Experienced Portland Burn Injury Attorney
Portland Burn Injury Lawyer
Find out why we are some of the best Portland Maine burn injury attorneys
What is a Burn Injury?
A burn injury refers to tissue damage caused by excessive heat, chemicals, radiation, or electricity.
The extent of a burn injury depends on factors such as the degree of heat, the length of exposure, and the location of the burn. Burn injuries are categorized into three degrees based on the severity of tissue damage.
First-degree burns affect only the outermost layer of skin, causing redness, pain, and mild swelling. Sunburn is a common example of a first-degree burn.
Second-degree burns affect both the outermost and underlying layers of skin, causing redness, pain, blistering, and swelling. These burns can be caused by severe sunburns, scalding liquids, flames, or chemicals.
Third-degree burns affect all layers of skin and can also damage underlying muscles, bones, and nerves. These burns are often painless because the nerve endings have been destroyed, and they can be caused by prolonged exposure to fire, electricity, or chemicals.
Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention, and skin grafts are often necessary for treatment.
Burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. The term “burn” means more than the burning sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterized by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die. 
Types of Burn Injuries
A thermal burn is a type of burn injury caused by exposure to excessive heat, such as fire, hot liquids, or hot surfaces.
The severity of a thermal burn depends on factors such as the temperature of the heat source, the length of exposure, and the location of the burn.
Thermal burns can range from mild first-degree burns that only affect the outermost layer of skin to severe third-degree burns that damage all layers of skin and underlying tissues.
A chemical burn is a type of burn injury caused by contact with a corrosive substance, such as an acid or alkali.
Chemical burns can occur in a variety of settings, including the workplace, at home, or in a laboratory, and can be caused by substances like cleaning products, battery acid, or pool chemicals.
The severity of a chemical burn depends on several factors, including the type of substance involved, the concentration of the substance, and the duration of exposure.
Chemical burns can range from mild irritation and redness to severe tissue damage and necrosis.
An electrical burn is a type of injury that occurs when electricity flows through the body, causing damage to the tissues and organs.
Electrical burns can happen in a variety of ways, including direct contact with an electrical source, lightning strikes, and arcs of electricity.
The severity of an electrical burn depends on the amount of electrical current that passes through the body, the path that the current takes, and the duration of the contact.
Electrical burns can range from minor skin damage and discomfort to life-threatening complications such as cardiac arrest, organ failure, and nerve damage.
A radiation burn is a type of injury that occurs as a result of exposure to high levels of radiation.
This can happen in a variety of settings, including medical treatments such as radiation therapy, accidental exposure to radioactive materials, or exposure to nuclear explosion fallout.
The severity of radiation burns depends on factors such as the type of radiation, the duration of exposure, and the distance from the source of radiation.
Symptoms of radiation burns can include skin irritation, blistering, and in severe cases, tissue damage, and cell death.
Scalds and Steam
Scalds and steam burns are specific types of burn injuries caused by exposure to hot liquid, steam, or vapor.
Scalds are a type of burn injury caused by exposure to hot liquid or steam. Scalds can happen in a variety of settings, such as in the kitchen, bathroom, or workplace.
The severity of a scald depends on the temperature of the liquid or steam, the duration of exposure, and the area of the body that is affected.
Steam burns are a type of burn injury caused by exposure to hot steam or vapor. Steam burns can happen in situations such as opening a hot pot lid or being near a steam vent.
Causes of Burn Injuries
Accidents at Home
Burn accidents can happen in a variety of ways in a home setting.
Kitchen accidents are one of the most common sources of burn injuries, often caused by:
Inadequate electrical wiring, space heaters, and other heating appliances can also cause burns if they malfunction or are used improperly.
Scalds from hot water, steam, or coffee are also a concern, especially in households with young children.
Poorly maintained fireplaces, candles, and smoking materials can lead to fires that can cause severe burn injuries.
Awareness of these common sources of burn accidents and practicing regular safety measures, such as using oven mitts and keeping hot liquids out of reach of children, can go a long way in preventing burn injuries in the home.
Accidents in the Workplace
Burn accidents can happen in various workplaces, such as:
Workers in these environments face unique risks that can result in burn injuries.
Exposure to hot surfaces, chemicals, and flames can cause severe burns in construction and manufacturing sites.
Kitchens are also common sites for burn injuries, as workers can easily come into contact with hot liquids, steam, and cooking surfaces.
Chemical burns can occur in laboratories due to chemical spills or exposure, while electrical burns can occur in any workplace where electrical wiring and equipment are present.
Failure to follow safety protocols, lack of proper training, and inadequate protective equipment can all contribute to the occurrence of burn injuries in the workplace.
Defective products can be a source of severe burn injuries. A wide range of products can cause burn injuries, such as electronics, appliances, personal care items, and toys.
Product defects can range from design flaws to manufacturing errors, with common examples including:
When a defective product causes a burn injury, there may be legal grounds for pursuing compensation.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to design and produce products that are safe for consumers, and they can be held liable for the harm caused by defective products.
Concerned consumers can also report potentially dangerous products to the appropriate authorities to prevent further incidents.
Symptoms of Burn Injuries
Burns can cause a range of physical and psychological symptoms depending on the severity of the injury.
Physical symptoms of burn injuries can include:
In severe cases, third-degree burns can cause numbness or tingling due to nerve damage.
Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also occur, especially after severe burn injuries.
Specific symptoms may vary depending on the type and degree of the burn injury, and medical attention is necessary to assess and treat symptoms that persist or worsen properly.
Seeking appropriate medical care can also help prevent further complications, such as infections, and promote the healing of the affected tissue.
- An estimated 180,000 deaths every year are caused by burns – the vast majority occur in low and middle-income countries.
- Non-fatal burn injuries are a leading cause of morbidity.
- Burns occur mainly in the home and workplace.
- Burns are preventable. 
Treatment for Burn Injuries
Immediate Treatment for Severe Burn
Treating a severe burn depends on the location and the extent of the injury. If you or someone else has suffered a severe burn, call 911 immediately for emergency medical assistance.
In the meantime, it is important to keep the affected area cool with slightly cool water (not ice or cold water) to prevent further damage to the tissues.
Do not remove any clothing or material stuck to the burned area, and do not apply any ointments or oil-based remedies as they may trap in heat and cause further damage.
Cover the burn with a clean, dry cloth to prevent infection until medical personnel arrives.
Cases of severe burns can be life-threatening; therefore, medical intervention is necessary.
Once medical personnel have treated the burn, they will provide further instructions on how to care for the affected area to promote healing and prevent complications.
Treatments for Minor to Moderate Burns
If you experience a minor to moderate burn, quick and appropriate first aid can help relieve pain and prevent further damage.
The first step is to remove the source of the heat and cool the affected area using cool water for at least 20 minutes.
Avoid using ice or very cold water, as it can cause further injury to your skin.
Cover the burn with a clean, non-adhesive dressing, such as a gauze pad, to help protect the skin and prevent an open wound.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can also provide relief and reduce inflammation.
Seek medical attention if the burn is severe, covers a large area of the body, or if you experience any signs of infection, such as increasing pain, swelling, or redness.
Long-Term Effects of Burn Injuries
Burn injuries can have long-term effects on an individual’s physical and psychological well-being.
The extent of the effects depends on several factors, including the severity and location of the burn injury, the age and overall health of the individual, and the effectiveness and timeliness of medical treatment.
Physical consequences may include:
Long-term psychological effects can include:
These long-term effects can have significant impacts on an individual’s ability to perform daily activities, pursue work or recreational activities, and maintain social relationships.
Victims will need to receive comprehensive medical care and support, including ongoing physical therapy, counseling, and legal representation if the burn is the result of the negligent actions of another party.
Why Is a Burn Lawyer Beneficial?
Burn injuries can result in significant medical expenses, loss of income, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
A burn injury lawyer from Goldberg & Loren can help you gather the necessary evidence, including medical records and witness statements, to build a strong case.
We will also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to obtain a fair settlement or take your case to trial if necessary.
Goldberg & Loren will provide legal guidance and support throughout the entire process, from filing your claim to reaching a resolution.
Our goal is to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to cover your expenses and help you move forward after a burn injury.
The Goldberg & Loren Law Firm works on a contingency fee, meaning no upfront costs.
 Burns: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments. (n.d.). Burns: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments. https://www.healthline.com/health/burns
 Burns. (2018, March 6). Burns. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/burns
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