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July 12th, 2020

Burn Injury Degrees

A burn is a type of injury resulting in tissue damage. Burns have many causes, including electricity, chemicals, heat, fire, and radiation, and they can range in severity from minor to life-threatening. We cover the four primary degrees of burns and how to get help from personal injury lawyers if you sustained a burn as the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional harm.

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns cause damage to the skin, but only to its outer layer, called the epidermis. If you’ve sustained this type of burn, you may notice your skin is red and painful. Your skin may show signs of dryness, but you won’t see any blisters.

It’s rare for a burn of this type to cause any long-term damage to the epidermis, but you may notice that the site of the burn has caused your skin either to darken or to become lighter in color.

Second-Degree Burns

A second-degree burn affects both the epidermis and the second layer of skin, which is called the dermis. It is just underneath the epidermis. There are two classes of second-degree burn: superficial and deep partial thickness.

A superficial second-degree burn damages only part of the dermis, and it typically doesn’t cause the skin to scar. A deep partial-thickness burn causes the skin to thicken, and it damages both the epidermis and part of the dermis. This type of burn can cause scarring, and it can also cause your skin color to change permanently.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns, also called full-thickness burns, cause both the epidermis and the dermis to be completely destroyed. These types of severe burns can reach beyond the skin’s top two layers to affect the tissue that exists beneath—the subcutaneous tissue. A third-degree burn can be accompanied by numbness and charred or blackened skin, but it can also cause the skin to look white.

Fourth-Degree Burns

A fourth-degree burn is the most serious of all burns. This is because destruction can occur not only to the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue but can also reach beyond these to the bones, tendons, and muscles. Because this type of burn also destroys nerve endings, there is a complete loss of sensation at the site of injury.

Consequences of Sustaining a Burn

judge gavel with personal injury law

Even if a burn doesn’t seem to be that serious at first, it can change and progress to a different degree of burn and endanger your life if the damage continues to grow and affect a larger area of skin, or it becomes deeper and affects other layers. It can also result in missed work and lost income.

Getting Compensation for Burn Injuries

If you’ve sustained a serious injury due to a burn caused by negligence or intentional harm, the best way to get the highest possible compensation for your injuries is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Schechter, Schaffer & Harris comprise the top personal injury law firms in Texas—SMS Legal—and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

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