Types of Burn Injuries

Fire Accident Lawyer Representing Residents of Knoxville and East Tennessee

Burns involve damage to the skin that may result in the death of skin cells. Some people may recover from burns quickly, while others may need emergency care and may be disfigured for life. The outcome of burns sustained in East Tennessee and elsewhere depends in part on the types of burn injuries that the victim suffered. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Knoxville burn injury attorney Mark Hartsoe can help you seek damages if your burns were caused by someone else's negligence or misconduct. He understands how painful and distressing burn injuries may be and works hard to prove the full scope of each victim’s damages.

Types of Burn Injuries

The human body's largest organ is its skin. It protects the body against environmental harms, including infections, and gathers sensory information. The outermost layer of skin is the epidermis, which includes various specialized cells, such as melanocytes that provide skin color. Beneath the epidermis is the dermis, which includes sweat glands, hair follicles, and oil glands. The innermost layer is the subcutaneous layer, which contains fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.

Types of burns are categorized based on which of these different levels of skin (and deeper) they affect. First-degree burns are generally the most minor, affecting the epidermis and resulting in red but not blistered skin. Second-degree burns tend to affect the dermis, and they involve blisters and thickening. They require longer to heal than first-degree burns and may sometimes necessitate skin grafting. They may occur as a result of hot liquids or flames. Third-degree burns affect all of the layers of skin and are quite serious, often thick with a leathery look. They may be a result of prolonged exposure to electricity, chemicals, or flames. The repair of third-degree burns always requires skin grafts. Fourth-degree burns are the most serious, and they damage not only skin but also tendons and bones. They require surgery or grafting, and they usually result in permanent disability and long periods of rehabilitation. After suffering serious burns, you should immediately seek medical treatment. A doctor may be able to tell you which types of burn injuries you have suffered and which treatments may be appropriate.

If your burns were caused by someone else, you may be able to recover damages under a theory of negligence. For example, if you are a subcontractor who was caught in a fire on a work site due to the negligent actions of a homeowner, you may be able to obtain compensation for your burn injuries. You would need to establish that the homeowner owed you a duty of reasonable care, breached that duty, and thereby caused your burns. You may also have a premises liability cause of action. In Tennessee, property owners have a duty to warn or repair dangerous property conditions about which they know or have reason to know.

Assuming that you establish liability, the damages will vary depending on which types of burns you suffered. Among other things, you may be able to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses (including the costs of surgery or skin grafts), lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Pursue a Burn Injury Case with Knoxville Attorney Mark Hartsoe

If you believe that the burn injuries that you suffered in an accident were the fault of someone else, you should consult experienced Knoxville burn injury lawyer Mark Hartsoe. He can evaluate the facts of your case and advise you on your legal options. Contact us online or call us at (865) 524-5657 for a free consultation if you need a premises liability attorney or assistance in another personal injury claim. Mark Hartsoe represents people throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.

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