What Determines the Degree of a Burn Injury?

The degree of a burn injury varies by the type and severity of the burn. If you have suffered from any degree of burn injury seek compensation from the responsible party by calling a Manhattan personal injury lawyer from our firm. Burn injuries are broken down into three categories, the first is a first-degree burn. This type of burn is the least severe of the three. A first degree burn only damages the outer layer, or epidermis layer, of the skin without extended deep in the nerve endings of the skin. The common causes of this degree of burn include:

  • Touching hot metal pot
  • A curling iron coming in contact with skin
  • Mild sunburn

A first degree burn is also called a superficial burn and it will appear to be red and dry. These burns can be very painful but there would not be blistering involved. Medical treatment is rare for this degree of burn and permanent damage should not occur. Second-degree burns are the next category and this burn is more severe. The burn will extend deeper into the skin and can damage the dermis layer of the skin along with nerve endings. Blistering can occur along with more intense pain. The causes of a second-degree burn can be any of the following:

  • Skin exposure to open flame or intense heat source
  • Contact between hot oil, grease or hot soup to the skin
  • Scald injuries from steam of liquid

A second degree burn can extend deep into the skin and damage nerve endings so the initial pain may not seem severe. Some people downplay the seriousness of these burns because the pain is mild but once the nerve endings recover the pain can increase. It is important to seek medical attention because there is a high risk of infection when suffering from a second-degree burn. Lastly there are third-degree burns which are the most serious type of burn injury. These burns have visible damage that can look like charring, purple fluid leakage, or leathery legions on the skin. Similar to the second-degree burns, nerve endings are usually damaged in this degree of burn so the pain may be minimal in the beginning but the burn could severely damage muscle tissue along with bone. Common causes of third-degree burns include:

  • Steam
  • Hot oil
  • Grease
  • Chemical source
  • Electrical currents
  • Scalding liquids
  • Flames from fire

Third degree burns can swell and leave the burn area looking black, brown or yellow depending on the cause of the burn. Medical attention is imperative when suffering from this degree of burn. Treatment for the burn can include cleaning the burn, IV fluids, antibiotics, pain medications, skin grafting and cosmetic reconstruction.

Need a lawyer for your burn injury case in Manhattan, NY? Burns can be very serious and if you or a loved one have suffered from a burn injury due to the negligence of another party contact Segal & Lax as soon as possible. Our Manhattan personal injury attorneys are skilled at fighting to recover damages for our clients.


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