Burn Injuries Hurt In More Ways Than One

Of the injuries that can occur as the result of accidents and negligence, burns are one of the most feared, and, at the same time, least understood. Severe burns are permanent, and, depending on where the burn occurred, everyone can tell when someone has been a burn victim.

That’s why it’s important to understand that when someone is the victim of burn injuries as a result of someone’s else’s carelessness, whether it’s on the road, at work, or even out and about town, legal action is merited. Some will dispute that because burns don’t involve the loss of limbs or organs, this type of injury is “not as serious” as others, and doesn’t deserve legal compensation. But we’re here to explain exactly why this kind of thinking misses a lot of what makes a burn injury just as debilitating and life-altering as any other serious injury caused by negligence.

More Than A Scar

One of the biggest misperceptions about burn injuries is that, ultimately, they’re “not that bad.” This misconception arises from the fact that burns affect primarily the skin. Unlike a spinal cord injury, or an amputation, there is often no loss of basic human functionality. Many burn victims can still walk, talk, see, hear and speak, so there’s a belief that this is just a “scar” and nothing more. Some view it as the equivalent of a broken arm, where you heal, and then “get over it.”

But this isn’t actually true. Serious burn injuries permanently impair the topmost level of skin, so even after a recovery, the skin itself is not going to look identical to the skin that was there before it. In some cases, it may not function identically to the skin that used to be there either.

No More Sweating

In some cases, the burn injuries go deep enough to eliminate the subcutaneous glands, which give humans the ability to sweat. While superficially some people may think this is nothing but a “good” thing, in reality this mean burn victims are far more susceptible to heat stroke, since they can no longer sweat to cool down. It may even mean that an inability to sweat renders burn victims unable to exercise, or take part in any activity or labor that requires physical exertion, since this may lead to overheating, heatstroke, and potentially coma and death.

Sensory Deprivation

Depending on the severity of the burns, certain nerves in the skin may simply no longer be there. It can mean that the burn victim is now unable to perceive subtle changes in temperature, and maybe even touch. At the same time, however, the burn victim is now also more vulnerable to bigger swings in temperature. So when it gets very hot or very cold, the burn victim is especially sensitive. It may mean that a burn victim’s best chances at a comfortable life are to move to a moderate climate, since places that are very cold, like New England, or very hot, like Florida, may no longer be safely tolerated.

Change In Appearance

Finally, there is the obvious consequence of physical changes. Burn victims look visibly different from uninjured people, and extensive burns across the body can leave people very self-conscious, and even affect how others interact with them. Extensive burns across the face can have an adverse, negative effect on interactions, and if the burn victim worked in the media, where physical appearance is important, this can even mean the end of a career.

If you have been an accident where someone else’s negligence has caused you serious burn injuries, you don’t just have to “get over it.” Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. Don’t let the other party get away with it..