In the last 12 months approximately 2.5 million burn victims were reported in the United States. Burn injuries can be extremely painful and result in both physical and emotional damage. The severity of a burn depends on the person’s age, size, depth of burn and the location of the burn.
Burns are classified as first, second, or third degree depending on the extent of damage to the skin. First degree burns affect only the top layer of skin and are considered the mildest of the three types. This category would include sunburn. It could also be the result of radiation treatments that some cancer victims receive in their treatment protocol. Second degree burns are more severe and affect the skin layers underneath the top layers of skin and can result in blisters and severe pain. Third degree burns are the most severe and involve all the layers of the skin as well as the underlying tissue and can result in nerve damage.
Persons sustain burn injuries from home and work fires, work injuries, chemical exposure, automobile collisions and other unexpected tragedies. Smoke inhalation is an injury associated with fires and burns and can be extremely serious; there are hundreds of known toxic substances that can be present in fire smoke. When inhalation injuries are combined with external burns, the chance of death can increase significantly.
Many burn injury victims suffer because of defective products that either burn them directly, or cause a fire. A large percentage of burn victims are firefighters because of their regular interaction with fires in their line of duty. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 5,000 American fire fighters suffer burn injuries each year. Many of those same firefighters suffer inhalation injuries, too.
In 2013 the general estimate of individuals suffering a burn injury that require medical treatment was 450,000. This estimate is derived from federal government surveys which give annual estimates of hospital admissions and visits to hospital emergency departments.
The number of individuals who die each year in the United States as the result of fire, burn or smoke inhalation is approximately 3,400. Of that total, more than 2,500 are deaths in house fires. On top of that staggering number, it is estimated that 150 people die from burns and fire coming after car or truck crash. More than 500 persons die each year in non-residential fires, including from smoke inhalation. Another cause of fire related deaths are those associated with contact with high current electricity, scalding liquids and hot objects used in the workplace or at the home.
There are approximately 127 burn centers in the United States. In the Chicago area, burn centers can be found at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, the University of Chicago Burn Center in Hyde Park, Trinity Medical Center Regional Burn and Reconstructive Unit, Sumner L. Koch Burn Center at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Illinois.
The attorneys at Chicago’s Kreisman Law Offices will be able to obtain compensation for your burn injuries. Damages will include economic damages. In Illinois a burn injury victim is entitle to receive money for all medical care and treatment, the likely need for future medical treatment, surgeries. Further, the law allows burn injury individual to recover the lost time, lost wages, lost income, lost profits and future expected loss of income that would have been earned absent the burn injury and the negligence that caused this injury.
Burn injury cases also allow for pain and suffering both experienced and likely to be experienced in the future. Burn injuries are terrible and extremely painful injuries. With any burn it is very likely that the person will be left with a lifetime of scarring because of the burns or because of grafting of harvested skin from other parts of the body that were not damaged by the burns. Also, Illinois law allows for the recovery of the loss of normal life, which is the loss of enjoyment of activities the person once participated in before the burn injury and now because of the burns, is unable to do so.
For over 40 years Chicago’s Kreisman Law Offices at 55 West Monroe Street, Suite 3700, Chicago, Illinois has represented clients in very serious and catastrophic burn injury cases. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, you may have a personal injury claim or a defective product claim. Please call Chicago Injury Lawyer Robert Kreisman 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free at 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or fill out our contact form online. Our offices are easily reached by car, train, bus or the CTA. We’re conveniently located at the corners of Dearborn and Monroe Streets in the heart of Chicago’s Loop.