When Should You Call a Burn Injury Lawyer?

When Should You Call a Burn Injury Lawyer?

In recent years, California has suffered the most destructive wildfires in history, and while the tragic images of thousands of miles of burning forests and incinerated homes do much to dramatize the dangers and human toll of fires, the reality is that fire danger is often much more mundane than such images communicate.

In 2016 there were 254 fire-related deaths, in California alone, and 2015 saw, roughly, 356,000 emergency room visits related to burn injuries in the United States.

The majority of these injuries and deaths were caused by everyday dangers that most Americans encounters, regularly.  Here’s what you should know about burn injuries.

What Causes Burn Injuries?

In addition to direct skin exposure to flames, burn injuries can result from:

  • Exposure to heat-conducting elements, for example hot metal parts of a car engine
  • Chemical exposure
  • Exposure to scalding-hot liquid
  • Exposure to electrical currents
  • Sunburns

Types of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are classified based on the following typology, and how deeply the skin is damaged.

  • First-Degree Burns. These affect the outer layer of the skin (known as the epidermis), and symptoms usually include redness and pain.
  • Second-Degree Burns. These burns affect both the epidermis and the underlying layer, known as the dermis.  In addition to redness and pain, symptoms of second-degree burns include swelling and the appearance of red or white blotchiness on the skin.  Blisters may eventually form, and pain can be severe.  Scarring may develop.
  • Third-Degree Burns. The most serious type of burn, third-degree burns, affect the epidermis, dermis, and the layer of fat beneath the skin.  Affected areas may appear brown or black, and the skin may appear leathery.  This severe type of burn can affect nerves and induce temporary or permanent numbness.

Serious burns are often described based on the percentage of the body that they cover.

In general, it is not necessarily recommended that you seek medical attention for superficial or first-degree burns, unless they cover substantial portions of the body; for example, the face, hands, feet, groin, legs, or buttocks.

Victims should seek immediate medical attention, if the burns are deep, appear discolored, were caused by chemicals or electricity, or results in difficulty breathing or restriction to the airways.  Victims should also seek medical attention, if burn symptoms do not appear to be resolving in two weeks after the burn incident.


Infections are a serious but often overlooked risk of even superficial burns. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following with your wound:

  • Worsening pain
  • Foul smell
  • The area around the wound feels hot to the touch
  • Sudden increase in redness or swelling
  • High body temperature
  • Dizziness or vomiting

Contact a Burn Injury Attorney

If you have suffered a burn injury, you may be entitled to legal compensation.  Call The Dominguez Firm to speak with an award-winning burn injury lawyer at (800)818-1818 for a free consultation about your case. Let us help you on your road to recovery.