Every year, around 1.1 million people suffer burn injuries that require medical treatment in the United States and up to 10,000 are killed by burn-related infection, according to the CDC. While most burns have a high survival rate, burns are considered one of the most painful injuries you can suffer. Depending on the location and severity of a burn, recovery may take months or years and require skin grafting. Burns are also likely to leave permanent scars and potentially cause disfigurement.
Burns can happen anywhere and in a variety of situations, including workplace injuries, at home, and in the car. The following are some of the most common causes of burn injuries across the country.
According to NFPA, the U.S. fire service responds every 2.5 minutes to a vehicle fire.
Between 2003 and 2007, car fires caused an average of 440 deaths per year and over 1,300 injuries. Car fires can be the result of overheating, fuel leakage, or short circuits. Accidents are also a common cause of car fires when an impact causes fluid leaks and spillage. High heat and spilled fuel create the perfect conditions to spark a fire.
According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, over 100,000 people are treated in an ER per year due to a scalding injury. Scalding hot tap water is responsible for about 25% of scalding burns in children, but the elderly are also at risk of scalds.
Electrical burns can happen when someone is exposed to an electrical current, but contact burns and flash arc burns are also possible. Electrocution doesn’t just cause burns; it also damages the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, and respiratory system. According to OSHA, electrocution is one of the “fatal four” in the construction industry, accounting for 8% of all construction worker fatalities.
Hotel and Apartment Fires
There were around 109,000 apartment fires across the country between 2010 and 2015 that resulted in 400 fatalities and more than 4,100 injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Hotel fires alone cause an average of 12 deaths per year.
The number of house fires has dropped dramatically since the 1980s but there are still about 90,000 house fires every year. On average, house fires account for 2,500 deaths and 12,000 injuries per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Common causes of house fires include smoking, clothes dryers, the use of unattended candles, and space heaters.
Sometimes defective products like cars, ovens, and consumer products overheat or spark and lead to burn injuries or start a fire. Products with combustible fuel or batteries are most likely to lead to burn injuries.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer
Many burn injuries are the result of another person’s negligence, including burns caused by improper maintenance, defective products, electrocution, chemical exposure, and car accidents. If you have suffered a serious burn injury and you believe the injury was caused by a third party’s negligence, a burn injury lawyer can help you protect your rights and explore legal options. Contact Blackburn & Green today to speak with one of our professional legal team.
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