Free Consultation 24 Hour Response
Call Today Local (480) 630-2765
free consultation
no fee unless we win
F(480) 546-5262
Request Free Consultation

What Are the Lasting Effects of a Serious Burn?

Posted on December 16, 2022 in

A burn injury refers to damage to the skin – and potentially deeper layers of tissue – due to contact with a dangerous object or element, such as heat, steam, electricity, radiation or chemicals. Burn injuries can be devastating to a victim both physically and psychologically. A burn victim may face a long and difficult recovery from a serious burn, with many lasting effects.

Ongoing Medical Problems 

Burn injuries are classified into degrees. First-degree and second-degree burns are less severe and tend not to have permanent effects on victims. These burns may not leave behind scars and only damage the top layers of skin. Third-degree and fourth-degree burns, however, are considered serious or catastrophic injuries. These burns impact the deeper layers of skin and sometimes the underlying muscles and bones. They often inflict permanent damage. A catastrophic injury attorney in Phoenix can help you navigate the legal process if you suffer serious burns.

Severe burn injuries can cause a range of long-lasting or permanent medical problems, including:

  • Organ damage or failure from the body’s inflammatory response
  • Scar tissue
  • Contractures (tightening or hardening of the skin and soft tissues)
  • Mobility problems
  • Compromised immune system
  • Reduced resistance to infections, including sepsis
  • Disruption to thermoregulation (body temperature regulation) 
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Nerve damage
  • Chronic pain or itching
  • Weakness from muscle damage

In addition to these medical problems, specific types of burns can cause other issues. Electrical burns, for example, can cause heart problems such as arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat. Radiation burns can cause skin cancers, such as melanoma. The medical side of a burn injury alone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency and ongoing care. Required care may include surgeries, skin grafts, medications, physical therapies and rehabilitation.

Scarring or Disfigurement

Many severe burns result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. The physical signs can be significant when a victim is burned on a large percentage of his or her body. Scars and disfigurement can have multiple implications for a victim, including a buildup of scar tissue that can reduce mobility and require ongoing therapies and medical care. In some cases, part of the body is too badly burned to recover, resulting in trauma-related amputations. Living with the physical signs of a burn injury in addition to health problems can have an emotional and psychological effect on a survivor.

Psychological Effects

Living through a traumatic event and dealing with the various long-lasting effects of a burn injury can have a significant impact on a victim emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Common psychological problems associated with burns include: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Clinical depression
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Negative body image 
  • Embarrassment or humiliation
  • Decreased quality or enjoyment of life
  • Social isolation
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies

These are in addition to substantial physical pain and anguish, a reduced ability to participate in favorite activities, and a great deal of inconvenience caused by burn injuries. All of these losses can establish a claim for damages by the victim.

Pursuing Damages for Burn Injuries

In Arizona, a burn injury victim may be eligible for financial compensation for all of the physical, financial and intangible effects of a serious burn. Filing a Scottsdale personal injury claim against the person or party who caused the burn injury could result in payment for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, permanent disabilities, and more. A severe third-degree or fourth-degree burn injury claim could result in significant compensation for a lifetime of related symptoms and effects.

To prove your burn injury claim, keep records of your medical care and hospital bills. Keep an injury journal of your personal experience while you are in recovery from a burn injury. Seek psychological therapy or counseling and keep copies of these records, as well. Then, contact an attorney to help you pursue compensation. For more information about a potential burn injury case in Arizona, contact Stone Rose Law to request a free consultation.