Any time there is a motor vehicle accident, there is a possibility that the fuel tank may explode or a cracked fuel tank will leak, resulting in a fire. A car accident fire is often started due to a hot engine, spark, or exhaust pipe igniting gas that has leaked from the fuel tank. Many automobile accidents occur as a result of a reckless, careless, or distracted driver. In some instances, a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the crash occurs. According to the National Fire Protection Association, between the years 2007 and 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 229,500 vehicle fires per year, many of which resulted in death or serious injuries.
Burn Injuries From Car Accidents
A car fire may result in a victim sustaining burns, which may cause physical harm, mobility problems, disfigurements, or even emotional effects. Individuals with burn injuries may go into shock, are highly susceptible to infections, and may have respiratory difficulty. Burns are often treated with a process known as debridement, which is the removal of dead tissue. A dressing is then applied to the area along with a burn cream. In severe cases, skin grafting is required. Sometimes individuals will have long-term effects from the injuries that were sustained. In addition, some severe burns may be fatal.
Types of Burn Injuries
There are three categories of burns ranging from the least severe, first-degree burns, and the most severe, third-degree burns. A description of the type of burns are as follows:
- First-degree burns — Damage to the outer layer of the skin, such as sunburn.
- Second-degree burns — The outer layer and underneath layer of the skin are damaged, which may result in swelling, blistering, and slight scarring.
- Third-degree burns — The deepest layer of skin along with the fat layer and tissue are damaged. This often results in nerve damage, swelling, blistering and scarring. Individuals with this type of burn covering a large portion of his or her body may have difficulty regulating their internal body temperature or breathing.
What To Do if You Suffered a Burn Injury from a Fire
If you or a loved one has been burned due to a fire, it is important to try to obtain treatment as quickly as possible in order to have the most favorable outcome. In addition, burn injury treatment may be costly due to medical bills and lost wages. If you or a loved one is the victim of a fire, it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will assess your situation and determine who may be held liable for the injuries you or your loved one sustained.
Individuals that suffer from motor vehicle accident burn injuries may face serious physical and emotional effects that can impact their daily lives. In some instances, burn injuries require extensive hospital stays, expensive medical treatment and therapy, and long-term care services. If you are an individual who suffered a burn injury as a result of another person's negligence or misconduct, it is important to contact an experienced New York burn injury lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The New York personal injury lawyers at Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC are experienced in handling serious motor vehicle accident burn injury matters throughout New York State. Our firm has the highest affirmed pain and suffering verdict in New York State history for a burn victim. For more information or to schedule a consultation at our New York City burn injury law office, call (718) 238-2400.