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Thermal Burn Injuries and Automobile Accidents

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Posted On 07.21.11 by in Auto Accidents

Every year in the United States, more than 2 million people sustain a thermal burn injury: a burn caused by heat or fire. Thermal burn injuries are the most common type of burn injury, and make up approximately 85 percent of burns serious enough to require medical care. Other types of burns include electrical burns and chemical burns.

Thermal burn injuries can range from mild to severe, and can cause a number of physical problems in addition to skin tissue damage, such as infection and musculoskeletal problems. The extent of the physical problems associated with a thermal burn injury will depend on whether the burn is a first degree, second degree, or third degree burn. (Details on burn injury classifications available here.)

Severe thermal burn injuries can be devastating – some of the consequences of the damage may stay with the victim for years after the injury occurs. Psychiatric problems, chronic pain, and physical deformities are common. A severe thermal burn injury usually requires extensive hospital stays, repeat surgeries, and long-term recuperation. Victims of third degree thermal burn injuries may suffer unbearable physical pain, intense emotional distress, and months of missed work.

Many severe and life-threatening thermal burn injuries are sustained when a vehicle catches fire or explodes during or after an automobile accident. Fed by gasoline, a fire that occurs during an automobile accident can substantially increase the physical and emotional damage of an accident. In Maryland, if a fire can be attributed to the car manufacturer’s negligence, then the company can be held liable for any thermal burn injuries that occur as the result of the fire. (For a partial list of vehicle design defects for which a manufacturer could be held liable, click here.)

If you or a loved one have suffered a thermal burn injury in an automobile accident, you may be able to hold the vehicle manufacturer responsible for losses related to your injury. Such losses may include: medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Depending on the extent of your injury, you could also be awarded compensation for disfigurement and scarring, physical pain, and emotional trauma.

To receive additional information from a qualified Maryland burn injury attorney, please contact our firm today for a free case evaluation.

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