Can you sue for a second degree burn?

Updated on June 22, 2020

A burn is among the most painful types of injuries a person can experience. Unfortunately, they are also among the most common. While everyone has had the occasional run-in with a hot iron or a flare-up on the grill, a second degree burn is a serious matter that demands immediate first aid. When a second degree burn occurs due to the negligence of another, the matter could become the focus of litigation. 

What is a second degree burn?

Burns are categorized according to severity. A first degree burn is one that only affects the outermost layers of your skin. This is the most common type of burn, and even sunburns are considered to be first degree burns. A second degree burn affects both the outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis, and the second layer, the dermis. These burns take longer to heal than a first degree burn and carry a greater risk of infection. A third degree burn extends through both your epidermis and dermis, as well as other tissue types like sweat glands. These burns usually require a skin graft or other advanced treatment to restore the integrity of the skin. 

How do most second degree burns occur?

There are numerous ways to get a second degree burn, some of which are preventable and others that are not. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Severe sunburn
  • Contact with boiling water
  • Exposure to steam
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Electrical current entering your body
  • Close contact with fire
  • Contact with acid or other chemicals
  • Contact with hot surfaces

What should I do if I sustain a serious burn?

If you suspect a burn has penetrated into the deeper layers of your skin, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention. A second degree burn can leave your skin with a wet, seeping wound, or can turn your skin a lighter or darker color. You might also notice blisters on the surface of your skin. The primary symptom of second degree burns is severe pain.

It’s important to have a serious burn evaluated by a medical professional. Left untreated, a second degree burn can interfere with your body’s systems, leaving you at risk for complications like pneumonia, scarring, blood clotting, anemia, and cellulitis. Some people even experience depression and other mental health problems in the aftermath of a serious burn. 

Once your burn has been properly treated, take some time to determine how the burn occurred. If the actions of someone else led to your injury, you may be entitled to compensation. That is especially true if your burn causes lost time from work, severe emotional distress, or health problems. 

Is it possible to sue for a second degree burn?

Many people have successfully sued over second degree burns. The primary consideration in these types of injury lawsuits is the matter of negligence or wrongdoing. When the actions of a person or entity leads to harm, the injured party has a right to legal recourse. 

The first step in determining if you can sue for a second degree burn injury is to sit down with a burn injury laywer to discuss the details of your case. Be prepared to answer in-depth questions about how the injury occurred, what happened before and after the event, and how things have changed as a result of the burn. If you have medical records, photos, or other supporting documentation, bring those along to shed more light on your circumstances. 

Why would I seek legal action over a second degree burn?

If you sustain a second degree burn due to the actions of someone else, you don’t have to accept the consequences as inevitable. A serious burn can get in the way of your livelihood, your emotional health, and your long-term overall health. A personal injury lawsuit is a means of restoring some of what was lost due to your injury. For many, the primary point of a personal injury lawsuit is not personal profit, but the opportunity to convince or compel an individual or entity to make lasting changes that could prevent someone else from being injured in a similar manner. 

In cases where a serious burn led to a loss of life, the surviving family members may need to move forward with a lawsuit to gain the monetary support needed to replace their loved one’s income and support. While there is no price tag that can be placed on a human life, a successful personal injury action can make it a bit easier for surviving loved ones to move forward. 

I’m interested in learning more about how to take legal action after a second degree burn. Where do I begin?

When you’re ready to learn more about your rights, call to schedule a personalized consultation. You’ll have the change to tell your story and learn your rights under the law. If you decide to move forward with legal action, there’s no need to pay for anything up front. Your burn injuries lawyer can handle your case through a contingency fee retainer, which means you’ll pay nothing unless your legal team succeeds in securing a monetary award on your behalf. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.