450,000 Burn Injuries Require Medical Attention Annually

by P. Brian Berryman on 11/01/2013

You’ve probably experienced a burn before. Most minor burns from everyday activities like cooking are usually slightly painful, but heal somewhat easily, and don't require medical attention. Unfortunately, some burns are more serious. Whether the result of a defective kitchen appliance, faulty wiring in your home, or incorrectly stored chemicals at work, serious burns can cause severe and permanent injuries. According to the American Burn Association National Burn Repository Report, approximately 450,000 burns receive medical treatment of some kind, in an emergency room, clinic, urgent care or private physician's office annually in the U.S.

Many types of burn injuries can cause permanent medical problems, including scarring, damage to tissue and organs, and even death:

Flame or contact burn

House fires, improper use of flammable liquids like gasoline, and automobile accidents are the most common cause of flame burn injury. These burn injuries occur when someone comes into direct, prolonged contact with a fire. For example, cars with manufacturing defects have a greater potential to catch fire or explode during or after an auto accident, causing the driver and passengers to be directly exposed to the hot, flames and sustain contact burn injuries.

Chemical burns

Negligent handling, incorrect storage, or mislabeling of hazardous chemicals can lead to chemical burns, which occur when the skin or eyes come into contact with strong alkaloids or acids. Common household chemicals that cause chemical burns include bleach, paint thinner, plumbing decloggers like Liquid Plumber or Drano, sulfuric acid found in toilet bowl cleansers and car battery fluid, hydrochloric acid found in pool cleaning products and toilet bowl cleansers, and phosphates found in many household cleaning products.

Electrical burns

Faulty wiring or defective appliances are two common sources of household electrical burns; however, electrical burns are also a common workplace injury.  Electrocution and/or electric burns can cause nerve and tissue damage, leading to unconsciousness and even death. In 2011, the second leading cause of worker deaths on U.S. construction sites was electrocution.

Scalding burns

Scalds are caused by exposure to hot or boiling liquids such as water, oil, grease, or tar. It takes just three seconds of exposure to water at 140 degrees to create deep burn. However, at 156 degrees, water will cause the same injury in just one second.  Scalding burns may be caused by faulty cookware, water heaters set above 120 degrees, or unsafe containers.


Sometimes a burn injury can include multiple types of burns. Fires in industrial environments may involve a combination of chemical, electrical, and contact burns. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations regarding fire prevention and burn safety in the workplace are in place due to the high risk of occupational burns.

Contact the Burn Injury Lawyers of Watts Guerra

If you or a loved one has been burned by a defective product, because of a workplace safety violation, or another person's negligence, a burn injury lawyer at Watts Guerra LLP can help you. We know how difficult life can be after a burn injury, and we'll do everything we can to help you recover physically and financially. 

Tags: Personal Injury, Fire Litigation, Defective Consumer Products

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