I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation attorney in Greenville, NC focusing on burn injuries. Greenville and Pitt County has its fair share of industrial jobs that involve working with hazardous materials and electricity. North Carolina workers put their bodies and lives at risk every time they’re on the clock working in hazardous conditions. Most employers make sure to observe OSHA rules and other safety related protocols but accidents happen. And sometimes the employer fails to keep employees safe by neglecting to maintain some or all safety precautions needed to prevent injury. Employees wind up with first, second, or third degree burns, triggering a workers’ compensation claim. But burns are so much more than an injury received at work; they’re disfiguring and can affect quality of life for years to come.
The Different Levels of Burns
Burns come in three different types: first, second and third degree. Each classification is a definition for the type and severity of burns a patient received. A first-degree burn causes the least amount of damage. It’s similar to getting a sunburn and there’s little to no long-term damage. It’s considered a superficial burn as the damage doesn’t go beneath the outer layer of skin. Second-degree burns are known as partial thickness burns due to the fact the damage goes through the outer layer of skin and into the dermis layer. This type of burn causes blisters, redness of the skin, and swelling. Third-degree burns are the worst type of burns the human body can sustain. This type of burn destroys the skin layers and can damage the structures underneath. Muscles, tendons, and bones all sustain damage that can be difficult to heal if at all. There is little to no pain in a third-degree burn as the nerves are destroyed as a result of the burn.
Common Injuries Caused by Burns
Burns come from a variety of sources that include electrical, chemical, and thermal. While these burns come from different sources, the end result is the same: permanent injury. Some of the physical damage a burn can cause includes:
- Full thickness burns requiring grafts to repair
- Loss of extremities
- Muscle damage
Burns also cause emotional damage that’s similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who suffer severe burn injuries are far more likely to go through a grieving process, deal with depression, and even suffer nightmares during the recovery process.
Treatment for Burns
First-degree burns rarely require more than minor treatment. They heal on their own and only require that the area be kept clean and covered until healing has completed. Second-degree burns can be a little more complex depending on what was damaged. More aggressive treatment is required in the form of wound care, pain management, and sometimes a skin graft. Third-degree burns can cause permanent disfigurement and loss of function to the point where the patient can never be the same as they were before the incident. Those who suffer from third-degree burns need intensive treatment of both the body and mind to help increase their chances of survival in the short and long-term.
Anyone who suffers a severe burn while on the job has the option to file a workers’ compensation claim to get coverage for their medical bills. Burn injuries are costly and an employee shouldn’t have to be out of pocket for something that wasn’t their fault.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation attorney in Greenville, NC specializing in burn injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 777-2222 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice.
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