When people think of catastrophic injuries, they often think of spinal cord injuries or amputations. Burn injuries are also frequently catastrophic. Some people only suffer minor thermal burns, possibly from grabbing something hot. The only consequences may be a few painful blisters.
Other times, people suffer burns that affect a large portion of their body and/or particularly sensitive areas. They may also have more severe burns that can cause nerve damage. When someone experiences a third-degree burn or has second-degree burns over a substantial portion of their body, the damage to their body can cause numerous lasting consequences.
Those who have substantial burns or burns to sensitive areas often require emergency trauma care, possibly including surgery and skin grafts. They will also likely experience lasting financial complications stemming from their injuries. They may therefore require significant compensation when pursuing a claim related to their injuries. What makes burn injuries so expensive?
1. A need for ongoing medical care needs
It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to receive emergency care for burns, and the initial trauma care for burns is only part of their true cost. Those with serious burn injuries will also often require ongoing medical care in the form of pain management, physical therapy and other treatment for symptoms.
The more expensive the burns are and the worse the cosmetic and nerve damage they cause someone, the more likely it is that the affected individual will need repeated treatments after their initial care. In addition to costs for physical treatment, many people with severe burns will also require mental health care because their chronic pain or disfigurement may have profound effects.
2. Lost wages
Getting treatment for burn injuries may mean that someone is away from work for weeks and might even lose their job. Their ongoing care needs might require that they frequently take days off of work.
In some cases, people may need to change professions because of the physical or social limitations created by their burn injuries. The changes to the work they can do, their appearance or their mental health can leave them unable to continue earning the same wages they enjoyed before their injuries.
Car crashes, work accidents and defective products can all lead to someone suffering severe burns that inspire lasting consequences. Taking legal action can help those who have suffered catastrophic injuries, such as extensive burns, obtain compensation for their losses.