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Giving a Voice to the Injured

Burn Injury Attorneys in Virginia

We Can Help You Fight for Compensation After a Bad Accident

If you’re not big on making your own food, you may think your risks of being burned are fairly low—after all, cooking equipment is the largest cause of house fires and the resulting burn injuries. However, we all live near burn hazards, many that we don’t often think of. By the time we notice them, it’s often too late.

Severe burns are among the most hazardous type of injury one can face. The recovery process often involves intense treatment, surgery, and lengthy rehabilitation. Even with the best medical attention, burn wounds can cause permanent scarring and a decreased range of motion.

If an accident caused by someone else resulted in bad burn injuries to you or someone you love, you may be able to receive compensation to help you with medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages. Contact our attorneys to learn what your legal options are, no matter the type of accident.

Call our Virginia team 24/7 at (571) 290-2390 for a free consultation.

Classifying Burn Injuries by Type and Severity

When talking about burn injuries, most of us think of what happens when you accidentally touch a hot pan or put your hand too close to a flame. In fact, burn injuries are much more diverse. There are many different causes; the class is defined by the effects. A burn is any injury that permanently destroys skin (or other) cells through an energy transfer. Burn injuries may be:

  • Thermal, or related to heat. Thermal burns are further categorized into contact burns, scald burns, and fire burns.
  • Electrical, or caused by a current running through the body.
  • Chemical, inflicted by substances that are much more acidic/alkali than our bodies or otherwise toxic.
  • Radiation-based, caused by high-energy rays including X-rays, UV rays, nuclear decay, and more.

Burn injuries are categorized into different degrees based on the severity of tissue damage. The degrees of burn injury are commonly classified into three main categories: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. Some classifications also include a fourth degree for the most severe cases.

Here's an explanation of each:

  1. First-Degree Burns: These are the mildest form of burns, affecting only the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. Symptoms typically include redness, minor inflammation, and pain at the site of the burn. First-degree burns usually heal within a few days to a week without leaving permanent scars. Examples include mild sunburns or brief contact with a hot object.

  2. Second-Degree Burns: Second-degree burns are more severe than first-degree burns, involving damage to both the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the underlying layer (dermis). Symptoms often include blistering, severe pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the burn. Healing time for second-degree burns can vary depending on the depth and extent of the injury, typically taking weeks to heal. These burns may cause scarring, and in some cases, may require medical attention such as cleaning, dressing, and possible treatment to prevent infection.

  3. Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn injury, extending through all layers of the skin and potentially damaging underlying tissues, nerves, and even bones. Symptoms may include charred or white skin, numbness due to nerve damage, and a leathery texture at the burn site. Third-degree burns often require immediate medical attention and may necessitate skin grafting or other surgical interventions to promote healing and prevent complications. Recovery from third-degree burns can be lengthy and may result in significant scarring and long-term functional impairment.

  4. Fourth-Degree Burns (In some classifications): Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and extensive type of burn injury, involving damage not only to the skin but also deeper tissues, muscles, tendons, and bones. These burns may lead to charring, destruction of tissues, and sometimes even loss of limbs or life-threatening complications. Immediate medical intervention is crucial for the management of fourth-degree burns, often requiring extensive surgical procedures and intensive care..

Causes of Burn Accidents

Considering the four types of burns laid out above, it’s clear there are many elements beyond hot surfaces that can cause burns. Here are some situations that can lead to devastating injuries.

Car Accidents

Most of our cars run on gas, and the rest are powered by high-voltage battery cells. Either of these can become a fire risk in the case of a collision. Because car accidents often cause other serious injuries, a victim may have trouble moving out of danger.

Workplace Hazardous Exposure

Many workers in industrial jobs use strong chemicals and may not have enough protective equipment to keep them safe in case of an accident. Unsafe practices set by a factory or warehouse manager/owner can endanger many—and make an employer liable for any injuries that occur as a result.

Structure Fires

House fires can be caused by malfunctioning appliances, an electrician’s miscalculation, or even a battery-powered children’s toy. In industrial workplaces, where bigger machinery and flammable chemicals and materials are common, one spark can cause a flareup—or even an explosion.


Though more common on construction sites than in other workplaces, anywhere employees can come into contact with power lines or open circuits poses a heavy risk.

Treating a Burn Injury

The recovery period and necessary medical treatment for a burn injury depend on several factors, including the severity and extent of the burn, the affected body surface area, and the overall health of the individual. Here's an overview of the typical stages of recovery and the corresponding medical treatments for burn injuries:

  • Initial Assessment and Treatment: Upon sustaining a burn injury, the first step is to assess the severity of the burn and provide immediate first aid. This may include removing the source of the burn, cooling the affected area with lukewarm water (not ice), and covering the burn with a clean, dry cloth. For severe burns, especially those involving the airway or extensive areas of the body, emergency medical services should be contacted immediately.
  • Medical Evaluation: Once the individual reaches a healthcare facility, medical professionals will conduct a thorough evaluation of the burn injury. This evaluation may involve assessing the depth and extent of the burn, determining the percentage of body surface area affected (using tools like the Rule of Nines), and identifying any associated injuries or complications. In some cases, diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays, or imaging studies may be performed to assess the extent of tissue damage and rule out underlying injuries.
  • Wound Care and Dressing: Proper wound care is essential for promoting healing and preventing infection. This may involve cleaning the burn wound with gentle antiseptic solutions, removing dead tissue (debridement), and applying sterile dressings or topical medications. In some cases, specialized dressings or wound care techniques, such as hydrogels or silver-impregnated dressings, may be used to facilitate healing and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Pain Management: Burn injuries can be extremely painful, especially during the initial stages of recovery. Pain management strategies may include the use of oral or intravenous pain medications, topical anesthetics, or regional anesthesia techniques. Adequate pain control is important not only for patient comfort but also for promoting mobility, participation in rehabilitation, and overall well-being.
  • Fluid Resuscitation: Severe burns can lead to fluid loss and dehydration, as well as electrolyte imbalances. In such cases, intravenous fluid resuscitation may be necessary to maintain hydration and stabilize the patient's condition. Healthcare providers will closely monitor fluid balance and electrolyte levels to prevent complications such as shock or kidney damage.
  • Surgical Interventions: Depending on the severity and depth of the burn injury, surgical interventions such as skin grafting or tissue reconstruction may be required to promote wound closure and restore function. Skin grafting involves transplanting healthy skin from one area of the body (donor site) to cover the burn wound (recipient site), facilitating healing and reducing the risk of infection.
  • Rehabilitation and Follow-Up Care: After the acute phase of treatment, individuals recovering from burn injuries may require ongoing rehabilitation to regain mobility, strength, and function. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support to address emotional and psychological challenges associated with burn injuries. Regular follow-up appointments with healthcare providers are essential to monitor wound healing, assess for complications, and adjust treatment as needed.

Finding Financial Support After a Burn Injury

If someone else’s negligence or poor choices were the cause of your burn injury, you may have a legal remedy. Suing for compensation can help you recover funds for:

  • Quality treatment
  • Rehabilitation
  • Missed work
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Pain & suffering

Burn injuries can be life-changing, but we’re here to help you reduce their impact. Even if you’re not sure you have a case, ask us for a free consultation. We can clarify your legal rights and give our professional advice on your next steps.

Call our burn injury attorneys at (571) 290-2390 for your free consultation.

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