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When a car crash results in catastrophic burns

At La Sorsa & Beneventano Attorneys at Law in New York, we are all too familiar with the catastrophic injuries you can suffer in a motor vehicle accident. One of the worst of these injuries is a serious burn.

Unfortunately, the small enclosed space of your car’s interior and the many things in it that can catch fire or become hot enough to burn you make for a deadly combination.

Burn categories

Per the American Burn Association, you can suffer the following four categories of burns in a car crash: 

  1. A thermal burn if your body comes into contact with the fire’s flames or with one of your vehicle’s hot interior surfaces
  2. A scald burn if your body comes into contact with excessively hot gasoline, coffee or other liquids
  3. A chemical burn if your body comes into contact with a caustic substance such as antifreeze or transmission or steering fluid
  4. An electrical burn if your body comes into contact with a hanging power line or one of your vehicle’s live wires

Burn degrees

You may not realize that burns range from first-degree to fourth-degree depending on their severity. You likely sustained first- or second-degree burns as a child if your skin became sunburned. These are the least serious burns and generally cause minimal skin damage that quickly heals without scars.

Conversely, you are at high risk for sustaining a serious and possibly catastrophic third- or fourth-degree burn in a car crash. The difference between them is the depth to which the burn extends. A third-degree burn damages not only your skin, but also its underlying tissues. A fourth-degree burn extends deep into your bones. Both types of burns call for emergency medical assistance since they often are life-threatening.

For more information, please visit this page on our website.

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