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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

The Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are catastrophic, and they can have a serious and life-changing effect on victims. There are a number of reasons why these injuries occur, and understanding them can help people stay safe while in various environments.

This article will provide an overview of the most common causes of burn injuries in Indianapolis and offer legal insight into pursuing compensation for minor to severe burns.

A Closer Look at Burn Injuries

A Closer Look at Burn Injuries

Burn injuries stand out among personal injuries because they are often serious and life-changing, leaving victims with long-term consequences. They can occur from a variety of causes, such as fires, hot substances, electrical currents, chemical compounds, and more.

These injuries can leave people in excruciating agony, and scars are often permanent. In addition, the mental and emotional trauma that comes with the sight and sensation of burned skin is often intense, and victims often require ongoing medical care and therapy to deal with the aftermath.

Sadly, burn injury victims can experience substantial daily challenges, such as physical restrictions, emotional anguish, and financial strain. Pursuing legal assistance from a skilled Indianapolis personal injury lawyer is critical for victims who are hoping to hold at-fault parties liable for their wrongful or negligent acts.

Burn Injury Statistics

According to the American Burn Association, around 3,400 deaths occur in the United States because of burns every year. This is an alarming statistic, as it indicates that these injuries are more common than one might think.

Furthermore, the data shows that approximately 300 deaths occur every year because of car accident fires, while 2,550 take place because of residential fires.

Other reasons for deaths as a result of burns include electrical burns, flame burns, exposure to hot liquids, and smoke inhalation.

Why Are Burn Injuries So Serious?

Burn injuries are deemed significant because of the numerous effects they have on people's health and quality of life. Moreover, burn symptoms vary depending on the nature and extent of the injury.

They typically range in severity from first-degree wounds on the skin's surface layer (also known as superficial burns) to:

  • Moderate burns (second-degree or partial-thickness burns) and

  • Serious, life-threatening third-degree burns (also known as full-thickness burns) that penetrate deeper layers of tissue.

The extent of the burns also contributes to the seriousness of burn injuries. If the total body surface area is affected, for example, the victim can expect extensive tissue damage and a reduced overall quality of life following recovery.

In addition to physical discomfort and scarring, burns can cause infections, elevated blood pressure, restricted movement, and long-term impairments.

The psychological aspect, in addition to scarring and disfigurement, also makes these injuries particularly harder to deal with. Burn care is also extensive and costly, which can put a victim under further strain.

The Most Common Causes of a Burn Injury

There are a number of reasons why a minor, moderate, or severe burn might occur.

Electrical Burns

Electrical burns are caused when an individual comes into touch with a source of electricity, such as exposed wiring, defective equipment, or power outlets.

High-voltage electricity can cause extensive harm to tissues and internal wounds, even if only the outer layer appears undamaged. It's important to remember that electrical burns require immediate medical care to avoid complications like neurological damage and heart failure.

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns are caused by corrosive products, such as alkaline solutions, acids, or industrial solvents, that come into contact with the eyes or skin.

These types of burns may lead to tissue loss, discomfort, and inflammation, requiring tailored treatment to mitigate the corrosive substance's effects and aid recovery. Chemical burn injuries are especially common in the construction, manufacturing, and agricultural industries, where hazardous products are utilized.

Fires and Flames

Fire and flames are among the most common causes of burn injuries. Domestic fires, incidents at work, and events involving flammable substances can all result in serious burn injuries. Besides causing immediate tissue damage, fires can emit poisonous chemicals and smoke, worsening the damage and causing an inhalation injury.

Exposure to Hot Liquids

Another reason why people experience these injuries is because of contact with hot substances, such as scalding hot water or steam.

Scald burns are commonly caused by hot beverages, kitchen mishaps, and faulty appliances like water heaters or coffee machines. Kids and older individuals are especially prone to these kinds of injuries because their skin is more vulnerable, and their reflexes are often slower.


Radiation burns are caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This can either be from the sun or from artificial sources like medical devices. Persistent UV exposure can cause damage to the skin, including sunburn, blisters, and the possibility of developing skin cancer. 

Those who work outside or engage in activities such as tanning are more likely to sustain these burns. In some cases, radiation burns can occur as a result of negligence in manufacturing plants. 

Hot Surfaces

When a person's skin comes into contact with a hot surface, thermal burns can result. Heat sources might include machinery, stovetops, and radiators. Depending on the nature and extent of exposure to the surface, severity can range from a first to a third-degree burn.

Claiming Compensation for Burn Wounds

Claiming Compensation for Burn Wounds

Burn patients may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries, lost wages, emotional and psychological trauma, and more if they were caused by another person's carelessness or recklessness.

Whether the incident took place in a working environment because of damaged smoke detectors, an automobile accident that led to a fire, or an incident involving premises liability, receiving legal advice from an expert burn injury attorney is critical for preserving one's rights and obtaining justice. They can also answer questions such as can I hire a personal injury lawyer from another state?

Final Thoughts

Burn injuries can leave victims reeling. The emotional, financial, and physical repercussions are often great, which is why pursuing restitution is so important to ensure that the survivor is able to receive the medical treatment that they deserve.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are ready to go to war for burn victims, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of justice.

To learn more about the options available to them, claimants can schedule a FREE consultation with a reliable attorney.


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