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When a car wreck results in catastrophic burns

Among the most frightening injuries suffered in Florida car wrecks are catastrophic burns. Unfortunately, an average of 3,275 Americans die from crash-related burns every year.

It should come as no surprise to you that your car contains many things that can catch fire. Likewise, many of its surfaces can become hot enough during a fire to burn you if and when you come into contact with them. Between these two factors, you can suffer four different types of burns as follows:

  1. Thermal burns from your body contacting either the fire’s flames or your car’s hot interior surfaces
  2. Scald burns from your body contacting hot gasoline or other hot liquids
  3. Chemical burns from your body contacting caustic fluids such as antifreeze or steering or transmission fluid
  4. Electrical burns from your body contacting an electrical wire or electrified surface in your car or potentially a downed power line should your car crash into a power pole

Burn degrees

Physicians categorize burns from first-degree, the least serious, to fourth-degree, the most serious. Unfortunately, car crash burn victims seldom suffer only a first- or second-degree burn. Rather, the car’s confined space coupled with high temperatures reached in these incidents often combine to cause third- or fourth-degree burns, either of which could result in the victim suffering life-threatening injuries or even death. Not only do these burns scorch the victim's skin, they also damage the underlying organs, tissues, nerves, tendons and bones.

Extraordinary medical costs

Burns are some of the most painful injuries you can suffer and also the ones that usually require the longest recovery periods. You could spend weeks in the burn unit undergoing multiple surgeries, skin grafts and other treatments just to save your life. After that you likely face several rounds of plastic surgery to minimize the disfiguring scarring that burns inevitably produce. In addition, you may require extensive physical and/or occupational therapy and rehabilitation.

Needless to say, your medical costs skyrocket when a car crash burns you. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or people who caused your accident. Lawsuits are sometimes the only way to access full compensation for medical expenses in cases involving substantial harm.

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