Burn Injuries in WA

Battle Ground Burn Injury Lawyers

Protecting Clark County victims of fires, explosions, crashes, and more

Burn injuries are traumatic events that are frightening when they occur. They can be just as scary afterward. Victims of severe burn injuries are likely to die. Survivors of severe burn injuries often suffer a lifetime of pain. Burns, even with extensive plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery, leave scars and disfigurement which can be especially devastating if the 3rd-degree burns are on the face, the arms, or the legs.

The seasoned Battle Ground burn injury lawyers at Philbrook Law Office are strong advocates for anyone who is suffering due to a burn injury, or has suffered the loss of a loved one due to burn injuries. We work to hold all responsible parties accountable. This includes filing personal injury claims against property owners, construction sites, industries, and any people who caused the burn injuries. We also file product liability claims against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers if their product was defective, and the defect caused the burn injuries.


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Burn injury statistics

According to the American Burn Association:

  • 486,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries each year based on information provided to hospital emergency room and hospital departments. The number of actual burn injuries that require medical treatment is likely higher because the data does not include treatment at community health centers or private medical offices that normally treat the less serious burn injuries.
  • 3,275 people die each year due to fire and smoke inhalation. 2,745 of these deaths are due to residential fires and 310 are due to vehicle crash fires. A civilian death due to fire occurs approximately every 2 hours and 41 minutes.
  • 40,000 people, including 30,000 who were treated at hospital burn centers, have to be treated for their hospitalizations each year. Approximately 60% of acute hospitalizations for burn injuries are treated at burn centers.

How are burn injuries classified?

There are three primary categories of burn injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic:

1st-degree burns. This type of burn affects a patient’s outer skin layer (epidermis). Symptoms include redness and pain. A common type of 1st- degree burn is sunburn. 1st-degree burns can usually be treated at home.

2nd-degree burns. This type of burn affects the outer skin layer and the next layer of skin (dermis). Symptoms include blisters, swelling, and red, white, or splotchy skin. Second-degree burns can cause scarring. The pain can be quite severe. 2nd-degree burns require medical attention because of the risk of infection and the need to manage the pain.

3rd-degree burns. In a 3rd-degree burn, the fat layer beneath the skin is affected. Symptoms include black, brown, or white burned areas. Leathery skin is another symptom. 3rd-degree burns can destroy the nerves and cause numbness. 3rd-degree burns regularly require treatment at a hospital or a burn center.

Sometimes, physicians refer to 4th-degree burns which are burns that penetrate into the bones. 4th-degree burns are usually fatal.

Burn injuries are categorized as:

  • Thermal burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Radiation burns

What complications do burn injuries present?

Physicians who treat burn injuries are concerned about the following:

  • Infections
  • Blood loss
  • Respiratory difficulties often due to smoke and hot air intake
  • Fluid loss – hypovolemia
  • Temperature loss – hypothermia
  • Circulation problems
  • Problems keeping the victim’s temperature stable
  • Contracture
  • Scarring
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Bone and joint problems – often due to scarring

What the common types of burn accidents in Battle Ground?

Many fires happen because homes, business properties, and other structures fail to comply with local building codes and federal regulations. In addition, some industries have their own fire safety standards and protocol. For example, restaurants and hotels need to be aware that fires are a common occurrence that can affect numerous customers.

Some of the leading causes of burn accidents are:

  • Car accidents and truck accidents. Most vehicles still run on fossil fuels which can easily ignite if there is a crash of any type. Generally, the driver is liable for the accident. The owner of the car, if different from the driver, may also be liable for the accident. When trucks crash, the owners, shipping company, brokers, and driver may all be liable. Vehicle fires often cause fatalities. Fast escapes from fires are mostly the stuff of movies and TV dramas. If a fuel line ruptures or the fire occurs for any other reason, most victims will be lucky to survive. Survivors will likely have catastrophic 3rd-degree burns.
  • Building fires. Fires in homes, businesses, and industries can occur for many reasons including oven fires, fires due to space heaters, not watching a pot on a stove, a carelessly thrown or discarded cigarette, or other reasons. Some fires are due to carelessness by the property owner. Building fires may also be due to defective products which cause the fire - or products that are meant to put out the fire, such as fire extinguishers, that don’t work.
  • Defective products. Some of the many products that cause burn injuries include defective batteries, clothing that is flammable, vehicle parts that don't work, and vaping devices.
  • Chemical burns. Some chemical burns occur in the home. Exposure to household cleaners and other toxic products can cause skin burns. Hazardous chemical products such as lye, paint thinner, and acids are often used at construction sites and manufacturing sites. These products can cause 3rd-degree burns and fatalities.
  • Burns due to steam and scalding liquids. Some of the many causes of 2nd and 3rd-degree burns include hot water spills, boiling liquids, radiators that don't work, and hot water units that don't work.

Another common cause of burn injuries is an electric product that malfunctions.

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Treatments for burn injuries

The treatments vary depending on the category of burn (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) and the type of burn (thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation). According to the Mayo Clinic, burn injury treatments include:

Medical treatments

  • IV fluids to prevent dehydration and organ failure
  • Ultrasound mist “to clean and stimulate the wound tissue”
  • Pain medications
  • Creams and ointments for healing wounds such as bacitracin and silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene)
  • Wound dressings
  • Medications to fight any infections such as IV antibiotics
  • A tetanus shot

Physical and occupational therapy

  • Exercises to help stretch the skin around the joints
  • Exercises to improve muscle strength
  • Conditioning exercises to improve coordination
  • Therapy to help you do your normal activities

Surgery may be needed to:

  • Help you breathe. For example, a doctor may insert a tube down your windpipe (trachea) to keep oxygen supplied to your lungs.
  • Help you get nutrition. Your medical team may insert a feeding tube so you get the nourishment you need.
  • Control your blood flow. Burn scabs can cut off blood circulation. They can also make it hard to breathe.
  • Skin grafts. Here, your doctors transfer healthy skin to “replace the scar tissue caused by deep burns.”
  • Plastic surgery. This type of surgery aims to improve your appearance and increase your joint flexibility.

Many victims of 3rd-degree burns also need psychological counseling to manage the trauma of the burn accident and scars.

Speak with an experienced Clark County burn injury lawyer today

At Philbrook Law Office, our Battle Ground, Washington burn injury lawyers work with fire investigators, product safety experts, and others to help prove how the accident happened and who’s responsible. We work with your doctors and independent doctors, when necessary, to show the full extent of your pain and suffering, and medical needs. We demand compensation for all your economic and non-economic damages. If a loved one died, or you were injured in a burn accident, call our offices in Vancouver, WA and Battle Ground, WA at 360-695-3309 or use our contact form to discuss your case.