Burn injuries can cause serious skin damage. The severity of a burn injury will depend on the intensity of the heat and the length of exposure. When you go to a hospital or outpatient facility to be treated for a burn injury, you expect the healthcare providers to make the condition better, not worse. Unfortunately, in some cases, healthcare providers choose treatments that exacerbate the situation. If this has happened to you, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help.
A burn injury may be caused by heat, chemicals, radiation and/or electricity. Every year, over 2 million burn injuries are reported across the United States. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 40 percent of all burn victims sustain serious and/or permanent disabilities from their injuries. The American Burn Association reports that in 2016, there were 40,000 hospitalizations related to burn injuries, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers.
The first step to treating any burn injury is to identify the source of the burn because different types of burns may present differently and may require different types of care. Examining the source of the burn also helps the healthcare provider classify the degree of the burn properly.
Burn injuries are typically classified by severity. First-degree burns are those in which the outer layer of the skin is damaged. The skin may become red but no blisters will be present. Second-degree burns occur when the first layer of the skin is burned through, and the second layer is also harmed. The skin may be swollen, and blisters will typically be present. Third-degree burns damage beyond the skin and harm the underlying tissue. The skin becomes white and leathery. Fourth-degree burns are the same as third-degree burns but with damage to deeper structures such as tendons, joints and/or the bone.
If your initial burn injury was made worse due to a healthcare provider’s error, you may be entitled to compensation through a Maryland medical malpractice claim. Burn injury malpractice occurs when a Maryland medical professional fails to adhere to the standard of care as another medical professional in the same specialty under the same or similar circumstances. In order to recover damages, the burn injury victim must show that the medical professional’s failure to use the appropriate degree of care was a direct cause of his or her harm.
Once liability is established, the burn injury victim may be able to recover medical expenses (i.e., for ongoing treatment, reconstructive surgery costs, etc.), rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost income and any other expenses related to the malpractice.
Treating burn injuries is a complicated process and requires the treating physician to make a number of important decisions. If you suffered avoidable damage while being treated for a burn injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At The Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore burn injury malpractice team is well versed in these types of cases and can help you determine your next steps. We proudly represent clients from all across Maryland. To discuss your case in more detail, please call us at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.