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How Often Are Burn Injuries Caused By Car Accidents?

You might be surprised to learn that car accidents can cause more than just bruises and broken bones. Among these lesser-known consequences are burn injuries, which, although not frequently talked about, occur with startling regularity in vehicular accidents. Imagine this: a routine drive suddenly turns perilous, leading not only to collision but also to unexpected and severe burns. This can happen due to various factors like car fires, heated surfaces, or even chemical leaks during a crash. Understanding the how and why of these burn injuries is important for anyone who takes the wheel.

Understanding Burn Injuries in Car Accidents

Burn injuries from car accidents are a complex issue, often overlooked amidst more common injuries like fractures or lacerations. These injuries fall into several categories: thermal burns from fires or hot surfaces, chemical burns due to hazardous substances released during a collision, and electrical burns from exposed wires or malfunctioning car components. Each type presents unique challenges. Thermal burns, for instance, can range from superficial to life-threatening, depending on the intensity of the heat and the duration of exposure. Chemical and electrical burns, while less common, can have devastating effects on the skin and internal organs. 

The Reality of Burn Injuries in Auto Accidents

Burn injuries in auto accidents, though less-publicized than other types of injuries, represent a significant portion of car crash aftermaths. A notable percentage of severe car accident injuries involve burns. These injuries often result from vehicle fires, which can occur in a significant fraction of high-impact collisions. Additionally, the severity of these burns can vary widely, with some leading to extensive hospital stays and long-term rehabilitation needs. Passengers are also at risk of sustaining burns, not just drivers. This underscores the importance of understanding the real risk of burn injuries in car accidents, as they can have profound and lasting effects on the lives of those involved.

Causes of Burn Injuries in Car Accidents

  • Vehicle Fires: One of the most common causes of burn injuries in car accidents is vehicle fires. These fires can be sparked by fuel line ruptures, electrical faults, or overheating engines, and they can quickly engulf a car, leading to severe thermal burns for occupants.
  • Hot Surfaces and Fluids: In a collision, parts of a car, such as the engine or radiator, can become extremely hot. When occupants come into contact with these surfaces or are exposed to hot fluids like engine coolant, it can result in severe burn injuries.
  • Chemical Burns: Accidents involving commercial vehicles or cars carrying hazardous materials can lead to chemical burns. These occur when occupants are exposed to toxic substances, which might be released during a crash, causing burns upon contact with skin or inhalation.

Legal Considerations and Compensation

When burn injuries occur due to a car accident, legal considerations become pivotal. Victims may be entitled to compensation, which can cover a range of expenses and impacts, from medical bills and rehabilitation costs to lost wages and pain and suffering. Establishing liability is key in these cases. If the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, such as reckless driving or vehicle malfunction, the injured party has a right to seek compensation. In complex scenarios involving multiple parties or commercial vehicles, the legal landscape can become intricate. Therefore, having knowledgeable legal guidance is crucial in ensuring victims receive fair compensation for their injuries and the associated life-altering impacts.

How We Can Help: Our Approach to Burn Injury Cases

At Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman, we approach burn injury cases with a deep commitment to personalized advocacy and diligent legal representation. Our team carefully investigates each case, working to uncover and prove liability while ensuring our clients’ stories are heard and their needs met. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury from a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. We are here to support you through this challenging time and to help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve.

About the Author
Jefferson D. Gilder is a Partner at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman and was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder's areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Jefferson through our contact page.