West Coast United Law
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Motorcycle Accidents

Car crashes and catastrophic burns

No one wants to think about the possibility of having a fiery California car wreck. Regardless, accidents happen and the potential for fire exists in every collision. In fact, 3,275 Americans died in 2016 when they suffered burns in a vehicle crash.

Your vehicle contains many things that can catch fire or become hot enough to severely burn you in the event of a crash. You can suffer four distinct types of burns as follows:

  1. You can come into contact with the flames themselves or with an extremely hot surface, resulting in a thermal burn.
  2. You can come into contact with your car’s gasoline or another hot liquid, resulting in a scald burn.
  3. You can come into contact with antifreeze, transmission fluid, oil, steering fluid or another of your car’s caustic fluids, resulting in a chemical burn.
  4. You can come into contact with one of your car’s electrical wires, resulting in an electrical burn.

Degree of burn

In addition to four types of burn, you also can suffer four degrees of burns. Your risk of receiving a serious third- or fourth-degree burn, however, is considerably higher than your risk of sustaining a less serious first- or second-degree burn, both of which generally result from sunburns and other minor incidents.

Third-degree burns not only scorch your skin, but also damage the tissues and organs underneath your skin. Fourth-degree burns go even deeper, invading your bones and tendons. While burns usually cause intense pain, sometimes they do not. In such a situation, however, the reason you feel so little pain is because the burn destroyed the nerves that allow you to feel it. When your burn is this severe, your life is at stake and you require immediate and ongoing medical attention and treatment.

Extraordinary costs

If you or a loved one suffered burns in a car crash, you face not only a long recovery, but also extraordinary medical and rehabilitation costs. Given that burns usually entail the need for surgery, skin grafts, wound debridement, infection prevention and treatment, and a myriad of other long-term care therapies, your medical expenses could easily exceed $500,000. Consequently, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your car crash could be the only way to recover your costs and receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

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