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Arizona personal injury: How are burn injuries classified?

It is not uncommon for one to suffer some form of burn injury during the course of a lifetime. In fact, many Arizona residents experience burn injuries in the comfort and safety of their own homes, though these injuries are, for the most part, not severe in nature. The personal injury one may experience as a result of a burn injury can vary depending on the degree of burn suffered. This week, this column will discuss how burn injuries are classified and what treatment options are utilized when severe burns occur.

Burns can be classified into one of four categories. First degree burns are relatively minor, though they can cause the skin to appear red and can be quite painful. They can also cause the skin to become dry and peel. These burns generally heal in three to five days.

Second degree burns go slightly beyond just the outer layer of skin and can be very painful. These burns will typically cause the skin to blister and peel. Depending on the severity of the burn, it may either heal on its own in 10 to 21 days or it will require the excision of dead tissue and skin grafting to heal.

Third and fourth degree burns are considered the worst types of burns, as these will affect all layers of the skin and can extend to the muscle and bones. The skin may be black or white in color, will be extremely dry and may even appear to have a leathery texture. Serious burn injuries will require extensive medical treatments in order for one to heal. Water-based treatments -- such as IV therapy, tissue cleaning, dressings, creams and ointments -- are most commonly used for the initial care of significant burns. Medical professionals may also use certain medications, surgeries and other procedures if they are deemed necessary.

Experiencing significant burn injuries and going through treatment and recovery is, undoubtedly, challenging and painful in a number of ways -- particularly physically, financially and emotionally. Those who have suffered burn injuries due the the negligence of others may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. By filing a personal injury claim in an Arizona civil court, victims of burn injuries may be able to achieve monetary judgments for any damages sustained -- if litigation is successful.

Source: hospitals.unm.edu, "Burn Classification", Accessed on Sept. 24, 2016

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