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Some workers face lifelong challenges after severe burn injuries

| Jan 6, 2021 | Disfigurement, Psychological Injury, Workers' Compensation

Workers are exposed to many job-related hazards that can lead to catastrophic injuries. Severe burns are among the harshest, potentially leading to lifelong pain, disfigurement and the inability to ever work again. It takes a lengthy amount of time to recover from severe burns, causing financial hardship to you and your family. And, sometimes, you may not completely recover.

Many types of workers from different industries are susceptible to burn injuries. This group may include people employed in construction, manufacturing, painting, food service and welding. Many of these incidents are preventable as long as safety measures are in place and employees received proper training. These measures all lie with employers. It remains their responsibility to provide a safe workplace; one that eliminates all chances of fires, explosions and painful scalds.

Along with burns, other conditions may follow

Severe burns can happen in a number of ways, including through a fire at a factory, an explosion while painters work, and contact with dangerous chemicals and electrically live objects. The injury and the treatment may be extremely painful. Skin grafts are common for second- and third-degree burns, which may help minimize scarring. Subsequent surgery also remains a possibility.

Here are other types of injuries, situations and complications that confront burn victims:

  • Shock: People often quickly go into shock after a burn injury.
  • Smoke inhalation as well as inhalation of toxic gases: Damage to lungs and respiratory system are possible when breathing in smoke caused by fires.
  • Severe burns to the eyes: These injuries necessitate further treatment involving medical specialists.
  • Infections: In the aftermath of a severe burn, infections can set in, potentially leading to fatal complications unless treated with antibiotics.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: This condition may surface after a severe burn injury, leading to mental health treatment with therapists.

You may wonder why this situation has happened to you. Focus on recovery and take legal action.

Psychological Restrictions

If you have permanent psychological limitations from a burn injury (based on PTSD, anxiety, depression, or another work-related psychological condition), you may be unable to return to your work or injury employment.  If a worker cannot return, based on these psychological limitations, a loss of earning capacity claim exists.  Loss of earning capacity, simplistically, is a comparison between what a worker could make before the injury and what they can make on the open labor market with the permanent psychological limitations.

Disfigurement

Severe burns can have a permanent scarring impact on someone’s body.  Workers’ compensation law allows a worker to pursue a disfigurement claim if a work-related burn leaves a permanent scar/disfigurement and they cannot return to their injury employer.   Talking to an attorney is helpful to pursue a disfigurement claim.

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