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What Types of Burn Injuries Can a Car Accident Cause?

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Compensation for Child Pain and Suffering After Car Accidents

In Houston, car accidents are sadly common. The injuries you sustain can range from minor to life-altering. While fractures, lacerations, and internal trauma are the common injuries, burns are another significant and often devastating type of injury associated with car accidents. These burns can cause lasting physical disfigurement, chronic pain, and deep emotional scars.

Main Types of Burn Injuries

Negligence is a leading car accident cause. In the accident you could sustain burns in various ways. If a car accident causes burns to you, you should contact a Houston burn injury attorney. The major burn injuries common in road accidents are:

Thermal Burns

Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injury. They are caused by exposure to intense heat sources. Heat damages skin cells by denaturing their proteins. Thermal burns can occur in the following ways:

  • Contact with hot metal like overheated engine components, exhaust pipes, or other metal parts of the vehicle that have absorbed heat from the engine
  • Fires through fuel leaks or explosions.
  • Ruptured coolant systems can release scalding steam. Since steam holds more heat energy than water at the same temperature, it can rapidly cause severe thermal burns.

Friction Burns

Friction burns result from the skin forcefully rubbing against a rough surface, generating intense heat through friction. This heat damages skin cells, and the abrasive surface can also directly tear or remove layers of skin. In car accidents, they can occur in the following ways:

  • If a person is thrown from a vehicle, their skin scraping violently across the pavement can cause severe friction burns.
  • A body part could get caught and dragged along the road, causing a combination of abrasion and heat-based injury from friction.

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with corrosive substances. These substances trigger chemical reactions that destroy skin cells. Car accidents can involve the following sources of chemical burns:

  • Leaking car batteries contain strong sulfuric acid that rapidly causes severe burns upon contact.
  • If the accident involves a vehicle transporting dangerous chemicals, a spill can expose victims to harmful substances with varying burn potentials depending on the chemical.
  • Airbag deployment releases a mix of chemicals, including sodium hydroxide, which can cause skin irritation or burns in some individuals.

Electrical Burns

Electrical burns are caused by exposure to electrical currents passing through the body. The electrical energy disrupts cellular function and generates heat within the tissues. While less common, car accidents can create sources of electrical burns:

  • Exposed or frayed wires within the vehicle, particularly if shorted, can create an electrical hazard with the potential to cause burns at the point of contact.
  • If an accident disrupts power lines, contact with them can lead to severe electrical burns. The voltage of the power line determines the burn’s severity.

Burn injuries from car accidents can be devastating and life-altering. In the unfortunate event that a burn does occur, immediate medical attention is crucial for maximizing the potential for recovery. You will also need to contact a burn injury attorney.

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