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Mental Trauma from Burns and Scars

Burns and scarring are not the only things that happen when someone is gravely injured in an accident. The mental trauma can be ferocious.

“The kind of pain people who have been burned endure is beyond comprehension for most people. While many see the visible scars, what isn’t seen is the mental anguish and trauma that the person endured at the time of the accident and is still enduring later,” explained Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury attorney who works out of Keene.

It’s not just the scars that cause concern. It’s the very real fear that the victim faces dangerous infections and damage to their skin so severe they may never be the same again. Many times the burns are disfiguring and the emotional anguish this causes is intensified by the pain of many surgeries and skin grafts. “The treatment for badly burned victims is excruciating, usually long-term and extremely expensive,” said Donahue.

Unfortunately, burns are much more common than we would like to think. In fact, statistics show that roughly 175,000 people head to ERs across the nation after being burned. The shocking news is that more than 16,000 of those cases have to be admitted because their burns are so severe. Remember this as well: burns are not just external and may affect a person’s lungs and airways due to inhaling gases and hot fumes.

Burn injuries can and do happen just about anywhere. “Often they are a by-product of a motor vehicle accident, but they may also happen in the workplace. If they do happen in the workplace, they are generally considered to be workers’ compensation cases. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways a worker may be injured on the job, ranging from workplace fires to radiation, from inhaling smoke or toxic fumes to poorly wired or insulated electrics, and from thermal burns from hot liquids to burns from hot machinery,” Donahue outlined.

There are three kinds of burns that vary in their degree of severity. This mostly relates to how deep the burn is and how it affects your skin tissue. There are superficial burns that affect the surface of a victim’s skin and often don’t blister. The next type of burn is referred to as a partial thickness burn that damages the skin and underlying layers. For example, shallow damage to the dermis means the skin is pale pink and usually blisters. Deeper burns usually turn up red and blotchy looking.

Full thickness burns are those that are the result of all layers of a person’s skin being severely damaged. The skin often turns black, deep brown or white and it is leathery and waxy to the touch.

“These burns don’t hurt as much as the others for the simple reason that the nerves have usually been destroyed. These injuries have a tendency to be fatal,” New Hampshire personal injury lawyer Charlie Donahue added.

“The bottom line here is that if you have been burned on the job, you will likely be dealing with workers’ compensation. If you get the runaround from them over your injury, then that’s what I am here for. I make sure you get your claim settled – no ifs, ands or buts,” offered Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury attorney with a track record for succeeding on behalf of his clients.

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