What Kinds Of Accidents Often Cause Burn Injuries?

A burn is understood to be a type of injury that arises when damage or death is sustained to the cells of the body or skin.1 Burn injuries are typically categorized based on the severity and depth of injury as a first, second, or third-degree burn.2 The classification from first to third degree is based on the range of damage evidenced by red, non-blistered skin to thickened skin with white, leathery appearance.3 In the most severe cases, a fourth-degree burn is recognized to exist when a third-degree burn extends beyond all the layers of skin reaching the tendons and bones.4

According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries are an extensive problem as annually over 480,000 burns require medical treatment resulting in over 40,000 hospitalizations. These burn injuries occur in a range of places, but the American Burn Association did a study over 10 year period which broke down the average location of a burn accident: 73% at home, 8% at work, 5% on the street or highway, 5% during recreational or sports activities, and 9% occur in a range of other areas.5

How Does A Burn Injury Accident Occur?

Burn injuries are classified into four main categories: thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiological.6 The least common form of burn injury is that caused by alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.7 An electrical burn is caused by either an AC or DC current which caused both damage at the contact or entry site, but also the current can travel through the body causing internal damage.8 Bodily contact with strong acids or alkali substances which can react to the skin’s lipids can cause a chemical burn.9 The final type of thermal burn is subcategorized in four ways: a flash burn by an explosion of natural gas, propane, gasoline, or flammable liquid, a flame burn caused by prolonged contact with an intense heat such as a house fire, improper handling of flammable liquids, automobile accidents, or clothing ignition from a stove or heater, a scalding burn by hot liquids such as water, oil, gas, or tar, and a contact burn from hot physical items such as metals, plastics, glass, or coals.10

These different types of burns can occur from a range of different types of accidents. For instance, a car accident could cause a person to sustain a radiological or chemical burn if a hazardous truck was involved or a thermal burn from contact with ignited gasoline or a car’s heated metal frame. Motorcycle accidents are known to cause friction burns. Burn accidents can occur in any circumstance where a person comes into contact with a heated item or substance, but there is more commonality for burns to occur from exposure to heated sources during car accidents or due to electrical issues in the home such as defective home appliances that ignite.11

Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you have suffered a burn injury after an accident, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call The Bruning Law Firm at 314-735-8100.


  1. https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=31816
  2. Ibid.
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health/burns#BurnLevels2
  4. Ibid.
  5. http://hospitals.unm.edu/burn/types.shtml
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
Contact the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at the Bruning Law Firm today.