Burn Injuries, Workers’ Compensation, and Your Rights in South Carolina

If you suffered a burn injury at work in South Carolina, you could have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. A lawyer helping burn victims in Lexington, and throughout our state, may be able to assist you. Many occupations put workers in harm’s way on a regular basis. Regrettably, some may experience serious injuries such as burns.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 more than one million workers experienced non-fatal injuries/illnesses on the job that required missed time from work. About 21,000 of those cases were because of heat or chemical burns.

Types of Burn Injuries

There are many types of burns that a worker may suffer while on the job. From exposure to sun, hot objects or flammable liquids to electrical shock and contact with chemicals, there are many on-the-job hazards that could cause a painful burn accident at work.

A burn injury could be:

thermal – caused by exposure to heat, flames or hot objects. Possible occurrences of these include gas explosions, contact with hot metal, or prolonged exposure to hot liquids such as oil, tar or water.

chemical – exposure to a harsh cleaner, solvent or substance on the job can cause workers to suffer painful chemical burns. These types of burns are extremely dangerous, as the chemical may continue to damage the skin until deactivated.

electrical – these burns happen when a person is exposed directly to an electrical source or experiences electrical shock from an object that is carrying electrical currents. For example, these may occur on construction sites when electrical wiring is exposed or incomplete.

radiological – radiologic burns are a result of prolonged exposure to radiation, nuclear power or UV rays. These may affect medical workers who are constantly near radiation therapy, or power plant workers.

If you suffered a burn accident at work that caused a thermal, chemical, electrical or radiological burn, contact a burn injury victim lawyer accepting cases in Orangeburg today to discuss your legal rights.

Degrees and Treatment of a Burn Injury

Treatment of a burn accident at work depends on the type and degree of burn. Some burns only cause minor damage, while others require immediate professional medical treatment.

Treatment for each degree of burn injury may be as follows:

First-degree – These types of burns are the most common, and the least severe. These can be caused by the sun or quick contact with a hot object. First-degree burns usually cause redness, swelling and mild pain, and can be treated with cool running water, ice packs, and antiseptics. These burns typically heal fairly quickly.

Second-degree – Second-degree burns are more painful and go deeper than a first-degree burn. Often, they appear bright red or come with open blisters. These burns can be caused by high amounts of sun, contact with a hot liquid or harsh chemical, or exposure to flames. Second-degree burns can be prone to infection, so seeking medical attention is often necessary.

Third-degree – A third-degree burn is the most serious and painful type of burn, as it penetrates all layers of skin and often requires a graft to repair. These can be caused by excessive exposure to flames or hot water, direct contact with a hot object or chemicals, or being subjected to live electricity. Third-degree burns cause skin to look white, black, brown, or leathery, and can cause the victim to go into shock. They require immediate medical attention.

If you are unable to tell what degree of burn injury you have suffered, seek medical attention to ensure you are treated promptly and properly.

Getting Compensation for a Burn Injury

Did you suffer a burn accident at work? You could be due workers’ compensation for your injuries and lost wages. Learn more by requesting a free copy of our books, or call the Law Office of Kenneth E. Berger at 803-790-2800. Consulations are free if you would like to discuss your burn injury with a lawyer handling cases in Lexington, and across South Carolina. 

Kenneth Berger
Columbia South Carolina attorney dedicated to securing justice by helping the truly injured