What You Need to Know About Burn Injuries After a Truck Crash

Doctor and nurse treat a burn victim in the emergency roomSome of the most severe injuries that occur in traffic accidents often involve large trucks. While any type of injury that occurs in a crash with a huge semi-truck is awful, it can be downright horrific when any of the vehicles involved in the collision bursts into flames, causing serious burn injuries. It’s terrible enough to be involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler, but when the crash causes serious burn injuries, the pain and complications can be significant—or even fatal.

How Trucks Catch on Fire

Large trucks sometimes carry dangerous cargo such as flammable or toxic cargo (e.g., petroleum products) that can catch on fire in a crash. When this occurs, the fire can be fierce and cause chemical burns to the people involved in the wreck. Even if a truck isn’t carrying harmful cargo, a crash can still cause a fire if the fuel tank is ruptured. When this occurs, fuel can leak and ignite—causing a blaze upon impact or in the moments immediately after the collision. And in some situations, a fire can start after a collision but become explosive if it makes its way to the fuel tank.

Depending on the cause of the fire will determine the type of burn injuries a person sustains in a crash. No matter what type of burn injury that occurs, a victim needs to seek medical treatment immediately, as burns can cause other complications such as infections.

Types of Burn Injuries

When a vehicle fire does occur, it is often produces one of two different types of burn injuries:

  • Thermal burn injuries. These type of burn injuries (also known as heat burns) usually cause deep tissue damage and disfigurement and are often the result of getting burned from hot metal or other objects, steam, and the fire itself.
  • Chemical burn injuries. This type of burn injury is often the result of trucks transporting toxic chemicals that ignite upon impact. These types of burn injuries will also cause significant tissue damage.

Whether someone suffers a thermal burn injury or a chemical burn injury, burns are often classified into four degrees from first-degree burns all the way to fourth-degree burns. The higher the number, the more severe the burn injury.

Outcome of Burn Injuries

People who have been burned in wrecks involving commercial trucks often need extensive medical care for skin grafts, permanent scarring, and disfigurement. Because medical bills for such care can be expensive, people who have suffered burn injuries need to be able to collect the most compensation possible. Even minor burn injuries can cost thousands of dollars in medical bills alone.

Unfortunately, burn injuries have a tendency to change someone’s life forever—often robbing the victim of the ability to work again or enjoy life to the fullest. As a result, the financial recovery a victim receives should reflect the impact of the injury. Sadly, insurance companies aren’t in business to hand out full and fair financial recoveries. Even if an insurance adjuster seems nice, the insurance company is only interested in its bottom line—which means saving money rather than paying the full value of a claim.

This is why you need to consult an attorney to fight for your fair recovery if you have been burned in a truck crash, or if you’re a surviving family member of someone killed in a truck fire.

How an Attorney Can Help You

Burn injuries such as permanent scarring or disfigurement can cause significant complications for a person’s career and overall life. As a result, the financial implications of a burn injury can be life changing. Not only are burn injury victims often left to deal with the financial pain of the crash, but they endure physical and emotional pain as well. Our law firm understands this and is dedicated to fight for burn victims so that they receive their full and fair recoveries.

If you would like to speak with us about your rights or how we can help you hold a negligent truck driver or trucking company accountable for your injuries, please contact us.