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Burn Injuries

While the workplace is one of the most common environments in which to sustain a serious burn injury, oil exploration and refining platforms pose a greater risk due to the hazardous work conditions. When the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred, numerous fires were ignited that raged, until finally, Deepwater Horizon succumbed to its damages. Many of the rig’s workers sustained significant smoke inhalation, serious burns and other injuries as they attempted to make their way to the life rafts.

When a serious burn occurs, the most likely symptom is disfigurement of the skin, although body chemistry and organ damage can follow if the burn is serious enough. Nerve damage is also a serious concern for healthcare providers when treating burn victims. Nerves are essential in the feeling of pain, and if they are severely damaged, the victim may not understand the full extent of their injuries. As the skin is essential in retaining bodily fluids, dehydration can also become a serious issue if not quickly treated.

The severity of a burn injury is determined by which layers of the skin are destroyed or damaged. First, second and third degree burns are defined as:

  • First-degree burns involve only the first skin layer;
  • Second-degree burns involve both the first and second layers of skin;
  • Third-degree burns involve all layers of skin and the underlying tissue is damaged or destroyed. This is the most serious type of burn, and can be fatal if too much of the skin surface is affected.

While the physical injury is traumatic, the lasting consequences of burns often alter victims’ lives in unexpected ways. These non-physical damages can include:

  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfiguring burn scars
  • Social difficulties
  • Lowered self esteem

The treatment for serious burns can require skin grafts or replacement, physical therapy, and reconstructive surgery. These are long term, expensive treatments that make working and maintaining a normal quality of life very difficult.

If you suffered burns, other physical injuries, and/or emotional trauma as a result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire, and sinking, the maritime injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help. Contact Arnold & Itkin LLP or call our maritime law office toll free at 888-498-8212. We will discuss your concerns and provide a candid evaluation of your claim, all as part of a free consultation.

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