Injuries from fires are the third leading cause of death among injuries that Americans suffer in the home, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fire injuries include damage like burns and lung damage from smoke or toxic fume inhalation. Although the number of fire-related injuries in the U.S. has gone down in recent years, many American residents each year are injured in fires that were entirely preventable.
Fire Injury Types and Consequences
According to the CDC, the costs to fire injury victims and their families top $7.5 billion dollars annually.
When most people think of fire injuries, their first thought is of injuries from being burned. Burns are common in the U.S.; very few people have never accidentally touched something that was too hot and suffered the pain and redness that results. Severe burn injuries, however, can be fatal. Burns do extensive damage to the skin, which is responsible for regulating a person's body temperature as well as for keeping fluids in the body or letting them out as needed. The skin also protects the body from invasion by infectious bacteria or viruses. If too much of the skin is burned, it can no longer protect a person from temperature changes, dehydration, or infection. Any of these three conditions can be fatal. Even if burns do not take a patient's life, they may require expensive, long-term treatment, and they are often severely painful. Burns often leave patients with permanent scars.
Causes of Fire Injuries
Over 85 percent of fire-related injuries occur during house fires, according to the CDC. Surprisingly, most people who are injured in fires are not injured solely, or even the worst, by burns. Instead, most of the injuries and deaths in house fires are caused by breathing smoke or the toxic fumes released by the burning of carpeting, upholstery, insulation, and other household materials. Ironically, many of these toxic-fume-containing materials would not be toxic if they had not been treated with chemicals to make them resistant to fire. Children's pajamas, bedding, and toys are often treated with these flame-retardant chemicals.
Although fire-related injuries account for only one percent of the injuries suffered in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC, the costs to fire injury victims and their families top $7.5 billion dollars annually. Much of this money is spent on medical care, especially when a fire injury requires treatment in a hospital burn unit or treatment for lung injuries caused by smoke or toxic chemical inhalation. Inhalation injuries may also result in brain damage, which can permanently impair a person's ability to walk, speak, work, or perform basic self-care functions like getting dressed or taking a bath.
Legal Strength on Your Side
When a fire breaks out, the event can be terrifying, especially if a family member is severely injured in the fire. Fire injuries in Nebraska may have many causes, including negligence in building or wiring a home, defective appliances or tools, or carelessness in attending things like lit candles or hot stoves. If you or someone you love has suffered a severe burn injury, the skilled Nebraska injury lawyers at Cullan & Cullan LLC can help you figure out what happened and seek compensation from anyone whose negligence was responsible for the injuries you or your loved one suffered. Contact us at (402) 882-7080 to learn more about how we can protect your legal rights.