Burns, scars and lacerations are regrettably common injuries following an accident, particularly if the accident occurred in the workplace where an employee has to work with dangerous, hot or sharp machinery. Chemicals can also cause burns or scarring if handled inappropriately.
Common causes of burns, scars and lacerations
Common environments and circumstances that can lead to a burn, scar or laceration injury include:
- animal bites
- criminal injury – attacks or assaults
- working in professional kitchens
- industrial plants
- jobs involving chemicals
- road traffic accidents (cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are most a risk of lacerations and scarring in RTAs).
- beauty or cosmetic treatments at a salon, where the treatment has been carried out incorrectly
- industrial dermatitis
Scarring is unpredictable and varies from person to person. Certain areas of the body have a higher risk of scarring, such as the chest, back, ear lobe and shoulder. Scars that form over movable joints often appear stretched or widened.
Severity and impact of injury
It can be very distressing for an individual to find out that an accident or illness has caused them to be scarred, particularly if it is in an obvious place. Scarring in an obvious location, such as the face, can impact an individual’s confidence and result in psychological injury. Scarring is not always sustained as an original injury and may occur following an accident due to the need for surgery or medical treatment to deal with the original injury.
A laceration injury can range from a very minor injury to a very severe one. Severe lacerations can cause damage to the underlying nerves, tendons or muscles and very rarely the laceration can be so severe that amputation is required.
Burns are assessed on the basis of how seriously an individual’s skin is damaged and the layer of skin affected. The skin has three layers:
- the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin
- the dermis, which is the layer of tissue just beneath and contains blood capillaries, nerve endings, sweat glands and hair follicles
- the subcutaneous fat or subcutis, which is the deeper layer of fat and tissue.
Burns are generally defined by four main types.
- Superficial epidermal burn. This is where the epidermis is damaged. The skin is often red, slightly swollen and painful but is not blistered.
- Superficial dermal burn. A superficial dermal burn is where two layers of the skin are damaged, the epidermis and the dermis. This type of burn turns the skin to be pale pink and may cause some small blisters.
- Deep dermal or partial thickness burn. This type of burn is where the epidermis and the dermis are damaged. It makes the skin turn red and blotchy. The skin can become dry or moist; and it may become swollen or blistered.
- Full thickness burn. The epidermis, dermis and subcutis are all damaged in this type of burn. The skin is often burnt away and the tissue underneath can appear pale or blackened, while the remaining skin will be dry and white, brown or black with no blisters. The texture of the skin is generally leathery or waxy.
If you or a loved one have sustained a burn, scar or laceration injury due to the fault of another and would like to discuss a burn, scar or laceration compensation claim please speak to one of our Personal Injury (PI), Industrial Disease or Medical Negligence lawyers on Freephone 0808 164 0808 for a FREE, no-obligation chat or complete the request a call back form and we will call you.