There are many types of burns that can cause permanent scarring, disfigurement, or even death. When severe burn injuries are caused by the negligence of someone else, the degree of the burn, its location on the body, and the type of burn injury help to determine damages in a personal injury case.

Thermal burns

Thermal burns often result from explosions or direct contact with flame or hot objects such as irons, cooking pans, and heated appliances. The severity of injury depends on the temperature of the heat source and the length of exposure.

Chemical burns

Most common in the workplace, chemical burns result from coming into contact with acidic or alkali substances commonly found in industrial or household products. Injury may happen to the skin or the eyes.

Electrical burns

Electrical burns are a result of electrical current passing through the body. Since electrical burns cause injuries beneath the skin, they may not be detectable by sight.

Victims often suffer severe electrical burns after touching exposed wires, using defective electronics or coming into contact with water that touches electricity.


Scalds from hot liquid or steam are the most common types of burns suffered by children. Injuries range from mild to life-threatening. The Burn Foundation reports that about 500,000 scald burns occur in the United States each year.

Radiation burns

Radiation burns result from high radiation rays getting into the skin. This high energy light may cause varying degrees of damage to the skin and underlying cells. In addition, radiation may have long-term health effects beyond the healing of the wound.

Burns classification

There are three levels of burns. The degree of the burn is determined by the severity of damage to the skin and/or tissue. While minor burns can typically be treated at home, severe burns can cause extreme pain, infection, permanent scarring, shock, hypothermia, and even death. Recovery can require hospitalization, multiple surgeries, and long-term rehabilitation.

First degree burns

First-degree burns only affect the outer layer of your skin. These burns heal in a few days.

Second-degree burns

These burns damage the outer skin as well as the inner layer called the dermis. Depending on the extensiveness of the wound, victims may require a skin graft.

Third-degree burns

Third-degree burns affect both the outer and inner layers of the skin, sweat glands, hair follicles and the muscle around the wound.