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Personal injury accidents involve many varying types of incidents including dog bites, slip and falls, car accidents, medical malpractice, and the commonly overlooked burn injuries. Burns are not just a side effect of being involved in some other accident, but they often occur as isolated incidents and can inflict excruciating pain.

The U.S. Fire Administration reported 3,360 deaths and 15,700 injuries caused by fires in 2015. These figures do not include the numerous burn injuries that result from situations where fires weren’t present. Being aware of the various causes of burn injuries can help determine how to possibly avoid and treat one if necessary. Here are the top four burn injuries.


Thermal burns are those resulting from coming in contact with flames, hot liquids, steam, and other intense heat sources. These type of burns commonly occur in the kitchen and as a result of car accidents. One can also separate thermal burns into four categories:

  • Flash burns occur as a result of flammable liquid explosions and are very brief. Clothing can serve as a protective layer from burns, but they can also ignite if made of combustible materials.
  • Scald burns consist of those that result from contact with hot liquids. Liquids at 140 degrees F can cause a burn in 3 seconds while those at 156 degrees F can do the same in 1 second. Freshly brewed coffee is 180 degrees F.
  • Flame burns result from prolonged exposure to intense heat. Examples of such burns include car accidents and house fires.
  • Contact burns are caused by direct contact with hot materials.


Chemical burns result from alkali substances and strong acids. Such burns are most detrimental as they continue to inflict pain and damage until an individual removes the agent. Alkali substances are the more damaging of the two as they continuously interact with the lipids in the skin. Common household products that can cause chemical burns include:

  • Bleach
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Oven cleaners


Electrical burns are caused by AC or DC currents and involve extremely high heat. The electrical current travels the path with the least resistance and inflicts the most injury to areas other than the entry or contact site. High voltage electrical currents are those greater than 1,000 volts while low voltage currents are 1,000 volts and below. These burns commonly occur in the workplace at:

  • Construction sites
  • Offices
  • Agricultural sites


Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation cause radiological burns. Sunburns are the most common type of radiation burns, but radiation therapy and x-rays can also inflict injury. The only way to stop the injury is to decontaminate the affected area.

If you’ve suffered a burn injury as the result of the negligent actions of a third party, be sure to reach out to experienced attorneys who have your best interest in mind. Michigan Legal Center personal injury attorneys are well-versed in personal injury law and can help bring your case to justice. We understand the physical and financial strain associated with enduring a burn injury, which is why we are here to serve as your legal ally. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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