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Burn Awareness Week: What You Need to Know About Car Accident Burns

February 2-8, 2014 has been designated as Burn Awareness Week. The personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham are joining safety advocates across the country in educating the public about burns.

Few people would naturally associate car accidents in Iowa with burn injuries; however, the National Fire Protection Association reports that one out of every five fires involves a vehicle. In 2008, vehicle fires caused 350 deaths and 850 serious burn injuries.

Vehicle fires are often the result of an Iowa car accident. Suppose you are driving on I-80 in Bettendorf when a much larger vehicle hits your compact car. The force of the impact can damage your fuel tank, causing gas to spill. If the gas hits a hot surface like your car’s exhaust pipe, it can ignite into a vehicle fire.

The force of impact can also damage your vehicle’s electric system or battery causing sparking. Air bag detonators can also spark and ignite a fuel spill. Since a car contains both flammable liquids and flammable materials, car fires can spread rapidly. This means that accident victims are at serious risk of burn injury.

There are four types of burn injuries associated with Iowa car accidents:

  • Thermal burns: Thermal burns are burns caused by heat. You can get a thermal burn from direct contact with flames or from touching a surface that has been heated by the fire.
  • Electricity burns: Electricity burns occur when the car’s electrical system becomes damaged in the crash. The wiring throws out sparks that can cause serious burns.
  • Scalding: Scalding occurs when the radiator becomes damaged and leaks hot water or steam.
  • Respiratory burns: Smoke inhalation from a car fire can cause damage to the air passages and lungs.

Car accident burns can be very serious. Recovering from a serious burn requires intensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and reconstructive surgery. Treating a moderate car accident burn can cost $206,853 or more. The average cost of treating a severe burn is $1,617,345. A severe burn with complications can result in more than $10 million in medical bills.

If you suffered severe burns in an Iowa car wreck, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. To learn more, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752. There is no charge for the consultation.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham