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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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statistics-burn-injury-accidents The pain of a burn injury can leave psychological and physical scars lasting a lifetime. Burns can be caused by an unsafe product, poorly kept property, a hazardous workplace, or an accident at a gathering or a bonfire.

Were you severely burned in an accident, or did you lose a loved one through the negligence of another? Contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC a (888) 424-5757 to schedule (toll-free phone call), to schedule a free consultation.

Let our burn accident attorneys help obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and suffering. We know that severe burns could cause hundreds of thousands of dollars for rehab, repeat hospital admission, and treatment.

Severe burn survivors often face a lifetime of stigma and rejection due to their injury disability, disfigurement, or prolonged hospitalization to treat and care for their injuries.

Widespread Burn Injury Statistics

The American Burn Association (ABA) information from the National Burn Repository revealed that most people suffering severe burns survive over the last decade. The statistics include:

  • Nearly 94% survive their burn injuries
  • About 39% suffered burn injuries over 10% of their body area
  • Fires caused less than 47% of the injuries
  • Scald burns accounted for 32% of all burn-related injuries
  • Approximately 8% of burn injury cases involved contact with heat or hot objects
  • Nearly 4% of all severe burn injuries were caused by electricity
  • Approximately 3% of all burns involved chemical exposure
  • About 70% of all fire-related deaths in the home are the result of inhaling toxic gases
  • Fortunately, more than 90% of adults and children visiting emergency departments for burn and fire injuries are treated and released
  • Approximately 30% of all fire-related deaths and injuries were the result of actual flames from lit cigarettes, smoking material, heating equipment, and cooking equipment
  • National data revealed over 23,000 acid-exposure burn injuries in the United States in 2017
  • Over 53,000 people were burned by bleach, and another 16,000+ were injured through exposure to hydrogen peroxide in 2017

World Health Organization (WHO): Global Burn Statistics

According to WHO, approximately 180,000 deaths are caused by burns in low- and middle-income countries in most regions and areas worldwide. The organization recognizes that nearly every burn is preventable, particularly those that mainly occur in the workplace and at home.

Non-fatal burn injuries remain the leading cause of patient morbidity, burn injuries are explicitly caused by heat, friction, electricity, radioactivity, or contact with chemicals. Thermal burns can cause horrific injuries and death when tissue is destroyed by flame burn injuries (flames), contact burns with hot solids, water heaters, and scalds from steaming hot liquids.

Worldwide burn statistics include:

  • Approximately 265,000 individuals worldwide die from fires. Thousands more are killed by electrical burns, scald burns, and other types of burn injuries
  • The burn death rates in many high-income countries are on the decline, as is the incidence rate of child death caused by burns that currently ranked seven times higher than average in middle- and low-income countries
  • In 2014, approximately 11 million people globally suffered severe burn injuries that required medical burn care
  • Severe burn injuries remain one of the leading causes of disability-adjusted life years throughout the world

United States Burn Injury Statistics

The American Burn Association releases an annual review (National Burn Repository), summarizing data on burn patient admissions based on demographics, health outcomes, burn injury information, and data. Some of the data, statistics, and information include:

  • Nearly 450,000 individuals suffer burn injuries in America every year that are so severe they require medical burn care
  • Approximately 3500 adults and children suffer fatal burns in accidents and fires each year
  • More people die through smoke inhalation of fire-producing toxic gases than from burns in a fire
  • Nearly 45,000 adults and children are hospitalized annually for burn injuries, including 25,000 those admitted to specialized burn centers
  • Fire flames cause approximately 30% of all fire-related injuries and deaths
  • Historically, more males (70%) are severely burned than females (30%) in the United States
  • Hospital admission records identify the percentages of burn injuries, including fire/flame burns (44%), scalds (33%), contact burns (9%), electrical burns (4%), chemical burns (3%), and other (7%)
  • Research studies show that ovens and stoves caused 17,300 burn injuries in 2019
  • Over 58,600 burn injuries were caused by heating equipment in 2019
  • Faulty and burning home-cooking equipment remains the leading cause of home fires, with injuries (this includes pam cooking spray burns)
  • Ignited cigarettes and other smoking materials account for most fire-related residential deaths
  • More fire-related deaths happen during cold winter months between December and February than any other time of the year due to the family’s use of portable heating equipment
  • In 2016, the American Burn Association reported over 3275 smoke inhalation/fire burn injury deaths in the United States. Over 300 of those burns were caused by vehicle accident fires.
  • By law, 96% of all homes in the US had at least one installed smoke alarm in 2004
  • In 2004, only 66% of all residences in America had at least one working smoke alarm
  • The chances of dying in residential fires are reduced by nearly 73% when automatic sprinkler systems are installed
  • Fire-related deaths dropped by 82% and injuries by 46% when homes and offices installed sprinkler systems and smoke detectors
  • Nearly 4% of all reported fire department calls in the United States were to report a home or commercial fire, with most of the remainder asking for emergency medical services and rescue services
  • The incident rate of first-degree sunburns increased in 2017 from 34% to 35%

American Burn Association: Child Burn Injury Statistics

  • A child’s curiosity, lack of maturity, and activity level make them particularly susceptible to suffering a catastrophic burn, especially when left unattended. American Burn Association data and statistics related to childhood burn injuries include:
  • Fire and flame-related burns and smoke inhalation remain the third leading cause of unintentional death for children thirteen years old and younger
  • Smoke inhalation and burns remain the leading cause of unintentional injury and death among children thirteen years and younger
  • Scalds caused nearly 65% of all children three years or younger hospitalized for a burn injury accident
  • Contact burns requiring hospitalization accounted for approximately 25% of all burn injuries suffered by children three years or younger
  • Children and toddlers are more likely to be burned by fires, flames, or scalding heat than any other hot sores
  • Scalding hot water causes more severe injuries requiring hospitalization and deaths than other hot liquids
  • Nearly 89,000 children thirteen years old and younger visited US emergency rooms in 2018 for burn-related injuries, including scald burns (25,400 cases), and thermal burns (62,400 cases)
  • Approximately one out of five (20%) of all burn injuries harm children years old and younger
  • Scald injuries burn children one year old and younger than any other statistical risk group
  • Approximately 1200 toddlers three years old and younger are hospitalized every year for a burn or fire-related injury
  • American Burn Association statistics reveal that fires kill approximately 500 children fourteen years old and younger every year
  • A significant common cause of thermal burns involving children fourteen years old and younger cause severe injuries through contact with room heaters, curling irons, hair curlers, Irons, ranges, ovens, fireworks, and gasoline
  • Spilled liquids and hot foods in the kitchen and breakfast area cause most scald burns in children, particularly those six months to two years old
  • Over 50% of home fire deaths involving children five years and under occurred when the child was asleep
  • Federal laws regulating consumer product flammability materials as decreased the number of burns associated with flammable pajamas and toys
  • Approximately 33% of young children and toddlers caught in home fires while asleep could not react appropriately due to their age
  • Home fires caused by children playing tend to start in the living room or bedroom when the child is left unattended
  • Most children play-related fires begin with lighters and matches
  • Adolescent males participating in peer-group activities are more likely to be burned using gasoline and flammable products, including fireworks than other males
  • Male children 5 to 10 years of age have an increased potential of suffering a severe burn or death caused by reckless behaviors, including playing with fire
  • Children five years and younger are highly likely to suffer a scalding burn injury by tipping scalding liquids in the kitchen
  • Unsupervised children can suffer bathroom burns by using scalding hot at the sink, shower, or tub
  • Pediatricians treat more infant and toddler burn patients scalded by liquids and any other type of burn among young children
  • Unsupervised children five years and younger could easily suffer severe burn injuries and death by playing with trash fires, barbecue pits, fireplaces, cigarette lighters, and matches

OSHA, Workplace Safety, and Burn Injury Statistics

  • The federal government regulates workplace safety through OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to prevent hazardous conditions that cause severe injuries and death. In recent years, OSHA has emphasized workplace fire safety and burn injury prevention.
  • The American Burn Association identifies electrocution as the leading cause of death in the workplace, followed by chemical burns and exposure to caustic and corrosive materials that contact the eyes or skin.
  • Many young workers are burned on the job when handling fryers, steamers, grills, stoves, hot ovens, and other equipment in the restaurant industry. Fortunately, federal child labor laws restrict young workers fifteen years old and under from using hot equipment and instead serve food from the cafeteria, snack bar, lunch counter, or soda fountain
  • Approximately 2% of all electrical burns in the workplace result in wrongful deaths
  • About 21% of all workplace burns cause permanent disabilities
  • Nearly 77% of all workplace electrical burns involved short circuits
  • Approximately 3% of all severe burn-related hospitalization involved high-voltage electricity

Categorizing Burn Injuries

Whether caused by electricity, chemical exposure, or thermal reaction, all burns cause mild to severe damage to the skin’s surface area and underlying tissue. The American Burn Association categorizes burn injury to the extent of trauma to the skin and underlying tissue and classifies the burn severity as first, second, or third-degree, where a third-degree burn is the most severe.

First-degree burn – A minor burn can cause minimal pain and damage to the skin’s outer layer, requiring just a few days to heal. Most sunburns are categorized as first-degree burns.

Second-degree burn – A significant burden destroys the upper layer of skin and damages the second layer. These types of burn injuries covering less than 50% of the body are considered a mild second-degree burn

Third-degree burn – This severe burn damages all skin layers and possibly muscle tissue and blood vessels, leaving an injury pattern with white patches on charred black skin. This burn injury is excruciating unless the nerve endings are completely burned.

Radiological burns can be categorized as first, second, or third-degree based on the rate of exposure to gamma, beta, or alpha radiation, how many times the exposure occurs, and how often decontamination is required to stop the burning process.

According to the American Burn Association, not all burn injuries are on the outside. The damage may also affect the respiratory system when hot air, toxic gases, smoke, and heat are inhaled, inflaming lungs. During the healing process, the body may experience fluctuating temperature, fluid/electrolyte imbalance, minimized joint function, and compromised dexterity.

Burns: Medical Health Care Costs Statistics

  • The medical cost for treating burn injuries in burn centers is incredibly high due to the rising expenses of hospitalizations, therapies, rehabilitation, reconstruction surgeries, skin grafts, and other health care options.
  • Statistics reveal that the United States spends over $7.5 billion every year treating burn and fire injuries which represent 1% of all injuries and 2% of the total costs of care in burn centers
  • Over 64% ($4.9 billion), the majority of available funds, are spent on burn care annually for males suffering burn/fire injuries requiring hospitalizations
  • Nearly 36% ($2.9 billion are spent on burn care annually for female suffering burn/fire injuries
  • The US spends over $3 billion annually on fatal burns/fire injuries in burn centers
  • Over $1 billion the spent annually on burn and fire injuries requiring hospitalizations
  • Nearly $3 billion the spent annually on non-hospitalized burn/fire injuries
  • Children four years old and younger and adults sixty-five and older are more likely to suffer a severe injury or fatality involving burns requiring care in burn centers than other age groups
  • Native Americans and African-Americans are in a higher risk group than all other ethnicities
  • Individuals living in substandard housing or manufactured homes are more likely to be burned or killed in a fire than those in standard home types
  • Data estimates reveal that the poorest Americans and those living in rural areas have an increased potential of suffering severe injury or death caused by a fire or smoke inhalation
  • Most severe burn injury cases leaving the victim disfigured or scarred require expensive plastic surgery and follow-up operations to help increase mobility and reduce dense scar tissue
  • Some victims need ongoing psychological treatment to handle their disfigurement and post-traumatic stress disorder a horrific fire can cause

Who is Most at Risk?

Approximately 50% of all burn accidents are preventable, especially those caused by third-party negligence. The high-risk groups that are most likely to acquire a burn injury or die from smoke inhalation include:

  • Young children as the most at-risk age group
  • Elderly senior citizens
  • Workers in various industries and trades, including the construction industry

High-risk workers tend to be exposed to flame and heat routinely on the job, including those who could be killed by electrocution and accidental fires. Doctors treat practically 75,000 injured victims needing hospitalization every year for severe burn injuries.

A four-year autopsy study between 1986 and 1990 showed that males are more likely to suffer a deadly burn injury of 66% than women. The study also revealed that 70% of the patient had died of an inhalation injury followed by heart problems, kidney issues, liver damage, and other causes.

Don’t Be a Statistic. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today to Handle Your Burn Injury Compensation Case

Did the unthinkable happen? Were you severely burned, or did you lose a loved one in a burn accident or fire caused by another’s negligence? Experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help injured victims seek compensation to cover their damages, which are often substantial.

Our legal team fights aggressively to protect our client’s rights and has successfully obtained over $250 million in financial compensation on their behalf. Let us help your family too.

Contact our traumatic burn injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our law offices currently follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 (coronavirus) social distancing guidelines to protect our clients.


Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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