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How Common is Nerve Damage from a Burn Injury?

Colburn Law

Nerve Damage & Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can result in serious injuries, including permanent scarring, skin damage, and severe pain. In very serious cases, however, you may sustain permanent nerve damage from a burn—and lose all sensation in the affected area. Nerve damage from a burn injury is not common but can occur if you develop very serious burns. If someone else is responsible for your burn injury and subsequent nerve damage, you can hold him or her accountable through an insurance claim or lawsuit.

How Can a Burn Cause Nerve Damage?

Nerves are responsible for transmitting messages to and from the brain. These bundles of fibers are responsible for many bodily functions, including sensations, actions, and temperature regulation. If any damage occurs to the nerves, you can lose the ability to feel pain, heat, cold, and touch on the injury site.

Nerve damage may occur in patients with second-degree burns, which impact the first layer of the skin and the tissue underneath it. Third-degree burn patients, whose injuries extend to the fat layer underneath the skin and tissue, often sustain this damage as well. Patients who suffer fourth-degree burns, which cause damage all the way down to the bone, almost always sustain nerve injuries.This is because the nerves live in the tissue underneath the first layer of skin. A first-degree burn, which only affects the top layer of skin, is unlikely to lead to nerve damage. When the burn starts causing damage in the tissue and deeper, nerve damage is most likely to occur.

Can You Reverse Burn-Related Nerve Damage?

Symptoms of burn-related nerve damage can include numbness, tingling, and sensitivity to touch, as well as shooting pains around the injury site. When the injury heals, these symptoms may persist and eventually stop. You may also experience a complete loss of feeling in the area due to permanent nerve destruction.

Burn injuries can lead to temporary or permanent nerve damage, depending on the severity and extent of the injury. If you sustained a second-degree burn, you are not likely to develop permanent damage. A third-degree burn is very likely to cause permanent damage, and a fourth-degree burn almost always leads to a complete loss of sensation in the affected area.

What to Do If You Experience a Burn Injury

Burn-related nerve damage can lead to significant financial, physical, and emotional hardship. If you sustain a burn injury due to someone else’s negligent actions, however, you have the right to hold him or her accountable for these losses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you could file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault party. However, you will need to take crucial steps to seek help and document evidence. 

First, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. While you are receiving treatment, save all records related to your injury and care plan. Take photographs of the burn injury and document the steps you need to take to recover from the damage. Keep a journal and write down how the injury impacts your emotional, physical, and financial well-being each day. 

After you receive treatment, speak to a Seattle burn injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can evaluate your situation and help you identify your optimal path to recovery. Your attorney can also conduct a full investigation into your accident and gather enough evidence to establish a compelling case for your right to compensation. After receiving medical attention for your injuries, contact an attorney to discuss your next steps.