How Can a Car Accident Cause Chemical Burns?

July 14, 2021
Chemical Burn Injuries

When people hear about a car accident victim being badly burned, it conjures images of an explosion and a car fire caused by a leak from a gasoline tank. While this is one possible result of a car accident, there are many other types of burns people can receive, such as chemical burns.

Besides the highly flammable gasoline in the tank, cars use several kinds of corrosive and hazardous chemicals that power its operations and allow it to function. Certain fluids and gases threaten to cause chemical burns if something goes wrong with the chemical compounds used in a vehicle’s airbag. Additionally, damage from the car accident can cause certain chemicals to be released, such as battery acid.

How Serious are Chemical Burns?

Chemical burns can cause damage if harsh substances come in contact with skin, but eyes, lungs, and other areas of the body are also susceptible to chemical burns in car accidents. Chemical burns can require extensive or ongoing treatment and could possibly call for reconstructive surgery if the burns cause disfigurement. The extent of the damage can be affected by what type of chemical was involved, how long the person remained in contact with the chemical, and how quickly they were able to receive appropriate treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Chemical Burns?

Chemical burn symptoms usually include irritation and pain. However, the chemical in question and the body part affected can cause differing reactions. Chemical burns to the skin cause redness and a burning sensation. Skin can become itchy or painful. Contact with harsh chemicals can cause rashes, hives, or blisters on the skin’s surface. Liquid chemicals that cannot be easily removed may involve deep burns.

When chemicals burn a person’s eyes, the eyes water and become bloodshot and irritated. Airborne particles can cause different reactions depending whether they are made up of a fine mist sprayed into the eyes or chemical fumes that cause sensitivity, pain, or impaired vision. Some chemicals may be inhaled, causing damage to the airways or lungs.

How is the Severity of a Burn Injury Determined?

As with other types of burn injuries, such as thermal or electrical burns, the severity of chemical burns are determined by how deeply they affect the layers of the skin. Burn injuries are categorized as:

  • First-degree burns: First-degree burns involve damage to the top layer only.
  • Second-degree burns: Second-degree burns go deeper because the skin’s underlying layers are affected.
  • Third-degree burns: Third-degree burns cause damage to all layers of the skin and the tissues and nerves below.

Chemical burns can cause permanent damage, disfigurement, and emotional trauma. Chemical burns can involve extensive surgeries. Psychological damage can result from the incident that may require extensive care or ongoing therapy.

Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Suffering From Accident-Related Chemical Burn Injuries

If you were in a serious car accident that left you with severe chemical burns, you should contact one of our experienced Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. today. We can gather evidence to support your case. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-3701 to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.