Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, P.L.L.C.
2 mins READ
Get a free consultation Call us About us

Burn injuries range in severity and degree, with higher degrees causing more injury and being more dangerous. What sort of burn injuries are catastrophic, though? Does a burn need to be categorized as third-degree to also be catastrophic?

A catastrophic injury is typically one considered to be life-threatening or capable of permanently affecting the victim. Many burn injuries can technically be catastrophic since they can cause scarring that never fades fully. Depending on where someone is burned, the scar could be in a visible location – like their face or hands – that causes them to feel self-conscious when in public, resulting in emotional trauma.


First-degree burns usually heal quickly and require no outside medical attention, so they should not leave a scar. Second-degree burns can cause scarring, though, even with medical care. Everyone’s skin responds to damage differently, so one person might fully heal from a second-degree burn without a scar, but another might not.

Third-degree burns are a different story, though. People who suffer third-degree burns are put in immediate danger and need emergency medical care. The burn will go through the skin and down to the muscle layer or even the bone, practically guaranteeing a lifelong scar. Third-degree burn survivors are also often debilitated in some way by the burn since it does go so deeply. For example, a severe burn on the hand can make it painful to manipulate that hand for the rest of the victim’s life.

Even without scarring, a permanent debilitation does constitute a catastrophic injury. With this in mind, every third-degree burn is likely to be considered catastrophic.


It is important to understand if your burn injury is catastrophic or not because that definition will influence how your claim develops. Insurance companies often double-down their efforts to defeat a claimant who has been catastrophically injured because they know that they could be deserving of sizeable damages, perhaps up to six or seven figures.

Your burn injury attorney will also need to know if your medical provider considers your burn injury as “catastrophic” or if they have given a prognosis that expects permanent scarring. When this is known, your lawyer can begin to explore additional avenues when making your claim, such as consulting with physical therapists or other specialists to predict how you will be debilitated by your burn and for how long. The underlying goal is to calculate your damages accurately, including what you will experience far into the future because of your burn.

Related Posts

  • business-asian-people-and-lawyers-businessman-and-2023-11-27-05-34-55-utc
    Personal Injury
    4 mins READ

    How Free Consultations Work and Their Value in Personal Injury Cases

    Have you recently experienced an accident due to someone else’s carelessness and are considering legal action or seeking guidance on your rights? Or have you suffered injuries though no fault of your own and are exploring your legal options? Consider booking a free legal consultation with a personal injury law firm. Read more to understand...
    Read More  
  • Female lawyer working in a law office reading a law book on the desk.
    Personal Injury
    4 mins READ

    What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Cases

    If you have recently been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you might be thinking about seeking restitution for medical bills, lost wages from missing work, pain, suffering, and inconvenience. But unless you are a lawyer, the legal ins and outs of filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Contacting a...
    Read More  
  • Asian beautiful young woman teacher teaching art to kids at school. Attractive Instructor master female explain and educate draw and painting, palying with student kindergarten pre school in classroom
    Personal Injury
    Premises Liability
    3 mins READ

    Child Injuries In Child Care

    As parents, few things are more upsetting than when our children are injured. The experience can be even worse when they are injured at a childcare facility under the care of trained adults who are supposed to be providing a safe, loving environment. In the aftermath of a child’s injury, many parents are uncertain how...
    Read More