Types of Burns and the Road to Recovery Physically and Financially

Out of all the wounds a work injury lawyer sees from day to day, burns are among the most painful to witness. There are various types of burns and with each, the road to recovery can be vastly different.

What are the types of burns?

  • Thermal (Heat)
  • Cold
  • Electrical
  • Chemical
  • Radiation
  • Friction

Types of Burns on the Job

The ways you can be burned on the job are wide and varied:

  • Thermal (heat). This is the type most people think of when they hear the word “burn.” Some industrial environments require workers to be in close proximity to flames, steam, hot metal or other objects, or heated liquids.
  • Cold. When workers are chronically exposed to cold, wet, and/or sub-freezing temperatures on a job site, the resulting frostbite is classified as a burn.
  • Electrical. Indoor workers who come in contact with electrical wiring or outdoor workers who are exposed to lightning can get electrocution burns.
  • Chemical. Among the most horrendous and damaging burns, chemical burns can quickly penetrate all layers of the skin, or work slowly and insidiously while the employee works to contain a spill before taking the time to rinse off a substance.
  • Radiation. Outdoor workers exposed to the sun or medical workers exposed to x-rays can incur radiation burns. (Yes, sunburn is classified as a radiation burn.)
  • Friction. Also commonly referred to as “road rash,” a friction burn is a combination of a scrape and a heat burn generated from sliding across a solid object or coming in contact with a moving object such as an assembly line belt.


As with any work-related injury, make sure you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible, even if the burn seems minor. In general, a minor burn may hurt more than a burn that has penetrated so many layers of skin it may have killed the nerves that send pain signals to the brain.

Types of Burns

Proper treatment for a burn is imperative. Without it, scar tissue can form during the weeks and months following the incident. Depending on its location, scar tissue can interfere with joint movement, crack and become ulcerated, and—at the very least—be unpleasant to look at.


The road to financial recovery after a burn injury can also be a long road, however, that depends on the lawyer you have representing you. Be an active participant in your burn recovery by following your doctor’s instructions to the letter, and be an active participant in your financial recovery by contacting an experienced work injury lawyer to ensure you receive full and fair compensation. If you are in the San Antonio area, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today!

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