A fiery crash earlier this fall left one driver with shattered bones and severe burns and the other facing DUI, reckless driving and four other serious charges, according to the Georgia State Patrol. As reported by the Times-Herald, Donald Alan Barber missed a curve, crossed the center line and hit Trishica Leatrice Evans head-on. Barber’s car left the road and rolled, while Evans’ car erupted in flames. Both were airlifted to Atlanta-area hospitals after a Coweta County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived on the scene and pulled Evans from her burning car.
Despite Medical Advances, Surviving Serious Burns is Difficult
Burns are classified into three categories, depending on severity and can be a catastrophic injury. First-degree burns are the least serious, causing redness, pain or swelling on the skin’s surface. Burns that affect the outer surface and the underlying layer are classified as second-degree burns, leading to blistering in addition to first-degree symptoms. Third-degree burns are the most severe. Burns of this type reach the deepest skin tissue, causing it to become blackened, charred and numb. Severe burns are also commonly accompanied by shock.
Burns can also evolve over time. What that means is that a burn that was initially a first degree burn may worsen into a second, or a second may worsen to a third over time. A common example of this is sunburn: it may be red one day, but result in blistering to the skin over time. Burns challenge the body’s own natural defense system, the skin, which can allow bacteria or viruses to penetrate the body, causing infection. According to the National Institutes of Health, the amount of burned body surface and the patient’s age are the most important predictors of survival. Enormous strides have been made in recent decades to overcome burn-shock and infection, which frequently lead to death for victims with third-degree burns. Lung damage from smoke inhalation continues to be a serious obstacle to survival and recovery.
For Evans, burns, two broken legs, a broken jaw and spinal injuries point to a long recovery. Now in a hospital intensive care unit, she had surgery the day after the accident and began undergoing skin grafts soon after. She is expected to remain hospitalized until January 2012, four months after the accident.
If you or a loved one suffered serious burns due to a car accident or other negligent act of another, an experienced Atlanta catastrophic injury attorney can explain your right to compensation for your injuries. Burn recovery can be a long and costly process; if your injuries were someone else’s fault, you do not have to face them alone.