How Do I Handle Chemical Burns after a Car Accident?

chemical burns accidents

It takes many types of materials to build a car, including chemicals. During a car accident, those chemicals may be released and cause burns. Like heat-induced burns, chemical burns can leave lasting scars and cause a lifetime of pain. Consequently, it is critical to understand how to handle a chemical burn if you are involved in a car accident.

What Are the Leading Causes of Car Accident Chemical Burns?

As a driver, you take the chemicals in your car for granted because they help with the operation of your vehicle. However, the following chemicals can cause burning:

  • Airbag deployment chemicals: Airbags have saved many lives and continue to be used by car manufacturers. Nevertheless, airbags rely on sodium hydroxide to create the reaction necessary for them to inflate. Aerosolized sodium hydroxide can burn skin.
  • Battery acid: During a collision, a car’s engine may be forced back into the cabin. This can put the driver and passengers in contact with corrosive battery acid. Battery acid will burn very quickly.
  • Antifreeze, transmission fluid, and steering fluid: Any of these liquids can burn you, especially if the fluid stays on your skin for an extended period.

It is important to note that you may be chemically burned by a chemical in the other vehicle. For instance, if your accident involves a collision with a big rig carrying a corrosive substance, the corrosive substance could spill and splatter during impact. This would leave you at potential risk for a burn that was not connected with any material in your own car.

What Should I Do after Coming in Contact with Chemicals During an Accident?

Some chemicals will burn skin deeply immediately, leading to third-degree or even fourth-degree burns. Others may only irritate skin and cause lesser first-degree burns initially. The faster you can remove the chemical agent from your skin, the higher the likelihood that you will stop the burn from getting worse.

How can you get chemicals safely off your body? Most emergency first responders bring special solutions that can successfully remove chemicals from the skin after a car accident. Usually, the solutions flush the chemical away from the skin. You may also need to take off your clothing and footwear. The goal should be to dilute the chemical appropriately and remove all traces from your skin as soon as you can.

Can a Chemical Burn Cause Catastrophic Injuries?

Each year, only around four percent of all accident-related burns fall in the chemical burn category. At the same time, nearly a third of all crash-related burn deaths come from chemical burns. In other words, chemical burns can be some of the most serious types of accident trauma. Car accidents causing chemical burns can result in catastrophic injuries.

If you experience chemical burns in addition to other injuries after a car accident, you should always get the treatment you need. You may require the help of a specialist or even a surgeon. Many chemical burns on places such as the face, neck, and hands leave deep scarring. Cosmetic surgery can be one way to reduce the appearance of those scars.

Of course, paying for medical treatment may be a top concern after any collision. You may also wonder how you will be able to cover your lost wages during your recovery period. After all, even if you carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage through your auto insurance, the maximum coverage amount will usually not come close to the cost of covering all your bills. Even the insurance of the at-fault driver may not be enough in terms of damages. In addition, the insurance company may try to understate the extent of your injuries and offer a modest settlement.

In these situations, you can always arrange an appointment with a car accident lawyer. At your consultation, you can discuss the accident, your chemical burn injuries, and the overall situation with your or the at-fault party’s insurance provider. You can also find out if a personal injury lawsuit may be worth pursuing based on what happened during the accident. It never hurts to get an opinion, especially when you are trying to pull your life together after being burned in a collision.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help People Who Have Sustained Chemical Burns in a Car Accident 

If you have sustained a chemical burn in a car accident, you will need an advocate who will fight for you. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King focus their practice on getting fair and full compensation for our clients who have been seriously injured in car accidents. You do not have to go through this alone. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.