Most burn injuries we see as experienced Virginia Beach burn injury lawyers, fall into three categories – first degree, second degree and third degree, which are the most serious kind. If you have experienced the pain of one of these injuries, any kind of burn will seem serious.

See this video from a burn survivor.



First degree burns affect the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, only. Characteristics include:

  • The skin is usually red
  • Swelling is often present
  • Pain sometimes is present


Second degree burns affect not only the epidermis but also the dermis, the underlying skin beneath the epidermis. Second degree burns can cause extreme pain. Characteristics include:

  • Blisters developing
  • The skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance
  • There is severe pain and swelling.

Third degree burns are extremely serious. The entire thickness of skin and underlying muscle area are burned. Due to the fact nerves are destroyed, third degree burns can be less painful than second degree burns. Characteristics include:

  • ·         Skin that is yellow, red or charred in color
  • ·         A loss of feeling. Third degree burns often require a skin graft to repair.

Fourth degree burns are life threatening. In these cases the burns have often reached the bone. They often require the amputation of a limb.


CAR FIRES – There are times when vehicles catch fire, either due to an accident or a defect. In July, 2011 a fire in a defective fuel line in a Chevrolet Traverse claimed the life of a sailor in Norfolk, VA. Manufacturers can be liable for defective products.

GAS EXPLOSIONS – When appliances malfunction in a home or industrial premises the result can be an explosion that causes serious burns injuries or deaths. In 2010 a methane gas explosion killed 29 miners in West Virginia. Their families were later given $46.5 million in restitution.

CHEMICAL BURNS – Chemical burn injuries are caused when an acid comes into contact with skin. It may be due to a spillage or a deliberate attack.

ELECTRICAL BURNS – Burns can result from an electric shock. Arc or flash burns result from high temperatures near the body and are produced by an electric arc or an explosion. See our guide to electrical shocks from our experienced Virginia Beach electrical shock injury attorneys.

HOUSE FIRES – There are numerous potential causes of fires in home ranging from heaters, to electrical problems. In the case of a faulty installation a manufacturer or the company that fit it may be to blame. Owners of hotels can be held liable for fires on their premises.



The Virginia Beach personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles car, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as brain injury, wrongful death, railroad workers’ injuries (FELA) mesothelioma and medical malpractice cases.


John Cooper grew up and was educated in Virginia Beach and handles many cases from the city. John Cooper and his partner Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in handling personal injury claims.


John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010 and has been a member since 2011 of the Multimillion dollar Advocates Roundtable. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout Virginia as well as in north eastern North Carolina. We always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 309-4711 or make an appointment to visit our Virginia Beach office at 4445 Corporation Lane, Suite #187, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462. For a free consultation with a specialized Virginia Beach, VA personal injury lawyer contact us through this website