Any form of a burn injury can cause both physical and psychological suffering. They can result in a lot of initial pain, scars and deformities and mental suffering that can last for a very long time. If you were burned in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may wish to seek compensation for your suffering.
In this article on claiming compensation for a burn injury, we’ll look at when you might be entitled to be compensated if you or a loved one has suffered. As well as claiming for your burn injuries, we’ll explain how you could claim for any costs or expenses linked to them such as the cost of private medical treatment or lost earnings.
Our team are specialists in personal injury claims and have helped many burns victims get compensated. If you call our free advice centre, an advisor will provide an initial consultation over the phone. They’ll explain your chances of being paid compensation for burn injuries and explain your options too. If your claim is accepted by one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll try to secure as much compensation as possible on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you can relax during the claims process knowing that you’ll only pay your solicitor if you receive compensation.
To talk to us about a burn injury claim right away, call our team today on 0800 652 1345. Alternatively, please read on to learn more about when compensation for burn injury claims might be possible.
Can I claim compensation for a burn injury?
So that we don’t waste your time, our solicitors will check the viability of your burn injury claim before agreeing to work for you. Whilst reviewing your case, they’ll try to find out whether:
- The defendant owed you a legal duty of care; and
- As a result of a negligent action (or lack of action), the defendant caused an accident or incident; in which
- You were burned.
When all of those criteria are met, a solicitor might agree to represent you in a compensation claim. Your role in the claims process will be to help prove how and why you were burnt so we’ll look at what proof you could use later on.
Duty of care is something you shouldn’t be too concerned about as your solicitor will understand which legislation could provide this in your case. For example, if you want compensation for a burn injury at work, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 might apply. Similarly, if you’re burned by a defective product at home, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 might be relevant.
Accidents that can lead to burn injury compensation claims
There are many different ways you could be burned in an accident and our solicitors can help with various types of claims including those for:
- Workplace accidents.
- Road traffic accidents.
- Nursery and school accidents.
- Restaurant, café, bar and pub accidents.
- Clinic and hospital accidents.
- Defective equipment accidents.
Examples of negligence that could entitle you to burn injury compensation include:
- If hot food was dropped on you in a restaurant accident because a member of staff was carrying too much.
- Where you suffer a burn injury at work because you weren’t provided with suitable personal protective equipment.
- If a child is burned at school in a science class because of a lack of supervision.
- If you’re burned in a supermarket because cleaning products have leaked.
- Where you are burned on the exhaust or engine in a motorcycle accident claim after being knocked off by a driver using their mobile phone.
If you have been burned in an accident or incident that was not your fault and would like to discuss your options, please get in touch.
Classifying burn injuries
The amount of compensation for burns you might be entitled to will be largely determined by the severity of your injury. As such, at some point during your treatment or during the burn injury claims process, your burn will be classified as one of the following (or current UK equivalent):
- First-degree burns. Here the top layer of your skin will be damaged and can appear blotchy and red. It won’t usually blister but the initial injury can be quite painful. However, with appropriate first aid and medical treatment, these burns can be treated quickly.
- Second-degree burns. The potential for longer-term suffering increases with the severity of the burn. Second-degree burns will result in damage to the top few layers of skin and can result in serious pain and blistering. Where more than 10% of the body is burned, there can be a risk of fluid loss which can lead to the victim going into shock.
- Third-degree burns. Here the top three layers of skin will be damaged. There’s also the potential for tissue and fat below the surface of the skin to burn too. This might mean skin grafts are needed to help the victim to recover. Third-degree burns will usually take a long time to recover from and result in permanent scarring.
Our team can help with a burn injury claim by offering a free consultation to start off. If you’d like to know more, please call us today.
How much compensation do you get for a burn injury?
Any type of accident that causes you to suffer burn injuries can result in short-term and long-term suffering. Both need to be considered when calculating compensation. Generally, your claim will focus on the suffering your injuries have caused (general damages) and any costs you’ve incurred because of those injuries (special damages).
While each claim is unique, compensation for burns at work or in your private life could be based on:
- The pain and suffering you’ve endured from the burns.
- Any psychological injuries the burns have caused. For example, you could claim for any anxiety or distress caused by permanent scarring.
- Any impact your injuries has had on your social life or hobbies (loss of amenity explained here).
- The cost of private medical treatment.
- Any travel expenses linked to your injuries.
- Care costs if somebody had to take time out to look after you while you were injured.
- Loss of income if your burns stopped you from working or if they’ll limit your ability to work in the future.
- The cost of making changes to your home or vehicle if they’ll help you to cope with any permanent disability.
As you can only make a single claim for these injuries, it’s important to factor all aspects of your suffering into your requested settlement. If you work with one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll try to ensure you’re paid the highest level of compensation possible. If you’d like us to review what could be included in your claim, contact our team here for a free claim consultation.
Burn injury compensation payouts
When calculating a burn injury compensation claim, there’s a published set of guidelines (by the Judicial College) that personal injury solicitors can refer to specifically for general damages. As mentioned above, in most cases, any payout a claimant would get will depend mainly upon the severity of the burn and its effects but also where the burns are situated. The current guidelines advise compensation of:
- Compensation is likely to be above £104,830 where significant burns cover 40% or more of the body.
- £7,830 – £22,730 for burns resulting in a single disfiguring scar or multiple laceration scars on the arm(s), hand(s), leg(s), chest, back.
- £29,780 – £97,330 where burns result in very severe facial scarring.
- £17,960 – £48,420 as above, but less severe facial scarring.
- £9,110 – £30,090 as above, but less severe.
- £3,950 – £13,740 as above, but less severe.
- £1,710 – £3,530 as above, but less severe.
While these burns compensation payouts are useful to personal injury lawyers and insurers, they’re only advisory so are not guaranteed.
Providing proof for a burn injury compensation claim
It is highly likely that your burn injury compensation claim will be handled by the defendant’s insurance company. As a result, you’ll need proof that clearly shows how your burn injuries occurred, who was to blame and how you suffered. Even if the defendant was apologetic at the accident scene, their insurer won’t pay out compensation unless you’ve got the proof to prove your case. As such, to try and make your claim solid, you could collect:
- Photographic proof. Taking pictures of the accident scene can be a good way of showing what caused the accident to occur. Ideally, you should attempt to take photographs as soon as possible and before anything is moved from the accident scene.
- Medical evidence. It is important to have any burn injuries assessed and treated at a hospital or minor injuries unit. This should help to ensure you’ll recovery will occur as quickly as possible. Additionally, you could ask for a copy of your medical records to help prove the extent of your injuries.
- Witness information. This can be important if there is any doubt over who was responsible for causing your burns. If you provide contact details of anybody who was present at the time you were injured, your solicitor might contact them for a statement later on.
- Accident report forms. Thanks to RIDDOR most businesses and employers need to keep records relating to injuries on their premises. As such, you should report your burns as soon as possible. You’ll be given a copy of the accident report which could be used as proof to show when and where you were the accident occurred.
- CCTV footage. If your accident was caught on camera, it’s a good idea to act quickly to secure any relevant footage that could be used in a car accident claim, as an example. Data protection laws mean you’re entitled to ask for a copy of yourself but it’s often deleted quickly so you must act swiftly.
- A diary. When making a burn injury claim, you’ll be asked to explain how you’ve been affected by your injuries. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a record of any costs you’ve incurred or events that you’ve had to miss because of your injuries. Similarly, you should keep track of any dates that your injuries prevented you from working.
If you call 0800 652 1345 for a free consultation, your advisor will review what proof you might have for free and let you know if you have enough to begin a claim, and if not, what we could do to obtain it.
Independent medical assessment of your burns
Although you’ll have already been seen by a doctor when you were treated, you’ll need to have a separate medical assessment as part of the burn injury claims process. The meeting can usually be arranged by your solicitor with a local medical expert.
During your appointment, your injuries will be checked and you’ll discuss how they’ve affected you. Afterwards, the specialist will create a report for all parties involved in your claim. This will provide details of your burn injuries and explain the prognosis for the future.
Time limits for claiming burns compensation
Any personal injury claim in the UK must be made within a 3-year time limit. For burn injuries, the limitation period will usually begin from the date of the accident. Although you might think 3-years is a long time, it’s always better to not leave it too late before claiming.
Starting as early as possible could mean you’ll be entitled to an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment to help speed up your recovery. It will certainly make it easier for you to collect evidence and recall how you’ve been affected when discussing your claim with your solicitor.
Importantly, burn injury claims involving children don’t have such a strict time limit. Parents or guardians could use the litigation friend process to take action for the child at any point before they become 18-years old.
No Win, No Fee claims
Some people are put off from hiring a solicitor because they’re worried about paying their fees. For that reason, ours don’t ask to be paid upfront and offer a No Win, No Fee service for burn injury claims they accept. That means you’ll only pay your solicitor if you are awarded compensation.
The type of No Win, No Fee agreement our solicitors use is called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This explains how your claim will be processed and what will need to be achieved before you need to pay your solicitor.
If your case is won, you’ll pay a ‘success fee’. If the claim fails, you won’t. This fee is a percentage of any compensation you’re paid. It is used to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work and expenses. Legally, when funding your claim with a CFA, the maximum success fee you’ll pay is 25%.
Please call today to check if you could be represented by one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors.
Start a burn injury compensation claim today
One call to our advice centre might be all it takes to start your burn injury claim today. If you call us on 0800 652 1345, your case will be reviewed for free and you’ll be offered legal advice about the prospects of being compensated.
Again, if your case is taken on by one of our solicitors, they’ll try to secure compensation for you on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Please use live chat or give us a call if you have any further questions on burn injury compensation claims.