Like other types of burns, those caused by chemicals can result in very serious injuries. They are likely to be painful, irritating and sometimes life-threatening. As well as the physical pain, chemical burns (especially those to the face) can result in anguish, embarrassment, depression and other forms of mental trauma. If you suffer a chemical burn at work, in an accident caused by a product defect or from somebody else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This article about chemical burn injury claims will explain the types of incidents that might entitle you to be compensated as well as what your compensation could cover.
If you would like support with the claims process, we can help. Our team offers a free review of your case and will provide legal advice during an initial consultation. If we believe you’ve got a chance of winning your case, you’ll be connected with one of our personal injury solicitors. Should they agree to act on your behalf, they will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
To begin a chemical burn injury claim right away, please feel free to call us on 0800 652 1345 today. Alternatively, please carry on reading this claims article to find out more about your options.
Can I claim compensation for a chemical burn injury?
Our personal injury solicitors will only take on compensation claims where there is a reasonable chance you’ll be compensated. As such, when assessing a chemical burn claim, they’ll use the following checklist to see if you could be compensated:
- Did the defendant (the party you wish to claim against) owe you a duty of care?
- Did an accident occur because the defendant was negligent in some way?
- As a result of that accident, did you suffer a chemical burn injury?
The first question is often difficult to answer if you’re not legally trained but, don’t worry, your solicitor will check this for you. Generally, legislation like the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987 can be used to establish whether a duty of care existed.
If the answer to all three questions is yes, you could be entitled to compensation for the chemical burns and any associated suffering.
What chemical burn accidents could I be compensated for?
There are many scenarios that could lead to chemical burn injury claims. They could involve accidents at work, supermarket accidents, school accidents and many more besides. We won’t list every potential incident in this section but some incidents that might see you compensated include:
- Chemical burns caused by hair dyes.
- Injuries caused by leaking cleaning products in a supermarket accident.
- Chemical burns caused by defective products.
- If you’ve suffered a chemical burn at work because of poorly stored chemicals in the workplace.
- Chemical burns caused by over chlorination of a swimming pool.
- Where your child is burned by chemicals in a science lesson because of poor instruction or supervision.
- Where PPE at work is insufficient or missing and results in you suffering a chemical burn.
- Burns caused by acid attacks.
It is possible to sustain chemical burns affecting your internal organs when chemical fumes are inhaled. You should seek professional medical advice if you believe this is the case because symptoms might not be as apparent as for other types of burns straight away.
We can help with any type of chemical burn compensation claim so call today to see if you could be entitled to compensation.
Types of chemical burns
The most common chemicals that result in burns include sulphuric acid, ammonia, nitric acid and sodium hydroxide. When they come into contact with the skin, they can cause various levels of burn injuries. These are:
- Epidermal (superficial) burns. Here the outer layer of skin becomes swollen and red. Although painful, there won’t be any blistering.
- Dermal burns. This type of mild burn will affect the top two layers of your skin. With immediate first aid and ongoing care, scarring should be minimal and there should be a relatively short healing time.
- Deep dermal burns. Also called a partial-thickness burn, these injuries are very painful and there will be a lot of damage to the epidermis and dermis.
- Full-thickness burns. These burns are likely to lead to hospitalization with dressing changed regularly to try and reduce symptoms and to reduce the risk of infection. The outer layers of skin are likely to have been completely burned away and a skin graft might be required. However, there may be permanent disfigurement or scarring.
How much compensation for a chemical burn injury could I claim?
When you ask for compensation, you will usually base your request on any pain caused by your injuries (general damages) and any financial impact (special damages). If you call for a free case review, we’ll be able to clarify what you might be entitled to claim for but chemical burn compensation could be paid to cover:
- The physical pain and suffering caused by your burns.
- Any loss of amenity you’ve suffered. This is where a value is placed on any lack of enjoyment of your hobbies or social activities that your injuries prevented.
- Any income you missed out on while you were injured.
- Rehabilitation and medical expenses.
- Future loss of income should your injuries reduce your long-term earning capacity.
- Travel expenses.
- Modifications to your vehicle or home that help you to deal with any ongoing disabilities caused by your burns.
- The time a relative or friend spent caring for you (or the cost of a professional carer where needed).
If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll conduct a thorough assessment of your chemical burn injury claim with you. This is important if you’re to be paid the maximum amount of compensation for your suffering. Also, it’s vital to get the claim right as you won’t be able to claim more compensation later on if something is missed out.
Providing proof for a chemical burn injury claim
When you send a compensation claim to the defendant, they will most probably send it to their insurance company. Before any insurer will payout, they’ll want to see proof that shows why their client was responsible for the chemical burn injury and medical information to confirm your injuries. Your solicitor will work with you to collate proof to substantiate your claim. This could include:
- Photographic proof. To help establish how the accident that caused the chemical burns happened, you should try to take photographs at the scene. If you can, try to do this immediately and before anything is removed from the scene.
- Witness statements. If anybody else witnessed your accident, ask them to give you their contact details. You won’t need a statement from them at this point but your solicitor may ask for one at a later date.
- Accident reports. By law, most businesses must keep an accident report book. For this reason, you should report your incident as soon as possible. Your copy of the incident report should help to confirm the date, time and location of where you were injured.
- Camera recordings. You should ask for a copy of any CCTV or camera recording of your accident as soon as possible. Data protection laws allow you to request any relevant footage but it can be deleted quite quickly.
- Hospital records. It’s important to have chemical burns checked by a medical professional so that they are assessed properly and treated appropriately. If you decide to take action later on, medical records can be requested to demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
- A diary of events. It will be easier to discuss your chemical burn claim with a solicitor if you’ve written everything down. A diary could contain photographs of your injuries throughout your recovery and details of any costs you’ve incurred. Furthermore, you could add details of any events you couldn’t attend or when your injuries prevented you from working.
We will happily review any evidence you’ve collected during your free consultation if you request a consultation here.
Will I be asked to have a medical assessment?
The personal injury claims process may require you to provide an independent medical report regarding your chemical burn injuries. Where applicable, our solicitors always try to book any meetings locally for claimants to help reduce how far they need to travel.
The meeting is nothing to worry about though. It will be conducted by a medical expert who’ll already have seen your hospital notes. They’ll talk to you about how you’ve suffered because of your injuries and then examine you. After they have finished, a report will be written for both parties involved in your claim. This will provide details of your injuries and explain your prognosis for the future.
Chemical burn claims time limits
Legally, there is a 3-year time limit when making chemical burn injury claims. This will usually begin from the day you were injured. Although 3-years is a relatively long-time, it’s best if you don’t wait until the last minute to take action.
Claiming as early as possible could:
- Help you to recall everything that led to you suffering chemical burns.
- Give your solicitor enough time to book medical reports and collect evidence.
- Allow you to benefit from an interim payment to cover the cost of private medical treatment before your claim is finalised (if the defendant admits liability).
This time limit is not applicable in chemical burn claims involving children. As they are not able to represent themselves, a responsible adult can act on their behalf at any time before they turn 18-years old. To do this, our solicitors could help you apply to become the child’s litigation friend.
Compensation for chemical burn injuries could be paid in as little as 6 to 9-months if the defendant admits liability and you’ve recovered from your injuries. However, more complex cases can take longer than a year. This might be the case if your symptoms are ongoing or if an amicable agreement over the settlement amount can’t be reached.
No Win No Fee chemical burn injury claims
It is our opinion that the chances of making a successful chemical burn injury claim will improve with the help of one of our personal injury solicitors. We also believe they could help you to be paid a fair amount of compensation. However, we’re also aware that many people worry about the costs involved with hiring a legal representative.
For that reason, our team of specialist solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service. This means that you will only have to pay them for their work if you are compensated. You won’t have to pay them in advance and they won’t ask for payment if your claim fails.
To allow them to begin working on a No Win No Fee basis, you’ll both sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This will fully explain the chemical burn claims process and what you’ll need to pay if your case is won.
If the claim works out in your favour, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation. In the CFA, this is listed as a percentage of any settlement you’re paid. To prevent overcharging, success fees are limited to 25% when using a CFA by the Ministry of Justice.
To see if we could help you to claim on a No Win No Fee basis, please call an advisor today.
Start a chemical burn injury claim today
We hope this article on chemical burn injury claims has been helpful. If you are now thinking of claiming compensation, the easiest thing to do is to speak with our team. You can get in touch on 0800 652 1345 for a free review of your case.
Whatever you decide to do, we’ll give you free legal advice and explain your options. If your case is accepted, and you wish to proceed, one of our specialist solicitors will act for you on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you have any further questions about chemical burn injury claims, please use live chat to discuss them with an expert advisor.