If you’ve been scalded following an accident, you’ll no doubt know how much pain a scald injury can involve. As well as the initial pain caused, being scalded can result in long-term and life-changing injuries. As such, if you have been scalded in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. This article about scald injury claims will explain the types of accidents that could lead to a claim and the evidence you could use to support your claim.
We can help if you or a loved one has suffered a scald injury. By calling our claims advisors, you’ll receive free legal advice and we’ll answer any queries you may have. Our first consultation is provided on a no-obligation basis but we could refer you to the personal injury solicitors on our panel if your claim appears to have a good chance of success. They’ll take care of the claims process for you on a No Win, No Fee basis. As such, you will only have to pay their legal fees if your claim is successful.
You’ll find more information about scald injury claims throughout this article so please read on. Alternatively, why not call us on 0800 652 1345 today for free advice about your claim?
What is a scald injury?
Scalds are injuries to the skin caused by something wet like water, steam or liquid products. They are just as painful and can cause as much damage as burns caused by fire. The NHS states there are 4 main types of burns:
- Superficial epidermal burns – causing damage to the outer layer of skin (epidermis).
- Superficial dermal burns – where the next layer of skin (the dermis) is damaged.
- Deep dermal burns – also called partial thickness scalds, these injuries will damage both the epidermis and dermis.
- Full-thickness burns – this type of scald will also damage the subcutis (the deeper layers of fat and tissues beneath the skin).
Common symptoms of scald injuries
The symptoms associated with a scald can vary dramatically. While some will result in short-term pain, others can be life-threatening and lead to permanent complications. When making scald injury claims, the most common symptoms claimed for include:
- Peeling of the skin.
- Blistering of the skin.
- Charred or white skin.
- Varying degrees of swelling.
- Redness around the area affected.
Treating a scald injury
The NHS advises that first aid can be given to treat some scalds including:
- Remove clothing that’s near the scald site.
- Cool the scald with cold or lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes.
- Cover the scald with clingfilm or a clean plastic bag after it has cooled.
- Keep the affected area raised where possible.
- Use painkillers to manage any pain.
- Do not burst any blisters that form.
However, more serious scalds should be treated by a medical professional so you should visit A&E for:
- Scalds caused by chemical products.
- Scalds that are larger than the injured party’s hand.
- Any scald that causes skin charring or whitening.
- Scalds on the face, neck, joints, hands, feet or genitals.
If a child under the age of 10 is scalded, the NHS advises that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can I claim compensation for scalds?
Our personal injury lawyers will always check to see if a claim has a high chance of success before agreeing to take one on. That means as part of their checks, they’ll assess whether:
- The defendant in your case owed you a legal duty of care; and
- As a result of negligence, the defendant caused an accident; and
- You suffered a scald injury during that accident.
In legal terms, a duty of care is usually established by some form of legislation. For example, while you’re at work, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty of care on your employer to try and keep you safe. Similarly, if you were scalded in a restaurant, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 may be relevant. You needn’t worry too much about which law is relevant to your claim as your solicitor will check this for you.
However, you can improve your chances of winning a scald injury claim by providing as much proof as possible. We’ll discuss what you could use a little later on.
Common types of scald injury claims
Scald injuries can be sustained in numerous different ways. So, to give you some idea of the types of accidents that could mean you should be compensated, we’ve listed some common examples here.
Scalded in an accident at work
Your employer has a duty to try and prevent workplace accidents by carrying out regular risk assessments and making changes where necessary. Failure to do so could allow you to claim compensation if you were scalded at work. For example, a claim may be possible if you were scalded because of:
- Fault, damaged or poorly maintained equipment.
- A lack of safety training.
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- A lack of proper risk assessments by your employer.
- Scalds caused by tiredness because you weren’t allowed sufficient rest breaks.
Whether you were scalded at work by a defective product such as a kettle or a broken water pipe that allowed steam to leak out, you could be entitled to start a claim to seek damages to cover the suffering caused by your employer’s negligence. We could help you claim if you were scalded whilst working in a pub or bar, kitchen, restaurant, factory or just about anywhere else so please get in touch to find out more.
Being scalded in a restaurant
Food businesses such as restaurants, cafes and bars must try to keep all customers and guests as safe as possible. Therefore, you could claim compensation if you were scalded because:
- A boiling drink was spilt over you because a waiter was carrying too much at one time.
- An extremely hot drink spilt over you because it was served in an unsuitable cup (such as a takeaway cup that was too flimsy).
- A poorly maintained or faulty vending machine leaked hot liquids over you.
Please get in touch if you believe you should be compensated after being scalded in a restaurant or café and we’ll assess your options for free.
Other examples of scald injury claims
Here are some other scenarios where you might be able to claim compensation for a scald injury:
- If you were scalded while using a shower or bath in a hotel accident due to a faulty thermostat.
- If your hands were scalded in a public toilet because the hot water was too hot or there were no warning signs.
- Where an elderly relative was scalded in a nursing home because of a lack of proper support.
- Where your child suffered scald injuries at school because of poor supervision during a science experiment for example.
If you do wish to claim on behalf of an elderly relative or a child who has been scalded through no fault of their own, we can help. By following the litigation friend process, you could work directly with one of our solicitors to help claim the compensation your loved one deserves.
How much compensation for scalding can I claim?
During a scald injury claim, you should review exactly how you’ve suffered already and how you might continue to suffer in the future. Importantly, you could be compensated for any physical, mental or financial suffering. As such, your claim could compensate you for:
- The pain caused by the scalding.
- Stress, anxiety, depression and other forms of psychological harm.
- Loss of income (both short-term and long-term).
- Any negative impact your scald injuries have on your usual activities and hobbies.
- Medical costs including private plastic surgery in some cases.
- Travel costs.
- The cost of a carer.
- Replacement costs for items damaged during your accident.
- The cost of modifying your home or vehicle to make life easier if you’ve been left with a permanent or long-term disability.
Our personal injury lawyers will always try to ensure that you are fully compensated for scalding if they agree to represent you. Please get in touch to find out more.
Providing proof for a scald injury claim
In most cases, scald injury claims will be made against a company’s liability insurance policy. As such, you’ll need to supply proof to convince the insurer about how you were scalded, how you’ve been affected and why their client was to blame. This could include:
- Photographs of your scalds. You could use photos taken at the time of your accident and during your recovery to demonstrate the extent of the scalding.
- Medical evidence. In addition to your photos, medical reports from the hospital or minor injuries unit that treated you will be requested to support your claim.
- Accident report forms. Legally, if you reported your incident to the company involved, you are entitled to a copy of the accident report form. This will make it easier to prove when and where the accident occurred.
- Witness statements. If anyone else saw how you were scalded, they may be asked to provide a statement to your solicitor at a later date.
- CCTV footage. Finally, you should ask for any relevant footage to be forwarded to you if your accident was caught on camera.
We are happy to review any proof you’ve secured already during a free initial consultation. If your scalding injury claim is accepted, your solicitor will help you to secure any further proof that is required if they can.
Scald injury claims time limits
In the UK, most personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit. For scald injuries, the limitation period is likely to begin from the date of the accident.
However, if your child was scalded, their time limit won’t start until their 18th birthday so you can claim on their behalf at any time before that date. Please see our page on child personal injury claims.
To make the claims process easier, we suggest that you begin as soon as possible. That should make it easier to secure any proof needed to support your claim. Additionally, if your scald injuries are affecting you financially, an early start may mean that your solicitor could request interim payments to help you before your claim has been settled.
No Win, No Fee claims
We believe that it’s best to have specialist legal representation if you decide to proceed with a scald injury claim. We understand, though, that many people worry about the cost of doing so. That’s why our team of personal injury solicitors offer a No Win, No Fee service for all scalding claims they work on.
As a result:
- There aren’t any upfront legal fees to pay.
- You don’t pay your solicitor for their work if the claim fails.
- You’ll only pay legal fees if you are awarded compensation.
If your claim is won, a success fee to cover your solicitor’s work will be deducted from your settlement amount. Legally, this fee is capped at 25% of any compensation.
During a No Win, No Fee claim, your solicitor will manage everything on your behalf. That means you won’t need to speak to the defendant or their insurers but you will be kept up to date about any progress throughout the claims process.
Start a scald injury claim today
You are entitled to no-obligation legal advice as part of our free initial consultation. So, why not speak to one of our specialists on 0800 652 1345 today so that we can review your chances of being compensated?
If your claim does proceed, you won’t need to pay any legal fees in advance so your solicitor will begin working on your claim right away. Additionally, you’ll only have to pay for your solicitor for their work if you receive a compensation payout because of their No Win, No Fee service.
If you need to know anything else about scald injury claims, please feel free to use our online chat service.