You might think that you can only be burned by fire and heat. However, burn injuries can also be caused by chemicals, electricity, friction, cold and radiation. Some examples include burn injuries caused in a car accident, in a factory, in a hairdressers, or even in a restaurant. In any of these scenarios, if the person who caused the accident to happen was negligent, you could seek damages from them to cover your suffering by making a burn injury claim for compensation.
In this guide to burn injury claims, we’ll look at what scenarios could lead to compensation being paid, when you might be eligible to claim, and how much compensation might be awarded. We’ll also explain how using a personal injury solicitor could give you a better chance of winning your claim.
If you would like to discuss your burn injury with us, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881. An advisor will talk you through the claims process, provide a no-obligation review of your case and give free legal advice. If it appears that your case has grounds to continue, we could connect you with one of our solicitors who provide a No Win No Fee service.
Are You Eligible To Make A Burn Injury Claim?
When personal injury solicitors consider a burn injury claim, they have to assess if there is a reasonable chance of winning compensation for the client. To help with this in your case, they’ll try to find out if:
- The responsible party (the defendant) owed you a duty of care; and
- Due to the defendant’s negligence, you sustained burn injuries.
In the next section, we’ll look at some different accidents and scenarios that might lead to a burn injury claim. Before we do, though, we will look at what evidence could be used to support your claim. Evidence is vital in proving that somebody else caused your accident and the extent of your injuries. Therefore, whatever type of accident you’re involved in, you should:
- Photograph the cause of the accident before it is removed.
- Report the accident if you suffered burns at work, on a business’ premises, or in a public place.
- Seek medical attention at a minor injuries unit or A&E.
- Write down the details of any witnesses present at the time of your accident.
- Request footage from any CCTV cameras covering the area or from dash cams if you were burned in a road traffic accident.
- Keep a diary of your injuries by photographing them periodically throughout your recovery.
By taking these measures, you should make winning your claim a lot easier. For example, if you’ve reported the incident, you could request a copy of the accident report form. Having this will make it easier to prove the location, date and time the accident took place. Similarly, asking for copies of your medical records from a hospital will show what burn injuries were diagnosed and the treatment you had to endure.
How Much Compensation For Burns?
How much compensation your burn is worth will depend on a combination of several different factors. These may include but are not limited to:
- How and where the burns happened. This is most important as it helps to establish the degree of the other party’s liability, which can affect the amount of the award.
- The severity of the injuries. The more serious your injuries, the higher the claim you are entitled to. Burn victims with third degree burns are more likely to be awarded higher compensation than those who suffer second degree burns under similar circumstances.
- Whether the injury was accidental, intentional or due to negligence.
- The psychological impact the burns have had.
- Have you had to undergo surgery? If so how much surgery has been needed and will future surgery also be needed.
- Out of pocket expenses such as medical expenses and transportation costs.
- Total and projected loss of income. Loss of benefits such as bonus and potential promotion are also taken into consideration when calculating loss of income.
You’ll typically need medical evidence and evidence of any financial losses before you’ll receive any form of payout. In most cases, claims are split into two parts:
- General damages. Where you’ll claim for your suffering. This includes the pain and any loss of amenity. Importantly, claims can include the psychological impact caused by burn injuries. To establish the severity of your injuries and their impact, a medical assessment by an independent specialist will be needed. Our solicitors can usually arrange these locally.
- Special damages. This is the part of your claim that concentrates on any money you’ve lost because of the accident. Therefore, you may be able to claim for any lost income, medical expenses, care costs and travel costs.
You can visit this page for more in-depth information on what general damages and special damages are.
Burn Compensation Calculator
To show you what level of compensation might be awarded for burn injuries, we’ve included burn compensation amounts below, and a compensation calculator further below for other personal injuries. Although the figures displayed relate to scarring advised by the Judicial College, they should be used as a guide only as they refer only to general damages.
Burns Compensation Amounts
- £98,380+ is likely where burns cover 40%+ of the body.
- £27,940 to £91,350 compensation for burns leaving very severe scarring to the face.
- £16,860 to £45,440 compensation for burns leaving less severe scarring to the face.
- £7,350 to £21,330 compensation for burns leaving scarring to leg/s, hand/s, chest, back, arm/s.
- £8,550 to £28,240 compensation for burns leaving significant scarring to the face.
- £3,710 to £12,900 compensation for burns leaving less significant scarring to the face.
- £1,600 to £3,310 compensation for burns leaving minor scarring to the face.
It is worth bearing in mind that burn injuries can have a large psychological effect on the victim. Therefore, this is considered in any award as well as the physical severity of the injury. That might mean that burns to the face will have a bigger effect on the victim than burns that aren’t always visible. As a result, their compensation payout could be higher.
As many factors are considered, the compensation figures listed cannot be guaranteed. If your burn injury claim is taken on, your solicitor will seek advice from medical experts about how you’ve been affected. Once that’s understood, they’ll be able to provide a more accurate burns compensation estimate.
Causes and Classifications of Burn Injuries
Let’s now take a look at a variety of incidents that could entitle you to claim compensation for burn injuries. They include:
- If chemicals are spilt on you at work and you are burned due to a lack of personal protective equipment.
- Where you suffer burns at work because of exposed wires on the equipment you were using.
- Where hot food/drinks are dropped on you in a restaurant because the member of staff was carrying too much.
- In a road traffic accident caused by somebody else where the airbag inflates and results in you being burned.
Obviously, there are lots more examples of accidents that could cause you to be burned. Don’t worry if yours is not listed, you could still make a burn injury compensation claim. The types of injuries you could claim for are:
- First-degree burns. These affect the first layer of skin (the epidermis) only. They are superficial injuries.
- Second-degree burns. With second degree burns the first two layers of skin (the epidermis and the dermis) are damaged.
- Third-degree burn. These are far more serious injuries. As well as the top layers of the skin being damaged, so will the tissue beneath the skin.
Whatever caused you to suffer a burn injury, give our team a call today if you’d like to discuss your options.
Burn Injury Claims Time Limits
If you decide to claim for a burn injury, you’ll need to begin within the allowed time limit. For most claims involving burns, where the claimant is immediately aware of their injuries, a 3-year time limit will begin from the date of the accident. If you’re claiming on behalf of a child as a litigation friend, you can ignore this limitation period as you can claim at any point before their 18th birthday. However, if a litigation friend doesn’t make a claim on their behalf, they will have 3 years in which to do so once they turn 18 years of age.
We would always suggest that it’s best to begin your claim as soon as you’re able to do so. That way you will find it a lot easier to discuss what caused the accident to happen and how you’ve been affected. Also, you’ll give your solicitor plenty of time to secure evidence to support your claim.
Should You Use A Solicitor To File A Burn Injury Claim On Your Behalf?
The burn injury compensation claims process can sometimes be tricky and complex. In most cases, it will involve insurance companies who won’t pay anything if there is any doubt about who was liable for your injuries. We believe your best chance of winning the right amount of compensation comes from having a personal injury solicitor working for you.
If one of our solicitors represents you, they will handle everything for you. They’ll contact the defendant’s insurers, provide evidence about the claim and deal with any queries or objections raised. That means you won’t have to answer any medical or legal questions yourself.
Throughout the process, your solicitor will keep you up to date and answer any questions you think of. Should a settlement offer be made, they’ll review it with you and advise you what you should do. In every case, your solicitor will do all they can to try and secure the highest level of burns compensation possible.
If you’d like to find out more about how we could help you claim, please call our advice line on 0800 6524 881. We’ll review your claim with you, look at the evidence and give free legal advice on your options. Remember, any burn injury claim that is accepted will be processed by one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors.
Updated 18th October 2021.