Burn injuries are not just limited to accidents caused by fire or high heat. They also include injuries caused by cold, chemicals, friction, electricity and radiation, all of which can happen under the most unexpected circumstances. You can suffer from burn injuries caused in a car accident, in a factory, in an office or even in a restaurant. It is not unheard of for students to sustain burn injuries at school or college.
In many cases, these burn injuries could have been avoided by simply being more careful or putting in place certain precautionary measures. How much you can claim for a burn injury will depend on several factors, but if you have received burn injuries that were caused by the negligence of others, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation.
Causes and Classifications of Burn Injuries
Some of the more common causes of burn injuries may include:
- Handling hot surfaces or liquids without proper protection.
- Exposed electrical wires or improperly insulated electrical equipment.
- Improper handling of corrosive chemicals.
- Inappropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Road accidents – faulty equipment and inflation of the airbag are common causes of burn injuries in a road accident.
Burn injuries can be divided into three categories depending on their severity.
- First Degree burns – Superficial burns that affect only the first layer of the skin (the epidermis) are classified as ‘First degree burns’.
- Second Degree burns – In second degree burns, the first and second layers of the skin (the epidermis and dermis) are injured.
- Third Degree burns – Third degree burns are more severe and damage the epidermis, dermis and the tissue lying underneath the skin.
While first degree burns can be soothed by administering first aid measures for burns, second and third degree burns require immediate medical attention.
What Can You Claim For When Filing A Burn Injury Claim?
If you have suffered a burn injury that was due to somebody else’s negligence you can claim compensation for all expenses incurred for the medical treatment – the immediate treatment to soothe the burns, long term treatment for more severe injuries and even cosmetic surgery if necessary to repair the burn tissues.
You can also claim compensation for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident, loss of income from not being able to work due to the burn injury and any other expenses that are directly related to the injury. This may include the cost of alternative transportation, the cost of making structural changes in your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries.
While compensation for burn injuries typically involves the same types of damages that are included in other personal injury claims, due consideration is given to the fact that burn injuries can be particularly painful and can often lead to severe, permanent disfigurement including scarring.
How Much Can You Claim For A Burn Injury?
As with any other personal injury claim, there is no fixed compensation that is applicable to all claimants, however burn injuries will typically be seen as more serious compared to other injuries as they can be more painful and have longer lasting effects such as scarring. Serious burns can attract significant compensation and in cases where burns cover 40%+ of the body compensation is likely to exceed £83,550. How much you can actually claim for will depend on a combination of several different factors. These may include but are not limited to:
- How and where the accident 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.
Although you can find on various websites different estimates on the amount of compensation that could be claimed for a burn injury we would advise speaking to a solicitor such as ourselves so that your claim can be properly evaluated.
Statute of Limitations
There is legislation in place that states that all burn injury claims must be filed within 3 years of the accident. You risk losing your right to claim compensation if you do not file your case within the 3 year time limit.
Should You Hire A Solicitor To File A Burn Injury Claim On Your Behalf?
Absolutely! When you are filing a claim for compensation for any type of personal injury, it is always advisable to hire a solicitor to file the claim on your behalf. This is even more important when you want to file a claim for burn injuries. This is because filing a claim for compensation is fraught with challenges.
You need to have expert legal knowledge to be able to put together a compelling case and counter any arguments that the defendant’s solicitors puts forward. Besides, you also need to be aware of your legal entitlements so that you don’t lose out on the compensation that you are entitled to.
Last but certainly not least, if you have a strong case, most personal injury solicitors including ourselves will agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This is a legal arrangement wherein the solicitor files the claim and fights the entire case on behalf of the client without taking any upfront fee. The client is only liable to pay when the case is closed and if the verdict is in their favour. The fee is usually a set percentage of the total compensation awarded by the court.
If you’d like to know more about how No Win No Fee works, please read this post. If you’d like expert advice, or even want to start a burn injury claim please contact us today for a free and friendly initial consultation.