Any type of chemical burn can result in a lot of initial pain and suffering. However, unlike some injuries that heal completely, chemical burns can result in long-term suffering. This could include unsightly scars or deformities which make it difficult to function properly. These injuries might have an impact on your ability to work and lead to anxiety and depression. If you’ve suffered burns from chemicals in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to file a chemical burn injury claim for compensation
In this guide to making a claim for chemical burns, we’ll look at when you could be eligible to make a claim, what circumstances can lead to a claim, and how much compensation for chemical burns might be paid.
We are here to help if you do decide that it’s time to take action. Our initial consultation is free and we’ll offer legal advice no matter what you decide to do. If your claim appears to be viable, we could ask one of our personal injury solicitors to represent you. If they agree to act on your behalf, they’ll do so on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning there will be no solicitor’s fees payable upfront and you won’t need to pay them if your claim fails. All in all, that will make the chemical burns claims process a lot less stressful.
Please get in touch today if you’re ready to begin a claim. You can reach us on 0800 6524 881 or via our live chat service. If you’d like more details on how the claims process works, please read on.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Chemical Burns?
- Evidence To Support A Chemical Burn Injury Claim
- Common Causes Of Chemical Burn Claims
- Claiming Compensation For Chemical Burns Against Your Employer
- Can I Make A Claim At Any Time?
- How Much Compensation For Chemical Burns Could I Claim?
- What’s The Average Settlement For Chemical Burn Injuries?
- Why Make A Chemical Burn Injury Claim Using A Personal Injury Solicitor?
When our solicitors assess a potential chemical burn claim, before agreeing to work on the case, they’ll check whether:
- The claimant was owed a duty of care by the defendant; and
- There was an accident or incident caused by the defendant’s negligence; and
- The claimant suffered a chemical burn during that accident.
If you’re not sure whether you were owed a duty of care, please speak to our team of claims advisors. Generally, legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 will provide a duty of care. After that has been established, the next thing to do is show how the accident happened and who was responsible for it. We’ll review what evidence can help with that process next.
Evidence is vital if you’re to win a personal injury claim for chemical burn injuries. There are various pieces of information you can use to help prove liability including:
- Accident report forms. Businesses and employers must keep a record of accidents on their premises. You should therefore report your accident and ask for a copy of the report as it can be used as supporting evidence in your claim.
- Photographic evidence. If you’re able to, it’s a good idea to take pictures of what caused you to suffer burns. Photographic evidence will make it easier to explain what happened when discussing your case with your solicitor.
- Witnesses statements. You don’t need to take a statement from everybody who saw your accident but you should collect their contact details. Your solicitor may contact them at a later date if necessary.
- Camera recordings. If the accident in which you were burned was recorded on CCTV or safety cameras, ask for a copy of the footage. You should do this as soon as possible because it can be deleted quite quickly.
- Medical records. We would always suggest that you attend a minor injuries unit or A&E following a chemical burn. This will ensure your wound is treated properly. Later on, medical notes could be requested to help establish the extent of your burns.
- Financial records. It’s a good idea to retain any proof of expenditure linked to your injuries as you could claim some costs back as part of your claim.
After collecting any evidence that you can, call us for an advisor to review it for free.
Chemical burns are caused when the skin comes in contact with a harsh chemical or irritant. Some of the more common substances that cause chemical burns include ammonia, sodium hydroxide, sulphuric acid, and nitric acid. There are many ways in which you could sustain chemical burns. We won’t list all of them in this guide, however, some common examples that might lead to a compensation claim include:
- Where chemicals are stored unsafely in the workplace.
- Being burned by too much chlorine in a swimming pool accident.
- Burns from a hair dye.
- Being the victim of an acid attack.
- Chemical burns caused by a spillage at work where you had inadequate personal protective equipment.
- If household cleaning products have leaked in a supermarket.
- Where a faulty product results in chemical burns.
As well as skin burns, it’s possible to sustain internal burns too if you inhale toxic fumes. In these cases, injuries might not be immediately obvious and you should attend A&E if you believe you’ve breathed in dangerous chemicals.
If you believe you’ve suffered a chemical burn in an incident caused by somebody else, please call to check if we could help you claim.
When a chemical comes into contact with your skin, there are four types of burn that could occur:
- Superficial burn (epidermal). Leading to redness and swelling of the outer layer of the skin. These can be painful but the skin will not blister.
- Superficial burn (dermal). This type of burn will damage the epidermis and some of the dermis. There may be some blistering and the skin will be light pink.
- Partial-thickness burn (deep dermal). These injuries can cause a lot of pain and will damage both the dermis and epidermis. This type of burn will cause swelling, blistering and blotchy red skin.
- Full-thickness burns. This type of burn will damage the subcutis as well as the epidermis and dermis. Here the skin is likely to have burned away to reveal blackened burnt tissue.
If you’ve suffered any of these burns from chemicals and believe you’re entitled to compensation, please contact us for free advice.
Acid and chemical burns have short and long-term consequences. When the chemical first comes in contact with the skin, it causes intense irritation and a burning sensation instantly. This is followed by redness of the skin.
A mild chemical burn affects only the topmost layer of the skin. This type of mild burn heals normally with immediate first-aid and regular care that includes taking measures to prevent infection. The healing time is relatively short and any scarring is minimal.
A severe burn affects several layers of skin and requires more than just simple first-aid. A visit to the hospital is a must to receive proper medical treatment to alleviate the pain and reduce the chances of infection.
Very severe chemical burns may require extensive hospitalisation during which time the dressing is changed regularly and the wound cleaned and inspected to prevent the high incidence of infection. Severe burns can take several years to heal. Depending on the location, severity, and extent of the chemical burn injuries, the doctor may recommend a skin graft to replace the burnt skin with healthy skin. In the most severe cases, chemical burns leave permanent scarring and disfigurement.
If chemicals come in contact with the eyes, they can impact your vision, leaving you partly or completely blind.
We know that many people worry about claiming compensation from their employer. Some are concerned about being punished while others worry about the impact on the company’s profits. You shouldn’t be concerned in either case.
Firstly, it is against the law to be fired, demoted, or disciplined for making an honest compensation claim against your employer. If you are treated differently for claiming, a constructive or unfair dismissal case might be appropriate.
Secondly, compensation claims will usually be made against the company’s liability insurance policy. That means there will be no direct impact on the operation of the company.
If you’d like free advice on chemical burn claims following an accident at work, please call.
If you decide to claim compensation following a chemical burn, a 3-year time limit will apply. This will begin from:
- The date that you were burned; or
- When your chemical burn injuries were diagnosed (this might be relevant for burns caused by inhalation).
To give your solicitor plenty of time to collect evidence to support your case, we’d suggest starting your claim as early as possible. Our personal injury solicitors try to resolve claims as efficiently as possible. In some cases, where liability is agreed upon early, the process can take as little as 6-months. Where more negotiation is required and where injuries are more severe, claims can take more than a year.
The exact amount of compensation for chemical burns will depend on the severity and extent of your injuries as well as your actual financial losses. There are two elements to any personal injury claim. These are:
General damages are claimed to cover the pain, suffering and compensation for loss of amenity your burns caused. Importantly, any psychological suffering can be included here as well as your physical injuries.
Special damages are used to claim back expenses caused by your injuries. For example, you may wish to recover medical costs, travel expenses and any lost income.
Your solicitor will review what amount you’ll claim once everything has been properly reviewed.
With regard to General Damages (pain and suffering), the Judicial College guidelines currently suggest the levels of compensation for burn injuries (including chemical burn injuries) are as follows:
- Significant burns that cover 40% or more of the body, compensation is likely to exceed £104,830.
- Very severe facial scarring – £29,780 to £97,330.
- Less severe facial scarring – £17,960 to £48,420.
- Significant facial scarring – £9,110 to £30,090.
- Less significant facial scarring – £3,950 to £13,740.
- Minor facial scarring – £1,710 to £3,530.
- Damage to hair – £3,950 to £11,020.
Any settlement is based on the severity of your injuries. Therefore, the claims process may require you to undergo a medical assessment. You shouldn’t worry about this, though. An independent medical expert will meet with you (usually locally) to discuss your suffering and then report back to your solicitor and the defendant’s insurers.
We believe it’s important to have specialist legal representation when claiming compensation for chemical burns. Our solicitors specialise in personal injury claims and could help you to claim the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
During the claims process, you’ll be able to ask any questions and you’ll be updated regularly. Your solicitor will deal with any queries raised by the defendant so you won’t need to worry about complex legal or medical questions.
If you’d like to begin a claim with us today, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881. During your no-obligation consultation, you’ll be given free legal advice on chemical burn claim and guidance on your next steps.