Burn Injury Compensation Claims
Up to 130,000 victims of burn injuries visit Accident and Emergency departments throughout the UK each year. These visits are often required following the fault or inaction of a liable party. The suffering caused to them can be significant and result in permanent damage, emotional impact and financial losses.
Common Types of Burn Injury
The solicitors we work in partnership with have successfully dealt with a multitude of burn injury claims and have vast experience in securing the highest levels of compensation for injuries caused in a wide variety of settings. Some of the most common types of burns injuries that are presented to solicitors include those acquired in the following situations:
Work Related Burn Injuries:
As laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer has a duty of care to carry out full risk assessments of your workplace to determine whether there are any health and safety vulnerabilities in the environment or with the job that you carry out. Any risks that are highlighted must be counterbalanced with adequate safety measures.
Burn injuries at work can be caused in many ways, including working with open flames without appropriate protection, working with defective equipment, injuries sustained following electric shocks and those suffered in kitchen settings.
Fireworks and Public Events Burns Injuries
Burn injuries that are caused by fireworks, bonfires, sparklers and other lit paraphernalia at public events and displays can be especially traumatic. When attending such an event, you place your confidence in the organisers to ensure that all required safety measures are in place. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) outlines the ways in which event management companies must store, handle and use fireworks and related items to ensure that there is no unnecessary risk to the public.
If you have received an injury because of breaches in this duty of care, for example, misdirected fireworks, overcrowding around sparklers, lack of safety barriers near flames or a failure to make provisions for emergency care, it may be eligible to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
School Acquired Burns Injuries
Children are amongst the most vulnerable people in society as their acknowledgement of risk is usually much lower than most adults. Throughout their schooling, children are taught about and presented with control risks in order to build up their ability to respond safely. Unfortunately, lack of protection, insufficient training and inability to respond promptly to an incident may mean that a child can suffer a burn injury whilst in school. Some of the most common scenarios that we see in this area include bunsen burner injuries, burns caused by defective electrical equipment such as computers and burns suffered in cookery classes.
It is possible to claim on behalf of a child below the age of 18 if you are the parent or legal guardian. Alternatively, if no claim is made on their behalf, the child has three years from the date of their 18th birthday to initiate their own compensation claim.
How is the severity of a burn calculated?
The severity of a burn injury is thoroughly assessed in order to determine the correct level of compensation that should be paid to you. When analysing the burns that you have suffered, medical experts will classify the burn in one of the following categories:
- First Degree: A first degree burn damages the top layer of the skin, and although it might sting and become discoloured, it is unlikely to cause a break in the skin or any lasting damage.
- Second Degree: Second degree burns are more serious and damage lower levels of the skin. These burns are usually more painful, will cause blistering and potentially scarring. A burn of this type that covers at least 10% of the body is likely to have further impact on the victim and cause shock as well as dehydration.
- Third Degree: A third degree burn is the most severe type of burn as all layers of the skin are destroyed from the injury, as well as the fat and tissue that lies beneath the dermis. This type of burn usually results in loss of skin and make it necessary for the patient to have a skin graft. It is likely that recovery from this damage will take a long time and be much more invasive and painful than other burn types. Permanently visible scarring with this type of burn is almost certain.
In order to determine the severity of your injury, your solicitor will also seek to demonstrate any related illnesses that you may have suffered because of the burn. This might include dehydration, surrounding skin irritation and infections to wounds. Medical experts will also provide information on the percentage of your body that was burnt, and the larger the area, the more severe your injury will be thought to be.
Additional severity can be proven by highlighting the emotional impact of any injury and the future prognosis for your condition.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation that is paid to you will depend upon how severe the symptoms and lasting impact of your injury is considered to be. Your solicitor will work with determination to ensure that you achieve the highest awards possible and they do this by building a thorough case, inclusive of all of your losses and suffering.
When calculating the compensation amount to be paid, the following will be taken into consideration:
- Physical damage
- Emotional damage
- Loss of wages
- Treatment costs
- Loss of earning capacity – the impact on your future wages
- Travel costs for attaining required treatment
- The necessity for any specialist equipment or support
For a free initial consultation, where an experienced legal adviser will answer any questions that you have and assess the likely outcome of your case, call 0800 678 1410 today. If you have a valid claim, your solicitor will be able to proceed on a no win no fee basis.