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Making a burn injury claim

Burns are amongst the most serious types of injury a person can suffer, as they can be extremely painful and dangerous. They can leave you with permanent scar damage or long-term medical problems and in the worst cases can even be fatal.

According to NHS England data, approximately 130,000 people with burn injuries visit Accident & Emergency Departments each year and around 10,000 are admitted to hospital. The most recent figures from the Children’s Burns Trust and the British Burn Association, show that burns and scald injuries in 2017 cost the NHS more than £20m.

Common causes of burn injuries

Burns can crop up in all kinds of situations, but common burn injuries which often require hospital treatment include:

Burn injury classifications

Burn injuries are divided into four classifications to determine their seriousness:

First-degree burns can usually be treated using first aid measures, whereas second and third-degree burns will usually require medical attention straight away.

If you have suffered second, third or fourth-degree burns in an accident which happened due to somebody else’s negligence, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation to help cover the costs your injury has caused, and the impact it’s had on your life.

Claiming compensation for a burn injury

If you’ve been badly burned and the injury was caused by somebody else’s negligence, then you’ve every right to make a claim for compensation. Whether it happened in a restaurant, your workplace or a supermarket, it’s important that you get the compensation you need to help with your recovery as well as recognition of the suffering you’ve had to go through.

You can contact a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438 with the details of your case, or fill out the online form. Don’t worry, you won’t be forced to go ahead with your claim if you don’t feel comfortable.

The sooner you think about making your burn injury claim the better, since you’ll have the details fresh in your mind, and in most cases you’ll have a maximum of three years since the date of your accident to start your claim.

Your personal injury lawyer will usually work on a no win no fee basis, meaning that if you don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay any money. When you speak to them, they might ask for some information to help with your case, such as where the accident happened, what medical attention you have received, any expenses which you have paid as a result of the burn (like medical bills) and the suffering the situation has caused you. They’ll then use all this information to prove that you’ve been a victim of negligence, and to get you the full amount of compensation.

DID YOU KNOW: With no win, no fee claims, you do not pay any legal fees up front.

How much compensation might I receive for a burn injury?

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your burns, the amount of time it’s likely to take you to recover, and whether or not you were partially to blame (also known as ‘contributory negligence’). Because compensation amounts vary so much depending on the particular case, it’s difficult to say before your claim is underway how much you’re likely to receive.

However, your solicitor will take all of the below into consideration when working out your compensation amount:

To get a rough idea of the amount of compensation you could claim for, you can use our online compensation calculator.

What do I do if I’ve suffered a chemical burn?

If you’ve been burned by a dangerous chemical, you should seek medical attention right away as these types of burns can be very serious. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim for compensation. If possible, you should take photos of your injuries and also note down the details of any witnesses. If you decide to go ahead and make a claim, these will be very useful to your solicitor for building a good case for you.

Burn injuries at work

If you suffer burns while at work, then you may be able to make a claim against your employer. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, as well as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers have a duty to ensure that all workers are able to carry out their jobs in a safe environment, and that includes keeping them as safe as possible from the risk of burns.

The law states that an employer must inform the Health and Safety Executive of any burn or scald which:

If you’ve suffered from a burn injury at work and it was your employer’s fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.

Claiming for a child with burn injuries

We know how heart-breaking it can be to see a child injured. If your child has suffered a burn injury, then you can make a claim for compensation on their behalf so that they can get the help they need.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a child is considered to ‘lack the capacity’ to make their own claim, and so can be represented legally by a ‘litigation friend’.

If your child is injured whilst in the care of another person or body, such as a nursery or school, then the claim will be made against the organisation involved. The Children Act 1989 states that people caring for children have a legal duty to act as if they were a ‘responsible parent’. If they’ve failed to do so, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Normally with personal injury cases, you have three years following the accident to start a claim. However, when a child is involved, this three-year time limit starts when the child turns 18.

Fireworks and public displays

Organisers of firework displays or public bonfires are required to follow firm rules laid out in health and safety legislation. There are strict laws surrounding the provision, storage and use of fireworks, and these include the fact that fireworks (including sparklers) can only be bought for private use on the following dates. Outside of these dates, fireworks can only be bought from licensed shops:

Where organised public displays are concerned, the Health and Safety Executive gives detailed advice on how to keep people safe. Other pieces of advice offered by the HSE include:

If the organisers of a firework display fail to follow the health and safety advice given, then they may have behaved in a negligent manner. If you or someone you know has been burned due to such negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.