Burn Injury Claim: Accident solicitor sets out the types and amounts of compensation that can be claimed for burn injuries
Burn injury claim solicitor explains the two main types of compensation that can be claimed for a burn injury; the skin and body parts which can be injured; the four degrees of burn to the skin you can experience; examples of how much compensation you can claim for facial injury, bodily injury, scarring, psychological injury and death.
What is a burn injury claim?
If you suffer a burn injury in an accident as a result of the negligence or fault of another person, business, employer, defective product, council or government body – you will likely be able to make a “burn injury claim” for personal injury compensation.
If your suffer your burn injury as a result of a wilful or deliberate act of another individual this might be classed as a criminal injury claim and as such have a different basis of assessment of compensation amounts known as a tariff scheme as set out on the CICA website.
What are the types of compensation can you claim for burn injuries?
A burn injury claim has primarily two parts:
1. Pain and Suffering Compensation
Your actual injury will include pain and suffering in experiencing the burn injury and any other effects from the burn, such as scarring, deep tissue bodily injury, psychological reaction and in the worst cases even death.
You are entitled to claim compensation for this pain and suffering, which is known as general damages.
2. Financial Loss and Expense Compensation
As a result of your accident you will likely suffer financial losses, such as lost income for the period you are unable to work and incur expenses, such as medical expenses, travel expenses to the hospital and GP, nursing expenses, etc.
These losses are known as special damages – they are unique (special) to you and are added to the general damages to give the overall amount of compensation your burn injury claim is worth.
What are the body parts which can be injured in a burn injury claim?
A burn injury claim involves damage to the body – both physically and often psychologically.
Typically, the first body part to be damaged is the protective outer membrane, which we know as the skin. Skin is technically the largest organ in your body.
Your skin is made up of primarily two layers known as the epidermis and the dermis (or corium).
The epidermis is the thinner outer layer. Its top most layer is not living and requires no blood supply, but is essential to protect the body from bacteria and micro-organisms as well as abrasion. The outer layer of the skin is constantly being shed and renewed.
The lower layer of skin is known as the dermis and is thicker than the epidermis. It contains your skin’s nerves and blood cells and allows you to have vital sensations, such as the sense of touch, hot and cold detection. It is also the point from your sweat glands originate allowing the body to cool and excrete harmful substances.
Below the skin, is a tissue layer used to protect the body from vibration and insulate you from the hot and cold.
Below this protective layer lie the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, organs, etc.
What are the types of burn that you might experience?
There are four medical classifications of burn and each comes with different types of symptoms:
A first-degree burn is a superficial burn – affecting the top skin layers only. This type of burn injury causes initial pain and your skin to go red, but these symptoms last only a number of days.
A second-degree burn – this affects the top skin layer (epidermis) and part of your skins lower layer (dermis) and as such is known as a partial thickness burn. This type of burn can lead to blisters and scarring – taking several months for the pain to resolve.
A third-degree burn is known as a full thickness burn – as it affects all the layers of the skin right through its full thickness. It will often be associated with no pain as the nerve receptors are damaged. Medical intervention (such as skin grafts) is necessary to assist in recovery
A fourth-degree burn is known as a full thickness burn the most serious of all – this burn will extend beyond the skin and can damage irreparably the muscle, bone, ligaments and tendons. The burn will often show as black and may lead to removal of the damages body part.
How much compensation can you claim for a burn injury claim?
The amount of compensation will depend on the severity of the burn itself, where on your body the burn has occurred, the amount of scarring remains, which internal bodily parts may have been affected; how significant your psychological reaction might be and sometimes even your age. Notably scarring to your face attracts higher compensation payouts than the equivalent burn on less visible body parts.
Examples below are for pain and suffering for burn injuries calculated in 2020:
FACIAL BURN INJURY CLAIMS
1. Burn to the face leading to less visible scarring
If your burn has left only trivial scarring or more visible scars which can be concealed and not overly affect your appearance, your compensation payout would be calculated between: £1,500 – £12,000
2. Compensation amounts for facial burn injuries causing significant scarring
Your facial burn injury might require plastic surgery and could lead to a significant visible cosmetic disability with a resultant severe psychological reaction. Your burn injury claim settlement could be worth between: £8,000 – £85,000
BODILY BURN INJURY CLAIM
1. Minor scarring to your legs, arms or hands
If your scarring affects either your legs, arms or hands and is either one noticeable scar or several less noticeable scars then your compensation settlement is likely to be calculated between: £2,000 – £7,000
2. Multiples visible scars on chest, back, legs, arms and hands
Multiple visible scarring or a single disfiguring scar to your chest, back, arms, legs and hands will lead to compensation payouts of between: £7,000 – £20,000
3. Severe disfiguring burn injury claims
These types of burn might need surgery, have a large percentage of the body area affected, have strong psychological reactions, cause physical disability. Burn injury claim settlements will be calculated between; £20,000 – £92,000
BURN INJURIES CAUSING DEATH
There are two types of claim that can be made when someone dies as a result of a burn injury. One of the claims is made on behalf of the state for the pain and suffering of the deceased – the other is the claim made under the Fatal Accidents Act by certain relatives of the deceased.
See our fatal accident claim article explaining the claims that can be made by relatives of the deceased
The amounts of compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death, will depend on how long the individual survived before death, whether they were conscious and the extent of the pain and suffering.
The smallest award will be made for immediate unconsciousness followed by death within a week and the largest for the individual being aware of what has happened, significant physical injury and lung damage, intrusive medical procedures and death within 3 month.
The amount of compensation awarded would be range between: £1,000 – £21,000
Free online specialist burn injury claim solicitor legal help
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