Burns and Scar Compensation Claims

Burns and the subsequent scarring they cause can be as traumatic mentally as they can be intensely painful. They can cause dangerous infections and severe damage to the skin. The scars that burns often leave can cause disfigurement and emotional pain that can last a lifetime, while treatment can be extensive, costly and painful.

Your employer is required by law to ensure a safe working environment to prevent accidents that can cause injuries

Read on to find out everything you need to know about burns and scarring, and what to do if you have suffered these injuries while at work.

Are burns very common?

Yes very much so. Figures show that around 175,000 people visit A&E departments each year suffering from burn injuries. Of those, more than 16,000 case are so serious that patients are admitted to hospital while they recover.

Is it only my skin that can be affected by burns and scars?

No. While superficial skin burns are by the most common type of burn injury, other parts of the body can be affected. For example, your airways and lungs can be damaged from inhaling hot fumes and gases.

What are the most common burn injuries in the workplace?

Burn injuries at work can be varied in both cause and severity. Some of the most common burn injuries are caused by:

  • poorly wired or insulated electrics
  • workplace fires
  • hot machinery
  • intense or ultraviolet lighting
  • thermal burns caused by hot liquids and objects
  • radiation (sun)
  • extreme cold
  • inhaling smoke or toxic fumes

Are there different types of burn?

Yes. There are three different types of burn that range in severity. This depends on how deeply your skin tissue has been affected. The different types of burn are:

  • Superficial burns - A superficial burn is an injury that only affects the surface of the victim's skin. Superficial burns are often painful and red, but will not blister. Mild overexposure to sunlight is a prime example of a superficial burn.
  • Partial-thickness burns - A deeper burn that damages your skin and dermis to varying degrees. Shallow damage to the dermis will cause the skin to go a pale shade of pink and blisters are common. While deeper partial-thickness burns will dry (although not in all cases), blotchy and red.
  • Full-thickness burns - A full-thickness burn occurs when all layers of a victim's skin are damaged. The affected skin will change colour (usually to a white, brown or black) and it will feel leathery and waxy. It is also common for full-thickness burns to cause less pain than partial or superficial burns because the nerves in the skin are often destroyed.

How do I know if I have suffered an internal burn?

Internal burns to areas such as your airways and lungs are also common, with their own distinctive set of symptoms. These can include:

  • sore throat
  • wheezing
  • burned nose hairs
  • soot in your mouth or nose
  • a change in the way your voice sounds

What about scarring? What are the common scarring injuries?

Scars are permanent and can be very traumatic to the victim for many years after the initial incident. They can cause disfigurement, as well as acting as a constant reminder of a painful memory. Common scar injuries can include:

  • Scars caused as a result of treatment for your work injury
  • Lacerations
  • Facial injuries

What if I wanted to make a claim? What should I take into consideration?

Scars are permanent and can be very traumatic to the victim for many years after the initial incident. They can cause disfigurement, as well as acting as a constant reminder of a painful memory. If you have suffered an injury at work that was not and fault that has resulted in a scar or a burn then you may be entitled to compensation. Listed below are some of the factors you should consider:

  • Was your scar or burn a direct result of a workplace injury?
  • Is the burn or scar on your head, face or neck?
  • Did you suffer permanent disfigurement that is affecting you psychologically?
  • Do you have a remaining scar that is a different colour to the rest of your skin?

As an employee you have a legal right to expect a safe working environment, free from risks - including the risk of burns and scars. If you feel you have not been given adequate protection, and have suffered such an injury as a result you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact our experts for a free consultation, and we can quickly tell you whether you have a case or not... We offer a No Win No Fee service on personal injury matters, please contact one of our experts for more information. 0845 077 0772.

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