Second Degree Burn at Work, Can I Claim Compensation?

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Second degree burn at work

A second-degree burn needs immediate treatment. Seek medical help straight away. Your skin will be red, painful and blistered and could become infected quite easily.

After you’ve dealt with your second-degree burn, your ability to work will be affected.

Compensation for 2nd Degree Burns at Work

A second-degree burn at work should be treated as a medical emergency. Following first aid, you might need hospital treatment. Your employer should provide support if you’ve been injured at work. You could also claim compensation.

You might be entitled to claim compensation if your employer was at fault.

Read on to find out more about dealing with a second-degree burn at work, and what to do next if you’ve been injured in the workplace.

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Getting a Second-Degree Burn at Work

A second-degree burn is a serious injury, to be treated as a medical emergency. Yours may be a second-degree burn if your skin is very red and blistered. Burns of this type, unless very small, will need to be treated in a hospital. Infection risks are high, and you are likely to be in quite a lot of pain.

Second-degree burns may be caused by naked flames, hot surfaces, chemicals and electricity. They can also be a result of scalding, by boiling water or hot liquids. If you’re received a burn, your first course of action should be seeking medical attention. Companies with between 5 and 50 employers should have at least one trained first aider, so you will need to seek them out and make your manager aware.

Run the burned skin under cold water, but don’t apply ice to the injury. Keep the cold water running for at least 15 minutes. Burn injuries should then be properly covered with sterile bandages. This will reduce the chance of infection, alongside antibiotic creams and ointments.

Make sure that a manager is aware of the incident and injury. They can help you get the treatment you need, as well as making sure that whatever caused your accident won’t do the same to anyone else. Your manager at work has responsibility for everyone on-site at the time.

Recording Second Degree Burns at Work

If you’ve received second-degree burns at work, the incident needs to be recorded. If you’re unable to do this yourself, ask someone else that saw the accident happen to make sure that the records are accurate.

All workplaces must have an accident book or record. This is usually physical, but could also be a digital record of accidents. However, it’s maintained, the accident record should be stored with strict data protection.

Accident records should provide an accurate record of the incident. They should state what happened and who was involved, as well as the date, time and place.

All accident reports and records must be kept for at least three years. This is important in case there’s an investigation, or you choose to claim compensation.

Reporting a Second-Degree Burn at Work

Your employer has a responsibility to report any accident at work. These incidents must be reported in line with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (2013). Often, this is shortened to RIDDOR.

Someone in charge is required to submit a RIDDOR report online. They’ll need to submit this within ten days of an incident, whether or not there was any negligence involved.

Gathering Evidence After an Accident

If you believe that your employer was negligent, you have a right to try to claim compensation. You may believe that they’re negligent if you weren’t provided with the proper PPE, or if the equipment you were using was poorly maintained. Other types of negligence could also have led to your second-degree burn at work.

If it’s possible, get photographic evidence of anything that led to your injury. This could be a photo of damaged PPE or incorrect chemical storage. If you can’t get these photographs because you’ve left the premises, someone else could try to take them for you.

Witnesses may have seen what happened and might be happy to support your compensation claim. It’s important to remember that some may not support you, as they’ll want to keep their jobs and may feel worried about speaking out against their employer.

With a second degree burn, it’s very likely that you’ll need to seek medical help. You may need to visit your doctor for prescriptions, or a hospital for treatment for your burns. Medical records can be used as evidence if you want to make a compensation claim.

What Evidence Do I Need to Pursue Compensation for Second-Degree Burns?

In order to pursue compensation for second-degree burns, you will need to prove that your employer was negligent, thereby resulting in your accident.

It is important to collect as much evidence as possible which will normally include:-

  • Medical diagnosis
  • Medical records
  • Witness statements
  • Timeline of events
  • Details of post-injury pain and suffering
  • Training records
  • Details of PPE/safety equipment - lack of/substandard
  • Evidence of earlier complaints dismissed
  • Details of similar accidents in the workplace
  • Photographic evidence
  • Evidence of inexperienced personnel given dangerous tasks

The more evidence you can gather to support your claim more chance of securing compensation. While many people are concerned about pursuing compensation from their employer, it is worth remembering, unless third parties are held to account, nothing will change.

As a consequence, there will be other victims in the future who would receive several injuries or worse.

Working With Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns, unless they’re severe, will take about three weeks to heal. During this time, you may struggle to work. You might need to take time off or have your duties adjusted so that you can continue to work.

Taking time off could mean that you’re temporarily relying on benefits like Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Compensation for a Second-Degree Burn at Work

Accidents happen, but your second-degree burn might have been caused by someone else’s negligence.

You might want to claim compensation for loss of earnings, and for other costs associated with your injury. Compensation could be claimed for property damaged in the incident, as well as other costs like travel expenses and prescription charges for treatment.

The first step to claiming compensation is to directly approach your employer. Keep everything in writing, recording the paper trail. Your employer may seek to find a resolution without needing the case to go to court. If you’re not happy with your employer’s response, you can make a formal compensation claim.

Relatively minor second-degree burns will heal within a month. For these, you might make a compensation claim for less than £1,000 in total. These smaller claims can be dealt with by the small claims court, and you can manage the claim on your own to avoid any extra legal costs.

The court fees themselves are typically no more than £70, with these being the money you can ask to be added to the total you’re awarded if successful.

Larger Compensation Claims

Larger compensation claims can’t be dealt with by the small claims court. This is the route to take if you have severe burns that affect you for two or more months, or if you need extensive treatment like skin grafts.

To increase your chances of success with larger claims, you might seek legal representation. This is expensive if your claim’s not successful, but you can claim the money back from your employer if your compensation claim is approved.

For small claims, fill in an N1 form online and submit it to start the process. You are likely to need to attend a hearing in court. For larger claims, it’s usually best to get a solicitor’s advice.

Do I Need to Appoint a Personal Injury Claims Adviser?

While there are many relatively straightforward claims which are pursued through the Small Claims Court, to a maximum compensation level of £5000, the majority of claims are significantly greater. As a consequence, you may need to appoint a personal injury claims adviser to lead you through what can be a legal minefield.

The first thing to do is ask the personal injury claims adviser to review your evidence and give their opinion on your chances of success. If they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of a successful prosecution, they will likely offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement.

As a consequence, you will be indemnified against the costs incurred by your claims management advisers when pursuing your claim. However, in order to offset this risk, they will negotiate a “success fee” which is traditionally around 25% over any compensation awarded.

Where negligence is fairly obvious, you will tend to find that defendants look to negotiate an out-of-court settlement to reduce their legal fees. In the event that they refute allegations of negligence, the case will be heard before the courts and a legal ruling made by a judge.

The vast majority of compensation claims will be agreed out-of-court, but you may be asked to give evidence if your case does go before the court. It is important to remember, while you will be asked about your evidence and circumstances surrounding your accident, you are not on trial!

When to Claim Compensation for an Accident at Work

You have up to three years to claim compensation for a second-degree burn at work. It’s always best to start the process of claiming as soon as possible, but you don’t have to be an employee with the business to claim.

Even though your employers would be acting illegally if they punished you for making a claim, some people prefer to move on just to avoid an uncomfortable atmosphere. If you’ve suffered a second-degree burn or indeed any injury at work, our trusted financial partners can help you to decide which compensation claim route is best for you.

Money Savings Advice Tip

800,000 people in the UK get injured every year that wasn’t their fault but only 20% talk to a specialist about compensation, which means a whopping 640k could claim compensation, but don’t.

Is There a Time Limit to Claim Compensation for an Injury at Work?

There is a three-year window of opportunity in which you need to lodge your compensation claim with the courts. Where the victim is under 18 years of age, they can wait until they are 18 to pursue their own claim, with the three-year window of opportunity starting on the 18th birthday. Alternatively, a parent, family member, legal guardian or legal representative appointed by the court could pursue compensation on their behalf.

It is important to note that when pursuing personal injury claims the three-year window of opportunity starts when you receive an official diagnosis. In some cases, such as with second-degree burns, this may be the same date as the accident/incident.

However, on occasion, the diagnosis can be received days, weeks, months or even years down the line.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Personal Injury Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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