Classifying Burn and Scald Injuries – and When You can Make a Claim

A burning or scalding injury is no laughing matter – we at Shires Law have already dealt with our share of claims for such injuries, and a burn or scald injury is definitely not something that is easy to live with. Not only can such injuries seriously hamper and redefine the way you live, it can permanently scar you, both physically and mentally. Burn or scald injuries are painful, and even a small injury can take weeks or months to heal. Along with physical duress, victims of injuries often experience problems with mobility and psychological distress. Indeed, burn or scald injuries are beyond a doubt some of the most serious, depending on the severity and degree in which they occur. But how do you classify such injuries, and how do you make a claim? Here is a quick guide.

Causes of burns and scalds

We often think that burns and scalds are the direct result of heat – and those are indeed common causes – but there are other sources of unfortunate burn and scald injuries. Burn and scald injuries can also be caused by cold, chemicals, radiation, electricity, or friction – just to name a few. These injuries may cause skin damage, nerve damage, and tendon-, ligament-, or muscle damage depending on their degrees.

1st degree

First degree burns are minor and usually heal very quickly – they are the least serious of all. First degree burns are characterised by reddening of the skin, and although they are painful, they should disappear quickly. 

2nd degree

A second degree burn or scald is more serious and characterised by the blistering of skin. This is because the burn damages more tissue. If the person’s body is covered with second degree burns over more than 10% of its surface, the body may go into actual shock due to fluid loss.

3rd degree

Third degree burns are the most serious – the skin (and other tissue) is destroyed. The victim may actually not feel pain if nerves are damaged. They take the longest time to heal, leave permanent scars, and are the most dangerous.

Claiming compensation

If the injuries have been caused through the action or negligence of another party – hence, through no fault of your own – you may be eligible to claim compensation. Common accidents involving burns or scolding occur:

  • In road accidents
  • In accidents at work
  • In accidents in schools or nurseries
  • In beauty salons or spas

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer such injuries, but if your injuries have been caused directly or through the negligence of another party, you should state your burn claim and seek compensation. The pain and psychological distress of a burn or scald will never completely go away, but compensation helps in the recovery and does help you recover a small sense of justice.