Burn injuries may occur not only with heat but also chemicals, electricity, radiation, friction, vapour or cold. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare mentions that the most common severe burn injuries occur due to a fire and contact with a corrosive chemical substance such as a strong acid or base. The worst part of chemical burns is that they may involve a chemical reaction with your skin or within your body and cause severe injuries. Seeking financial benefits and physical assistance can help an injured person focus on physical and mental recovery, and improve the quality of life after the injury.
Classifications of burn injuries
There are four main levels of burn injuries:
- First degree burns occur when only the outer layer of skin is damaged. The burn area is painful, red and dry. As long as it does not cover more than 10% of the whole body, it is not called major burn and does not need care in a specialised burns unit.
- Second degree burns occur when the outer layer and one lower part of the skin are damaged. On top of the first degree burn, second degree causes blisters and the area may be swollen.
- Third degree burns occur when outer and lower skin is completely damaged, in other words, destroyed. The burn site may look blackened or charred.
- Fourth degree burns occur when both areas and deeper tissue, possibly tendons and bones, are damaged. The injured person is not able to feel the area as the nerves are destroyed.
Am I eligible?
If your injury occurred in the course of employment, you may be entitled to claim the benefits below:
- Medical expenses – such as ambulance, physiotherapy, psychology or any reasonable and necessary medical expenses
- Weekly payments – based on your pre-injury weekly earnings and work capacity
- Lump sum payment – whole person impairment greater than the 0% threshold for exempt workers. Whole person impairment meets the 11% threshold for non-exempt workers
- Domestic assistance – whole person impairment meets the 15%
- Common law – whole person impairment meets the 15% and employer was negligent
Burn injury compensation claims are not limited to the workers’ compensation scheme. If you had a burn injury in public or private property, you can find relevant information on our Public Liability Claim guide. If you suffered a burn injury in a motor vehicle accident, you can find relevant information on our Motor Vehicle Accident Claim guide.
Chemical burn at work compensation claims
A chemical burn may cause permanent and long-term damage to your skin, eyes and also lungs. This may occur if you were exposed to strong chemicals or toxic fumes. You may be entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits above if you had a chemical burn injury at work. You can read more about how the workers compensation claims process works on our Workers Compensation Claim guide.
How do I claim?
If you suffered a burn injury at work, then the workers’ compensation process is as follows:
- Seek first aid and report the accident to your employer.
- Have a medical consultation with your GP and request your doctor complete the Certificate of Capacity which requires your doctor’s opinion on the injury and whether your injury is work-related or not.
- Complete the workers’ injury claim form and send it to your employer prior to the 6 month time limit.
We recommend contacting our team of personal injury lawyers for free advice to better understand your entitlements and how to claim them.
Who pays the compensation benefits?
The insurance company of your employer pays the benefits of a workplace accident.
Do I need to pay to claim burn injury compensation?
Absolutely not. Our team at Withstand Lawyers are approved by the Independent Review Office (IRO) which means you are not liable for your legal costs and disbursements as they are covered by IRO regardless of the outcome. You can contact our senior lawyers on 1800 952 898 or fill out the form for free advice.