Welcome to our guide on claiming compensation for an injury caused by steam. Here, we aim to guide you through the process of making a claim for compensation following an injury that wasn’t your fault.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been injured at work, in a car accident or while in a public place. If the injury was caused by a party who had a responsibility for your health and failed to keep you safe you may have cause to claim compensation.
Injuries caused by steam can be just as damaging as injuries caused by dry heat, such as fire. And when you’ve sustained an injury like this as the result of negligence, it can feel unfair that you have to deal with the physical and financial impact that your injuries cause you.
We hope that this guide will answer any questions you have about the process of claiming. But if by the end of this guide, you still have any questions relating to making a claim, our team will be happy to help.
Simply get in touch by:
- Calling our friendly team on 0161 696 9685
- Fill out our callback form
- Using the ‘live support’ option at the bottom right of this screen
Select a Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation Payouts For An Injury Caused By Steam
- What Is An Injury Caused By Steam?
- How Can You Suffer An Injury Caused By Steam At Work?
- An Injury Caused By Steam In A Public Place
- How Can You Suffer An Injury Caused By Steam In A Road Traffic Accident?
- Key Points To Note For Personal Injury Compensation Calculations
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £9,500 For An Injury Caused By Steam
- Free Legal Advice To Estimate Your Final Payout
- Victims Can Gain Access To No Win No Fee Policies
- Our Specialists Can Help Through Free Legal Advice
- More Resources And Guides On Injuries Caused By Steam
- An Injury Caused By Steam FAQs
Being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault is never pleasant and can feel unfair. If you’ve been injured by steam in an accident that was the result of someone else neglecting their duty of care to you, you could make a claim.
In this guide, we will look at what a steam injury is and how an injury of this nature is likely to affect you. We will also look at how your compensation is calculated based on the severity of your injuries.
In addition, we will look at the duty of care that is owed to you in different scenarios that you may be injured in. We will go through how to spot when this duty of care is breached, meaning that you may be able to make a claim.
Additionally, we will look at what kinds of damages can be taken into consideration when your settlement is calculated. We will examine how the compensation related to your injuries is calculated, as well as what other damages you may be able to include in your claim.
In order to illustrate the claims process for you, we will look at a case study in which someone pursues a compensation claim for a steam injury. This case study will look at the entire claims process, from the accident happening to compensation being calculated and paid out.
Finally, we will look at the advantages of pursuing a compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis. We will finish this guide by providing you with some helpful resources, and answering some questions we’re commonly asked about steam injury compensation claims.
Scalds are injuries caused by wet heat, such as steam or hot liquids. This is opposed to burns, which are caused by dry heat sources such as the sun or a fire. Steam injuries can be just as damaging as injuries caused by dry heat.
There are four different categories of burn injuries that affect different layers of the skin. These kinds of burn can look and feel different to one another. They are:
- Superficial epidermal burn– in these injuries, the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) is damaged. The skin may be slightly swollen and red, but you won’t have any blisters
- Superficial dermal burn– in these kinds of burns or scalds, the epidermis and part of the tissue beneath (the dermis) are both damaged. There may be small blisters and your skin will be painful and pink.
- Deep dermal/partial thickness burn- where the epidermis and the dermis are both damaged. The skin will be red and blotchy. There may be a great deal of pain, or the injury may be painless. The skin can be either dry or moist in this type of burn.
- Full-thickness burn- where each of the 3 layers of the skin is damaged, including the deepest layer (the subcutis). The skin may be burned away and the tissue underneath may be pale or blackened. The remaining skin may be dry and white, brown or black.
In the case of serious burns, it’s possible for the injured person to go into shock. This is where there’s not enough oxygen being supplied to the body, and can be life-threatening. Furthermore, blisters that are caused by burns and scalds can burst, leaving an open wound that could become infected.
Steam may be present in the workplace for a variety of different reasons. These can include:
- The regulation and control of boiler temperatures
- For use in high-pressured cleaning routines
- To drive generators and pistons
- As a result of food preparation in kitchens
Operating machinery that uses steam might be part of your job. But this doesn’t mean that you have to accept a scald injury if it occurs. If you’ve been injured by steam in an accident caused by your employer’s negligence, then you could have grounds for a compensation claim.
What Is An Employer’s Duty Of Care?
Under the law, employers have responsibilities to ensure their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. The Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 is the legislation that outlines the duty of care owed to employees by their employers.
To keep employees safe employers may:
- Carry out regular risk assessments and act preemptively to remove hazards. If a hazard cannot be removed, then it should be reduced as much as possible.
- Provide adequate supervision and training for tasks
- Ensure that all machinery is safe and well-maintained
- Maintain good housekeeping e.g. ensure all cables and boxes are tidied away. This could reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.
How Can My Employer Breach Their Duty Of Care?
Steam injuries could be the result of
- Lack of proper training- An employee may be injured while using a piece of equipment that they were not properly trained to use
- Lack of PPE- The equipment that someone uses to protect themselves from steam may be faulty or damaged, leading to a scald injury.
- Poorly maintained equipment– a piece of machinery may malfunction, producing steam which scalds somebody
- Failure to carry out risk assessments- the risks associated with a certain role or activity may not have been assessed, resulting in an injury caused by steam
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that there were 1,679 burn injuries in workplaces in Great Britain in 2019/20 reported to RIDDOR. Although this data doesn’t specify the number of these injuries caused by steam.
If you were harmed in an accident at work caused by the neglect of your employer, speak to our personal injury claims team for more advice about seeking damages.
As we use facilities and visit premises, we assume that we can go about our business free from the risk of injury. But accidents in public places do happen. . The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 requires that the occupier of a public space take certain steps to reduce the risk of injuries to members of the public who use it.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act doesn’t state who the occupier is. However, it should be someone who has sufficient control over the premises and who could have reasonably predicted that the accident could have taken place. It does not need to be someone who actually occupies the premises.
The Duty Of Care Of Those In Control Of Public Spaces
The occupier of a public place should take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of members of the public. They should do this by maintaining good housekeeping and ensuring that any hazards (for example, spills or obstructions) are quickly signposted and removed.
The occupier of a public space should ensure that any risks that cannot be removed are accompanied by clear warning signs. They should also consider that children are likely to be less careful than adults when it comes to health and safety.
How Can This Duty Be Breached?
A person in control of a public space who does not take appropriate safety measures seriously runs the risk of causing accidents and injury to their visitors. Not specific to injury caused by steam, some examples of causes of accidents:
- Poor safety advice about facilities or premises
- Poorly trained staff
- Faulty or badly maintained facilities, for example, loose floor tiles or broken shelves
- Ill-maintained or faulty machinery that puts visitors at risk of injury.
When you speak to our personal injury team, they can offer free legal advice about your options. We can help you to decide who was responsible and how compensation could be calculated in a public place accident claim.
There is a three-year time limit on starting a claim like this. So if you were harmed in a public place and your injuries were caused by the negligence of a third party, speak to us today for free advice.
Injury caused by steam may seem like an unusual injury to acquire during a road traffic accident (RTA). However, it may happen if the engine is damaged. If the accident in which you were injured by steam was the fault of the other driver, then you may be able to claim compensation.
After any RTA resulting in damage to property or injury, you should swap details with the other driver. But if the other driver is unable to be traced, or has no insurance, you may still be able to claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
Duty Of Care Of Road Users
The Highway Code applies a duty of care to all motorists. It outlines the expectations of all road users to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of others.
Besides the standard expectations such as valid tax and MOT, there are other requirements such as:
- Passing minimum eyesight tests
- Having at least third-party insurance
- Being in a roadworthy vehicle.
All road users hold the same duty of care to one another to take reasonable steps to ensure one another’s safety. There are no allowances made for drivers who are inexperienced or unskilled.
How Can A Road User Breach Their Duty Of Care?
If a motorist fails to adhere to the duty of care outlined in the Highway Code, then this could lead to an accident resulting in injury. A motorist could cause an accident by :
- Driving too fast
- Not concentrating on the road, for example looking at a mobile phone
- Operating a vehicle whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
- A dangerous or ill-thought-out manoeuvre
As mentioned, injury caused by steam might happen in only a small percentage of cases of road traffic accidents. But if you’ve been the victim of a steam injury after a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be owed compensation. Speak to our personal injury team about starting a compensation claim against a negligent driver for the injuries you sustained.
Whether it was an accident in the workplace, a road traffic accident, or an injury in a public place, you may be able to claim if the accident that caused your injuries was caused due to a breach of the duty of care. The part of your compensation that is paid for your injuries is known as general damages.
Your lawyer will arrange a medical assessment for you. Here, an independent expert will look at the extent of your injuries and how they have impacted you. They’ll compile their findings in a medical report, which will be sent to your solicitor.
Next, your lawyer will consult this report and the Judicial College Guidelines to value your claim. This document outlines compensation brackets for different injuries of varying severities.
If you’d like to know more about how your general damages are calculated, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Or if you’d like to know what else can be taken into consideration when calculating your compensation, read on to our section about special damages.
The second head of damages aims to compensate you for all the out-of-pocket expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your injury caused by steam. Often there are immediate and pressing financial demands in the wake of an injury, and many people are forced to deal with an array of unanticipated costs as they recover.
You must provide proof for these expenses in the form of receipts or invoices. These costs can then be factored into your compensation settlement. Such costs as:
- Lost earnings
- Care costs for family or paid carers who looked after you as you recovered
- Travel costs to the hospital. You can also claim for public transport or taxi costs if your injury left you unable to drive
- Lost or impacted deposits
- Pet care and household duties or chores
- Impact on pensions or work attendance bonuses
The list of special damages that we’ve included above isn’t extensive by any means. If you’ve lost out financially in a way that you don’t see included above, you may still be able to claim. Just get in touch with our team and they will be happy to offer you further advice.
Miss. Green was excited to start her new job at the coffee shop. It was a family-run business and she was made to feel very welcome. On her first day, Miss Green was trained on the till and was tasked with taking orders and payments from customers while the barista made the drinks.
On her second day, the barista whose job it was to make the coffees had called in sick. Despite having never been trained on how to use an espresso machine and milk steamer before, Miss Green was asked to make the drinks in between taking orders. She expressed concern at the fact that she had no experience, but the owner of the shop told her that she would pick it up soon enough.
The owner of the shop had a full day of meetings in the office upstairs and so Miss Green was left in the shop with no supervision and nobody to ask questions to. Trying to remember what she had seen the barista do the day before, she attempted to steam some milk for a cappuccino. But when she turned the machine on, a hot jet of steam hit her arm and hand. She instinctively brought her hand up to protect her face.
Miss Green was immediately in a great deal of pain. She shouted for the owner, who ran down from the office. She noted the details of her injury in the shop’s accident book and took herself to the hospital for medical attention.
The aftermath of the accident
At the hospital, a doctor confirmed that she’d suffered from a partial thickness scald to her hand and arm. Her wounds were dressed, and she was referred to a specialist burn ward so that the recovery of her injuries could be monitored. However, the blisters on the burn on her hand burst which resulted in an infection. She was also left with unsightly scarring to both her arm and hand.
Miss Green was upset and frustrated with the situation. She felt uncomfortable returning to work at the coffee shop where her safety had been disregarded and was unable to start a new role until her injuries healed. On top of the loss of earnings, she’d incurred some additional expenses which made finances tight. Because of this, she decided to seek legal advice and claim for her injuries.
Our table below explains how Miss Green’s compensation amounts were calculated. Following the advice of her lawyer, she sought damages against the coffee shop for pain, suffering, and loss of earnings. Miss Green was successfully awarded £9,500 for her injuries.
|general damages||how much?||special damages||how much?|
|General damages for the burns||£8,000||Loss of earnings||£1,000|
|Care costs as Miss Green was unable to cook and clean with an injured hand||£436|
The case study of Miss Green is merely an example. It is not based on real life but on our past experiences. It is to show how compensation claims may proceed.
Compensation calculations are only estimates and no settlement amount is absolutely certain. Despite this, our helpful and friendly team are able to give you a more accurate valuation of your claim than you may receive through an online compensation calculator.
A brief, informal chat with our personal injury claims team is all it takes. We can assess your claim and advise you how best to proceed. We explain the legal jargon and offer you free legal advice.
A No Win No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, is a contract between you and a solicitor that sets out the conditions that must be met in order for them to receive payment. A No Win No Fee agreement means that:
- You won’t be asked to pay your solicitor any legal fees in order for them to start work on your claim.
- Your solicitor won’t ask you for any payment while the claim is ongoing.
- If your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be asked to pay your solicitor at all.
- In the event that you receive compensation, your solicitor’s fees will be deducted from your compensation amount. This deduction is legally capped, and you’ll always receive the majority of the compensation that is paid to you.
If you’d like more information on No Win No Fee agreements, or would like to get the process of claiming started today, get in touch with our team.
We hope that our article has answered any questions you have relating to making a claim for an injury caused by steam. If there is anything discussed that you would like more information on, or if you’re ready to proceed, please:
- Call our friendly team personal injury team on 0161 696 9685
- Fill out a callback form at Advice.co.uk
- Use the ‘live support’ option, bottom right, and speak to an adviser
To summarize, we hope that you have accessed the information that you need to start a claim for compensation for injury caused by steam. Whether it was an accident at work, in public or on the road, you may be able to claim if the accident was not your fault.
We have included the links below to provide you with more useful information:
Agency Worker Accident Claims– If you’re an agency worker who has been injured while working, you may be wondering if you can claim. Read our guide for more information.
What Are My Rights Following An Accident At Work?– If you’ve been injured while in the workplace, read our guide to find out what rights you have.
Psychological Injury Claims– Burns and scalds can cause psychological damage as well as physical injuries. Read our guide to find out if you could claim for psychiatric damage.
Burns and Scalds- This NHS guide to burns and scalds provides information on symptoms, treatment and recovery.
Changing Faces– Changing Faces is a charity that supports people living with conditions that affect their appearance, including scarring.
RoSPA- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents provides guidance and support to reduce the risk of accidents in the home and elsewhere.
What’s the best treatment for a steam burn?
We aren’t able to give medical advice and advise you to speak to a medical professional. However, if you would like legal advice around making a claim you can get in touch with our team.
Can a steam burn leave a scar?
Yes. Burns and scalds can both leave scarring if they’re severe. You may require treatment for your scarring which isn’t available on the NHS.
How long does it take for scalds to heal?
Mild scalds usually heal in a week to 10 days. More serious scalds can take much longer.
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