Chemical injury claims

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    Chemical injury Claims

    Chemical injuries can be very serious and can have a lifelong impact on your health. If you’ve been injured in a chemical accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.

    Chemical injury compensation claims

    While chemicals are an integral part of lots of different industries, exposure to dangerous chemicals can result in serious or severe injuries, with potentially fatal consequences. In 2021, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found an estimated 12,000 deaths in the UK, each year, were linked to past exposure to chemicals at work.

    In the short term, a chemical burn can be incredibly painful, the long term consequences of exposure to hazardous chemicals can be life changing. And unfortunately incidents leading to chemical injuries are not uncommon.

    If you’ve suffered a chemical injury due to someone else’s negligence or a workplace accident, you have rights. If you’ve suffered a chemical burn or you’ve been poisoned with hazardous substances through no fault of your own, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

    If you think you could be entitled to claim compensation, call 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor today. They will offer you impartial, free legal advice. If they believe you have a claim to pursue, they’ll partner you with specialist workplace injury solicitors who will represent you on a no win no fee basis.

    Who can make a chemical injury compensation claim?

    The most common chemical injury claims are a result of an accident at work, however, chemical injuries aren’t limited to the workplace.

    If you’ve been injured in a chemical accident at work, in a public place, or at home, you could claim compensation. You can also make a claim if your child has been injured in a chemical accident. You can even make a chemical injury compensation claim on behalf of a deceased loved one if they were killed in a chemical accident.

    Essentially, if you or a loved one has sustained chemical burn injuries because someone else owed you a duty of care, but they caused the accident because they were negligent in their duty, and you suffered a chemical burn or chemical poisoning as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim.

    For example:

    • If you’re a factory worker who was injured by a chemical spill at work, your employer may be negligent if they failed to provide you with adequate training or safety equipment.

    • If you’re a visitor to a public place e.g. a visitor to a swimming pool and you’re injured by a chemical in the pool water, the owner or manager of the swimming pool may be negligent if they failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the spill.

    • If your child was injured by a cleaning product at school, the school could be negligent for failing to adhere to health and safety regulations.

    To find out more about the personal injury claims process or to begin a chemical injury claim, call 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor, or fill in the online claim form and someone will call you back. They’ll offer you free, impartial legal advice about your claim, and if they believe you have a valid claim to pursue, they’ll partner you with personal injury solicitors who will work on a no win no fee basis to help secure you the compensation you deserve.

    Why seek compensation for chemical injuries

    Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, UK employers have a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees at work.

    The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH regulations) outline specific guidance on how to manage hazardous substances in the workplace. Some of the specific legal duties employers have to prevent chemical burns include:

    • Assessing the risks of chemical burns in the workplace and taking steps to eliminate or control those risks.

    • Providing employees with adequate training and instruction on how to work safely with chemicals.

    • Providing employees with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect them from chemical burns.

    • Ensuring that chemicals are stored and handled safely.

    • Having a plan in place to deal with chemical emergencies.

    If you’ve suffered a chemical burn at work, your employer may be liable for your injuries if they failed to meet their legal duties to prevent your chemical burns from happening.

    Common causes of chemical accidents

    Chemical accidents can happen in a variety of settings, including:

    The most common cause of chemical accidents is human error. Human error can take many forms, such as mishandling chemicals, failing to follow safety procedures, or not wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Chemical accidents can also be caused by equipment failure, such as leaks, spills, and explosions. Equipment failure can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor maintenance, design defects, or manufacturing flaws.

    What industries are most at risk of chemical injuries?

    The industries that are most at risk of chemical injuries are those that involve the handling, use, or production of hazardous chemicals. These industries include:

    • Manufacturing

    • Construction

    • Agriculture

    • Mining

    • Oil and gas

    • Healthcare

    • Transportation

    • Warehousing

    • Waste management

    • Utilities

    • Education and research

    Workers in these industries are at risk of exposure to a variety of hazardous chemicals, including acids, bases, solvents, and toxic fumes. Chemical exposure can occur through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion.

    What substances can cause chemical burns?

    Chemical burns can be caused by contact with the skin, eyes, or respiratory system. The severity of the burn will depend on the type of chemical, the amount of chemical exposure, and the duration of exposure.

    A wide variety of substances can cause chemical burns, including:

    • Acids: Acids are corrosive substances that can dissolve skin, tissue, and other materials. Common acids include sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, and acetic acid.

    • Alkalis: Alkalis are also corrosive substances that can dissolve skin, tissue, and other materials. Common alkalis include sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and ammonia.

    • Solvents: Solvents are liquids that can dissolve other substances. Some solvents, such as acetone and benzene, can also irritate or burn the skin.

    • Toxic fumes: Toxic fumes can irritate or burn the lungs and other respiratory tissues. Common toxic fumes include chlorine gas, ammonia gas, and hydrogen sulfide gas.

    • Other chemicals: There are many other chemicals that can cause chemical burns, such as bleach, battery acid, and cleaning products.

    Common types of chemical injuries

    Chemical injuries are the result of any part of your body, internal or external, coming into contact with a dangerous chemical. The two main types of chemical injuries are chemical burns and chemical poisoning.

    Chemical burns can range from minor to severe. Minor chemical burns may cause redness, pain, and swelling. Severe chemical burns can cause deep tissue damage, scarring, and even death.

    Chemical poisoning at work is a condition that occurs when a worker is exposed to a chemical that causes harm to their body, e.g. industrial chemicals, such as solvents, acids, and bases, pesticides and herbicides, cleaning products, paints and varnishes, fumigants, welding fumes, exhaust fumes, and dust.

    More specifically, chemical injuries can include:

    • Skin burns: Chemical burns can be caused by exposure to acids, bases, or other corrosive chemicals. Chemical burns can range from mild to severe, and can cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering of the skin. In severe cases, chemical burns can cause permanent disfigurement or even death.

    • Eye injuries: Chemical exposure to the eyes can cause a variety of injuries, including irritation, inflammation, and corneal burns. Chemical eye injuries can be very painful and can lead to vision loss or even blindness.

    • Respiratory injuries: Inhalation of toxic fumes can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including irritation, inflammation, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a serious condition that can lead to death.

    • Gastrointestinal injuries: Ingestion of poisonous substances can cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion of poisonous substances can lead to organ damage or even death.

    • Neurological injuries: Exposure to certain chemicals can cause a variety of neurological problems, including headaches, dizziness, seizures, and coma. In severe cases, chemical exposure can lead to permanent neurological damage or even death.

    The severity of a chemical injury will depend on the type of chemical involved, the amount of chemical exposure, and the route of exposure (e.g., skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion).

    What to do if you’ve been injured in a chemical accident

    1. Seek medical attention immediately. If you or someone you know has been exposed to a chemical, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t have any immediate symptoms, it’s important to be evaluated by a doctor to rule out any potential health problems.
    2. Identify the chemical that caused your injury. This information is important for your doctor and for any legal action you may pursue.
    3. If possible, remove the chemical from your body. Remove your clothing and wash your skin with soap and water. If the chemical is in your eyes, flush them with water for at least 15 minutes. If you have been exposed to a toxic fume, move to fresh air immediately. If you ingested the chemical, do not induce vomiting. Drink plenty of water or milk to dilute the chemical.
    4. Preserve any evidence of the chemical accident. This may include clothing, containers, or other items that were contaminated with the chemical.
    5. Report the incident. If you’re at work, report the accident to your supervisor immediately. If you’re in a public place, contact emergency services.
    6. Contact www.nowinnofee.com to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.

    What evidence to collect to support your chemical burn injury claim

    To help your personal injury solicitor, try to gather as much evidence as possible to support your chemical injury claim. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Some of the most common types of evidence that you may need to provide include:

    • Medical records: This includes all medical records related to your chemical injury, including hospital records, doctor’s records, and pharmacy records. Your medical records will document the extent of your injuries and the treatment you have received.

    • Witness statements: If there were any witnesses to the chemical accident, obtain statements from them. Witness statements can help to support your claim and provide additional evidence of how the accident happened.

    • Photographs: Take photographs of your chemical injuries, the scene of the accident, and any other relevant evidence. Photographs can help to document the extent of your injuries and the cause of the accident.

    • Evidence of financial losses: If you have incurred any financial losses as a result of your chemical injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or travel expenses, keep track of these expenses. You may be able to recover these losses as part of your claim.

    • Accident report: If an accident report was prepared at work, obtain a copy of the report. You’re legally entitled to a copy. Accident reports can provide valuable information about the cause of the accident and the steps that were taken to prevent the accident from happening.

    • Safety data sheet (SDS): If you have access to the SDS for the chemical that caused your injury, obtain a copy of the SDS. The SDS will provide information about the hazards of the chemical and the proper safety procedures for handling the chemical.

    Can I make a chemical burns compensation claim if I’ve been injured in an acid attack?

    Yes, you can make a chemical burns compensation claim if you’ve been injured in an acid attack. Acid attacks can cause serious injuries, including burns, respiratory problems, and blindness. These injuries can have a significant impact on your life, both physically and emotionally.

    If you were the victim of an acid attack, you could make a chemical injury claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), an executive agency of the UK Government funded by the Ministry of Justice. It deals with compensation claims by blameless victims of violent crimes such as acid attacks.

    If you have been the victim of an acid attack, report the incident to the police as soon as you can. This is a critical step if you want to claim compensation through the CICA.

    How much compensation could I get for a chemical injury claim?

    The amount of compensation you could claim for a chemical injury will depend on the severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.

    Compensation is typically divided into two categories: special damages and general damages.

    • Special damages are designed to reimburse you for any financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of your injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and travel expenses.

    • General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced, as well as the loss of amenity you have suffered. This can include things like scarring, disfigurement, and loss of function.

    The Judicial College Guidelines provide guidance on the amount of compensation that should be awarded for certain types of injuries. For example:

    • Up to £33,250 after an acid attack

    • Up to £25,500 for injuries caused by chemical pool chlorination negligence

    • £3,950 to £11,020 for damage to hair caused by chemical products

    • Over £104,830 for burns that cover 40% or more of the body

    • £1,540 to £5,860 for minor psychiatric damage

    It is important to note that these guidelines are just a starting point. The actual amount of compensation you receive will depend on the specific facts of your case.

    Chemical burn injury claims process

    The process for claiming compensation can be complex, but if you go down the personal injury claims route, you’ll have a specialist solicitor by your side all the way, and you won’t have to pay a penny for them either, until you win your case.

    • Initial consultation: It all starts with an initial consultation. Call 0800 234 6438 and speak with a trained legal advisor. If they believe you have a valid claim they’ll partner you with a specialist solicitor.

    • Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA): If your solicitor believes you have a valid claim, they will offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a “no win, no fee” agreement. This means you won’t have to pay legal fees if your case is not successful.

    • Gathering evidence: Your solicitor will work with you to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, photographs of the injury, witness statements, and any other relevant documents.

    • Assessment of Liability: Your solicitor will investigate and assess who is liable for your injuries. This could be an individual, a company, or an organisation.

    • Letter of Claim: When liability is established, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the responsible party outlining the details of the claim, the injuries sustained, and the compensation sought. Your solicitor will be keep you updated on the progress of your claim and answer any questions you have.

    • Negotiations: The defendant’s legal team will likely respond with their position. Negotiations may occur between the parties to reach a settlement. Your solicitor will advise you on whether the proposed settlement is fair or if further action is needed.

    • Issuing proceedings: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may advise you to issue court proceedings. This involves starting a formal legal process.

    • Court proceedings: Both parties will present their evidence and arguments to the court. This can be a lengthy process, and the court will ultimately decide on the outcome.

    • Recovery of costs: If you win, the defendant may be ordered to pay your legal costs, including solicitor’s fees and other expenses. If you lose your case, you won’t have to pay your solicitor’s fees. However, you may have to pay the other party’s legal costs.

    • Receiving compensation: Once a settlement or judgment is reached, you will receive your compensation. Your solicitor will deduct their fees from this amount.

    Time limits for personal injury claims

    Generally, you have three years from the date of the incident that caused the chemical burn to bring a claim for personal injury. This is set out in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as:

    • If you didn’t immediately realise the extent or cause of your injuries, the three-year limitation period may start from the date you became aware of the injury or its cause. This is known as the “date of knowledge” and can apply in cases where the effects of the chemical exposure are not immediately apparent.

    • If the chemical burn injury occurred when you were under the age of 18, the three-year limitation period typically begins on your 18th birthday. This means you would generally have until your 21st birthday to bring a claim.

    • If you lack the mental capacity to manage your own affairs, there may not be a limitation period until you regain capacity.

    How much will a chemical injury claim cost?

    If you’re concerned about the cost of making a chemical injury compensation claim, don’t be. When you make a no win no fee claim, it won’t cost you a penny. You will only have to pay your solicitor’s fees if you win your case. If you lose your case, you likely won’t have to pay anything.

    To find out more, call 0800 234 6438 today.

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