Woman Suffers Serious Burns from Exploding Patio Heater

Posted on: 2 mins read
Maeve McCusker

Associate Solicitor, Personal Injury Claims

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Sarah, our client, suffered serious burn injuries at a BBQ in a friend’s garden. We helped her receive compensation for her injuries.

Sarah was at a BBQ with her husband in her friend’s garden. After eating, her friend went to relight a gel fuel-based patio heater to keep everyone warm whilst they continued to chat outside.  Unfortunately, he failed to light it as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions and the burner suddenly exploded onto our client.

The burning ball of gel fuel landed on our client, and she suffered serious burn injuries to her hands, stomach and legs. 

She was admitted to the serious burns unit of her local hospital for 3 weeks where she underwent a series of skin grafts.  Understandably, she also suffered psychological injuries from the shock of the explosion.

Sarah got in touch with our expert Personal Injury Solicitors for a free claims assessment, and after listening to her story, we felt she had a strong claim for compensation, and we agreed to take on her case on a No Win, No Fee basis. 

Supporting Sarah With Her Claim

Maeve McCusker, a Personal Injury Associate Solicitor, investigated what caused the burner to explode. She found that it had been caused by incorrect usage of the patio burner by the homeowner who hadn’t allowed enough of a cooling period before re-lighting the burner.  

We presented a claim to the insurance company of the homeowners, who admitted liability for the accident.

Sarah need an intensive programme of treatment which the Defendants agreed to pay for.  Psychological treatment and therapy was a priority – this was to help Sarah come to terms with the trauma of the event, and to learn to cope with her injuries and altered physical appearance. 

The treatment for her burn injuries included follow up care after the skin grafting surgery, and scar management. This included scar revision surgery and dermabrasion, laser treatment and camouflage creams.

Sarah was very fortunate to access support and rehabilitation from the leading specialist charity, the Katie Piper Foundation, which was a lifeline to her.

We arranged for Sarah to have medical assessments with a Plastic Surgeon and a Consultant Psychiatrist, who could report on the physical and the psychological symptoms she was experiencing.

These independent experts each prepared medical reports detailing the injuries, the effect on her day to day living and what sort of continuing care she will need for the rest of her life.

Sarah was also told to take extra care of her skin with specialist sun creams to guard against the increased risks of skin cancer.

Ongoing Future Treatment For Sarah

After negotiations with the other side, Sarah recovered a six figure sum of compensation.

The most important outcome for her was that she could get early access to the psychological support and cosmetic treatments.

Her compensation will allow her to get the ongoing treatment and support she needs into the future.

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