Make A Claim For Burns Caused By A Hot Drink

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I Was Burned By A Hot Drink, Can I Claim?

By Lewis Cobain. Last Updated 20th October 2023. Welcome to our guide on how to claim compensation for a burn from a hot drink. Hot liquids or steams cause scalds, which are also referred to as burn injuries. Such injuries can be incredibly distressing and upsetting. If you have suffered from a burn from hot tea and it was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. It is important that you get the payout you deserve for the pain and suffering you have experienced.

There are many different ways burns and scald injuries can occur, including negligence at coffee shops, as well as accidents at work. For more information regarding claiming compensation for a burn from hot tea, then read on. You can also call us on 0800 073 8804 to discuss any hot drink claims with a personal injury solicitor.

burn from hot tea

Hot Drink Burn Injuries

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Can I Claim Compensation For A Burn Caused By A Hot Drink?

If you were burned by a hot drink, you may wish to seek personal injury compensation. However, you must meet the eligibility criteria to have a valid claim.

Therefore, you must determine the following:

  • A duty of care was owed to you;
  • This duty of care was breached;
  • You subsequently were injured.

Depending on where you suffered your hot drink burn, a duty of care could be owed to you. For example:

If you are eligible to make a personal injury claim for your hot drink burn injuries, you must also ensure that you start legal proceedings within the correct limitation period. This is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980 as three years from the date your accident took place. However, exceptions may be made to the time limit under specific circumstances.

Get in touch with our advisors today to see whether you may have a valid personal injury claim. They can also inform you of the exceptions that apply to the three-year limitation period.

How Dangerous Are Hot Drinks?

A hot drink burn can be incredibly dangerous, and, in some instances, the injuries can last a lifetime. A study from Cardiff University found that hot drinks are the most common cause of burns to young children. Joseph Nash, a man burned by a hot drink when he was nine months old, revealed how a simple accident has caused a “lifetime of continued treatment”.

Research indicated that over 50,000 children are treated for burns in UK hospitals every year. The majority of child accidents involve five years-old. In addition, the study found 60% of attendances are the result of a hot drink burn. This works out as 30 young children being burned by a hot drink every day.

A litigation friend can claim on the behalf of a child. For example, a parent, guardian or relative of the child. However, it is important that the litigation friend acts in the best interests of the child.

Continue reading to learn about example scenarios where you could suffer a personal injury from a hot drink. Further on in the article, we’ll discuss common injuries resulting from a burn, such as extensive skin damage. Alternatively, pop up to an advisor at any time for free advice. They could also connect you with our specialist No Win No Fee solicitors.

What To Do If You Suffer A Hot Drink Burn Injury

Have you been scalded by hot drink in a hospital? Maybe you want compensation for burns at work? No matter what applies, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure you can secure compensation. This involves gathering evidence, but don’t panic if you cannot follow all of these steps – we will help you to build a strong case. Of course, the most important thing is to make sure you see a medical professional so that you can get treated for your injuries.

Once you have done this, we can then start thinking about making a claim. Firstly, you need to be able to prove that someone else is to blame for your injuries. If you suffered from a burn from hot tea on your hand, and you made the cup of tea in your own home, it is highly unlikely you will be able to secure compensation. After all, you cannot make a claim against yourself! However, if you can prove that someone else was to blame, for example, if your tongue scalded by a hot drink served to you in a café, you could have the basis for a claim.

It is also a good idea to get hot coffee burn pictures, as this will serve as evidence of the burns you experienced. You should take photographs over time, so you have proof of the persistence of the burns. Moreover, if anyone witnessed the incident, it is a good idea to get his or her contact details. Witness statements can really help to strengthen your case.

Finally, make sure you keep proof of any expenses you suffered as a direct consequence of your claim. You will be able to claim for these as ‘special damages’ – however, you will only be able to do so if you have proof. Common examples include loss of income, travel expenses, and counselling costs.

Example Scenarios Of When You Could Claim For A Burn Caused By A Hot Drink

You could potentially make a claim for burn injuries sustained in public areas and venues, such as restaurants, pubs, parks or cafes.

They are expected to deal with any hazards found within their area within a reasonable amount of time and ensure that provisions are in place for materials and items that can pose a risk to a person’s health. This responsibility applies to hot liquids.

To give you example scenarios:

  • You could have burnt your hand because of boiling water from a public tap that was broken
  • If you were an employee in a coffee shop but not trained properly in how to use equipment, leading to a scalded hand
  • If you had slipped due to a wet floor with no warning signs, and had dropped your beverage resulting in a coffee burn or a similar injury

You could only claim if you could prove you were injured due to negligence. Get in touch for a free eligibility check of your case.

What Injuries Could A Hot Drink Cause?

Although there are different ways that a burn from a hot drink can occur, the symptoms tend to be the same.

Common scald symptoms include:

  • Charred or white skin
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness

In most cases, scalds are first-degree burns. This means that they impact the skin’s top layer. However, there are also a lot of second-degree cases, which is when the dermis and the epidermis, i.e. the deep layers of the skin, are damaged. Permanent nerve damage and scarring often occur as a result of the most severe scalds. How to treat hot drink burns or a burn from hot tea will depend on your injury’s severity.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive For A Scalded Hand Or Other Burn Injuries?

The amount of compensation you could receive for a burn injury caused by a hot drink, such as a scalded hand or coffee burn, depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and who is responsible for them. 

If you make a successful personal injury claim for a burn injury, you will receive general damages. This compensates you for your injuries and the pain and suffering they have caused you. Many legal professionals will often refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them value claims. The JCG provides guideline compensation amounts for injuries of varying severities. You can browse some of the amounts listed in the 16th edition of the JCG in the table below.

InjurySeverityDescription Value
Scarring To Other Parts Of The BodySevereAwarded to serious burn injuries - determined by the severity and size of woundsLikely to exceed £104,830
Scarring To Other Parts Of The BodySeriousSuitable for a single noticeable disfiguring scar£7,830 to £22,730
Scarring To Other Parts Of The BodyMinorFor scars with minor cosmetic effects£2,370 to £7,830
Facial ScarringVery severe scarring Awarded where the claimant is young (usually teens to early 30s) and the cosmetic and psychological effects are severe £29,780 to £97,330
Facial ScarringLess severe scarring Where there's substantial disfigurement and a severe psychological impact £17,960 to £48,420
Facial ScarringSignificant scarring Where the worst effects of the scarring can or have been reduced by plastic surgery and the long-term psychological impact is not great £9,110 to £30,090
Facial ScarringLess significant scarring In this bracket, there might be one scar that can be covered or a number of small scars which are noticable but don't markedly affect appearance £3,950 to £13,740
Facial ScarringTrivial scarring The effect of the scarring is minor £1,710 to £3,530

Additionally, you could also be awarded special damages. This compensates you for the financial losses caused by your injuries. For example, if you have to take time away from work to recover, then you could claim back a loss of earnings under special damages.

This heading can also recoup the cost of:

  •   Prescriptions
  •   Cosmetic aids
  •   Medical treatment
  •   Travel to and from hospital appointments


To see whether you could make a claim if you’ve suffered a burnt tongue from hot drinks, contact our team of advisors today.

No Win No Fee Burn Injury Claims

One of the main benefits associated with using our service to make a burn injury claim is the fact that all of our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t need to pay legal fees if your case is not a success. This provides you with financial protection, as you know you will never find yourself in the dreaded position where you have a huge legal bill to pay yet you don’t have any compensation to cover it. Unfortunately, this can easily happen with other solicitors, as they may charge by the hour, and their prices might seem extortionate.

There are many knock-on benefits that are linked with our No Win No Fee payment structure. Not only does it provide you with a significant degree of financial protection, but also it reassures you that we will only take on your case if it has a genuine chance of compensation. You can also be certain that we will do all in our power to secure compensation for you.

Contact Us

Whether you have been scalded by a hot drink in school or you have suffered a hot drink burn on airplane, you can count on us to help you get the full amount of compensation you deserve for your hot drink claims. All you need to do is give us a call on 0800 073 8804. You will speak to a friendly and professional member of our team, who will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can. We will answer your queries and talk you through the claim process fully.

Helpful links

More Helpful Guides:

  • Learn more about foot injury claims. Find out how to claim for a foot injury caused by negligence.
  • Get accident claims advice from our helpful guide covering the personal injury claims process.
  • If you have suffered facial scarring due to another party’s negligence, then you may be able to claim compensation.
  • Have you been injured in a factory accident? Learn more about factory accident claims with our guide.
  • Our guide offers more insight on electric shock accident claims and offers more insight into the personal injury claims process.

Thank you for reading our guide about hot drink claims in the aftermath of suffering a burn from a hot drink.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.