Based on the following sampling of case law, the range for general damages awarded for suffering from burn injuries as a result of an accident is between $11,810 – $296,983 [adjusted for 2023 inflation rates]. The general damage award amounts for each individual case below have not been adjusted for inflation. For your convenience, the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator can be accessed here.
As described in our General Damages Guide, these awards are only for general damages which compensate you for your pain and suffering. There are other types of damages that you may be entitled to claim, such as lost income and medical care costs, depending on the circumstances of your case. To assess the total value of your injury claim, try our Injury Claim Calculator or book a free consultation.
The case law
- The 29-year-old plaintiff tripped over a cinder block and fell into a bonfire while intoxicated. He suffered second and third degree burns to 14% of his body surface (left arm and back). He underwent skin grafts harvested from his leg. He suffered substantial pain and permanent scarring which caused him embarrassment. He had a mild permanent limitation in motion in his left elbow, wrist, and fingers, as well as a mild permanent decrease in strength. He received $100,000 in general damages.
- The plaintiff suffered a serious burn to her hand while using a hairdryer made by the defendant. Upon turning the hairdryer on, she felt a pain and threw the device to the ground instinctively. Her palm was charred and there was melted plastic and soot embedded within it. It left a crater-like wound and she suffered from chronic pain in her hand afterwards. She received $35,000 in general damages.
- The plaintiff suffered second degree burns to her thigh when coffee spilled from a takeout coffee cup. The plaintiff was holding the provided tray on her lap when one of the cups spilled. There was a noticeable red mark from the burn on the plaintiff’s thigh for one year post-accident. This mark was still slightly noticeable 19 months post-accident. She received $8,000 in general damages.
- The plaintiff electrician was working on a sewage treatment plant motor control centre. When an intense arc grounded itself in three places and burned holes through sheet metal, the plaintiff was severely burned by the reflective heat. At the time of trial, the plaintiff had about 80% of the function in his hand but with occasional debilitating pain. His left eye was lazy, his left ear sensitive to cold, skin is blotchy and itchy, left arm cannot sweat and sunburn is incredibly painful. He regained some upper body strength, but it was not fully restored. The plaintiff was also diagnosed with depression and PTSD following the event. He received $90,000 in general damages.
- The 8-year-old plaintiff was severely burned when there was an explosion and flash fire in the cab of a stationary pickup truck in which she was seated. She suffered second and third degree burns to her face, neck, back, right arm, right leg, and right foot. She spent 6 weeks in the burn unit and underwent two operations for debridement and skin grafting. She was left with permanent scarring and required ongoing therapy for depression and low self-esteem. She received $85,000 in general damages.
- The 9-year-old plaintiff was severely burned while on a field trip to an historical park when a farrier attempted to light a forge and there was an alcohol fire. She suffered extensive burns, the worst of which were on her right ear, neck, chin, and under her left ear. Her eyes were damaged to the extent that she could not see, but this resolved within a few days. She underwent skin grafts and was in the hospital for 6 weeks. She had to wear an elastic garment for 3 years post-accident and required further surgeries to release tightness in grafted areas. She also needed a silicon chin implant, orthodontic treatment for her lower jaw, and an unsuccessful attempt to remove unwanted hair growth on grafted skin that was now on her neck. She has marked disfigurement and scarring 10 years post-accident. She received $170,000 in general damages.
- The 8-year-old plaintiff suffered first and second degree burns when a waiter at the defendant’s establishment spilled hot soup on her. The burns were on her right neck, right shoulder, and right anterior chest. She developed a hypertrophic scar on her shoulder wound and had to wear a Jobst pressure garment for 4 years. She was left with an extremely prominent and disfiguring residual scar. She received $25,000 in general damages.
Have questions for our team?
MacGillivray Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We serve clients all across Canada.
If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we will accommodate your circumstances and travel needs. We can provide a consultation by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, or travel to meet you in your home when required.
If you would like to learn your legal options at no obligation, contact us today to set up a free consultation.