Suffering a significant burn is a life-altering event. Both the physical and psychological effect from a burn can be long-lasting and painful. Even years down the track, a severe burn can be particularly debilitating.
So what can be done? Here at WKB TPD Lawyers, we’re proud to say that we can provide a service that can ease the financial burden of debilitating injuries like severe burns. If you’ve suffered a burn that’s impacting upon your ability to work, you may be eligible for a TPD payout.
Having said that, it’s important to distinguish between the types of burns that you might secure a TPD payout and which ones won’t. Generally speaking, this is a matter of how severe the burn is.
Types of burns
Burns are generally classified as first-degree, second-degree or third-degree. A first-degree burn is the most minor, only impacting the outer layer of the skin. A second-degree burn goes into the second layer of the skin, and a third-degree burn goes underneath the skin.
When do I need to seek help?
This is definitely a judgement call, but the burns that can be the most problematic include:
- burns that cover your hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint,
- burns that cause the skin to look leathery or are charred,
- burns that were caused by chemicals or electricity; and
- burns to the airway.
What is a significant burn?
All burns are painful, but some are worse than others. Typically third-degree burns are considered the most harmful, but this does not mean that other burns are not ‘significant burns.’ The severity of your burn may depend on factors such as what caused it, where in your body it is placed (ie, around sensitive skin, eyes or a joint) and how much skin is burnt. When it comes to TPD, burns are required to be so severe that they prevent you from returning from work.
What requirements do I need to meet for a TPD payout on the basis of a significant burn?
First and foremost: the burn must prevent you from working. If your burn prevents you from working temporarily, this may not be enough because a temporary injury does not mean someone is ‘totally and permanently disabled.’
Some factors that are relevant to determine if you should apply for TPD include the following.
- Can I work again, by making adjustments to my workplace?
- Can I work again, by reducing hours?
- Can I work in a different job instead?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you may not be eligible for a TPD payout. On the other hand, if the answer is no TPD cover may be an option for you.
The other thing to bear in mind is that insurers have different definitions of TPD. Some insurers’ TPD definitions require that you are unable to return to work within your education, training and experience, while others are assessed on your ability to perform activities of daily living. Some have retraining clauses, and some contain different definitions altogether. So whether or not you may claim TPD cover for your burn is heavily impacted by your insurer’s definition of ‘total and permanent disability.’ It’s essential that you speak to an experienced lawyer to see whether your injury meets your insurer’s definition of TPD. WKB TPD Lawyers offer a No Win, No Fee guarantee if we take your claim on.
My burn was not caused at work. Will this affect my claim?
Burns can happen in a range of ways, but how the burn was caused doesn’t affect your TPD claim – so there is no requirement for you to be at work when the burn was caused.
How WKB TPD Lawyers can help
The steps to securing a TPD payout can get complex. At WKB TPD Lawyers we have the experience and care to offer you a solution to your unique set of circumstances. We are happy to discuss if it is worth pursuing a claim, apply for TPD on your behalf, and even review a rejected claim to see if there are any alternatives available. If you’re suffering a significant burn and are seeking to make a TPD claim, contact WKB TPD Lawyers on 1800 865 225.