Can I make a claim for a burn from hot drink in Starbucks cafe? I was handed my coffee but the lid was not attached and it spilled over my hand and I suffered horrible burns to my hand and fingers.

You will be entitled to claim compensation for a burn from a hot drink in a Starbucks cafe provided it can be established that your injury was caused by negligence of the member of staff that served you the drink. If you can prove that the member of staff failed to take sufficient care to ensure the lid was placed on your drink correctly, you should be able to claim for your burn injury.

Although it is possible to recover compensation for any personal injury suffered due to the negligence of a third party that owed you a duty of care, whether you will be able to claim compensation will depend on the severity of your burns. In order for a burn from a hot drink in a Starbucks cafe to form the basis of a personal injury claim you must have sought medical treatment for your injury. Your burn must have been treated at the local hospital or by your doctor; as if injury is not in your medical records a claim for a burn injury in Starbucks cannot be justified.

It is also important that the accident is documented in the cafe’s accident book. The manager of Starbucks is required by law to hold and maintain an accident book where all accidents on the premises must be recorded. You should write a summary of the accident and how you were injured, and should include your name and contact details as well as the name of the member of staff responsible for the accident. The accident book report is important as it will serve as proof that you were injured in Starbucks.

It is also important to take photographs of your burn injury in Starbucks as this will help to establish the seriousness of your burn and the degree to which your physical appearance has been affected. When compensation for burns and scalds is calculated, consideration will be given to the pain and suffering caused as well as temporary or permanent changes to physical appearance. Your entitlement to compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity from being burned by a hot drink in Starbucks is best calculated by a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will ensure that an appropriate level of compensation is calculated to cover all aspects of your injuries.

The member of staff should have taken care to ensure you were not burned by a hot drink in Starbucks, and it is unreasonable that you should be made to suffer financially as a result of your injury. You should therefore keep receipts or invoices for any costs you have to cover as a result of your injuries. You will be entitled to recover these as special damages. Costs can include dry cleaning of your clothes after the accident, prescription charges for treatment, transport to and from the doctor or hospital as well as any loss of earnings.

We recommend consulting a lawyer for legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer is in the best position to investigate your case to determine whether a claim for compensation for burns and scalds is possible under the circumstances. The assistance of a lawyer can make an important difference to the probability of success of your claim.