Tattoo or hair treatment injuries resulting from negligence are no laughing matter
30 JUNE 2011. It is a fundamental right of every victim of negligence to claim compensation for the harm they have suffered, yet not every person who is entitled to such is aware of their rights and what needs to be done to enforce them.
Many solicitors and claims management companies that advertise heavily on the internet as well as in more traditional media, will specialise exclusively in road traffic accidents and workplace accidents because other types of personal injury claims require more specialised expertise – not just in legal terms but also in addressing the needs and concerns of the person making the claim.
Beauty treatments are one such category, affecting potentially anyone who undergoes:
• Facial/eyebrow/body waxing.
• Eyebrow/eyelash/hair tinting.
• Eyelash/hair extensions.
• Tattoo/body piercing.
• Semi-permanent make-up.
• Hair treatments.
Injuries can be caused by human error or failure to follow good practice, such as not doing a patch test, overheating the wax, spilling the wax, or using products that differ from those used previously.
As noted by Katy Link of EAD Solicitors, a member of the Hamilton Brady panel and experts in all types of personal injury compensation claims:
‘Legal compensation isn’t just for major cosmetic surgery disasters.If you’ve ever ended up feeling disappointed, embarrassed, in pain or even disfigured after a hair or beauty appointment,"you should seek for professional legal help.Was your treatment negligent?
Beauty treatment injuries resulting from negligence are no laughing matter: 'They can be unsightly and extremely unpleasant,' Katy says. 'Whether it’s hair damage or skin conditions ranging from burns to scarring, inflammation, swelling, blistering, discolouration and even infection.'Katy advises: 'If you’ve ever suffered any of these adverse reactions or injuries following your visit to a salon, you may be entitled to compensation.Did you know that skin patch tests should be carried out in good time before any treatment is performed? Were you given a patch test? Were you asked about your allergies? Was your beauty therapist qualified? '
They have never been more popular; having a tattoo tells a story about you and it’s there for life – so what can you do legally if it goes wrong? Katy explains: 'With tattoos, timing is important – if you’ve had a tattoo done in the past three years and you believe that you have experienced problems, you should follow it up straight away – you might be able to make a claim. Compensation for Eyebrow Agony
When N went to a different salon from normal for an eyebrow wax and tint, the beautician failed to carry out any skin patch or allergy tests before the £11 treatment.The following morning her eyes were swollen and closed and her forehead felt swollen. Her upper eyelids were weeping a yellow discharge and she also had weeping pustules in her eyebrows. She bathed the areas in boiled water and saw her GP two days later.
The affected skin remained itchy, sore and scabbed for the next two weeks and N continued to suffer continuing problems with her eyebrows from that point onwards.Before initiating any legal action, N went back to the salon to complain and, although one member of staff confirmed that they had recently 'changed their products', the manager refused to do anything.
The solicitors arranged for N to be examined by a consultant dermatologist, who diagnosed acute contact dermatitis caused by hair colorant. N had been having eyebrow wax and tints regularly – three or four times every year – and had only ever had one previous allergic reaction, when a friend had waxed her eyebrows. Then, overheating the wax had resulted in just one eyebrow area reacting. However, the salon refused to settle because of this, so court proceedings were begun.
Happily, the salon backed down at the last minute, and settled the claim before the hearing took place.N received more than £2,700 in compensation.
I think I may have a claim – what should I do?
If your treatment that you are complaining about took place in the last three years then you should seek advice as soon as possible as to whether you may have a case. Keep any evidence you have relating to the treatment, especially medical reports and photos.
Some people are concerned at how they may be perceived if they make a claim – especially for something like a tattoo or hair treatment that they chose to have done.We would refer these to a comment from a government commissioned report on the UK’s compensation industry:
“Clearly it is right that people who have suffered an injustice through someone else’s negligence should be able to claim redress. It is a basic tenet of law and one on which we all rely.” (Lord Young, October 2010)