Child Hair Straightener Burns Compensation Claims

If you are the parent or guardian of a child burned by defective hair straighteners, or if you were injured when you were under 18, we can help.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a claim on behalf of a child at any time up to their 18th birthday. An injured child has another three years, until the date of their 21st birthday, to make own claim if they choose. A personal injury solicitor can help you make a claim for compensation.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused the injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on the severity of the injuries and other expenses, the solicitor will work out how much money can be claimed.

We can help you make an injury claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Doubling in the past five years, hair straightener burns now account for around one in 10 accidents sustained by children resulting in burns injuries.

Hair straightener burns can be so severe, particularly in children whose skin can be 15 times thinner than that of adults, that they often require urgent hospital treatment and even surgery in some instances. But who is liable when this type of injury occurs? Can manufacturers and retailers be held accountable even if they are not directly responsible?

Hair straightener burns

What is the safety risk?

Designed to flatten and smooth the hair, straighteners can reach temperatures of over 220 degrees Celsius - as hot as an iron. They can stay at this temperature for up to 15 minutes after they have been switched off and take up to 40 minutes to cool down completely. Despite this, they are often overlooked as a serious safety risk.

According to research carried out by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), over a third of parents admit to leaving their hair straighteners to cool down on the floor or hanging off furniture - within easy reach of children.

In addition, nearly two thirds of parents with young children do not use a heat proof pouch to store their hair straighteners in after use.

Parental versus retail and manufacturer responsibility

Parents have a legal responsibility to protect their children. However, burns by hair straighteners to children tend to occur through unintentional error. Although they may have been left within reach, parents are often unaware of the dangers, or the severity of the burns they can cause.

During the investigations carried out by the ESC, it was found that the majority of retailers and manufacturers were not doing enough to protect children from these types of burns.

Although most manufacturers include basic safety information, only a third included heat proof mats or pouches of varying quality. In addition, at point of sale, most hair straighteners are being sold without additional safety devices or information.

Because of this, the retailers or manufacturers may be liable. A claim for a child with hair straightener burns could be made based on ineffective prevention strategies or lack of adequate health and safety precautions.

Although parents, or the person who left the hair straighteners within reach, may be held partly responsible under contributory negligence'.

How do I make a claim?

If a child has suffered burns as a result of hair straighteners due to negligence, a claim for compensation can be made to cover necessary expenditure such as medical bills and travel. The first step is to contact a solicitor to discuss whether or not you have a case.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a personal injury claim take?

How long it can take to secure compensation for hair straightener burns can vary significantly.

For example, if the manufacturer or hairdresser accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a few months. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take considerably longer. Usually, a child injury claim will take 4 to 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee - the facts

'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract entered into between you and your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor