Child Hair Straightener Burns Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by hair straightener burns we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered hair straightener burns and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
child hair straightener burns compensation:
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?
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.
The amount of money you could claim for your child hair straightener burns will depend on:
- the extent 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 child hair straightener burns has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a child hair straightener burns? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a child hair straightener burns claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a child hair straightener burns will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your child hair straightener burns 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a child hair straightener burns injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my child hair straightener burns compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a child hair straightener burns 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 child hair straightener burns claim could be worth now:
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?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your child hair straightener burns claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.
No win, no fee - the facts
'No win, no fee' means that if your child hair straightener burns 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 a child hair straightener burns injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my child hair straightener burns 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 child hair straightener burns claim?
If your child hair straightener burns 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.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Child hair straightener burns 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.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
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.
How long do I have to make a child hair straightener burns claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the child hair straightener burns to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your child hair straightener burns claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a child hair straightener burns 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 child hair straightener burns compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a child hair straightener burns claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.