Skin Lasering Negligence Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by cosmetic surgery negligence we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered cosmetic surgery negligence 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 skin lasering negligence compensation:

Introduction

The Department of Health recently estimated that the cost of cosmetic surgery in the UK would amount to 3.6 billion this year. Within this figure, non-surgical treatments, including laser skin resurfacing, account for 9 out of 10 procedures.

The practice is almost entirely unregulated and laser resurfacing-related?clinical negligence can lead to injury such as burns, scarring and infection. The estimated cost to the NHS of inadequate cosmetic laser treatments is over 2 million a year.

Like all non-surgical skin procedures, laser skin resurfacing or rejuvenation carries inherent risks. These risks mean a procedure can result in a negative outcome through no fault of the practitioner. However, if a negative outcome is the result of a laser treatment practitioner's negligence, it is likely that compensation can be claimed.

Cosmetic surgery

Do I have a skin lasering negligence claim?

Medical negligence claims differ from personal injury claims as the following will need to be established:

  • there was a breach of duty ("negligence" or "fault"); and
  • the breach of duty was the cause of your injury, damage or loss ("causation" or "avoidable harm").

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty means that the standard of care you received was below the standard that could reasonably be expected of a competent healthcare professional.

Causation

To establish causation, it will need to be demonstrated that the injury you suffered resulted from the negligent care rather than the underlying condition.

Get an impartial opinion

To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to a skin lasering negligence claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

Is compensation always payable?

If an error occurred during treatment and the patient was harmed as a result, this may be referred to as an "undesirable outcome".

Not all treatment that results in an undesirable outcome will result in the payment of compensation.

Sometimes an undesirable outcome is due to a known risk associated with the treatment, or due to a mistake that a doctor could reasonably have made in the circumstances.

How long do I have to start a claim?

If your injury is apparent immediately after medical treatment, you will have 3 years to start a claim.

It may be that the negligent procedure happened more than 3 years ago, but your injury was only diagnosed recently, within the last 3 years. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.

What if your injury was diagnosed months or years after treatment?

You may not be immediately aware of your injury. In some cases, months and even years can pass before symptoms appear.

The law allows you to make a medical negligence claim up to three years after the 'date of knowledge' (when you first learned of the injury).

It is recommended that you start a claim as soon as possible, as medical negligence cases can be complex. Starting your claim sooner will give your solicitor more time to gather medical evidence, assess the extent of your injury and to negotiate interim payments and your final compensation amount.

What is the law relating to laser skin resurfacing?

Anyone can perform laser skin resurfacing, in any premises, provided that suitable approved and medically-regulated equipment is used. Although practitioners of laser skin treatments are required to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), practitioners are not classified as regulated.

Wider regulations such as the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 do apply and are enforced by Local Authority bodies, such as Trading Standards. Although Trading Standards will investigate whether a premises conforms to health and safety standards, the body has only limited powers to sanction practitioners who breach the regulations.

The law recognises laser surgery practitioners as 'beauticians' rather than medical professionals, however these practitioners do still have a duty of care towards their clients.

If a person carrying out a procedure breaches this duty, and a patient is injured as a result, the practitioner may be liable to pay compensation in the event of a claim.

The importance of negligence in laser skin rejuvenation claims

Proving negligence in laser skin rejuvenation cases can be difficult, particularly if the patient was warned of the risks prior to undergoing treatment.

For a claim to be successful, it must be shown that the person carrying out the treatment caused the damage through negligence, rather than the injury being the result of a risk inherent to the procedure. Alternatively, it a claim may still succeed if the injury was the result of an inherent risk, but one that the patient was not informed about.

What are the risks of laser skin resurfacing?

Laser skin resurfacing or rejuvenation involves using an intense beam of light radiation to remove the outer layers of skin and encourage new skin growth. It is typically used for removing wrinkles, tightening skin and improving the look of scars and pigmentation.

Risks in terms of injury include:

  • Scarring
  • Darkening or lightening of pigmentation
  • Burns and blisters
  • Infection
  • Bruising
  • Prolonged redness

Not highlighting the risks prior to commencing treatment may amount to negligence. Other types of negligence commonly seen in these types of claims include:

  • Inappropriate use or overuse of the laser e.g. by holding it to close or for too long on the skin
  • Failure to properly assess a patient and their suitability for the treatment
  • Use of unregulated equipment
  • Inadequate health and safety procedures

What evidence is required to prove negligence?

Specific evidence is required to prove negligence in these types of claims. In particular, photographs are likely to be needed to show the visual extent of the injury.

A solicitor can arrange a medical assessment to determine the extent of the injury, and the likely prognosis. These two factors will help to determine an appropriate amount of compensation.

How much compensation can I claim for skin lasering negligence?

The amount of money you could claim for your skin lasering negligence 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 skin lasering negligence 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

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 a skin lasering negligence? (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 a skin lasering negligence 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 skin lasering negligence will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

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

Can I get an interim payment?

Interim payments are effectively an advance on a probable compensation award. An interim payment may be awarded if the claimant is in immediate financial hardship.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages?are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the skin lasering negligence injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.?

Skin lasering negligence compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a skin lasering negligence 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 skin lasering negligence claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a cosmetic procerdure negligence claim take?

The length of time needed to process a laser skin resurfacing negligence claim can vary significantly.

For example, a straightforward liability accepted cosmetic negligence claim could be settled in 6 to 24 months. However, if court proceedings are necessary a claim can take considerably longer. Typically, a cosmetic negligence claim takes 12 to 36 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your skin lasering negligence 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

No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making a skin lasering negligence claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a skin lasering negligence injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my skin lasering negligence 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 skin lasering negligence claim?

If your skin lasering negligence claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. skin lasering negligence claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence 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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Skin lasering negligence 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

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

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert