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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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 skin lasering negligence? (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 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.
Will a clinical negligence claim affect my benefits?
It may. The receipt of a compensation award could affect the calculation of any means-tested benefits. One approach to protecting your benefits, would be to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
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:
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.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in medical negligence cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
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.
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.
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