If a laser skin resurfacing injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Laser skin resurfacing may result in burns, scarring, or pigment changes due to improper use of laser equipment.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by cosmetic surgery negligence, we can help. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
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 you are harmed as the result of a laser treatment practitioner's negligence, it is likely that you can claim compensation.
If you decide to make a skin lasering negligence claim, your medical negligence solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you deserve.
Do I have a skin laser resurfacing negligence claim?
You have the right to claim skin lasering negligence compensation if the care you received did not meet the appropriate standard of care, and you were injured by this negligent treatment.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
How long do I have to make a skin resurfacing negligence claim?
For a skin lasering negligence claim, you usually have 3 years to make a claim from the date you became aware of the negligent treatment (date of knowledge).
Get an impartial opinion
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to an injury claim expert on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a laser skin resurfacing 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.
Skin lasering negligence
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Updated December 2023
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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 is compensation awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your skin injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include corrective treatment, topical treatments and pain medication.
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 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:
- Darkening or lightening of pigmentation
- Burns and blisters
- 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.
Clinical negligence claims
Skin lasering injuries may be categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.
How we can help you with your medical negligence claim
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 medical negligence claims.
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Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.