If a skin injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If you have been affected by a skin injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a skin injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
In addition to physical pain and discomfort, the courts recognise that skin conditions and injuries may be highly visible and can lead to an injured claimant experience self-consciousness, anxiety and depression.
Compensation awarded in relation to skin injuries is therefore consequently higher for skin injuries that have caused additional psychological harm.
Common skin-related injury claims include
- Dermatitis injury claims
- Burn and scald injury claims
- Scar injury claims
- Cosmetic surgery negligence claims, including dermabrasion claims
You are not alone
Characterised by red, inflamed, dry and itchy skin, rashes may cover specific parts of the or spread over large areas. Dermatitis may range in severity from a mild, temporary case through to serious and long-lasting skin disease.
There are a number of different subtypes of dermatitis, triggered by a variety of causes. The most common is contact dermatitis - usually a result of direct contact with substances which are known irritants. These include detergents, chemicals, cleaning fluids, solvents, rubber and oils.
Health and safety requirements
Where workers - such as nurses, hairdressers, cleaners and engineers - are likely to be brought into contact with substances that may cause dermatitis employers must adhere to Health and Safety regulations in regard to their handling.
Making employees aware of the risks, providing protective clothing and minimising contact with the substances are all measures that should be taken. If an employer fails to safeguard his employees he may be liable for any skin condition claims.
Allergic contact dermatitis may occur when the immune system reacts to a substance to which it is exposed. For example a claimant may sustain scalp dermatitis if she is allergic to any of the chemicals contained in hair dye.
If you decide to make a skin injury claim, your personal injury 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.
Burns and Scalds
Burn and scald injuries have many causes including fire, steam, chemicals, electrical equipment and sunbeds.
Accidents at work and in public
Inadequate health and safety measures frequently lead to burns and scalds in the workplace. Waiter, waitress injury claims and kitchen staff are particularly at risk from these injuries.
Machinery that heats liquids to high temperatures may cause severe scalding - especially if the pipes containing superheated steam burst or fracture. Inadequate training when operating such equipment is strong evidence of an employer's negligence.
Workers whose occupation includes working in cold storage centres may sustain cold injuries to the skin from contact with frozen substances such as metal racking.
Less frequently, burn injuries may also be a result of road traffic accidents; from use of defective products that overheat or through beauty treatments such as waxing.
Depending on how deeply they penetrate the skin's surface, burns or scalds are classified as first, second or third-degree. An assessment of the severity of the burn will usually be made during treatment, but an independent medical report will confirm the seriousness of the injury for the purposes of calculating compensation.
Classified as 'secondary injuries', scars are formed as a consequence of healing following a primary injury to the skin - such as a burn or scald or laceration. Scar injuries may cause permanent changes to an individual's skin and therefore may have a strong psychological impact on a claimant.
To bring a claim for compensation for scarring the cause of the original accident (that created the primary injury) must be established in order to determine liability.
Claiming for secondary skin injuries
If a claim for an initial skin injury has already been settled, making a further claim for any subsequent scarring is very unlikely to succeed.
Getting an independent medical report is a vital step when assessing a claim, and it is not recommended that a settlement offer be accepted without this report. The report will provide a prognosis which may include details of likely scarring and will enable a more accurate settlement to be reached.
Dermabrasion, where a brush or wheel is used to remove the upper layers of skin, is a technique designed encourage the to replace damaged skin with new skin.
Because there are inherent risks in the procedure, including infection, scarring and sensitivity of the treated skin, claiming for compensation if this happens may be difficult.
If, however, a technician carried out the procedure too roughly and removed more skin than was planned it may be possible to bring a claim compensation. The technician may also be found negligent if the risks were not fully explained before the procedure took place.
Do I have a skin injury claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Compensation claims with shared fault
It's not unusual for personal injury claims to involve fault on both sides.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, we found that 13.99% of respondents felt they had at least some responsibility for the injuries they sustained.
Even if you partly caused the accident or your injuries (refered to as 'contributory negligence'), you may still be entitled to make a claim. These claims can often be settled on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to claim skin injury compensation?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a skin injury?
The amount of money you could claim for a back injury will depend on:
- the severity 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.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
Average skin injury general damages compensation
The following skin injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Dermatitis||Minor||A rash or irritation to hands||£1,550 to £3,590|
|Dermatitis||Moderate||Affecting hands with recovery expected||£7,850 to £10,370|
|Dermatitis||Serious||Affecting hands with indefinite duration||£12,490 to £17,450|
|Non-facial scarring||Minor||A single, noticeable scar||£2,150 to £7,120|
|Non-facial scarring||Moderate||Laparotomy scars||Around £7,850|
|Non-facial scarring||Serious||Multiple scars||£7,120 to £20,660|
|Non-facial scarring||Severe||Serious burns with ongoing pain||Over £95,300|
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
If you have suffered psychological harm in addition to a physical injury or illness, you are not alone.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Skin injuries often lead to self-consciousness and social anxiety (social phobia) about visible scars, social isolation, potential disfigurement.
Your solicitor will help ensure that any psychological harm you have suffered as the result of another party's negligence is recognised and included in the calculation of your compensation award or settlement. In addition, you can also claim for mental health treatment costs that may not be readily available on the NHS.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
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 because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of earnings, including lost overtime, holiday pay, benefits and pension contributions, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as cleaning the wound, topical antibiotics, dressing the wound and pain medication.
How did your injury happen?
The claims process for a skin injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury 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 injury claims.
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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.