Skin injury compensation claims
This guide sets out what you need to know about making a skin injury compensation claim.
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 claims
- Burn claims and scalding claims
- Scar injury claims
- Cosmetic surgery negligence claims, including dermabrasion claims
If you have suffered a skin injury in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
Characterised by red, inflamed, dry and itchy skin, rashes may cover specific parts of the body 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.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Burn and scald injuries have many causes including fire, steam, chemicals, electrical equipment and sunbeds.
Accidents at work and in public
Where health and safety measures are inadequate burn and scald injuries may occur in the workplace, and are a common source of claims relating to waiters, waitresses and other kitchen staff.
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 body 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 for clinical negligence.
The technician may also be found negligent if the risks were not fully explained before the procedure took place.
A no win no fee agreement (more correctly known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) is entered into between a claimant and a PI solicitor.
A Conditional Fee Agreement is essentially the terms under which the solicitor works for the claimant.
It details what the lawyer will do as well as how they is paid if the legal case is successful.
If you decide to choose Quittance Personal Injury for your skin injury claim there are no sneaky hidden fees , nothing to pay up-front and the comfort that you will never be financially out of pocket.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming skin injury compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
Accidents at work - Claims against your employer
Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.
Find out if you can claim skin injury compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims
*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report
Meet the team
Quittance Legal Services' national network of solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of compensation claim and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our lawyers are selected on the basis of their level of experience and their success rate in winning claims.
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