Before October 2010, the use of Intense Pulse Lasers (IPL) for cosmetic purposes in England was regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission). The use of these lasers has subsequently been deregulated, although certain areas of the country still require practitioners to hold a special treatment license. This means that almost anyone can undertake cosmetic laser treatments, and the procedures are often carried out at cosmetic clinics and beauty salons.
Cosmetic laser treatments can be used to improve the appearance of birthmarks, veins, pigmentation, tattoos, excess hair, and scars. These procedures are usually quick and harmless, but occasionally the treatment can leave patients with significant (and sometimes permanent) problems, such as scarring or pigmentation issues.
How do I know when laser treatment has gone wrong?
If you have suffered one or more of the following complications, you may have a clinical negligence claim:
- damage to the eyes/vision such as corneal abrasions, retinal burns, and macular damage which can result in total blindness
- injury to the skin such as infections, scarring, hyper/hypo pigmentation and depigmentation, and milia (cysts)
- worsening of pre-existing skin conditions
It is extremely important that the practitioner explains all of the risks of the procedure to you so that you can make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the procedure. If they fail to explain the risks to you, and you would not have undergone the procedure if they had, it is likely that you have a claim.
What are my options if I have had negligent laser treatment?
When failed laser treatment is a result of negligence, an award of compensation can help you get back on your feet. Compensation can both mitigate any financial burden you’ve been placed under, or are likely to suffer in future as a result of the negligence, and can also help you process and get through any physical or emotional distress.
Involving solicitors may seem daunting, however when working with our team the stress of the legal process is taken off you entirely. Our experts will guide you every step of the way, using the care and expertise that has earned them top tier rankings in both leading Legal Directories (Legal 500 and Chambers). If you’d like to know more, you can find out more about our claims process here.
You can also rest assured your case is in the hands of clinical negligence specialists; several individual solicitors within the team being ranked as leaders in the field. We are also independently accredited by The Law Society, The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), so you can be sure that your case will have the best chance at success.
What might I expect when looking for laser treatment compensation?
This depends on the situation. However, compensation is usually made up of two parts:
- General damages – this is compensation for your pain, suffering and effects on your everyday life. The court will determine the amount by looking at the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines and the amounts awarded in recent similar cases.
- Special damages – this includes any financial losses you’ve incurred or will incur in the future as a result of the negligence, including loss of earnings or other income, travel expenses and other costs incurred that we can show were caused by the negligence.
All compensation must be proved to be a result of the alleged negligent laser treatment. If the link cannot be proved, then the court won’t award any damages. As the claimant, it is your responsibility to prove each and every aspect of your claim, including your entitlement to general and special damages.
What if the clinic where I had the laser treatment has shut down?
The clinic itself may have shut down, but it could be part of a wider network of clinics owned by the same company, in which case a claim can be brought against the company. If the company itself has been struck off the register of companies, it may be possible to apply for the company to be restored to the register.
Furthermore, if you paid for the treatment on a credit card, you may be able to bring the claims against the supplier of credit pursuant to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. In other words, it may still be possible to bring a claim even if the clinic itself has shut down or moved.
How can I pay for my claim?
We have a range of funding options for clients wanting to undergo a clinical negligence claim. Find out more about our funding options here.
“A premier Somerset firm with experience of a broad range of high-value matters, including catastrophic birth injury claims. Routinely engaged on cerebral palsy cases and spinal injury claims, and offers expertise in weight loss surgery and dental negligence matters. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “Withy King were caring and understood us. They listened to our concerns and needs, and helped in whichever way they could.” “They are incredibly organised, easy to approach and they have a very supportive team who are incredibly sympathetic.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Simon Elliman (Band 1) oversees an array of complex claims, including cerebral palsy and spinal injury matters. In addition he acts on dental negligence cases. Sources say: “He is very able and he inspires confidence through calmness.” Market observers consider Paul Rumley (Band 1) “a very approachable lawyer with vast experience on high-value and complex cases.” He handles a range of matters including birth injury claims, fatal accidents and delay in diagnosis of cancer claims.” Chambers 2017 Somerset
“Highly commended firm with an excellent reputation across a broad spectrum of clinical negligence matters. Routinely acts on catastrophic cases including brain and spinal injury claims. Also noted for its handling of matters arising from amputation, delayed diagnosis and weight loss surgery. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They’ve been amazing. They spoke to me on a level I understood. They are very understanding and compassionate and they advised me well the whole way through.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Richard Coleman (Band 1) offers vast experience of complex claims involving cerebral palsy, spinal injury and bariatric surgery, among other matters. “He is very good at negotiating settlements in difficult cases” and “doesn’t lose sight of the human aspect of it all,” assert sources.” Chambers 2017 Oxford and surrounds
“Royds Withy King is a ‘leading firm’ for catastrophic birth injury cases. Key figures include practice head Simon Elliman, who handles dental negligence, cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims; ‘first-rate solicitor’ Paul Rumley; and Kerstin Kubiak, who stands out for her ‘exceptional analysis’.” Legal 500 2016 South West
“The ‘knowledgeable, dependable and competent’ team at Royds Withy King is led by ‘astute strategist’ Richard Coleman and includes Tracy Norris-Evans, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and committed to her clients’.” Legal 500 2016 South East