Cosmetic Injury Claims – How Victims Could Claim Compensation

By Marlon Madison. Last Updated 2nd December 2022. Have you suffered preventable harm caused by either a cosmetic surgical error or a cosmetic beauty treatment error? Was the harm caused to you as a result of negligence on the part of the person administering the treatment? If so, our guide on cosmetic injury claims could help.

Cosmetic injury claims guide

Cosmetic injury claims guide

There are various types of cosmetic procedures available to the public, such as laser treatment, liposuction and Botox. However, when they don’t go as planned, it can cause a great impact on the person’s physical and mental health.

While complications can sometimes arise even when the person administering the treatment is doing all they can to ensure your safety, sometimes injury occurs as the result of negligence. 

Cosmetic Injury Claims Explained

This guide will explore the consequences of cosmetic treatments where the person performing the treatment has acted negligently. Furthermore, we’ll look at the compensation someone might receive for different cosmetic injuries. 

In addition, we’ll provide information on the steps you can take to build a strong case, including the evidence you might require to support your claim. We will also look at how a No Win No Fee solicitor might be able to help. 

Get In Touch With Our Team

Remember, if you have any questions throughout reading our guide, a member of our team will be available to help. So feel free to contact us on any of the following details:

  • Telephone 020 3870 4868
  • Arrange for someone to call you back
  • Chat with an advisor using the live chat feature and get instant help

Services And Information

  1. Everything You Need To Know About Cosmetic Injury Claims
  2. What Is A Cosmetic Injury Claim?
  3. Types Of Cosmetic Treatment
  4. Beauty Salon Treatments
  5. Cosmetic Treatment Chemical Burns
  6. Negligent Cosmetic Surgery
  7. Calculating The Value Of Cosmetic Injury Claims
  8. What Are The Risks Of Plastic Surgery?
  9. Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures Risks
  10. How Long After Suffering A Cosmetic Injury Could You Claim?
  11. I Suffered A Beauty Or Cosmetic Injury, What Should I Do?
  12. Cosmetic Surgery Compensation – No Win No Fee Claims
  13. Useful Pages
  14. FAQs About Cosmetic Injury Claims

Everything You Need To Know About Cosmetic Injury Claims

Some cosmetic treatments must be carried out by a trained medical professional; however certain procedures don’t require the person performing it to have any medical training. But in both cases, the person administering the treatment has a duty of care towards you. 

A cosmetic injury claim could be made if you’ve suffered avoidable or preventable harm whilst undergoing cosmetic surgery or treatment. However, you must be able to prove that the harm inflicted could have been avoided had the person responsible provided you with the correct level of care. 

Examples of accidents where negligence has occurred might include:

  • A surgeon slipping while making an incision, causing someone to suffer a perforated bowel following a tummy tuck 
  • Someone suffering nerve damage whilst having a facelift because the surgeon made an incision that was too deep

Not all instances of harm caused by cosmetic treatment will be an example of negligence. Sometimes, complications can arise even when the person administering the treatment acts within the standards of their profession.

But if you were harmed because someone breached their duty of care towards you, you may be able to claim. Speak to us today for free legal advice.

What Is A Cosmetic Injury Claim?

A cosmetic injury claim is where you seek compensation for avoidable physical or psychological harm you’ve experienced as a result of negligence. It’s difficult to provide an insight into the frequency in which these types of claims are made. However, we can look at how often people have opted to have cosmetic procedures. 

Cosmetic surgeries and procedures can often be elective, meaning the patient chooses to have them. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Annual Audit 2019 (BAAPS), there were around 28,000 procedures that took place in 2018, which was a 0.1% increase from 2017.

Additionally, the audit also showed that 26,043 of the total number of procedures were performed on women compared to 2,304 performed on men. 

The graph below compares the top surgical procedures for men and women in 2018 with figures provided by BAAPS.

cosmetic surgical procedures

It’s important to note that these are surgical procedures that may only be performed by someone with medical training. They don’t include other beauty treatments such as dermal fillers or botox.

Types Of Cosmetic Treatment

There are various types of cosmetic procedures available to the public. Some are surgical and so should be performed by a medically trained professional. these include

  • Breast implants
  • Breast reduction, for both men and women
  • Surgical fat transfer
  • Facelift
  • Ear correction surgery
  • Tummy tuck
  • Nose reshaping
  • Liposuction
  • Hair transplant
  • Labiaplasty
  • Eyelid surgery

Additionally, there are a number of procedures that are non-surgical and can be performed by those without medical training. For instance:

  • Botox injections
  • Face and lip fillers
  • Permanent make-up
  • Chemical peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser hair removal
  • Skin lightening
  • Tattoo removal

Even if you’re undergoing a treatment that doesn’t require medical training to perform, you should always research the person administering the treatment. You should make sure that they have the suitable qualifications to carry out the procedure that you want.

Beauty Salon Treatments

Below are some examples of how negligence could cause someone to suffer an injury through different non-surgical cosmetic treatments:

  • Derma planning: This involves removing hair and skin cells to give a smooth appearance to the face. However, it involves using a sharp blade to perform the procedure and could result in cuts to the face if not performed correctly.
  • Fat freezing: This is a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, which, if performed incorrectly, could result in symptoms such as pain or swelling in the affected area and poor results.
  • Laser hair removal: There may be a chance of skin infection or burns.
  • Dermal fillers: If the fillers are injected into the wrong part of the face, blood vessels could be blocked. This could result in tissue death or permanent blindness.

When you visit a beauty salon and undergo a non-surgical cosmetic treatment, you are owed a duty of care as outlined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This means that the person administering the treatment needs to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure your safety.

If they fail to do this, this could result in you being injured. If you would like to know more about claiming after a beauty treatment injury, speak to our team today.

Cosmetic Treatment Chemical Burns

Chemical burns as a result of a cosmetic treatment could happen in a number of different circumstances, for instance, when getting a hair treatment from a hairdresser. The hair dye, shampoo, conditioner or other hair products could cause a severe reaction if they aren’t handled correctly.

Additionally, places that provide facial treatments that use masks and oils could cause chemical burns. If these burns cause scarring, this could result in a severe impact on someone’s lasting physical and psychological wellbeing.

If you undergo a beauty treatment where a product comes into contact with your skin (such as eyebrow tint or hair dye), then a patch test should be performed 24 hours before your treatment. This should indicate whether you react badly to the product that is used. If you aren’t offered a patch test, and you have a reaction to products that are used, then you may be able to claim compensation.

Negligent Cosmetic Surgery

A surgeon must provide the correct level of care when treating patients, whether they have elected to have the surgery or not. Failing to do this would be an example of medical negligence.

Medical negligence could occur if a doctor has:

  • Failed to check the patient allergies before administering anaesthetic
  • Injured a patient’s internal organs during liposuction
  • Used equipment that has not been sanitised to perform a facelift
  • Failed to give advice on proper aftercare methods

To determine whether a healthcare provider has been negligent or not, the courts will usually carry out the Bolam test. This is where a panel of the doctor’s peers (in this case, other cosmetic surgeons) will be asked to confirm whether they think the doctor acted within the standards expected of the profession.

In the event that the panel of peers feel that the doctor acted outside of acceptable professional standards, negligence will be said to have occurred. If the negligence is proven to have resulted in avoidable or preventable harm, you could make a medical negligence claim.

Calculating The Value Of Cosmetic Injury Claims 

Compensation for a cosmetic injury claim may be made up of general and special damages. General damages cover the injury itself, including how severe it is and how it’s impacted your quality of life. Both physical and psychological harm may be claimed under general damages.

To help value the general damages head of your claim, you will usually be invited to a medical assessment with an independent expert. Here, an independent expert will assess how badly your injuries have affected you and create a report which can help to value your claim.

Additionally, if you’ve suffered any financial losses as a result of your injury, you can claim these back under special damages. For instance, if the injury has prevented you from working, you could claim compensation for loss of earnings if you’ve had to take time off work.  

Special damages also cover the following monetary losses:

  • Care costs for you and anyone else dependent on you
  • Travel expenses 
  • Medical expenses, such as the cost of counselling that you can’t get on the NHS

It’s important to note that not every claim will include special damages. For that reason, each claim value will be different depending on the specifics of the case. 

However, we have created a table detailing some cosmetic injuries and the compensation you could claim for them. The table only includes figures for general damages. If you have any special damages, they’ll be worked out separately. 

Injury type Details Compensation figure
Facial disfigurement a) Very severe scarring that has caused a severe psychological reaction as well as severe physical disfiguring. £27,940 to £91,350
Facial disfigurement b) Less severe scarring that has caused a substantial physical effect and a significant psychological effect. £16,860 to £45,440
Facial disfigurement c) Injuries where the significant scarring has been reduced through surgery and the psychological reaction is also reduced. £8,550 to £28,240
Bowel Injuries where there has been some permanent damage £11,820 to £22,970
Burns The award given will greatly depend on the severity of the burns including the continuing impact both physically and psychologically. Likely to exceed £98,380
Damage to hair Dermatitis, eczema, tingling or burning of the scalp caused by unsuccessful tinting. £6,890 to £10,340
Scarring Where there is a single scar of a disfiguring nature or a number of noticeable laceration scars. £7,350 to £21,330
Scarring One noticeable scar or several scars of a superficial nature, where the cosmetic deficit is minor £2,220 to £7,350

A document used to help value claims, called the Judicial College Guidelines, has provided the figures in the table.  

For more information on how claims are calculated, get in touch with an advisor on the number at the top of the page. 

What Are The Risks Of Plastic Surgery?

There are risks of complications in any kind of operation, even ones where the medical professional provides an acceptable level of care. For that reason, it’s important that you are aware of the risks before undergoing any surgery. You should do your own research and listen carefully to everything your surgeon tells you in preparation for the procedure,

Each different procedures and treatments come with a different set of risks that you should consider carefully. However, things like swelling or pain will usually be a normal side effect of any surgery.

However, in instances where the harm you suffered was avoidable and caused by the medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to put forward a claim. For example:

  • Breast implants could burst due to the surgeon knowingly using poor quality implants to keep their costs down.
  • You could suffer scarring or infected wounds because the medical professional failed to administer the required standard of post-operative care.
  • Facelift surgery could result in nerve damage because of the surgeon nipping a nerve during the surgery.
  • You could end up with asymmetrical facial features if the surgeon failed to mark the correct area before operating.
  • A nose job could result in difficulty breathing and the nose collapsing if the surgeon removed too much bone or cartilage during surgery.

Additionally, the above complications could result in you not getting the aesthetic appearance you originally wanted. This could have had a life-altering effect on your psychological wellbeing.

If you’ve experienced something similar, please get in touch with our team, and they can take you through the next steps so you can get the compensation you deserve.

Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures Risks

Many cosmetic procedures are non-surgical, meaning that someone does not need medical training to perform them. However, there are still risks that could affect you should someone fail to provide the correct level of care.

There are a number of ways non-surgical procedures could go wrong and different ways they could affect you. For example, many of these treatments are administered on the face, so they can cause psychological effects such as anxiety or low self-esteem if they go wrong in a way that affects your appearance.

Additionally, they could cause the following physical effects:

  • Rashes
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Sagging skin
  • Chemical burns
  • Scarring

Some of these effects may be expected even if the treatment has been carried out correctly. For example, there may be a risk of some bruising at the injection site if you’ve gotten dermal fillers. However, if a beautician has not provided the right standard of care and you’ve been injured as a result, this could be a breach of the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, and you may be able to claim.

For any further information on how you could make a cosmetic injury claim for the avoidable harm you’ve suffered due to someone’s negligence, call our team on the number above.

How Long After Suffering A Cosmetic Injury Could You Claim?

When making a cosmetic injury claim, there are time limits you should be aware of. Generally, you will have three years either from the date of the incident or the date you obtained knowledge that someone’s failings caused the incident to happen. The latter is referred to as the date of knowledge.

The time limit is the same whether you’re making a medical negligence claim or a public liability claim. However, there are exceptions made for people who legally cannot represent themselves.

If you’re injured while you’re under the age of 18, you will have three years to claim, starting from the date you turn 18. Before this, someone else could claim on your behalf by applying to act as a litigation friend

Similarly, for anyone who lacks the mental capacity to claim, the three-year time limit is frozen. While they lack the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend can do so for them. In the event they regain their mental capacity, the time limit will resume; otherwise, it’s indefinitely suspended. 

How long does it take for a claim to settle?

Due to the specific nature of each case, the time it takes for a claim to settle can differ greatly. It may depend on certain factors such as:

  • Whether the defendant admits liability
  • How complex the claim is 
  • Whether further evidence is required
  • If the claim needs to be taken to court 

If you choose to put forward your claim with a solicitor from our panel, they can help to ensure the cosmetic injury claims process goes as smoothly as possible. 

I Suffered A Beauty Or Cosmetic Injury, What Should I Do?

There are a few steps you should take following a cosmetic injury. These include: 

  • Seek medical care: This will ensure you get proper treatment for the harm you’ve suffered. It can also help to provide medical evidence of your injury. 
  • Take photographic evidence: You could take photographs of your injuries to show how you’ve been affected. 
  • Obtain other evidence: If you’re claiming special damages, you’ll need additional evidence to prove any financial losses. Evidence such as payslips showing loss of earnings or receipts showing care costs could help support your claim. 
  • Keep a medical journal: A journal can be a useful tool to detail your pain and symptoms, including the physical and mental effect the injury has had on you. You can also use it to keep track of any medical appointments or financial costs you’ve had to pay out for the injury. 
  • Seek legal advice: Due to the complex nature of medical negligence claims, it might be helpful to seek advice from a law professional. They can provide clarification on parts of the claims process that you may not be familiar with.

If you’d like to know more about the kinds of evidence that you could collect in support of your claim, speak to a member of our team today. An agent will be happy to offer you free legal advice about the claims process.

Cosmetic Surgery Compensation – No Win No Fee Claims

A benefit of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor is that you generally are not required to pay them if your claim fails. You also do not typically pay a hiring fee or any ongoing payments.

In a successful claim, you may only be charged a success fee – this fee can only be paid out of your compensation award and is a capped percentage.

Please reach out for a free consultation to see if you could claim for the harm you suffered due to cosmetic surgery and the compensation you could receive based on past cosmetic surgery compensation claims.

For further details on getting started with your claim, or finding out more information about the claims process, contact our team using the details below:

  • Telephone 020 3870 4868
  • Arrange for someone to call you back
  • Chat with an advisor using the live chat feature and get instant help

Useful Pages

The NHS has provided helpful guidance on deciding whether undergoing a cosmetic procedure is the right decision for you. 

The General Medical Council outline the duties of a doctor on their website.

The Health and Safety Executive has useful information on the risks associated with cosmetic beauty treatments.

Another of our guides explores what a medical negligence claim is and whether you could be entitled to claim compensation.

We have created a different guide exploring the different scenarios where you could sue on behalf of someone else.

Our fatal accident claims guide looks at the process of seeking compensation for someone who has suffered a fatality caused by negligence. 

FAQs About Cosmetic Injury Claims

The following section provides answers to commonly asked questions on cosmetic injury claims.

What evidence do I need to make a claim?

There are various types of evidence that you will need to obtain to support your claim. For instance, you could provide medical records or photographic evidence of your injuries.

How do I start my claim?

If you’d like to start your claim, you can begin by building up evidence. You may also want to seek legal advice. Although it isn’t a legal requirement, a solicitor can advise on the next steps and help you get more money from your claim.

Could I claim for the psychological effect of my injury?

Yes, if you’ve suffered avoidable physical or psychological harm, you could claim compensation for the way this has affected your quality of life.

We hope you have a better understanding of the cosmetic injury claims process after reading our guide. 

Writer AC

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