Can I claim against my Hairdresser for Injury?
Its a business that is ever expanding however, hairdressing in the UK is a unregulated profession. In the same way as the beauty industry, anyone can offer hairdressing services to the public, even if they lack training, qualifications and experience. Few Hairdressers understand that "patch testing" for hair is a fully legal requirement if the hair is be subject to chemical dye. This obligation to patch test arises under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act. Failure to patch test has lead to prosecution and fines in the past. This applies to those colours described as ‘organic’ too, as they may be free from ammonia, but still contain other chemicals that could cause a reaction. Salons should also offer a hair strand test to ensure that the hair is up to being treated and that the chemicals in dye will not damage the hair or even cause the hair to fracture or snap. This is extremely important if your hair has been exposed to bleaching products. As a client of the salon you have a legal right to expect that your treatment will be carried out by a reasonably competent professional. If your stylist mixes the wrong products or fails to remove the chemicals from your hair at the right time, injury may be caused to your scalp and your hair may become damaged and ‘over-processed’. Hair salons are also subject to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), which regulates the storage, use and disposal of chemical solutions. This is important as many chemicals have a use by date beyond which they may become toxic.
What Type of Injuries can Hairdressing Cause?
Hair and Scalp damage tends to come from a reaction to the products applied by the hairdresser. These can cause: Hair loss
and breakage, damaged hair follicles, alopecia, Total hair loss brittle hair, allergic reactions, dermatitis, scalp injury and scarring, rashes and hives. What is often overlooked however, is the psychological damage that such injury inflicts, frequently this type of injury is the longest lasting and the most severe. Psychological injury is invisible but can effect every aspect of a persons life.
Will the Business Just Go Bust if I Claim?
All businesses, should have an appropriate business liability insurance in place to cover all legal costs and compensation awards should that business find itself in the middle of a claim. Of course, some businesses may not have any such facility and any claim may be a threat to them. However, an experienced solicitor will try and make early concessions to get the claim settled quickly before legal costs build up. .
What is a Hair Damage Claim Worth?
The Courts dont see huge numbers of these claims the same way they have seen millions of road traffic claims, so the level of compensation is not easily determined by looking at other cases. Each case stands on its own strengths and weaknesses. However, the Courts will take into account every aspect of the claim, including psychological damage, pain, medical expenses and any other expenses, plus any loss of earnings that may have occurred. As a rough guide, where hair in bald patches grows back within 2 years the court awards £3150- £5850. Where there is continued thinning and the potential for growing back is poor the courts have awarded £5850-£8780. Once all aspects of the claim have been considered it is not unusual for a claim to exceed £20,000.00 +
Can I claim for my ruined wedding?
A lot of hairdressing procedures are carried out prior to the client attending a special event, such as a wedding or a party. This can make the effects of a negligent procedure even more traumatic and distressing for the sufferer. A regularly occouring claim is therefore "can I claim for my spoiled holiday / wedding etc". The truth is that this is dependent upon a lot off other facts, the first of which is if the Hairdresser was aware of the event, however, a lot needs to be discussed in this regard, call to confirm your position, completely without obligation.
What Evidence Do I Need?
The commonest question is about the evidence needed to prove a claim. It certainly is worth keeping any voice mails or text message conversations following the event but also those that confirm the original booking. If you received a receipt for treatment even if you subsequently got a refund, it is worth keeping them as proof of attendance. Finally, always remember the requirement to keep taking photos even if the condition is getting better. Sit down every morning and take photos all around the head - get help if you can and remember the crown of your head. If possible get your face into the photos so that identification cannot be called into question and try and make sure the photos are date stamped.