In the early days Botox compensation claims were virtually unheard of as Botox injections were often the exclusive choice of the rich and famous, actors and actresses. The substance is extremely useful in achieving tight wrinkle free skin which in the eyes of many people improves their appearance. As the cost of Botox has fallen, so it is now more popular than ever and for many people a useful way of fighting back the ensuing years. It is a non-surgical procedure but as with any treatment which punctures the skin there are obvious risks and potential side-effects.
As consumers have become more aware of the risks and the duty of care which practitioners have to safeguard their customers, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Botox-related compensation claims. While many of us will be well aware of the term Botox, what exactly is it and what does it really do?
What Is Botox?
To give Botox its full medical breakdown, this is a drug which is manufactured from a neurotoxin which is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum which is generally referred to as botulinum toxin. In this particular instance we are looking at Botox compensation claims as a result of botched Botox injections predominantly connected with the beauty industry. Botulinum toxin is however used to address an array of issues including chronic migraines, squinting, incontinence, rapid eye movement, muscle spasms, cerebral palsy and the treatment of excessive sweating.
Only recently a new trend has emerged in America which has been dubbed “Blotox” which is a procedure that allows a blow dried hair style to be retained for an extended amount of time. The treatment requires around 200 Botox injections to the scalp which impacts with nerve ending signals effectively reducing sweat on the scalp. As sweating is part of the reason why blow dried hair styles begin to fall apart, this ensures that they can be maintained and therefore offer added value for money. Whether this will ever catch on significantly in the UK remains to be seen but it is yet another use of Botox.
Administering Botox For Cosmetic Purposes
First of all Botox is not a substance which should not be given by untrained personnel. It is prescription only and as such only a trained doctor, dentist, registered nurse or pharmacist is able to administer the drug in a clinical environment. As a consequence, the injection of Botox should not be carried out by beauty therapists who do not have the relevant experience, qualifications and clinical background.
There are obvious risks with any treatment which pierces the skin but in order to minimise potential infection and side effects, Botox should only be administered in a safe clinically clean environment. While some people may be under the impression that Botox can be administered in beauty parlours and similar cosmetic business premises, this is simply not the case. In general it takes between three and five days before the impact of Botox becomes visible and up to 2 weeks before the full effects are felt. In general, one dose of Botox can last between three and four months although it is advisable to take professional advice regarding overuse and the potential side-effects.
Botox should never be administered to pregnant or lactating women or individuals who have in the past experienced allergic reactions to Botox or any of its ingredients. While it might be fairly obvious if a lady is pregnant or lactating, if you do not make the practitioner aware of potential allergies and you have an issue with the Botox injections this will severely impact any potential Botox compensation claim. The practitioner has a duty of care but the customer also has a duty of care to advise the practitioner of all relevant issues.
The Risks Of Botox Injections
On the whole the majority of people will not experience any major side effects as a consequence of Botox injections. There are obviously exceptions to the rule with more general short-term side effects such as flu like symptoms (usually within the first 24 hours) and possible bruising around the injection area – which is to be expected. As Botox can be administered into various parts of the body such as the forehead and lips there are other side-effects of Botox to be aware of which include:
- Temporary drooping of face muscles.
- Blurred or double vision.
- Possible breathing difficulties if Botox has been injected to the neck.
- Potential disfigurement.
- Loss of speech.
- Reduce facial movement.
- Allergic reactions.
- Excessive swelling.
This is just a selection of some of the possible side-effects of Botox, many of which are extremely short lived although others may last longer. In some circumstances additional medical assistance may be required.
Claiming Compensation For Botox Injuries
Such has been the demand for Botox in relation to beauty therapies that in some cases non-qualified personnel have been administering it. Legally, only regulated doctors, pharmacists, dentists and registered nurses are allowed to administer Botox but this is big business and some people have crossed the line without the relevant qualifications/ experience.
It is not just the fact that Botox is to all intents a “toxin” and should be handled with care but those administering Botox must also be trained and experienced in treating side-effects. While the vast majority of people will have limited or no side effects there are some who will experience an immediate adverse reaction. In some circumstances this can be life-threatening hence the reason why only regulated personnel should administer Botox.
If Botox has been given by a non-qualified practitioner or indeed administered in a negligent manner or a dangerous environment, then any injuries incurred may leave the practitioner libel to damages in a Botox compensation claim.
Claiming Botox Compensation As A Consequence Of Broken Promises
The beauty industry, more than any other, tends to promote an array of treatments which will “hold back the tides of time”. Botox is a simple injection which can alleviate wrinkles thus giving the person a more youthful appearance in the eyes of others. There is nothing wrong in using Botox in the correct manner in the correct environment to alleviate wrinkles, plump lips or any other cosmetic use. However, where a company promotes a certain result from Botox injections, which it fails to deliver, it can leave them open to a Botox compensation claim.
Even though some people may believe it is a little vain to launch a Botox compensation claim because of a failed beauty treatment, it is all down to what the company in question promised. Whether looking at a painter and decorator seeking to give your house a particular style or the purchase of a vehicle which does not deliver on promises, it is no different with regards to beauty treatments. You are paying for a service and you are paying for an end result.
Starting A Botox Compensation Claim
Where there are no specific injuries, but a practitioner has failed to deliver on their promises, a claimant can pursue a Botox compensation claim for distress and unhappiness. Where there is a specific injury this can extend the potential claims range to take in compensation for the actual pain and suffering, and possible life changing circumstances, together with any distress and unhappiness. These are referred to as general damages with special damages taking in the likes of additional medical costs, travel expenses and related expenditure going forward.
If you believe you may have a Botox compensation claim as a consequence of a Botox related injury then you should contact a personal injury solicitor with details of your treatment. This should include the time and place, practitioner involved, treatment promised, treatment delivered together with any side-effects and injuries. Thankfully the vast majority of injuries relating to Botox injections are relatively short lived but there have been instances of long-term muscle damage and disfigurement. Whether the injuries are likely to be short lived or long-term, it is useful to have any medical support and assessment of the situation to back up your Botox claim.
After assessing your claim the personal injury solicitor will advise you accordingly and if further supporting evidence is required they will inform you of this and help to obtain it. The next stage is to lodge the action and advise the defendant accordingly. The claims process generally goes one of two ways, either the defendant will settle the Botox compensation claim out of court where negligence and liability have been proven or the claim will go before the courts.