Summer Waxing Injury Risks

Waxing treatments at beauty salons are in high demand at this time of year, with appointments booked in advance of holidays abroad and staycations in the UK. While most waxing procedures are carried out safely and successfully, a small minority of women continue to be injured every year by poorly performed waxes at salons which, apart from the physical pain and emotional distress, can completely ruin a long-awaited holiday.

Most waxing injuries are caused by therapist errors during treatments. Excessive use of force when removing the waxing strips, removing them too early or leaving them too long, applying them in the wrong place or failing to remove hair in the natural direction of growth may tear the skin, causing bleeding and potential scarring. Spilled or overheated wax may cause burn injuries with symptoms including skin rashes, blistering, scarring, ingrown hairs and infections like staphylococcus, cellulitis and folliculitis.

There is also the possibility that a client will experience an allergic reaction to ingredients contained in the wax used during a treatment. This can require emergency hospital treatment with potentially very serious consequences. For this reason, beauty salons must conduct skin patch tests on new clients 24-48 hours before a waxing procedure to identify any potential sensitivities and the possibility of an allergic reaction to the wax.

Disfiguring skin damage and scarring will require costly surgery to correct with uncertain results. In these circumstances, an injured person is likely to suffer profound emotional distress, as well as physical pain and suffering. Relationships may be damaged by this type of injury, with common side effects including loss of sexual desire, while a perception of deformity may cause extreme stress and depression.

Beauty salons are expected to perform waxing treatments in a reasonably competent manner, and if a client is injured due to an error, there will be strong grounds for claiming compensation. Find out more:

Mounting Pressure on Buy-to-Let Landlords

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that average private rental prices paid by UK tenants increased by a record rate of 5.1% in the year to June 2023. This will provide little relief to the estimated 1.4 million UK homeowners, including many buy-to-let landlords, with mortgages that are due to expire in 2023, who face a steep increase in their monthly payments following recent Bank of England base interest rate rises.

The impact appears to be already being felt, with ONS data collected in July finding that 45% of mortgage holders had seen their payments rise in the last six months, while 40% of tenants and mortgage holders reported that it was very or somewhat difficult to afford their rent or mortgage payments. Successive hikes have seen the interest rate on outstanding fixed-rate mortgages rise from 2.08% in November 2022, to over 6% in August 2023, meaning that many homeowners are facing increases of more than 50% on their monthly mortgage payments.   

On top of the financial pain caused by rising interest rates, buy-to-let landlords have been hit by gradually phased-in mortgage interest tax relief changes, which now means that higher-rate taxpayers are unable to claim any tax back at all on their mortgage payments (after receiving up to 40% tax relief previously) because the new tax credit only refunds tax paid at the basic 20% rate. Furthermore, while incorporating a buy-to-let property will allow tax-deductible mortgage expenses, capital gains tax will be payable on the transfer to the company. Therefore, landlords who purchased their property in the past may not find this solution economically viable.

Our firm’s solicitors have invested in property themselves and understand the cash situation facing many buy-to-let landlords. We have decades of experience of buying and selling residential properties in the city of Liverpool and across Merseyside. Legal advice from conveyancing solicitors with local knowledge and expertise can be critically important in safeguarding the interests of a buy-to-let property buyer or seller.

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Rental Bike, E-Bike & E-Scooter Risks

The growing market in the UK for rental bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters is already a massive market in the US, where Citi Bike, New York City’s biggest bike rental company, has been hit with numerous claims (amounting to millions of dollars) for bike crash injuries, many caused by poor maintenance and the defective state of its bikes. While customers are expected to check their rented bike, e-bike or e-scooter for damage before riding it, maintenance issues or manufacturing defects will not necessarily be apparent, while a software malfunction on an e-bike or e-scooter would be completely unforeseeable.

Another example of the risks facing rental bike, e-bike and e-scooter riders comes from Sweden, where the city of Stockholm was forced to suspend its e-bike rental scheme over fears that the vehicles could unexpectedly catch fire. The subsequent technical inspection found that an astonishing 58% of the e-bikes had known damage or faults, but were still available to rent. Many of these related to frame problems for which the e-bike supplier or manufacturer was most likely responsible. However, a proper system of inspection and maintenance by the city of Stockholm rental scheme operator should have ensured that riders were not put at risk of injury by being provided with unsafe e-bikes.     

Either or both the rental company and manufacturer may therefore be to some degree responsible for bike, e-bike and e-scooter crashes and the resulting injuries. In the same way as rental companies, bike share scheme providers must also make sure that their bicycles are free from defects and safe to use. Riders risk serious injury if, for example, an e-bike travelling at 15 mph malfunctions and the rider loses control while crossing a busy junction. Both riders and pedestrians may be injured in accidents of this kind, and if the defective state of a bike, e-bike or e-scooter was the principal or contributing cause, both will be entitled to claim compensation.    

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective rental or shared bike, e-bike or e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists with many years of experience in claiming compensation for riders injured through no fault of their own. Find out more:

Accidents at Petrol Stations

Petrol stations owe customers a duty of care which they may breach if the latter are exposed to a foreseeable risk of injury and an accident occurs. There are a number of potential hazards at petrol stations, especially those operating 24/7 and offering a range of facilities. As with all businesses offering services to the general public, petrol station owners, occupiers and staff are responsible for the safety of their visitors as per the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. Customers must be kept reasonably safe while visiting the premises, and all necessary measures must be taken to minimise the risk of accidents.

Typical examples of slippery surfaces at petrol stations include greasy areas in forecourts where oil or petrol has been spilled, and wet floors in bathroom facilities caused by recent cleaning or maintenance problems. Other internal floor surfaces may also be slippery if, for example, a customer spilled a product and it has not been cleaned up, or a recently cleaned floor has been left in a wet and slippery condition, in which case warning signs should have been positioned to warn and prevent customers from accessing the area.

Inadequate outdoor lighting at petrol stations is often a contributory factor in slip and trip accidents, and publicly accessible areas must be properly lit at all times to guard against this risk. Ice and snow in winter must be cleared from outdoor areas to prevent visitors from slipping over and injuring themselves, while measures should also be taken to prevent ice, snow and water from being trampled inside petrol stations. Petrol hoses on forecourts should recoil automatically after use and not be allowed to trail along the ground due to the risk of trips, falls and injuries.

Our firm has a team of personal injury lawyers with experience of successfully claiming compensation for accidents at petrol stations. If you have slipped and fallen over or been otherwise injured at a petrol station through no fault of your own, contact Bartletts for free legal advice that you can rely on:

Accidents at Nightclubs and Discos

As with all commercial premises visited by members of the public, nightclubs and discos owe their customers a duty of care, and must take all reasonable measures to protect them from foreseeable injury risks while they are on the premises. The most common causes of accidents in nightclubs and discos include:

1) Spilled drinks in any area of a venue can create a slipping hazard for revellers, especially on dance floors and in bar areas and bathroom facilities. Inspections need to be routinely carried out by staff so that spillages are identified and cleared up as quickly as possible. Nightclub owners and organisers must make sure that a sufficient number of staff are on duty to monitor the behaviour of guests and maintain a reasonable level of safety.

2) Broken glasses and bottles are another regular cause of accidents in nightclubs and discos. Broken glass on dance floors, stairs and in other areas of a venue can cut people’s feet, hands or any other part of the body. Similarly to spilled drinks, an efficient system of monitoring and inspecting public areas of a venue, and clearing up broken glass as soon as it is identified will minimise the risk of injuries.

3) Tripping accidents at venues are also fairly common, and are often caused by damaged or uneven surfaces such as frayed carpeting, cracked tiles in bathrooms or damaged steps to stair. Clubs and discos are full of electrical cables linking up music equipment, lighting, screens and vending machines, and exposed trailing cables in public areas can easily cause revellers or venue staff to trip over and injure themselves.

4) Visitors to nightclubs and discos may also be injured when chairs, stools or tables collapse due to their defective state or poor assembly. Venue owners and organisers have a legal duty to provide safe furniture and furnishings which must be regularly inspected to monitor its condition and minimise the risk of injuries. A proper system of lighting is also important, particularly on stairs, in bathroom facilities, near entrances and exits, and on crowded dance floors. Inadequate lighting reduces the ability of visitors to move around a venue safely, and can result in trips, falls and potentially serious injuries.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an accident in a nightclub that was not your fault, it will often be possible to claim compensation. Bartletts Solicitors has successfully represented guests injured at nightclubs across England and Wales. Find out more:

Laser Scar Removal Risks

Scarring to exposed areas of the body can cause extreme self-consciousness and a perception of deformity. Laser scar removal treatments provide a fast and effective solution; the procedure is often chosen to eliminate acne scars which patients may have suffered with for many years, and to treat scars from surgery, viruses, accidents and fights. Professionals claim that laser surgery can reduce the visibility of scars by up to 80%.

The undeniable benefits of laser scar removal often obscures the fact that laser procedures are highly technical in nature, particularly the matching of laser type and beam intensity to individual scar characteristics. The skill and experience of dermatologists and laser technicians are essential to the success of the procedure, and the choice of clinic is therefore of paramount importance to the prospective patient.

Scarring is caused by an excess or lack of the supply of collagen to a wound during the healing process. Keloid scars are raised scars, resulting from concentrations of collagen, and may develop in size and surface area over time. Hypertrophic scars are similar, but will not expand beyond the site of the initial wound and will fade over time, while acne and skin disease scars are defined as atrophic scars, characterised by small, regular depressions in the skin.

While laser scar removal procedures have a high success rate, inevitably there are certain risks involved. The laser itself may cause burns and additional scarring if directed at the wound site or areas of healthy skin for fractionally too long. There are a number of contraindications that make laser scar removal unsuitable, including skin diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis. There is also a moderate risk of either hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of skin) resulting from laser scar removal.

We have recently dealt with cases where laser treatments, including laser car removal, have gone disastrously wrong for clients. In the resulting compensation claims we have recovered damages for pain and suffering, as well as medical and travel expenses and loss of earnings for time off work. Contact us today for free expert legal advice:

Laser Tattoo Removal Risks

All laser treatments, including tattoo removal, that involve a beam being directed at and penetrating the skin have clear risks attached, and much depends on the training, skill and experience of the practitioner carrying out the procedure. With laser tattoo removal, multiple sessions are usually necessary to achieve the desired results, and this increases the possibility of something going wrong. Following deregulation of cosmetic laser treatments in 2010, procedures are now offered by a variety of providers, which has raised concerns not only about the qualifications of laser treatment practitioners, but also about the quality of the laser equipment used at clinics and salons.

Establishments offering laser tattoo removal treatments need to accurately assess a client’s skin type and sensitivity before their first procedure, most importantly to work out the intensity of the laser beam and the duration that it will be directed at the target area. Burns, associated skin damage like blistering, infections, keloid scarring and discolouration are all possibilities if the laser is set to too high a frequency or if the beam is directed at the skin for even fractionally too long. Prospective laser tattoo removal clients need to make sure that their chosen clinic or salon has an established record of carrying out laser treatments successfully, and that the pre-treatment care they receive is thorough and professional.           

As with all the treatments offered at laser clinics and beauty salons, clients have the legal right to expect that their procedure will be carried out in a reasonably competent manner. Currently, no formal qualifications are required for practitioners to offer laser treatments like tattoo removal to the general public, meaning that there are inevitably some establishments that should not be offering such procedures due to their lack of training and inexperience. 

We have recently dealt with cases where laser tattoo removal treatments have gone wrong, leaving clients injured and partially disfigured. In the resulting compensation claims we have recovered damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses (including the cost of corrective treatments) and loss of earnings due to time off work. Find out more:

Fat Freezing Risks

Another relatively new beauty procedure is fat freezing (CoolSculpting), has become one of the most popular treatments at salons and clinics, mainly because it can achieve the same results as liposuction but does not involve surgery or time off to recover. Fat freezing (cryolipolysis) uses extremely low temperatures to freeze and destroy fat cells, which are then absorbed into the body, resulting in reduced fat deposits over time.

Although generally considered a safe procedure, certain side effects are still not properly understood. One rare complication is called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia, with fat cells becoming enlarged rather than destroyed over time. The treatment can therefore achieve the opposite effect to that intended and result in disfigurement; in 2002, the supermodel Linda Evangelista claimed that a CoolSculpting procedure had left her ‘permanently deformed’ and ‘brutally disfigured’.

Temporary side effects of fat freezing include aching, stinging, numbness, loss of sensation, itching and bruising to the treated area of the body, CoolSculpting can also cause freezing burns, blistering and scarring if the procedure is not carried out in a competently. The CoolSculpting device needs to be used correctly, while proper pre-treatment advice and aftercare are important in reducing the risk of complications.

Ultimately, the success of a fat freezing procedure depends on the skill and experience of the professional carrying it out, as well as the quality of the equipment used. As the procedure is non-surgical, no training or qualifications are necessary to offer CoolSculpting at beauty salons and clinics, and this is the greatest risk for prospective patients.

Our solicitors (Nicola Perry and Sian Taylor) are real specialists in beauty and cosmetic injuries, each with years of experience. Call now for your free consultation. We guarantee you a warm welcome and a lawyer with the expertise that you would expect from a leading personal injury firm:

Fibroblast Risks

Fibroblast is a skin-tightening beauty treatment that uses plasma to burn off the top layers of skin and improve facial appearance. The discharge of electrostatic energy onto the skin on the face and neck causes it to tighten and lift, shrinking wrinkles, skin bags and other imperfections. Plasma fibroblast procedures (also known as plasma pen treatments) have rapidly gained popularity as an inexpensive and non-surgical alternative to a facelift, with a far quicker recovery time and results that can last for up to three years.  

Plasma fibroblast devices release an electrical charge just above the skin’s surface which burns tiny holes in the skin’s outer layer and stimulates collagen development. Discharging this electrical current onto areas of the face is a delicate operation, and there are a number of possible fibroblast side effects of varying severity. The skin may temporarily appear red and swollen, while pigmentation may also be altered. These side effects are normal, and as the skin heals, the results will improve over the next 6-8 weeks.

When a plasma fibroblast device is not used in the correct manner there are more serious risks involved, including penetrating burns to sensitive areas of skin on the face, infections and scarring. These injuries are normally caused by therapists using fibroblast devices on the skin for too long and/or penetrating too deeply, an error that can also cause nerve damage. Other fibroblast risks include skin punctures for plasma needle tips, allergic reactions and changes in skin pigmentation.

Most injuries caused by fibroblast are the result of errors by therapists due to lack of training, experience or simple incompetence. If you have been injured by a fibroblast procedure, contact our female lawyers today for free and confidential advice:

Millions Eligible for Right to Buy

Research commissioned by the consumer finance company Pepper Money has revealed that more than two million people are eligible for the government’s Right to Buy scheme. A YouGov survey of 6,377 adults in England and Wales found that 11% were currently renting their home from a local authority or housing association, and of these, 54% stated that they would consider buying their home using the Right to Buy scheme. Based on the estimated 34.8 million people aged between 20 and 60 in England and Wales, this amounts to a potential two million potential customers for Right to Buy. 

The current Right to Buy rules provide local authority and housing association tenants with the opportunity to buy their homes at a discounted price if they have been living in the property for more than three years. The Right to Buy scheme was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1980, and figures from its introduction in April of that year to March 2021 show that there have been 1,992,799 sales of social housing to tenants through Right to Buy during that time. Of these sales, an estimated 94% were to local authority tenants.

The Right to Buy scheme has always been controversial due to the fact that local authorities are not permitted to use the funds generated by Right to Buy sales to build new homes. This has added to the pressure on social housing in England and Wales, with the number of council homes having fallen from 6.5 million in 1979 to 2.2 million today. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has recently attempted to address the problem with the announcement in April that local authorities will be able to keep 100% of the funds from Right to Buy sales for the next two years. However, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on what is widely described as a crisis in UK social housing.

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