Over the last decade or so there has been a significant increase in the number of people with tattoos in the UK and this trend has also been reflected in body piercings. Initially body piercing operations seemed to fall between numerous regulatory stools but this has been addressed of late. The main problem with body piercings is the simple fact that by piercing the skin it creates the opportunity for potential infection and other complications.
Common Body Piercing Injuries
There are a number of relatively common injuries which can occur during the process of body piercing which involve:
Piercings Of The Nose
Nose piercings are particularly popular and while this is a relatively straightforward procedure, there are potential complications. Due to the shape of the inner and outer nose it is very difficult to fully disinfect the inside surface where the piercing will go. When you bear in mind nostril hairs are there to prevent airborne pollutants entering the nose, the process of breaking the skin while adding a piercing can lead to infection.
Piercings Of The Tongue
To many people tongue piercings look painful but surprisingly they carry a relatively small risk of infection. Despite the amount of food and drink which will pass over your tongue during a day, the muscle can be cleaned and disinfected fairly easily. The main problem when adding a tongue piercing relates to the number of blood vessels in the local vicinity. In the early days it is fairly common for a degree of swelling but with the correct treatment this should be relatively short lived.
Piercing Of The Ear Cartilage
The hard cartilage towards the top of your ear is perhaps one of the most challenging types of piercing. While it is relatively easy to add a piercing, although perhaps a little more painful than traditional piercings, it is the chance of infection which is challenging. If the area around the piercing becomes infected then pus can actually become trapped underneath the cartilage. In some of the more severe infections this may require an operation to remove the cartilage and drain the infection. It is not difficult to see how this type of procedure can then result in a degree of deformation of the ear.
More Intimate Piercings
In recent times we have seen a trend towards more intimate piercings especially in the genital area. In theory these are relatively straightforward but the fact that these areas are strongly associated with sexual activity and toiletry functions means the broken skin is exposed to an enhanced chance of infection. Any piercing related infection can be painful but one on a more intimate part of your body can be extremely painful. Any swelling may require medical treatment and in the more severe cases surgery may be the only option.
Severe Body Piercing Infections
Historically there have been concerns regarding infections such as HIV, hepatitis, etc but improved hygiene and the constant increase in regulations has put many of these fears to bed. In reality any type of body piercing does carry a degree of risk, even in a surgically clean environment, but the risks increase dramatically in unclean working conditions. We have seen great strides in areas such as the training of staff and the use of safety equipment – offering protection to both staff and customers, but if you have suffered any type of body piercing infection or injury because of negligence you could have a good case for compensation.
Body Piercing Compensation Amounts
There is an obvious risk of infection with any body piercing due to the fact that the skin is broken and exposed to the elements. We will now take a look at potential body piercing injuries and varying levels of compensation.
Compensation Amounts For Impairment Of Taste And Smell
- The loss of the taste sensation can lead to compensation of between £15,300 and £19,920.
- The loss of smell can lead to slightly higher compensation in the region of £19,920 up to £26,230.
- Significant loss of taste and total loss of smell can see compensation of between £26,230 and £31,220.
- Total loss of taste and smell will lead to compensation in the region of £31,220.
Facial Disfigurement And Scarring
- Relatively trivial scarring due to infection when inserting the piercing can lead to compensation of between £1,360 and £2,810.
- Less significant scarring which can be camouflaged, or relatively small scars, generally leads to compensation of between £3,150 and £10,960.
- More significant scarring where plastic surgery may be required can lead to compensation in the region of £7,270 up to £23,980.
- Substantial disfigurement and psychological after-effects can result in compensation from £14,320 up to £38,600.
- Where the victim is relatively young, up to mid-30s, and the use of cosmetics has little impact, often creating additional psychological issues, compensation anywhere from £23,740 up to £77,580 may be claimed.
Minor Body Piercing Injuries
- Relatively short duration minor injuries where there is a complete recovery within seven days will see compensation up to £550.
- Injuries which take up to 28 days to fully recover often attract compensation of between £550 and £1,090.
- Injuries where the recovery process is anything up to 3 months tend to attract compensation between £1,090 and £1,950.
Making A Body Piercing Compensation Claim
In order to pursue a body piecing claim for compensation you would need to prove negligence on behalf of one or more third parties which resulted in your injuries. Where body piercing is concerned the potential for infection must be explained to all customers in detail and written authority given by the customer. While most body piercing infections are relatively short lived and minor in severity there are occasions where negligence can bring about a more severe infection.
Seeking medical assistance will ensure that your medical records reflect the body piercing injuries received, circumstances and any treatment required. These together with eyewitness statements, details of incomplete written authorities/warnings and a timeline covering the period before, during and after the body piercing procedure will give the courts a wider picture when considering compensation. Photographs of the location as well as the infection/swelling/injury around from the piercing area can also prove useful.
Body Piercing Compensation Solicitors
You should gather any evidence you have and any other useful details and discuss these with a personal injury solicitor so that they can determine if you have a body piercing injury claim. Where they believe you should begin a claim a No Win No Fee arrangement would likely be the preferred option meaning you will not have to be concerned with paying legal fees while the claim proceeds. You will however be required to pay your solicitor a success fee once the body piercing compensation claim has settled in your favour. The fee should be agreed before you sign the No Win No Fee arrangement and is deducted from the compensation.