Laser hair removal has become remarkably popular in the United States, with more than 1.3 million procedures performed in 2005 alone. Since then, its popularity has only continued to climb. Today, one can easily find laser hair removal services in any major American city, and Oklahoma City is no exception.
The problem is that, while the medical-spa industry advertises these procedures as effective and practically free of risk, the reality is quite different. Inappropriate laser and pulsed light treatments are capable of causing serious burns, significant skin discoloration, and permanent scarring, burdening the victim with psychological distress and costly medical bills on top of inflicting terrible pain. Furthermore, these procedures are typically not performed by a doctor, but rather a cosmetologist or licensed technician, which only increases the risk of accidental injury.
If you were burned by a laser hair removal treatment in Oklahoma City, your first step should be to seek proper medical treatment. Your next step should be to call the personal injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 for a free, completely confidential legal consultation. Our attorneys approach every case with more than 75 years of combined experience and knowledge, and are committed to pursuing maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.
Health Risks and Harmful Effects of Laser Hair Removal
Repeatedly waxing and shaving can be time-consuming, which has led many to opt for laser hair removal instead. These treatments, which tout simplicity, ease, and precision, work by focusing extremely concentrated beams of light onto follicles, which are tiny, simple organs at the base of each hair. The light is absorbed by pigment in the follicles, where it converts to heat, destroying the healthy hair and leaving smooth skin behind. While results vary from person to person, laser treatments can permanently destroy hair in as little as three sessions, eventually eliminating the need to ever shave or wax again.
At first glance, these light-based treatments appear safer than using sharp razorblades on sensitive, curving areas of the body. However, while many procedures are performed safely and successfully, laser treatments are not without serious health hazards of their own – most significantly, the risk of agonizing burns, which can leave permanent, dark discoloration called hyperpigmentation behind. The pain from the burns can linger for weeks, and, while the resulting hyperpigmentation usually fades on its own, it is possible to suffer permanent discoloration.
Even if you are burned, the majority of technicians will falsely assure you that you are fine, that your pain is normal, and that all you need to do is apply a little aloe vera to the burn for relief. Oftentimes, the technician knows this is untrue, and is simply trying to prevent you from contacting an attorney. Do not assume the technician is telling you the truth or acting in your best interest, no matter how friendly or confident he or she might seem. Document your injuries with dated photographs taken from different angles, make note of when you had the procedure/procedures, and hold onto any receipts, statements, or forms which indicate that you had an appointment. Continue to photograph every day to show the progression of your injuries.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Burn Injury in OK?
If you have suffered an injury from laser hair removal, you may be able to obtain compensation from a variety of parties, including:
- The technician who physically performed the procedure.
- The employer who hired the technician.
- The doctor or healthcare provider in charge of supervising the procedure.
- The medical spa’s medical director.
- The person or entity that owns the spa.
- The person or entity responsible for the technician’s training.
- The manufacturer or distributor of the equipment used to remove the hair.
Some states place limits called “damages caps” on the amount of compensation injury victims can receive. Economic damages, which include compensation for current and future medical bills and lost earnings, are not capped in Oklahoma. Non-economic damages, which include compensation for pain, suffering, and the loss of a marital relationship (“loss of consortium”), are capped at $350,000. Punitive damages, which are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant’s misconduct was exceptionally extreme, are typically capped at $100,000, but may be capped at higher amounts under certain circumstances. For instance, punitive damages may be capped at $500,000 if the defendant engaged in conduct that was intentional and malicious.
Compensation may extend to a wide variety of costs and losses, including but not limited to:
- Doctor appointments, exams, and treatments.
- Medical bills and hospital bills.
- Medical devices and equipment.
- Pain and suffering experienced by the burn victim.
- Taking time off of work to recover.
After you’ve sought medical treatment for your burns, turn to the injury attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook for experienced legal representation. We have successfully handled a number of Oklahoma laser burn cases, and may be able to do the same for you. Call us today at (405) 698-3040 to learn more about getting the legal assistance you need. You will not be charged anything for your initial consultation, and we will keep your information confidential.